The days after hurricane Sandy hit you have seen the best in people.  The areas hardest hit – New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and parts of West Virginia have seen lives lost, electricity gone,  flooding  and devastation unimaginable.  But you have also seen people coming together – neighbors offering, food, water, clothes and hope.

Sports have a way of bringing people together after tragedies.  We’ve seen it time and time again here are some examples –

  • The 1989 World Series also referred to as the “Quake of ‘89” during the third game between Oakland and San Francisco.  During the warm-up the earthquake was felt live on television.
  • After the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11th in 2001. The New York Yankees even had fans who didn’t like them cheer for them to come back and win.
  • On February 18, 2001 Dale Earnhardt was killed during the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.  This brought the NASCAR community together including those who were not avid fans. It also allowed those in NASCAR to work on better safety regulations for the drivers.
  • In 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana (especially the greater New Orleans area), Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.  It has been called one the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States.  The Saints became America’s team after Katrina.  The New Orleans Saints rolled up their sleeves and reached out to help their community.  It was more than just being part of a team – everyone was hurting.
  • The Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was recently diagnosed with leukemia. During his first visit to the team since taking time off for treatment he stated, “I’ve got circumstances,” he said. “It’s already beat. My vision is to see two more daughters get married and to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.” Received Reggie Wayne then stated, “As a team, we know that probably his best medicine is for us to continue to win.”

Some might argue after a tragic event the last thing people should be worried about is a sporting event.  But it’s more than the “sport” it’s the spirit of togetherness. It’s the sense of family, a way for us to lift each other up and say “United we Stand” we can overcome anything.  So no, it’s not the event it’s the reassurance that life does go on and for the better.  That’s why having the New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers play in the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey was definitely more than a game.

It was the people 1 – Sandy 0.