Newtown High School won a Connecticut state title on Saturday night, seven years to the day of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook, one of the feeder schools in the district. The game-winning touchdown pass occurred after time expired, setting off a euphoria previously thought unthinkable for a community forever haunted by the date. As I wrote, it's tough to thread the needle on stuff like this; it's hard to find the appropriate appreciation without trivializing the loss.
Around the Horn's Tony Reali found a way to use it for something powerful in an essay that's both challenging and hopeful.
Reali's humanity has been on display through the hardest of personal times. It shines brightly and his voice has weight. There are some out there who will run what he said through a strainer to pull out some political message in it and trot out the tired "stick to sports." And that's incredibly misguided.
ESPN should be proud it has people who can speak intelligently, passionately, and constructively when the sporting world, as a vessel, brings the real world ashore and makes us confront it. Tell me where the bigger value is: in adjudicating a game show in which everything is made up and the points don't matter, or commenting on the human condition in the most human way imaginable?