January 9, 2013
A memorable and educational night in Newtown
By Michael Lewis
When we journeyed up to Newtown on Monday, we truly did not know what to expect.
How were the citizens of the western Connecticut town going to react to Soccer Night in Newtown and more media wanting to cover the aftermath of what transpired there on Dec. 14, my wife Joy and myself wondered.
Of course, this event was different. We were reporting about moving forward, not looking back (none of our questions were about Dec. 14).
The biggest thing we learned?
The spirit of the people -- which was amazing.
They thanked us, the media, of all people, for coming there (a month ago, seemingly just about every TV station and newspaper in the universe descended on this quaint town in hordes covering the horrific news).
"Thank you for coming. We really appreciate this. It's a nice thing you've done," a woman told Joy.
Joy admitted she was taken aback.
While walking back to the media area in another part of the building, two boys thanked us for coming.
I was taken aback.
I asked the boys if they were able to be a part of the session in the field house. They said yes.
I asked them what their favorite part of the event was. They answered it was seeing Mia Hamm (one thing I learned from my experience is that Mia Hamm is still such a big name and icon, even eight years -- that's right, eight years after she retired).
But this wasn't about wasn't about us.
It was about the people of Newtown, and Major League Soccer and the U.S. soccer community, giving something back, giving the children and adults a chance to enjoy themselves and think about something else, even it was for three hours.
After spending several hours in the town, we few doubts that the healing had begun.