Special to Page 2
EDITOR'S NOTE: We remember where we were and what we were doing. It's been four years now, and we haven't forgotten any of it. On this Sept. 11, the anniversary, Graham Bensinger spoke with a cross-section of five professional athletes about their memories of the day -- where they were, what they experienced, how they coped. And how they moved on.
"The phone rang in my room, a double ring, signifying an outside call, and I knew once that happened there was something wrong because no one calls me in my hotel room. So I answered the phone to silence and it was my wife crying and she told me to turn on the TV. And that's when I learned what was going on. We just sat there on the phone and watched."
-- Woody Williams, San Diego Padres
"I was actually headed into the stadium. It was my off day, but I was headed in to get treatment. The first plane hit when I was dropping my daughter off at school and I walked into the training room at the stadium when the second plane was hitting. I thought it was not real, I thought it was like a movie. When I saw it, I thought, 'Did I just see a plane fly into a building?'"
-- Ahman Green, Green Bay Packers
"I was getting ready to go to a luncheon that was a kickoff to a school program that I was starting in Nashville. I was starting an incentive program for select, at-risk, youth -- to bring them out to football games. And we had the superintendent of the schools [and] the mayor, and we were going to do a big kickoff luncheon to announce the start of this program through my foundation. I was getting dressed to go and I remember getting a call from my publicist saying this wasn't going to work."
-- Kevin Carter, Miami Dolphins
"Yeah, actually, I was at training camp in Traverse City and we had just gotten off the ice, my group. The first words we heard were that a little private plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center. And we said, 'Oh, God, that is kind of screwed up.' We showered and everything and went back because we were going to go golfing at the resort, and we got more and more information as we walked through the hotel to go back to the condo to change. There was just a ton of people in line and the TVs were on and people were watching, and all of a sudden you realized what had really happened."
-- Brett Hull, Phoenix Coyotes
"I was actually sleeping in Milwaukee in the hotel. One of the guys on my team, Mike James, we had adjoining rooms, and he must have woke up and flipped on his TV because he was banging on the wall and yelled, 'Turn the TV on! Turn the TV on!' And that's how we both kind of first found out what was going on."
-- Jim Edmonds, St. Louis Cardinals
"I was devastated. I stayed at home all morning while my son was at school, sitting there watching CNN, appalled."
-- Kevin Carter
"Then, later that day, I went to my daughter's school and I picked her up and let her stay home the next couple of days just to make sure if anything else happened we were all together."
-- Ahman Green