There's No Sweep This Year in the NYPD v FDNY Rivalry
by Warren Rosenberg - MetroSports Magazine, September 18, 2021
While two of the New York Metro Area’s first responders had always worked together to protect the safety of the citizens they serve, the events of 9-11 brought them even closer. As posted on the FDNY’s Gaelic Football Club (GFC) website, “Since the tragic disaster of 9/11, there has grown a universal bond between Firefighters and Police throughout these United States and Abroad. New friendships have evolved, and our sport has become a link to further those friendships” and “Back in the seventies there was a great rivalry between the Fire and Police Departments, which still exists to this day. But it is a rivalry formed out of respect and love for our heritage.”
In this year of the 20th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, this “great rivalry” looked like it was headed toward a lopsided conclusion as the FDNY Bravest Football, Baseball, Hockey and Lacrosse teams racked up wins against the NYPD Finest teams. What looked to be a potential anniversary year sweep by the FDNY’s Bravest was put to an end on Saturday, September 18 2021, on the pitch at Rockland County’s GAA complex in Orangeburg, N.Y.
On what was probably the last warm day of the 2021 summer, with members of both Departments enjoying some parking lot tailgating barbeque, these two teams, the NYPD-GFC and the FDNY-GFC suited up to continue their nearly 50 year rivalry. After touching renditions of the Irish and American National Anthems, the NYPD and FDNY pipe and drum bands welcoming the competitors onto the pitch, a presentation to the Consul General of Ireland, Helena Nolan, and an NYPD Aerial Unit helicopter flyover, the match began. Absent from the pitch, was NYPD Finest GFC uniform #23, retired by the Department in memory of those lost on 9/11/2001 especially the 23 NYPD Officers killed that day. Also notable on many FDNY t-shits and other paraphernalia, was the number 343, in honor of the 343 members of the FDNY who perished on that day. Tribute was also given to those who have since passes from 9-11 related sickness.
And the match began. In a sign of what was ultimately to be the outcome, the NYPD’ Finest GFC scored first. While each team scored throughout the match, the NYPD mostly remained clearly ahead and secured the win with a final score of NYPD 2 Goals – 8 Points, FDNY 0 Goals – 10 Points.
Photos of the match are available at: