By Cameron Blair

Seven years ago today, a tragedy occurred that caused this entire country to stop dead in its tracks. This same event has also played a large role in shaping many of the policies America has enacted since that day.I am, of course, referring to the attacks against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. Today, many sports columnists around the country will likely be writing about this event and its connection to the sporting world.

However, I will not attempt to pull off the impossible task of taking an event as significant and tragic as the attack and comparing it to to the relatively meaningless world of collegiate and professional sports.

To me, it’s impossible to make the comparison. It would be like Poison writing a good song or Vin Diesel making a decent movie. Basically, it’s not going to happen.

Instead, I will focus solely on sports as an escape from the sometimes unpleasant realities we have to face from time to time. And there is no better time to do that than this time of the year.

There are so many different sports going on during the early autumn months that ESPN is forced to present game scores only on the Bottom Line as the amount of games being played makes showing stats impossible. Yes, I admit it’s sad I have noticed this.

However, you don’t have to go as far as Bristol, Conn., which is the home of ESPN (Wow – I think it may be sadder that I know that), to see the wide variety of sporting goodness in front of us. All you have to do is take a glance around campus.

Despite an 0-2 record and a loss to the Team-Whom-We-Won’t-Mention Saturday in the final game of the oldest collegiate football rivalry in this state, Eastern’s football team still has ample time to turn the season around.

Just look at last season’s team. After a tough non-conference schedule led to a 1-3 start for the Colonels, the team rallied to win their final eight regular season games on their way to an FCS playoff berth.

And there is no reason to think this season will have a different result. Quarterback Allan Holland is quickly moving up on the list of all-time passing-yard leaders in Eastern’s history, and senior tight end Stephen Sizemore, with 14 catches in two games, is quickly establishing himself as a premiere pass-catcher in the OVC.

After beginning the season against two FBS teams, the Colonels will have a chance on Saturday to take their collective frustration out on in-state rival Morehead State. On a related note, I will be greatly disappointed in the student body if the tailgating turnout for this week’s game is any less than for the game against you-know-who.

Not to take anything away from the Golden Eagles, but going from facing two FBS opponents to facing a team that doesn’t offer football scholarships may be the perfect recipe for the Colonels’ first win. It’s like playing Scrabble against Ben Stein one week, then Paris Hilton the next.

Speaking of football, the NFL season recently completed its first full week of play. If you missed it, I assume it was because you were either ridiculously hung over from tailgating or you were actually under a rock.

In a brief recap of first-week action, my Buffalo Bills looked incredibly good demolishing the Seahawks, the Cincinnati Bengals looked incredibly bad losing to a rookie quarterback, and the entire population of the New England states is on suicide watch after Tom Brady’s season-ending knee injury.

Elsewhere, Major League Baseball’s seemingly endless season is heading toward an exciting finish in which four of the league’s six division titles could be decided in the final week of the season, and the Chicago Cubs currently look like the team to beat in the National League.

That’s right. My Chicago Cubs, a team I once watched lose 14 consecutive games and who have not won a title in 100 years, are legitimate World Series contenders. I lead a charmed life.

In the next few weeks, we will be in the thick of the MLB playoffs, the professional and college football seasons will be in full swing, and Eastern’s football team will be 4-2 while heading for their second consecutive playoff berth.

One could consider all of this, and at the same time consider the events that took place seven years ago, and say sports are insignificant. And you would be right. But you can’t dwell on something at the expense of eliminating all of the sports or whatever else may bring happiness into your life.

So, tonight, after taking a moment to reflect upon the tragedy that shook this nation seven years ago, tune into ESPN for their Thursday night college football game and be proud you’re spending a Thursday night with your buddies swapping off-color jokes and emitting various gases from your bodies.