Matt Higgins doesn’t watch the 9/11 television specials. Never has, and probably never will.
The memories are all too clear for the Jets’ executive vice president of business operations. At the time of the terrorist attacks, he was New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s press secretary, and helping manage the crisis was part of his daily routine.
Higgins was driving through the Midtown Tunnel on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. After the second plane struck, Higgins pulled up to City Hall and tried to quickly organize a press conference for Giuliani just a few blocks from the site.
It wasn’t long before Higgins and two other staff members realized they were in a dangerous spot. So, they dropped their equipment and headed back to City Hall.
“That’s when the first tower collapsed,” the 36-year-old Higgins recalled. “We all met up at a fire station—the mayor, fire commissioner and police commissioner—and I remember them being on the phone talking to the vice president talking about needing air cover in New York. No one had a full sense of what was going on at the time.”
Matt does so much for the Jets on social media and I can tell he is at full tilt to make sure they do everything possible to commemorate 9-11 for the game on Sunday.
Wear your green on Sunday…it’s green jerseys for the home opener. #Jets9/8/11 3:30 PM
“Almost every day, we were pulling in by boat and seeing the site again,” Higgins said. “The magnitude of the tragedy is almost incomprehensible even when you try to recall it now. I went to the site with presidents from all over the world, but I spent a lot of that time in a haze.”