Marking the 17th anniversary of the tragic terrorist attacks that rocked the nation, ESPN will air Comeback Season – Sports After 9/11 on September 11th.

New York, NY – July 24, 2018 – 9/11 Museum: The 2018 ESPN TV Special on how sports helped recovery after the 9/11 attacks
(Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

  • Comeback Season – Sports After 9/11 will explore how sports helped the nation heal following one of the darkest days in U.S. history.
  • It is produced in conjunction with the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York
  • The special will coincide with the “Comeback Season: Sports After 9/11” exhibit at the museum (open to the public) and a look inside the exhibit will also be part of the program.
  • Airing Tuesday, September 11th at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, the special will be anchored by Mike Greenberg.
  • The 90-minute program will include interviews, features, and memories from athletes, coaches, families and others whose stories marked key emotional milestones in sports following the 9/11 attacks.
  • Among sports figures appearing in the program:
    • Former New York Rangers captain Mark Messier.
    • Former New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde and former coach Herm Edwards.
    • Former New York Giants players Howard Cross and Amani Toomer.
    • Former New York Yankees manager Joe Torrre.
    • Former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine.
    • Former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    • Former U.S. Women’s National Team members Kate (Sobrero) Markgraf and Julie Foudy.
    • Former New England Patriots offensive guard Joe Andruzzi, whose three brothers were NYC firefighters on 9/11.
  • Also included in the program is part of the 30 for 30 documentary “First Pitch” chronicling President George W. Bush throwing out the first pitch at a 2001 World Series game in New York.
  • Other topics will include:
    • A look back at the Army-Navy game of Dec. 1, 2001, including new interviews with two players who were part of an iconic moment after the game.
    • How the New York City Marathon on Nov. 4, 2001, contributed to the city’s healing.
    • The specially-produced Budweiser commercial that aired in the 2002 Super Bowl with the Budweiser Clydesdales kneeling in respect toward New York City. The commercial has only aired once.
    • An essay on the broad impact of sports after 9/11 by ESPN the Magazine writer Tom Junod, with a longer version of the piece to appear in the magazine.

What they’re saying

  • Mike Greenberg: “When I presented this idea to the Museum and my bosses at ESPN, I never dreamt it would turn into anything remotely resembling this. Working on this project has been one of the most rewarding and meaningful experiences I’ve had in my 22 years at ESPN.”
  • Alice M. Greenwald, 9/11 Memorial & Museum President & CEO: “Sports played such an integral part in the healing of America after 9/11 and our exhibition, ‘Comeback Season,’ shares and celebrates the strength of the human spirit as exemplified through sports during that time. We were thrilled to work with ESPN to bring this landmark and deeply moving exhibition to television.”


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