Students, sports fans react to canceled games, delayed seasons

David La Vaque

The shockwaves from Tuesday’s terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., resonated throughout a weekend devoid of collegiate and professional sporting events.

The National Football League canceled week two, while Major League Baseball postponed 91 games between last Tuesday and Sunday, the highest number since 1918.

Stadiums around the country sat vacant as sports fans spent their weekend reflecting on the tragedies and pondering whether the decision to cancel games was the best one.

Fans who root fiercely for their favorite teams are taking a less rigid stance on the place of sports in a time of chaos.

Minnesota canceled all sports over the weekend, leaving groups of students to come together Saturday at places like Sportsman’s Pub on Como Avenue.

“If you play, it will make certain people very mad, and they have a right to be mad,” Doug, a University student, said. “If they don’t play, some people will be disappointed, but they won’t be mad because it’s just a sporting event.

“So the safest bet is not to play.”

Professional and collegiate representatives said safety for the traveling athletes and thousands of fans at stadiums are low on the list of reasons for calling off games over the weekend.

But James, a University student, believes last week’s horrific events are not the last terrorist attacks in the United States.

“I don’t think they’re done yet with what they’re going to do in this country,” he said. “So I think it’s best to just lay off for the weekend.”

“Everyone is shaken – you can see it in the eyes of the coaches and players during interviews. No one wants to have to travel across the country right now,” Mike added.

Questions of appropriateness played an important role in the decision of the NFL, MLB and the NCAA to cancel events over the weekend.

In the wake of such a tragedy, some are calling sports insignificant, but some students think sporting events – had they been played – could have positively affected the country’s morale.

“Football is not a big deal,” Steve, another University student, said. “But a lot of people watch it.

“I guarantee you that for a lot of people it would be a relief just for an afternoon to get your mind away from (thinking about the tragedies).”

A number of students interviewed felt the cancellation of games brought more attention to sports than necessary.

It’s unclear, they said, which action – playing or canceling games – would have made the bigger statement.

And would playing the games offer enough of a diversion to the tragedies weighing so heavy on the American psyche? Doubtful, said Mike.

“It’s hard to sit there cheering for a football game,” he said, “when you know so many people have lost their lives.”

Golf Team Raises Money For Red Cross

Minnesota’s men’s golf team is working with the Troy Burne Golf Club today to raise money for the American Red Cross. Half of each $79 green fee will be donated to the Red Cross. More information is available from Troy Burne at 1-877-888-8633.