9-12-11 Remembering 911, surprise ending to Gopher's game
I never had anything against Muslims until 9-11. I never really thought about them, really. As a news man, I of course was aware of the earlier bombing of the World Trade Center in the 1990s and other events like the Berlin Olympics murders and acts of terrorism by the PLO and Moamar Ghadaffi. But I never really saw them as religious attacks, they were more Palestinian versus Isreali backwash. But 9-11 changed all that in my mind. It really made me look at Muslim extremists and their interpretation of the Koran, and how "infidels" are fair game for murder and cheating. I saw video of people in Islamic countries celebrating the attacks in the streets, delighted that these innocent people going to work and traveling were burned, blown up and crushed by their "heros." It made me look at how women are treated in that society, and I was "treated" to internet videos of beheadings of "infidels". It really made me think about the differences between Muslims and Christians, and I was dismayed at the gulf between the two. I had to (have to) keep telling myself that most Muslims are peace-loving and only want to work, provide for their families and worship how that want, much like the Pilgrims who came to America hundreds of years ago. As a Barn Theatre board member and sometimes actor, I spend a lot of time in downtown Willmar, and see the large populations of Somalis who socialize downtown, and have been covering the Islamic Society of Willmar's efforts to purchase Garfield Elementary for a community center and Mosque. If 9-11 had never happened, none of these things would really bother me, but since the attacks, they do. And that is another reason for me to hate Osama Bin Laden. He did more to generate anger and hatred toward Islam than anyone else.
I was all set to go out and mow the lawn Saturday afternoon when I switched to the Big Ten Network to catch the end of the Gopher's football game. 20 seconds to go, 4th down...it looked like the Gophers had one more shot to tie the game...when all the action stopped because someone was injured on the sidelines. He was wearing a Gopher's hat, and suddenly started bucking and thrashing, and was restrained by several paramedics and medical personell. Everyone was shocked to see it was Gopher's Head Coach Jerry Kill, who just seconds before was stalking the sidelines with a beet-red face, trying to over see his team's comeback. The stadium went dead silent. Thoughts of mowing the lawn went out the window. Seeing him spasming on the ground reminded me of video I had seen of Loyola Marymount basketball star Hank Gathers siezing and dying on the court in 1990. I was heartened to later hear that Kill has had previous siezures on the sidelines in the past and had made a complete recovery. I now hear the siezure was possibly caused by medications and dehydration, and he should be alright. But the incident took all the heat and tension out of the game, which the Gophers lost. It was the first time New Mexico State had ever beaten a Big Ten Team and usually lose to the Big Ten by 30 to 40 points. The Gophers were favored by more than 20. Hopefully the players will rally around their coach and start winning some games.