The 911 Sports Techie Tribute blog. My sports technology career landed me in Atlanta a decade ago working for Dartfish as a Senior Program Manager. This was an exciting time in my sports tech career. Dartfish had created some of the most innovative sports tech on the planet.
In 2001, they moved their US corporate HQ from Portland to Atlanta and made me an offer to move to the South and help them open up their new office space. It was located on the campus of Georgia Tech and part of the Universities startup incubator program.
The year I lived in the 404 working for Dartfish was surreal in hindsight. I arrived the week of Dale Earnhardt’s death and everything changed after 911. In between, I saw Michael Vick score his first TD in person. I went to the USA Gymnastics Congress in Philadelphia, the ACC and NCAA baskeball tournaments, and I conducted product Demo’s with the USOC, NBA, MLB, NFL, NCAA schools such as Stanford, our US Military, and countless other action sports coaches and athletes.
A decade ago, I remember my roommate coming down the Datfish hall to tell me to watch the TV in his office. I expected to see some type of funny clip because he loved to laugh, or else a sports video moment that he had analyzed with the Dartfish software. Instead, on the 19-inch monitor was the first Twin tower on fire with dark smoke bellowing out. All kinds of thoughts went zinging through my head at that moment and none of them had sports tech in them. We continued to watch in horror and then the second tower was crashed into by a technological marvel that was now a devastating bomb, the airplane.
No need to rehash what happened after that other than to say it felt like our generations Pearl Harbor moment happening in realtime. It is amazing to me today that sports and tech played such a large role in helping to heal our damaged countries soul back then and again today.
Major League Baseballs decision to continue the playoffs was a powerful decision and for many, an early turning point away from this dark chapter in US history and the beginning of a new chapter that featured stories of incredible courage, honor and resolve. Listen to Cardinals Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Buck read a moving speech and poem as the Cardinals honor the fallen from the 9/11 attacks. http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=13081149&topic_id=16401516&tcid=fb_SEPT11_13081149&c_id=mlb.
The NFL also said play on America. Hear these three compelling family stories of 911 heroes provide by the NFL of Fox. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_stw_nL99Fs&feature=feedu.
The NFL and MLB have special events planned all day long today. The NFL announced Sept. 11 plans to remember and salute resilient spirit of America. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d821e0c1a/article/nfl-announces-sept-11-plans-to-remember-and-salute-resilient-spirit-of-america.
I bet there was probably not a sporting event in this country over the past week that did not somehow offer some type of tribute to both the fallen and the heroes of 911. Search Youtube for a high school football game and you will find plenty of 911 tribute examples.
The New York Times and Youtube want to hear from you. What is your strongest memory of 9/11? How did 9/11 change you? How did it change America? What did you lose – or gain – because of 9/11? Send your answers recorded on a video clip here: http://www.youtube.com/September11.
Here we are today, exactly a decade after this tragedy and I believe sports tech is again helping our fellow Americans to never forget and move on. Our American personality of never giving up, doing the right thing, and loving thy neighbor, is in full display today and thanks to social media, these sediments are felt worldwide except in China.
Ten years later, my 911 memories of facing fear, of becoming closer to my fellow citizens, and of course, of being reminded how sports technology is my special connection to the world, will never be forgotten. Blessings to you from Seattle, Sports Techie.
I will see ya when I see ya, Sports Techie.
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