The New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies game Sunday at Citizens Bank Park on ESPN was one of the most exciting games of the young baseball season.
Mets catcher Ronny Paulino hit a go-ahead RBI double in the 14th inning, for his fifth hit of the night, to help the Mets to a 2-1 victory.
Usually the city of brotherly love would be far from pleased after a tough Phillies loss, but not Sunday.
In the top of the ninth inning, with the score tied 1-1, the news of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's death began to spread rapidly around the stadium.
With fans around the ballpark taking out their phones to see the news for themselves, the result of the game seemed irrelevant.
Mets and Phillies fans began chanting, "U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!" when Mets second baseman David Murphy entered the batter's box with one out in the ninth inning. He glanced around with a puzzled look on his face and said, ‘U-S-A,' to himself, but he and the rest of the players had no idea why the fans started the chant.
The Mets mounted a threat to take the lead in the ninth inning, but the fans continued their patriotic chant, instead of yelling ‘Let's go Mets,' or ‘Let's go Phillies.'
The fans showed America that loyalty to their favorite baseball team did not matter to them as much as their country.
That is how it should be.
The Sept. 11, 200l, terrorist attacks forced the NFL and MLB to postpone games. Sports rightfully took a back seat to the attacks and bin Laden's death.
Athletic events are important to millions of people across the world, but fans need to remember the athletes they cheer for are not heroes. Paulino had a career-best game, and deserved to be cheered, but he was not the hero Sunday.
Fans need to realize the troops serving in the armed forces are the people who should be declared as heroes.
According to the record books, the Mets won and the Phillies lost Sunday, but in the end, America won thanks to the members of the United States Navy SEALs who killed bin Laden.
The names of those troops might not be released to the public, in order to protect their safety, but a simple thank you to the true heroes, the members of the United States military, is the least that Americans could do.