The minors

August 2003. It was the top of the ninth. The Greensboro Bats had maintained their lead, scoring runs to match the visiting team’s. They only needed two more outs to send their fans home with a win. But the starting pitcher had just been relieved after loading the bases. A man seated behind me shouted …

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Accountability on the pitch

December 2016. It was halftime at BayArena in Leverkusen. The home team, Bayer Leverkusen 04, had been sent off the pitch with a chorus of whistles. The offense had been lackluster. The defense had been spotty. If the opponent had been league-leading Bayern Munich, it would’ve been a lopsided game.  As it was, Ingolstadt 04, …

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Hockey night in Prague

January 2013. It was a mismatch. HC Slavia Praha led Pirati Chomutov, 3-1, at the end of the second period. The latter made it more competitive during the third period. But the outcome was a foregone conclusion. Losing 4-1 to the home team, Pirati Chomutov would eventually get relegated at the end of the season. …

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Super Bowl XXXIV: One more play

January 2000. Six seconds left and the Tennessee Titans trailed the St. Louis Rams by a touchdown. The fans in Section 316 of the Georgia Dome were mostly Titans fans like me so we were all as deathly quiet as mourners in a wake. Elsewhere in the stadium, Rams fans were hollering, creating as much …

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Going for gold in Atlanta

August 1996. A collective hush descended over Centennial Olympic Stadium. From our seats at the turn, necks were craned to the left where the sprinters settled into their starting blocks. This was the moment that everyone had been waiting for. And in a few seconds, Olympic history could be made. When I submitted my request …

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