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“9/11 & Sports: 20 Years Later” – SiriusXM Original Podcast Series Debuts Today

As we approach the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, SiriusXM is presenting 9/11 & Sports: 20 Years Later, a 13-episode podcast series looking back at the impact of that day’s events on the world of sports and the reaction by leagues, players and fans in the hours, days, weeks and years that followed.

All 13 episodes are available now on the SXM App.  To listen go to: siriusxm.us/911-Sports

The episodes will also air multiple times on SiriusXM’s various sports channels now through September 11th.  For a schedule with those channels and their airtimes go to: siriusxm.us/911-20YearsLater

In episodes that focus on the impact of 9/11 on different sports and leagues, listeners will hear from executives and owners who made the decisions to postpone sporting events and determined when it was appropriate to resume play, the athletes and coaches who, after the initial shock of the attacks, would play a role in comforting citizens and sports fans around the country, and people who lost loved ones that day.

“We’ve produced this series to tell the story of how the events of 9/11, one of the most tragic days in our history, reverberated through the world of sports through the days and months that followed the attacks, and in ways even now 20 years later,” said Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s SVP of Sports Programming and Podcasts.  “We remember lives heartbreakingly lost that day, the way our country responded, and the impact on citizens and public figures alike.”

SiriusXM’s Steve Phillips, who was the New York Mets general manager in 2001, narrates three baseball-focused episodes that include interviews with former New York Governor George Pataki, former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, Yankees GM Brian Cashman and former Yankees catcher Todd Greene, who caught the ceremonial first pitch from President George W. Bush prior to Game 3 of the 2001 World Series.  Listeners will also hear from former Mets Mike Piazza, Edgardo Alfonso, John Franco, Bruce Chen and Bobby Valentine, and former Atlanta Braves Chipper Jones and Steve Karsay, who were all part of the first game played in New York after the attacks.

In an episode looking back at the NFL in the period after 9/11, listeners will hear from the league’s former commissioner, Paul Tagliabue, as well as former Jets head coach Herm Edwards and offensive lineman Kevin Mawae, former Giants DB Jason Sehorn, Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and former defensive end Trace Armstrong, who was the president of the NFL Players Association in 2001.

Another episode looks back at the 2001 Army-Navy Game, played weeks after the start of Operation Enduring Freedom by cadets and midshipmen who would be called into combat after their graduation.  Narrated by SiriusXM host Chris Spatola, who was himself a first class (senior) cadet at West Point in the fall of 2001, the episode features commentary from former Navy head football coach Charlie Weatherbie, former Army head coach Todd Berry, former Navy QB Ed Malinowski and former Army QB Chad Jenkins.

From the world of golf, listeners will hear conversations with former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, former executive director of the European Tour Ken Schofield and former PGA of America CEO Jim Awtrey, who made the decision to postpone the Ryder Cup, as well as the story of prominent amateur Jimmy Dunne, whose decision to attempt to qualify for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Bedford G.C. on September 11, 2001 saved his life.

The NHL lost two members of its community on September 11, when L.A. Kings scouts Garnet “Ace” Bailey and Mark Bavis lost their lives aboard Flight 175 when it crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.  They are remembered in another episode by Bailey’s widow, Kathy, and Bavis’ brother, Mike, as well as Wayne Gretzky, former Kings GM Dave Taylor and Bruce Boudreau, who was a Kings affiliate coach in 2001 and was scheduled to be on Flight 175 with Bailey and Bavis before his plans changed.

On a separate episode, SiriusXM’s Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo is joined by his former on-air partner, Mike Francesa, a rare sit-down conversation between the two, to remember the events that took place across the sports landscape after 9/11. 

Other episodes in the series feature former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy, whose friend and college roommate was lost in the World Trade Center; SiriusXM host and former Kansas City Wizards goalkeeper Tony Meola, who hails from the New York/New Jersey area, and recalls the decision to go ahead with their game in Peru on September 12; personalities from the WWE who participated in the first public sporting event in the U.S. 48 hours after the attacks; the impact on the world of NASCAR; and Glenn Colton, who prior to his career as a fantasy sports host worked at the U.S. Justice Department and was involved in the prosecution of one of the 9/11 hijackers.

9/11 & Sports: 20 Years Later is a SiriusXM Sports Podcast production.  Steve Cohen is SiriusXM’s Senior Vice President of Sports Programming and Podcasts.  SiriusXM’s Director of Sports Podcasts is Andy King.

About Jerry Milani

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Jerry Milani is a freelance writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 25 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and now is the PR manager for Wizard World, which runs pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America. Milani is also the play-by-play announcer for Caldwell University football and basketball broadcasts. He is a proud graduate of Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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