This Sunday night, on September 11th, the Jets will host the Dallas Cowboys in a prime time game that gets started at 8:20 pm; however, this won’t be just another opening night game for these two teams. This date marks the tenth anniversary of the tragic attacks of 9/11/01.
There will be a lot of emotion for everybody who will be at Met Life stadium from the players and coaches to the fans in attendance.
Head coach Rex Ryan of the Jets said, “I feel the most pressure to win this game, more than any other in my career.” Rex said he wants to win this one for New Yorkers and for all Jets fans.
Ten years ago, when this terrible tragedy happened, the Jets were following their normal in-season schedule, where they have Tuesday off. Many players were in the city on that day.
Wayne Chrebet, a former great Jet wide receiver, said in a conference call Tuesday, “I can’t believe it really happened.” Chrebet and former starting Quarterback Vinnie Testeverde, who grew up in Elmont, NY knew a lot of people who were affected by the tragedy, and they along with their teammates did not want to play the following week in Oakland.
The league understood this, as players across the league felt the same way. Former head coach Herm Edwards remembers the day all too well. Edwards said, “This tragic event will never leave me… Every opening day I always reflect on that.”
This Sunday, the ten year anniversary of 9/11, the Jets and Cowboys will do plenty of reflecting when pregame starts.
Grammy-winning artist Mary J. Blige singing the national anthem. Each fan will receive an American flag as they enter the stadium and children of first responders will serve as honorary team captains. Bagpipers representing the FDNY, NYPD and PAPD will also perform “Amazing Grace.”
At halftime, Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro will narrate during a moment honoring family members of 9/11 victims. John Ondrasik of Five For Fighting will also perform an acoustic, piano version of “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” which became an anthem for many after the terrorist attacks.