Oh, what a year it was

The most amazing thing I saw in this most amazing sports year was not especially important or historic or even decisive. No one won a medal at the end of it, no trophy, no championship, no world record. There were no playbooks involved, no chalkboards, no swimsuits, no balls, no bats, no clubs, no rackets. The man who performed the miracle was only doing what every child does, and at the end of it he seemed utterly unimpressed with himself. He would become world famous, but that was later.

Even now, at the end of the year, those few seconds overwhelm everything for me, which is odd because the moment was so utterly simple and direct — and this was a year of the overwhelming. How many “Greatests” did we have in one year? Greatest comeback. Greatest match. Greatest play. Greatest performance. Greatest achievement. It’s always tempting to overstate the immediate and lose the perspective of history when you’re still keyed up from something remarkable and present.

si.com
12/23/08