As if forgetting was even an option.
I remember exactly where I was for five events in my lifetime: McGwire’s 62nd HR, the night my grandmother died, 2001 Bedlam, Lucas’ shot against St. Joe’s, and 9/11.
Okay, so I probably remember a few more, but I think those are the five most prominent.
We, as a society, tend to take sporting events and wring them as hard as we can until every tidbit of data and every obscure anecdote has been freed of its hiding place on the internet and from the minds of those who keep them.
It’s disturbing at times, sad at others, but it can also create a fun, engaging, (hopefully) intelligent community such as the one we’ve got going here on Pistols Firing.
As long as we have perspective.
Ten years from now, on September 11, 2021, it won’t matter if Justin Blackmon caught 140 balls for 3,000 yards and OSU won every game it played in 2011. It won’t matter that LeBryan jumped after his freshman year. It won’t matter that CJ Curry reneged (again) on his verbal and never stepped foot in Stillwater.
I mean really, it won’t. I think sometimes we give lip service to the fact that some things matter and others don’t and we like to think we can compartmentalize the ones that matter over here and the ones that don’t over there and then we find ourselves 8 articles deep on a defensive lineman recruit who has OSU as one of his 9 finalists and…we just don’t do a very good job of displaying what matters and what doesn’t.
So I’m thankful for days like today where we’re forced to think about it and talk about it with our spouses and our friends because I think more often than not most of us would just like to keep going through our lives without bringing it up because, well, it’s a lot easier that way.
The fact of the matter is that we won’t forget because we can’t forget and we absolutely shouldn’t forget.
I’ll never forget (or get over) the way President Bush defiantly let one fly from the most famous pile of dirt in the most famous baseball stadium that’s ever been constructed a month or so after the attacks.
It wasn’t the reason sports mattered (and matter) but it was a medium through which it could be shown that people matter and relationships matter and that’s pretty much it.
A few weeks earlier Les Miles and his ’01 squad had traveled down to College Station to play Texas A&M (he talks about it pretty candidly here).
There were 227 passing yards in that game (like, combined) and Tatum Bell rushed for 94 yards and Mark Farris didn’t break the 100-yard mark passing for the Aggies despite the fact that they won 21-7.
Did you remember any of that? No. Did I? Some of it.
I’m kidding, I didn’t remember a single stat.
I did, however, remember the red, white, and blue display of affection the Aggie students whipped together you see in that picture above. I remember watching that and seeing the pictures and wondering about all these things that were out of my hands, that were so much bigger than me, than OSU, than 85,000 at Kyle Field.
And OSU will travel to that same venue here in a few weeks and we will use hyperbolic terms like “game of the year” and “for the Big 12 title” and “most important road game in school history.” And we will enjoy it but all of it will be mostly ridiculous in the grand scheme of things.
Because it all comes back to what matters, and football isn’t it.
But if you did anything today with your family, if you dined on good food with good friends and talked about life and having children and spending more time together and “that one time when…” – well, that mattered.