By Dan Rubin
I used to think it meant everything to live and die with my teams. At the ripe old age of 15, five days before I turned 16 and prepared to get a learner’s permit to drive, I walked into Malden Catholic High School thinking about soccer and football games. I hated St. John’s Prep, as if they were the New York Yankees. I was thinking about how Drew Bledsoe could lead the Patriots to a Super Bowl.
Then, in ten minutes time, it all changed.
Brother Robert Green, CFX made an announcement that planes had hit the World Trade Center, which forced us into an early morning prayer for the victims. I remember sitting in Mr. Kaufman’s homeroom as a high school junior, and I remember the empty feeling. Suddenly, sports didn’t matter.
Of course, sports reentered my life with the same passion as before, but the passion is different, more tempered. I used to lose sleep, even at 15, when the Bruins and Patriots failed. Now, I appreciate just being able to watch a hockey game or football game, and I appreciate the ability to sit back and enjoy them for what they are.
One day changed my opinion and outlook. I learned to appreciate hard work, sacrifice, and that my neighbor, a St. John’s Prep alumnus in the Marine Corps was more of a hero than Byron Dafoe. I also learned that life is too short to say, “I can’t.” I learned to appreciate all the feelings including the first time I fell and cracked my rear end on the ice, which was when I learned to skate.
My life took a simpler, more positive outlook. Every day is a gift. Just being able to sit back and enjoy a football game, cover a baseball game, or broadcast a hockey game is better than anything I ever imagined on September 10, 2001.
So, my world changed as everyone else’s did. And while that doesn’t change the fact that millions of people have suffered as a result of that tragedy, it’s a silver lining that somewhere; somehow, some good just might have come out of it.