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9/11 Memories: SB Nation NFL Bloggers Remember Where They Were

It's the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and, on the day the NFL season opens, SB Nation's NFL bloggers remember where they were.

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4 Total Updates since September 11, 2011
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9/11 Memories: A Cincinnati Bengals Perspective

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, SB Nation bloggers remember where they were when tragedy struck. SB Nation's Cincy Jungle, a Cincinnati Bengals blog, offers their perspective.

I was working at a major software firm in Cincinnati, helping our internal users with common software and hardware issues as a computer technician. Howard Stern was on my radio, which nestled against the wall an angle to the right of my 17-inch CRT monitor, when one of the show's personalities (can't remember whom), broke news that a plane had crashed into one of the towers. It didn't dawn on any of us what had happened and the information was infant enough that even the size of the plane was unknown. Logic at the time suggested that it had to have been a small commuter plane, a simple accident in a city built like a forest full of skyscrapers. I continued working on the computers that were faulty, with users complaining about the slowness of their systems, largely the result of old hardware processing intensive programs

Fifteen minutes later another report broke that a second plane had crashed into another tower in downtown New York. "What the hell is going on here," I remember wondering to myself, telling those around me what the radio was reporting. Initially disregarded as a stupid stunt from the Howard Stern Show, we shifted towards a massive control room that housed the area's only cable-ready television. What started as only five of us, quickly ballooned to over 20 computer technicians, curious about the commotion, intent on some answers and glued to the surreal images none of had ever expected to witness

Maybe a half-hour later, the news began reporting on another crash at the Pentagon, solidifying that our belief that the United States of America was under attack after watching replays of the second plane crashing into the South Tower. That's not an accident; I remember remembering during the replay; that's targeted. Friends I contacted that worked near federal buildings described their own evacuation, convinced that their own areas were under imminent threat.

When the first tower collapsed, it was like an out of body experience. A massive feat of American ingenuity began shrinking away from the television screen with a rolling cloud of dust limiting visibility. The room fell completely silent with the faint sounds of breathing barely audible over taxing processors on the mainframe and the humming of 15 monitors in the control room. Maybe a half hour later the second collapsed and our employers told us to go home.

Like so many the rest of my day was the necessity of my own need to be informed. Glued to the television with my family, discussing possible antagonists, our night lacked sleep with a craved obsession to learn more information. Reading reports online, background stories on possible terrorists that was, at the time, believed to be radical Islam.

Back at work the next morning didn't change anything. The television was on the news, all of us were scanning internet sites for reports and during improved moments, we discussed our findings.

9/11 is something that's so vivid in my mind, ten years later, that the memories are as fresh and clear as they were the day after America suffered her worst terrorist attack on our soil in our history. It will be something that I'll never forget.

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9/11 Memories: A Miami Dolphins Perspective

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, SB Nation bloggers remember where they were when tragedy struck. SB Nation's The Phinsider, a Miami Dolphins blog, offers up their perspective.

On September 11, 2001, I was a senior ROTC cadet at Florida Tech.  I had been in a 8am class all that morning.  As I left the class, I heard some students talking about a plane crash, but didn't think anything of it.  I figured I would run by the sandwich shop on campus and grab something before heading back to my apartment.  As I finished buying my lunch, I walked post a door that was normally kept closed, but was wide open and students were crowding into the doorway.  I looked inside to see what was happening - with everyone obviously focused on the TV in the room.  It was 10:28 am as I looked in - exactly the moment the north tower collapsed.

I walked back to my apartment, stunned and not knowing what was going on.  I turned on the TV and just sat there.  I didn't know what to do.

The next day, as we all were trying to figure out what was happening, a bunch of us from the school found ourselves on the main corner through the campus, and the city, waving American flags and celebrating the fact that, even in one of our darkest moments, we are Americans.  We will come back.  (Even now, as I type, I get goosebumps thinking of that feeling on the corner with my flag).

One of the other vivid memories I have from 9/11 actually came on 9/13.  My roommate and I were standing outside our apartment when we heard a really odd sound.  Looking up, it was the first aircraft from Florida Tech's flight school to return to the air after the FAA grounded all aircraft.  We both just stood there watching it circle.  Amazing what you remember.

Now, ten years, and two deployments to Iraq, later, I still remember the feeling of confusion, emptiness, and loss that hit the moment I saw that tower collapse.  But, I also know, as history looks back at that moment, it will also be the moment that people realize Americans are strong, resilient, and amazing people.    

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9/11 Memories: A Minnesota Vikings Perspective

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, SB Nation bloggers remember where they were when tragedy struck. SB Nation's Daily Norseman, a Minnesota Vikings blog, offers their perspective.

My perspective of 9/11 is a little different than most folks. When 9/11 happened, I was a 24-year old Senior Airman in the United States Air Force that had just started a 3-month trip to Tuzla AB in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I had been at Tuzla for about two weeks, and was working the midnight shift as a weather observer right. My shift was from 7 PM to 7 AM every night (local time), so when I went to bed at around 8 AM local on September 11th, it was about 1 AM on the East Coast.

I woke up in the afternoon to start getting ready for my shift and did the usual. . .showered, shaved, got my uniform on, and was getting ready to go over to the chow hall for something to eat. As my roommate was working the day shift (from 7 AM to 7 PM), I had the room in our little hut to myself. I turned on our little TV to watch AFN before I went to eat, and all I saw was the chaos in New York and Washington, D.C. It was crazy, and being on a military base, the rumor mill was already in full swing. . .rumors of how they were going to move everyone currently at Tuzla to Afghanistan, how we were going to be there for six months instead of three, things of that nature.

I had spent much of my down time in the days leading up to 9/11 looking at stuff about how the Vikings had lost their opening week game to the Carolina Panthers at the Metrodome, which was highly unexpected for a team that had gone to the NFC Championship Game the previous season. (The Panthers, for the record, wouldn't win another game all year.) A couple of days after 9/11, obviously much of the conversation still centered around the events in New York and Washington, D.C. However, when Sunday came around, a lot of the conversation centered around how much we missed the NFL, which AFN showed live on Sunday and Monday. The next week, when the games were back on, we actually took a great deal of solace in the fact that our favorite game was back on television and we could watch our favorite athletes do what they love.

In the chaos that surrounded the events of 9/11 and the uncertainty that those of us in the Armed Forces felt in the aftermath of all of it, football was a very steadying, calming presence for all of us. In a strange way, seeing the NFL that next Sunday let all of us know that things were going to be okay.    

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