Search

Letter from the Editor

Sept. 12, 2005
Sept. 12, 2005

Table of Contents
Sept. 12, 2005

Sports Illustrated Bonus Section: SI Adventure
CATCHING UP WITH
LETTERS
Letter from the Editor
AIR AND SPACE
SI Players: Life On and Off the Field
SI Players
College Football
Baseball
Special Report: Hurricane Katrina
Inside
Inside Soccer
  • The U.S. beat Mexico and, thanks to the leadership of Landon Donovan, qualified for the World Cup with ease

Inside Baseball
Inside The NFL
Inside Volleyball
Inside Tennis
Departments

Letter from the Editor

Images went from shocking to horrifying in the first 12 hours and then got worse. The Superdome, symbol of New Orleans as a great sports town, suddenly became the place where everything was going terribly wrong.

This is an article from the Sept. 12, 2005 issue Original Layout

SI's Michael Silver was traveling to Houston and New Orleans with some New Orleans Saints, all of them growing more certain that football was obscenely inconsequential. But seeing Joe Horn, Deuce McAllister and others mingle with evacuees, Silver was struck by how many clung to the Saints like old, familiar friends. As veteran running back Fred McAfee put it, "Right now the team is their lifeline, their connection to what was real--because what they're experiencing is surreal."

The reality in the wake of Hurricane Katrina is already harsh, and how sports will fit in is complicated. Last year, during SI's 50th Anniversary, the magazine named 50 Sportstowns, and Petal, Miss., and East Baton Rouge, La., were honored for their community service. Hurricane Katrina brought a new reality to both.

East Baton Rouge, where the parish's Recreation and Park Commission serves 450,000 citizens, is playing a major role in relief operations, with buildings converted into Red Cross shelters or temporary medical facilities. "The entire landscape of our community has been drastically changed," the commission's Kristi Barnett said on Sunday. Petal (pop. 10,000) was hit hard. On Sunday, SI finally got a message from Tom Hardges, director of Petal's Recreation Department, who said they would soon get the power back on and needed everything.

Sporting events, games, offer a kind of ritual healing. I learned this at Yankee Stadium in September 2001. But all this is too important to be about big games. The healing has to start at the most basic level--community-based youth programs. SI will work with the people of Petal and East Baton Rouge as they recover, rebuild and renew their sports programs. We will inform you of their progress--in the magazine and on SI.com.

PHOTOMEL LEVINE