"There will come a time when Brett Favre can no longer play. This is not that time. But at the end of this season--or the next or the next or the next--he will step away at last, having earned the peace of an endless off-season. The cold and the snow will overtake Green Bay, and the stadium at this edge of the world will stand empty behind us, the last thing we see in the rear-view mirror as we cross that river, the light at last failing in the trees.
"But until that moment, Brett Favre will be throwing, in a way, for us all. Throwing hope forward, in a single clean step or with a motion as rushed and awkward as man falling out of the tub, as hurried and off-balance as the rest of us. Banking on the past while trying to read a second or two into his future, drilling clean arcs on our behalf into the weakening light and the rising odds, every stand he makes in the pocket another little long shot fired against the infinite and inevitable. Every throw a moment for hope, a defiant line, bright in the air, against chaos and diminishment and the final goodbye."
Red Smith's Classic
Maybe the best sportswriter writing about probably the game's biggest home run ever, the New York Giants' Bobby Thomson off the Brooklyn Dodgers' Ralph Branca to win the 1951 NL pennant, completing a massive Giants comeback down the stretch. Just about as good as it gets. Here's the link to the full story, and then his sublime lede (yes, that's how we journalists spell it) and ending:
"Now it is done. Now the story ends. And there is no way to tell it. The art of fiction is dead. Reality has strangled invention. Only the utterly impossible, the inexpressibly fantastic, can ever be plausible again."
And the end:
"The second pitch -- well, when Thomson reached first base he turned and looked toward the left-field stands. Then he started jumping straight up in the air, again and again. Then he trotted around the bases, taking his time.
"Ralph Branca turned and started for the clubhouse. The number on his uniform looked huge. Thirteen."