September 12, 2011

Former Georgetown Coach John Thompson Close Call On September 11th

As we remember the lives lost during the tenth anniversary of September 11th, 2001, former Georgetown men's basketball coach John Thompson is happy to be alive.

Back in 2001, he was set to be on American Airlines Flight 77 (which crashed into the Pentagon) as he was trying to make a birthday party in Las Vegas. However, Thompson was saved by a television producer for Jim Rome who attempted to schedule him on Rome's television show:

The story goes like this. In 2001, Rome had a television show on Fox Sports Net titled, "The Last Word." Rome's producer, Danny Swartz, had been trying to corral Thompson onto the program for well over a year. Finally, he connected with the coach and they began negotiating a date for an in-studio interview. Though he had been out of coaching for two years, Thompson was still a busy man back then, and he was supposed to be in Vegas on Sept. 13 for a friend's birthday party. So he wanted to give himself time between engagements and fly in on Sept. 11.

The schedules didn't align, and Swartz politely persisted that Thompson, who had already been booked for Flight 77 Tuesday morning, move his departure back to the following Wednesday.

“I said, 'I will only go if I can go on the 11th because I want to be in Vegas on the 12th,'" Thompson said on Rome's show. "In the meantime, the young man (Swartz) called back to the office a few days before all of this happened (9/11) ... and wanted to know whether I would come on the 12th. Back in those days, I didn’t compromise hardly anything."
Thankfully for Thompson, he relented and missed the fatal flight. Below we have the entire interview that Thompson did on the Jim Rome Show earlier today detailing the event:

(Courtesy of Eye on College Basketball and The Jim Rome Show)

By Ben Chew with No comments


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