Right Place at the Right Time for Bin Laden's Death

I was asleep when news of Osama bin Laden’s death broke Sunday night. This is because I have two very small children and they are very tiring. So I missed out. But you know who didn’t miss out? You 40,000-plus fans who were at CBP watching the Mets-Phillies game. You’ve seen the video by now of the news breaking to the crowd in South Philly, and everyone subsequently going bonkers. People high-fiving. Fans chanting. Everyone quickly rushing for three more celebratory beers.

I will not lie. Despite the rather morbid idea of celebrating a death (albeit a really justified death), I’m completely jealous of the crowd at CBP. If you bought a ticket to the game Sunday night, you got roughly 50,000 times back the money you paid. You went to a ballgame, and you got V-J Day. You got to experience in the news in a giant communal atmosphere, to get a sense of the enormity of both what occurred and the incredible amount of time that it took to get to this point.

Sunday night, I imagine, was something of a cathartic event for fans in attendance -- the release of 10 years of built-up fear, anger, anxiety and doubt. It’s one thing to experience that moment staring at a Twitter update (which, of course, is how I learned about it), and quite another to have it happen in such a quintessentially happy and downright American atmosphere.

That’s quite something. It’s not every day that you get to go to a ballgame and find out that one of the worst mass murderers in world history has at last been silenced. As Steve Berthiaume noted here, being present during a sporting event for something this momentous is rare, if not nonexistent. So if you were at the game, think about the incredible confluence of circumstances that led to you being where you were at that very second.

I’d keep my stub if I were you.

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