Looking at the  2011 NFL schedule I think it is nice that the league has decided to pay tribute to the 10th anniversary of the tragedy that is 9/11 with games in NY and Washington DC on Sunday September 11th to open the season. While I am not much for mixing politics and sports, there seems to be good intent on the part of the league to remind folks of that tragic morning that changed forever the way we live our lives.

While the Cowboys (America’s Team) will visit New York to meet the Jets, the NY football Giants will head down to Washington DC to visit the Redskins (Native America’s Team?) with all sorts of tributes planned pre- game and half time. As we have seen before the NFL knows how to parade the flag better than just about anyone.

Now am I missing something or did the NFL miss something here?

Where will the Steelers be on September 11th? Opening the season in Baltimore against the Ravens.

Correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t the third part of that tragedy the heroic efforts of the crew and passengers of Flight 93 that overtook the third crew of hijackers and forced the Boeing 767 to crash into a field outside of Shanksville, PA  instead of into the Capitol Building or White House  as the hijackers planned?

The closest NFL  franchise to that third tragic scene is Pittsburgh a scant 80 miles away from the place where 37 passengers,  7 crew and the hijackers lost their lives.

Yet no home opener here in Pittsburgh for the Steelers. No celebration or memorial by the NFL of those who lost their lives in Pennsylvania. It seems like the league is either slighting the families of those who perished in that plane or worse yet just doesn’t recognize that Shanksville was an equal part of the tragedy of that day.

If you are going to raise the flag and sound the trumpet of patriotism for New York and DC then in my mind it is an insult not to pay equal tribute to those who acted heroically on that Tuesday morning.

Maybe it is a mistake, an oversight by a league that seems to have them on a regular basis. The Pirates will play that day at PNC Park and I am sure will pay proper tribute to the victims of Flight 93. But sitting here in Pittsburgh it will seem like the NFL will be doing what frankly many do when they think of the events of that day, paying tribute to NY and Washington DC while forgetting those who gave their lives in a field outside of Pittsburgh to avert an even bigger tragedy.

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