Photo credit: © Joe McNally
Accession Number: C.2018.164.1
Dimensions: 109 in X 44 in X 0.08 in
Dimensions (Metric): 276.86 cm X 111.76 cm X 0.2032 cm
Credit Line: Collection 9/11 Memorial Museum. © Joe McNally.
Vinny Testaverde, New York Jets Quarterback
Life-sized Polaroid photograph taken by Joe McNally depicting New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde wearing his football uniform and a baseball cap with "FDNY" on the front. Testaverde is holding a football in one hand and has his helmet tucked under his other arm.
At the New York Jets’ practice held on Wednesday, September 12, 2001, the team’s new head coach, Herm Edwards, called the team to stop their workout after realizing that their heart was not in practicing. Quarterback Testaverde had been vocal with the press about his frustration that he and his teammates were at practice that day and had expressed his fervent belief that all public football games should be suspended. Using secret ballots, the players held a poll and voted to halt play. The Jets informed the NFL Commissioner’s office of their decision even before the league decided the games would be canceled for the remainder of the week.
On Saturday, September 15, Testaverde visited Ground Zero by himself at the urging of a New York City police officer friend, intending to support the rescue workers by handing out water and supplies. He vividly described the scene that he encountered, recognizing it as the opposite of construction. Testaverde reflected to Joe McNally, "You could see their heads were hanging, their morale was low, they hadn't saved anybody. I just wanted to tell them thanks for all your efforts, thanks for being so brave, stay healthy, and keep hope alive. There was a quote in the locker room Saturday: 'When you lose wealth, you lose much. When you lose a friend, you lose more. But when you lose hope, you lose everything.' I just wanted them to know that."
Vinny Testaverde has contributed his story to the 9/11 Memorial Museum’s oral history collection.