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Topic: 9/11: I Won't Forget
 Russ Bliss_108
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Post Date: 09/10/12 22:17
Earlier tonight, I received a text from my friend Evan Cohen. Evan worked with me in radio in Phoenix and actually, for a very short time before he decided to end his radio career and find a career that actually paid something, he was the only regular, every week co-host I've ever had on my fantasy football radio show.

I just wanted to explain that so you know Evan is a good friend I am glad to have known for many long years.

Anyway, Evan texted me tonight reminding me of the night of September 10th, 2001. It was the night the Giants and Broncos faced off in a Monday night contest and Denver WR Ed McCaffrey suffered a broken leg.

I remember Evan and I watched the game together at Santisi Brothers Pizzeria and Sports Grill in Phoenix, where I used to (and still do 11 years later) broadcast my radio show from.

I remember we both had a bit more to drink then was wise and ate a whole bunch of pizza and wings. I remember a lot of laughs, a lot of boasts about our fantasy football teams in the very young NFL season.

I also remember that being the last night I would ever be blissfully ignorant of the fact "Terrorism" was not just something that happened on foreign soil.

It was barely 8 hours after that Monday night game was over that I got a call from my wife telling me to turn on the news and see what was happening at the World Trade Center. I had been switching back and forth between the morning re-runs of Sportscenter on ESPN and the PBS childrens programming (after all I was a stay at home Dad with two children, one almost 4, and the other almost 1).

I remember watching in disbelief what was going on in New York City. The burning towers. The reports of other planes being hijacked. The Pentagon being attacked. The story of a downed airplane in the hills of Pennsylvania and the speculation about a group of passengers, probably not unlike you or me when we travel, who took a stand and were willing to sacrifice everything to make sure no one else, in no other cities or buildings, got hurt.

I remember as the days went by and more stories of the heroism that happened on 9/11 came out, the pride I felt at being an American. Hearing about the true American spirit of those passengers, the rescue workers in New York and Washington DC, the way that every sacrifice brought all of us in this country closer together, regardless of political philosophy, religious belief system, race creed, color, freckles, club foot, near sighted, or any other stupid thing we use as a label to divide ourselves.

We were no longer East Coast, West Coast, Southerners, Bostonians, New Yorkers, Texans, Hillbillies, Yankees, Suburbanites, Small Town folk; whatever.

We were all Americans. Standing as One. Reminded of the fact that while we enjoy the comforts and luxuries living in the greatest country on Earth affords us. There are those in the world who want to take it away. And therefore it has to be defended. And defended at a cost.

I grieve for those who gave their lives, or had loved ones who gave their lives, in the 2001 tragedy of 9/11. They have a pain that I am sure flares up every time they see a plane in the sky, or hear a siren or see a police car or fire truck go by.

I salute the brave men and women of all branches of the Armed Forces who voluntarily choose to serve our country. In peacetime or war. They can be called upon to protect our freedom with their very lives at any moment; at any time. And some do, daily.

Whether it be in active combat situations in a hostile foreign theater, or helping rebuild a foreign country like Japan after their Earthquakes in 2010, or just serving domestically here in the USA, I have the highest regard for these Americans who choose to do a job most of us either can't, or won't do ourselves. And often times they either get bad media, or potentially worse: forgotten completely by the very public they are defending.

Well, I refuse to forget.

I refuse to not recognize those who have sacrificed, are sacrificing, and will in the future sacrifice their lives and personal luxuries to help defend the freedom that allows me mine.

I try to post a tribute every year here on STARTERS on 9/11. I never want to forget, or let anyone else forget, that the only reason we have the luxury of indulging in a silly little hobby that gives us such enjoyment and causes such fervor of emotion, is because of the sacrifices others have made, are making, or will make on our behalf.

Something we should all remember on 9/11.

Below, I am re-posting what I wrote last year. It contains the link to what I posted the year before. In each, I have tried to say how I feel about the same event, but in different ways. Each year, I sit at my computer on 9/10 or 9/11 and have an idea of what I want to say, and each time I find myself saying something new, or different.
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On any given Sunday any fantasy team can beat another, only to still lose Monday night.
 Russ Bliss_108
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Post Date: 09/10/12 22:20
From 9/10/2011:



Tomorrow is the first Sunday of the 2011 NFL regular season. All of us who play this fun little game called fantasy football are getting ready to absorb ourselves in games, and stats, and spend a lot of time and energy focused on something we take very seriously and consider important: winning our fantasy championships.

But allow me a moment to focus on what is really serious and important: to recognize and respect what the date September 11 really means.

Hard to believe it's only been a decade. In a sense, it seems like both yesterday and 100 years ago at the same time.

It's now been 10 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks and I know I have posted before on the topic. I also know that many of you have been gracious in accepting that one time out of the year I move away from the traditional topics of this blog to post some thoughts and pay my respects to those who lost their lives in what I consider to be the worst incident to happen to our country in my lifetime.

All this week on television we have been reminded of the tragedy of 10 years ago. And in watching the many programs dedicated to remembering the date, and the people it touched, I still grieve for those who lost family and friends that day. Not just the victims in the towers, but those on the planes, and the heroic passengers who made the desperate attempt to retake control of Flight 93 before it could too be used as an instrument of destruction. I still grieve for the family and friends of the New York City rescue workers who selflessly risked and gave their lives attempting to help those trapped in the buildings. I sincerely hope that time has helped ease some of the pain.

And I want to be sure to recognize and pay my respects to the brave men and women of all police and fire departments everywhere. Every day they go to their jobs knowing that this may be the day that something catastrophic happens and they may have to make selfless acts in the attempt to help those in need. The life they may be called on to save could be yours, or mine, or one of our loved ones. I force myself to remember that on those days when I find myself automatically grumbling at the first sign of being inconvenienced because of sirens, or a street closed off. They might be risking their lives to save another, and that's more important. Even more, it's something I, thankfully, do not have to do myself, or burden my family with the knowledge it's what I do.

And while it has been 10 years now since the tragedy of that Tuesday, and in that time we have found and killed Osama Bin Laden, the war on terror our Service men and women continue to fight isn't over. It may seem like it with all the attention our media spends on celebrities and courtroom freak shows, but there are U.S. Service men and women stationed all over the world doing what they can to help protect our freedom. Some of them in active combat zones. It has been my privilege to have been in contact with a few servicemen who play fantasy football, one in particular in Camp Vance, Bagram, Afghanistan who told me in a recent communication that I "would be surprised how many people won't ship, send, or acknowledge us in Afghanistan…"

I sent him a reply that included:

"… while there are some civilians who may make you feel unappreciated for the service you and all in the military provide, and the personal sacrifices you make to both yourselves and your families, know that there are many others of us who hold you in our thoughts and prayers each and every day.

Every year, around September 11th, I try to be sure to remind my radio shows listeners, and our members at FFS about what is really important, and what isn't. Here's a link to the entry I made in my blog last year with comments from some of our other members. It may help let you know that you are appreciated and not forgotten:

http://www.fantasyfootballstarters.com/viewTopic.jsp?topicId=26685

It's not much, and falls well short of properly expressing the gratitude I personally feel, or acknowledging the respect we all should have for the men and women like yourself who serve and defend not just our country, but the civilians in it who enjoy the luxury of a freedom they wouldn't know without you. Please pass along our appreciation to any of your fellow service men and women who may be wavering in doubt of why they serve a civilian populace that doesn't seem to remember them, or recognize them for their bravery in doing a job that we either couldn't, or wouldn't, do ourselves.

Please come home safe…"

The point in all of this is that it is thru the sacrifices of better men and women than I that I am allowed to have the luxury of spending so much of my attention on something so absolutely trivial as fantasy football. For these men and women, I am truly grateful.

I do not know exactly how to best uphold the memory of what September 11th should mean. But I just wanted to make sure that those who have been touched by that day know that I remember them and have my sympathy for their losses. And those who strive to make sure we never have another day like that again, know that I remember them as well and acknowledge them with the highest respect.

Now. Let's watch some football. Hopefully with a more proper perspective. If just for one day.
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On any given Sunday any fantasy team can beat another, only to still lose Monday night.
 Robert The IDP Guru_9600
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Post Date: 09/11/12 16:20
Thank you for sharing Russ, great stuff, we had our Tuesday Morning Meeting and discussed where we were, or if we remembered, WOW... Clear as a bell I could remember not only the new guy I was training, but his name, where we were and my reaction as we were at a customers house and watched the second plane hit the tower.

I remember my Marine Corps instincts immediately took over, and said "We're under ATTACK"! Hair was standing on the back of my neck, and I told my boss I was done for the day and I went home to my family.

Later that day I heard of the plane that hit the Pentagon, my brother, who does bids for his company was stuck in traffic on the beltway on his way to the Pentagon!

So many things come back today as clear as I remember them 11 years ago today.
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 Nic_98681
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Post Date: 09/11/12 21:55
Thanks for sharing Russ. I think everybody who experienced it, will never forget where they were.



I was in college and was awoken by my roommate's girlfriend saying "We're being attacked!" Very surreal. Skipped classes and was glued to the TV all day, as were many of my friends.



I agree whole heartily on your one point Russ, that at that moment we were all Americans. I remember, not just for several days but many weeks, how...nice (for lack of better word) everybody had become. Strangers helping strangers, lending a hand, sharing memories. That too was surreal, but amazing. I wish that it didn't take tragedy like that to bring us together.
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 Russ Bliss_108
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Post Date: 09/12/12 09:17
I totally agree Nic. It shoudn't take a tragedy of that magnitude for everyone to stop being rude and beligerent, and instead extend a helping hand, and meet a stranger with a smile instead of the normal scowl of indifference we see all too often.

I just wish that type of unity could be sustained. But it certainly seems like we have slipped back a good bit into the same routine of not caring. I hope it doesn't take another tragedy for all of us to remember while we're all individuals going thru our daily routines, we are also all brothers and sisters and just temporary guardians of this planet. And we should eb helping each other instead of trying to divide ourselves into cliques.
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 Michael_8256
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Post Date: 09/12/12 09:41
Having traveled many times to NYC that morning is so clear to me. I remember being in front of the big screen tv we had it was around 6:30AM and the first tower had been hit but not the second one...yet.



I had traveled many times to NYC and there is an approach to JFK that comes of the bay, you parellel the towers make a sharp turn by them and then drops down to JFK. I rememeber thinking...wow the pilot must have lost the hydraullics on the plane and lost it into the building...then I saw the other other plan circle...and drive into the second tower...I knew that was no accident...we were under attack I woke my wife and thus began the rest of that time that changed us forever.



You see my wife and I had been in NYC for a week in March of that year. She had never been there I had taken here to several tourist spots, Broadway, the musem of natural history, central park, etc...



The night we went to see Phantom at the Majestic we got up the next day...Pam asked me what plans did we have. I said I thought we would go down the the financial district, see all the high end shops, Wall Street, the Statue of Liberty and...the Twin Towers.



It had already been a long visit and Pam asked could we just stay in Manhatten that day and just hang out...I sadi sure if you want to then she said the most profound statement that came rushing back to me when I watch the first of the two towers fall...



I said but I wanted you to see the twin towers...she said,



"That's OK...I'll see them the next time..."



God bless all those who lost somebody and God bless the USA and thank you Russ...for keeping this where it belongs in the front of our memory (God bless you too my friend)
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Post Date: 09/12/12 13:09
Amen
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Erick_44330
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Post Date: 09/12/12 19:17
Click the link for the view from space on 9/11 from astronaut Frank Cublertson



Here's the link to the article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/11/frank-culbertson-astronaut-remembering-september-11-2001_n_1874463.html?utm_hp_ref=science&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009
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Keeper League, PPR, ESPN Standard Scoring
Start 1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1FLX(RB,WR), 1TE, 1K, 1D/ST
QB's = M. Ryan, N. Foles
RB's = D. Murray, D. Martin, Z. Stacy, S. Vereen
WR's = W. Welker, V. Jackson, A. Jeffery, R. Cobb, J. Maclin
TE's = J. Reed, C. Clay
D/ST = Chiefs, Bengals
K = M. Crosby
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FFS Fantasy Football Team:
QB = C. Newton, T. Tebow
RB = J. Charles, R. Bush, J. Bell, S. Vereen
WR = W. Welker, J. Nelson, J. Gordon, R. Cooper, A. Caldwell, Jacoby Jones
TE = D. Walker, C. Fleener
D/ST = Bills
K = P. Dawson
 Russ Bliss_108
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Post Date: 09/13/12 11:17
Erick, I hate doing this as the picture is compelling, but it's causing problems with being able to see the text on the page due to it's size. Hope you don't mind that I removed the pic and put up a link to the page where it can be opened.
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Post Date: 09/13/12 19:40
No Problem Russ. I noticed that after I posted it. Hate to echo for an edit button but sometimes we can use on on this forum.
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Keeper League, PPR, ESPN Standard Scoring
Start 1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1FLX(RB,WR), 1TE, 1K, 1D/ST
QB's = M. Ryan, N. Foles
RB's = D. Murray, D. Martin, Z. Stacy, S. Vereen
WR's = W. Welker, V. Jackson, A. Jeffery, R. Cobb, J. Maclin
TE's = J. Reed, C. Clay
D/ST = Chiefs, Bengals
K = M. Crosby
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FFS Fantasy Football Team:
QB = C. Newton, T. Tebow
RB = J. Charles, R. Bush, J. Bell, S. Vereen
WR = W. Welker, J. Nelson, J. Gordon, R. Cooper, A. Caldwell, Jacoby Jones
TE = D. Walker, C. Fleener
D/ST = Bills
K = P. Dawson
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