Skipping ahead to the good part
On sports, and the redemption arc we're not ready to complete.
We don’t get to be redeemed just yet.
Sports fans love a redemption arc. It brings shape to the games. It makes them feel like part of something bigger. I couldn’t help but think about this this weekend while watching ESPN’s 30 For 30 documentary Long Ball Summer, which recapped that glorious baseball summer of 1998. Four years after a labor struggle between team owners and players ended in a season without a World Series, embittered fans across America were won back by the gleeful summer-long spectacle of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s twin chase for Roger Maris’s 37-year-old single-season home run record.
I was sixteen years old that summer, and watching the documentary twenty-two years later I realized I could recall nearly every home run each of the two men hit from my near-religious nightly watchings of Baseball Tonight. It was the kind of story that made the front page of the daily papers — not the front page of the sports section, mind you, but the front page overall. It brought …