Sports can be so much more than just a game. Steven Birenbaum has this story.
Sports have a way of bringing us together. Before he died, my father, brother and I formed a triad, digesting all manner of ball games. When I moved to the Bay Area from New York, where I grew up, sports kept us close despite the distance.
My mother, by contrast, is no sports fan. This is someone who brought a book to our Little League games. Imagine my surprise, then, when I learned she was tuned into the Men’s Final at Wimbledon.
Part of it was the storyline. Could a sparkly new kid replace the old emperor? At 36, Novak Djokovic has won more Grand Slams, on more surfaces, than anyone in the history of men’s tennis. Yet many dislike him, especially for his refusal to get the COVID vaccine, earning him the nickname “NoVax.”
His opponent, Carlos Alcaraz, aka “Carlito,” had supplanted him to become world Number One. Carlito combines remarkable power, speed and touch, and an otherworldly maturity and grace, at the tender age of 20.