Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Chase

"Why are these guys so fast? Everybody says the same thing. You know what the tale is?"
-- Bobby Bowden

Drive out there. Get off the interstate, put Palm Beach, Orlando or Miami in your rearview and keep going until the road ends at the horizon and the telephone poles sag like old cypress trees. Roll down the windows. Listen to the eerie silence of the Everglades, a seemingly endless run of fields landmarked only by the railroad tracks, the dike along Lake Okeechobee and the state penitentiary. Race past sugarcane field after sugarcane field until it feels like you're not moving at all. Then stop at the gas station with no gas by the convenience store with no name. Don't worry, you can't miss it -- there at the crossroads of the place they call Muck City...

I highly recommend this article on the art of the rabbit chase. Earlier this spring, my wife and I found ourselves driving through central southern Florida. In stark contrast to the beaches not so far away, there are not many poorer places in the country.

Sports are often seen as a way out for children from the street or the swamp. While statistically they're often aiming for poor goals, we forget how sports stars are born "out of hunger, and courage, and desperation, and community, and hope. And how sometimes they're played in spite of everything else."

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