Q: have you talked to any family members or anything today Joe?
JA: No, they were in town this weekend, we spent some time together yesterday and stuff. The only one that wasn't in town was my brother Jimmy, and he was working so . . . I talked to him on the phone and stuff. There's nothing much to be said, you know what's going on.
Q: Do you have something to celebrate?
JA: I wouldn't say celebrate, there's no celebrating going on today. I'm thankful that my brother's back with us, my family's fortunate enough to have him back. A lot of other people out there are not as fortunate as we were, and that's something you look at and something our whole family's trying to help out in any which way we can.
Q: Has your family changed in terms of coming closer in the last year?
JA: I think so. Just like everybody else, everybody in this room probably looks at things differently. We learned that there's a lot more things going for them in life, and family friend and loved ones come first. That was a time to be with them, and even today you just want to remember and think about your family and loved ones and what happened and what changed us, and how everything came about. It was sad to say that a tragedy did that, but it did that for all of us. Me personally, I was involved, I have three brothers who have been involved since day one out there, and it's just one of those things where . . . you know we're already a close tying family, it just brought us closer. I'm the only one that's married with kids out of the four of us, so I even think about my kids. How many kids are out there are fatherless or motherless from that day. It's something to think about and that you try to help out and try to do as little as you can, and have every person do a little bit, and it's going to help somebody. For instance, just giving stuff to my brother to hand out to kids, pictures, autographs, or something to cheer them up, something to get their mind off things, especially a day like today. You know, this off-season we ran a fundraiser with Reebok and The Rack up in Boston, and we were able to raise a lot of money for the widows and the children. Just something everybody's trying to do, me personally, my brother moved over to a fire house a month or two after that lost twelve guys, thirteen guys. He felt that it was, it was Jimmy, he moved over just to help out, a firehouse that lost a lot. So, everybody, friends and families that lost somebody, our whole family knows a lot of people that lost people.
Q: You mention that you have a new arrival in the family, could you talk about the emotions you went through in this 12-month stretch.
JA: It's almost like, we started off last year at training camp, fighting through training camp, getting out there and starting the season, and you know, we were, we lost the first game, come out here, and September 11th happened, and it was a struggle to get through that day. And then we had the Krafts invite my brothers and family up here to honor them and everybody else throughout the country, all the fireman, policeman, everybody they represented. Then, a little time after that, me and my wife had a miscarriage, you know that was a down time, it was just back and forth, and then we come back and we got pregnant again, and come back and have an incredible run at the end of the season. I had my family there at every game, including that last one. To just be able to celebrate with them on the field and just have something that was accomplished by myself and my teammates that not many guys have gone through. A season like that was unbelievable, and it was a great feeling for them to enjoy it with me. And then, back down, and I'm fighting a virus now and you know, had the arrival of my son a couple of days before camp, and back to it now. It's been up and down and it's been a struggle over the past year, but you know, gout out, and there are a couple curves in your life, you got to take them.
Q: Did you ever stop and think that there are so many things that can transpire in such a short period of time?
JA: Yea, I think so, everyday it can affect your life no matter what you're doing, and I believe deep down that that's going to make you stronger.
Q: Joe, how do you look at football now in terms of importance?
JA: It's not number one, family's number one no matter what, but I think that's what we learned last year. How they cancelled that weekend, they kind of questioned it, but they really made the right decision because it was time to be with your family and loved ones. It wasn't a time to be out there, and a lot of guys couldn't be out there and played. And it was even harder the following weekend, but it was one of those things where life goes on, time's going to heal.
Q: Joe, were you dreading this day, the anniversary?
JA: Not so much dreading, I mean you know it's coming on, but it's one of those things you just don't want to think about. Like just being here today and trying to go through the standard routine. You don't want to focus in on that; it was a bad time in a lot of people's lives. Mine personally, you don't want to bring upon bad things in life, but in the back of your mind you're still thinking about it and a lot of people are today. I mean it's hard not to with you guys asking the questions and you know you're on TV.
Q: Was it tough concentrating on what you have to do?
JA: It was hard just getting up this morning and thinking, last year at this time I was at the dentist, and that's when I first heard about it, I turned around and by the time I got home I was just thinking about, it was a couple hours, it was about five hours, just sitting there and not knowing anything. Just struggling for a couple hours there, and finally getting a call, my dad got a call form a stranger on the street that my brother handed a phone number to. He just said, 'tell my parents I'm okay' and my father got a hold of me and that's when we got the messege, but just thinking about the whole day and how it was is just really hard.
Q: Joe, when you go home, is it tough to look at the city skyline?
JA: That weekend that we had off I bolted that weekend and went straight down there. I drove by myself, I left the wife and kids, and we didn't want the kids to be around that. So I went down there myself, and driving on the Jersey turnpike where you can see it, and I made that drive a million times, and I'll never forget that, ever. Just driving past there two days later, and seeing the skyline with the smoke just coming up and all the lights, the towers were gone, I'll never forget that. Even today, you still drive by and look over there.
Q: Joe, when you think back to 2001, do you think more about 9/11, or more about the Super Bowl?
JA: Probably a little bit of everything because it was a long year and you think about the good and the bad, I don't focus on one thing. Just look at the good versus bad of course, but in the back of your mind you've still got those flashes and you still got those things to look at.
Q: So right now your folks are here, and several of your brothers, just not Jim?
JA: No. They came up for the game and went home yesterday. A couple of them went home this morning. Life didn't start today, it started a year ago.
Q: Did anyone get involved in the football at all in New York between the fire department and the cops?
JA: Recently, no. My brother Jimmy played when he first got on the force. I think he played for a year or two, but he didn't stick with it.