Everyone remembers how sports responded to the nation's terror attack, but it's harder to remember what was going on before it. Turns out some of the topics from the week leading up to that awful day laid the foundation for discussions we're still having today. Take a look at 10 of the top stories from the sports section on Sept. 10, 2001:
Favre Slays Lions
The Packers were coming off a 28-6 win over the Detroit Lions, a game that featured Brett Favre's cut block on Alonzo Spellman. This textbook "Favre having fun" play, plus 22 completions on 28 attempts, helped fight off questions of whether Favre's abilities were beginning to slip.
Bonds On Record Pace
Barry Bonds, 36, had just reached 63 home runs thanks to a three-dinger effort in Colorado before the Giants traveled to Enron Park in Houston. This moved Bonds past Roger Maris in the single-season home run record book, a day before Maris would have been 67 years old. Bonds finished with 73 homers, but there was already a storm surrounding him based on the speculation that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
Kerry Collins In Prime Time
The Los Angeles Times' Sam Farmer previewed the Monday night game between the Broncos and Giants as "a showdown between Denver quarterback Brian Griese, a budding star, and New York's Kerry Collins, who resurrected his career last season." The Broncos won 31-20, but lost star receiver Ed McCaffrey to a badly broken leg. It was the Broncos' first-regular season game at the new Invesco (now Sports Authority) Field at Mile High. The quest to replace John Elway continues a decade later. But Collins is still chucking it, thanks to Peyton Manning's bad neck.
Z Man Leads The A's
Barry Zito, the American League pitcher of the month in August, was sporting a 7-1 record and a 0.83 earned-run average since July 29. On Sept. 10, he beat the Rangers to give the Athletics a record of 87-57 -– good enough for second best in the American League.
A-Rod On The Upswing
Alex Rodriguez, 25, went 0-for-4 in that loss to Zito and the A's, but finished the year with a then career-high 52 home runs. He was considered the anti-Bonds, the clean player chasing history.
Rough Debut For Herm
After the Jets lost 45-24 to the Colts, the New York Daily News’ Gary Myers wrote the Jets stunk up the place, but that the "constantly upbeat [Herm] Edwards is going to be a fine head coach. He will win a lot of games before he's done with the Jets."
Danny Almonte's Age Flap
The lead sports story in Time Magazine was called "Bronx Bummer." It was about Little League pitcher Danny Almonte, who pitched the first perfect game since 1957 in the Little League World Series, being exposed as 14 years old. Almonte had risen to cult status due to a dominating performance that was aided by the fact that he was two years older than his teammates and the competition. It left many questioning the ethics and parenting in youth sports, and the naivety of the rest of us.
Rocketing To Cy Young
Roger Clemens, 39, graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. A piece by Tom Verducci highlighted Clemens' commitment to his family and a grueling fitness regimen created by a trainer named Brian McNamee. That was credited to helping Clemens go 19-1 to that point in the season for the Yankees. The rainout against Boston on Sept. 10 denied Clemens the chance to get his 20th win against his former team. "It would have been great theater," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
Aussie Wins U.S. Open
Lleyton Hewitt blew by Pete Sampras to win the U.S. Open over the weekend, and it appeared to signify the end of Sampras' improbable run as a professional tennis player. But Sampras came back to win the 2002 U.S. Open for the 14th and final grand slam title of his career.
Canes On Path To Title
The Miami Hurricanes (2-0) were coming off a 61-0 win over Rutgers, and were the easy consensus No. 1 in both college football polls, replacing Florida, which had also won big. The feeling already early in the season was that Miami would roll to a title. Oklahoma was third, and Nebraska, the team Miami would eventually pummel in the national championship game, lurked at No. 4. The Huskers were still ranked fourth when they were controversially chosen by the BCS to play Miami at the end of the year.