that ravens/broncos game yesterday - certainly one of the best nfl games i have ever seen - shows what is compelling about sports, even really problematic sports such as i would admit football is, though i am a fan. first of all it was a matchup of two excellent and well-matched teams playing at something like their best. and second, the ravens got down again and again and fought back like mad every time. they almost lost the game a half dozen times or more, on first downs or receptions that were matters of millimeters. it shows something about the possibilities of human will, emblematized by the great ray lewis. a great game kind of effortlessly takes on a narrative form, and that was one incredible story yesterday, complete with compelling characters, many reversals and complications and complexities, and then a real resolution such as we do not usually find out here in our lives. but sports are not fictional though they are of course highly artificial: they are real-life literature, we might say: one of the few spaces in human life where the narrative form is really crystallized.