The Power of Sport — Thoughts on 9/11, Berlin and a Buckeye

We here at MotSaG are honored to have an article written for our readers pleasure by Celebrity Buckeye fan Stephen Keszey. Many OSU fans will know him from his time starring with his brother Robbie on the Discovery Channel show Swamp Brothers where he wrestled gators and his fears and endured his brothers tough love. Stephen was always proud of his Buckeyes and wore an Ohio State hat on every episode and OSU fans love him for repping his Alma Mater on his TV show. Mr. Keszey’s love for Ohio State knows no limits but it is closely followed by his love for New York City. In this article Stephen touches on the 9/11 event and how Ohio State helped him through a tough time and how sports can transcend into real life.

So sit down and read this article and please follow our friend Stephen Keszey on Twitter @Kezbro2. You can follow Stephen on Facebook by clicking Stephen Keszey. Follow the Swamp Brothers on Facebook as well.

Last week was the 14th anniversary of 9/11 and I pondered upon it all day long. Be warned you’re about to go deep into the rabbit hole of my neurotic, tangent-scattered mind!

After graduating from The Ohio State in 1992 I moved to New York and called it home for fifteen years. On September 11, 2001, I was living in Corona, Queens. I saw the first plane smash into the Trade Centers on television but it did not register with me at all as I ran to catch the 7-train. “The 7” is elevated in Queens and there is a nice stretch right before it goes underground into Manhattan where you have a splendid view of the Manhattan skyline. But the view that day was horrific and a nightmarish reality dropped on me like an anvil as we went underground into Manhattan.

Every September 11th since then I end up staying away from Facebook and spending all of the day just thinking about my favorite city. I remember incredible courage of our firemen, policemen and EMS; I remember New Yorkers in general… How great everyone was in the face of this tragedy. I also remember how sporting events were a great elixir to combat this horrific act for myself, and tens of thousands of other New Yorkers.

In 2001, Most New Yorkers were honed-in on the Yankees, but I was honed-in on my very favorite team — The Ohio State Buckeyes and new head coach Jim Tressel. I saw first hand, and experienced first person, how sports could help people heal in the face of even the most tragic of events. Alright, enough backstory!

This September 11th I was reminded of the President throwing a great first pitch during the Yankees vs. Diamondbacks World Series. And OH! Those Buckeye games, culminating in a victory over that team up north which seemed like it hadn’t happened in FOREVER! I then started to think more on how sports can heal, energize and give hope to people.

I remembered Stephanie Spielman’s fight with breast cancer and how a man we loved through sport (her husband Chris) made use of his sports fame to help raise awareness and money for research against a heinous mutant enemy.

Of course, I thought about the “Miracle on Ice” and how it is thought of as the greatest moment in all of sports. Then I thought about an event well before I was born that I would consider, the greatest, most impactful moment in sports history. A great show of power… By a Buckeye!

In 1935 Jesse Owens’ achievement of setting three world records and tying a fourth in under an hour at the Big Ten track meet (in Ann Arbor of all places!) has been called “the greatest 45 minutes ever in sport”, but what he did the following year was much more important. There was a “Master Race” being built in Germany and its leader, Adolf Hitler, wanted to show the world his Aryan race supremacy. Now I could take up five more pages telling of Owens’ greatness in detail, but I’ll keep it simple. Our Buckeye Jesse Owens, in a time when segregation was still the norm, represented our country with great class and honor, and showed the world that the “master race” was a myth by winning four gold medals on their home turf. I would go so far as to say he put the first “dent” in the Nazi armor, for the whole world to see.

I would love for everyone to learn more about Jesse Owens and honor a man that wasn’t honored nearly enough when he was alive. For example, how could FDR not invite him to the White House after going into Nazi Germany and bringing home four golds for The United States?

To think that Owens was ranked #3 on the list of the 50 greatest “Big Ten Icons”? I would have been fine with it had he also been numbers 1 & 2 to give him the extra “television story time” he deserves, but behind Red and Magic? Pure and udder idiocy!

I’d also encourage everyone to think about just how great an athlete Owens was — his world record long jump stood for 25 years! And just for kicks (with no disrespect to him), let’s time Usain Bolt in the 100m after he laces-up a pair of 1930’s track shoes then runs outdoors on a dirt or cinder track with no starting blocks. Let’s not even take into account modern training, diet and supplements!

Stop it Stephen! You really have gone Mad Hatter! You Start at 9/11 and end up wanting to slap a pair of shoes from the 1930’s on Usain Bolt!? Plus you are now typing to yourself in the third person!

Sports is a major fabric of history not just a decorative lace. Sports can inspire and show human decency on both the largest stages of history, and in the smallest communities. Google Jonathon Montanez and Mitchell Marcus and grab a tissue.

God Bless NYC, America, Jesse Owens and all those who use the platform that is sport to make our world better!
…AND GO BUCKS!

-Kez

Comments

  1. Thank you Tony!

Trackbacks

  1. […] sure if everyone has read this post by Stephen. It was very moving, I am thankful for Stephen sharing it with […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: