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Some sports lend themselves well to a Sports Narrative.

Football, for instance, is just World War I on the playing field, so it's easy to adapt the tropes of that war to the ball game. The struggle back and forth, the cheering audience, the horrifying injuries, and so forth. And there is always the potential for Breakaway Plays that bring the ball eighty yards forward, only to, oh no, fall just short of the end zone, perfect for a final showdown in the overtime, and then one team goes for a field goal, misses the kick, it falls to some lucky fellow who brings it all the way to the other end zone! And the crowd goes wild!

Baseball, meanwhile, involves very many pauses, and very much space for a writer to add digressions, especially as the batter and the pitcher face off, bottom of the ninth in the championship game, two outs, bases loaded. Much opportunity to add melodramatic flashbacks, and then, when at last the ball flies, to describe its arc as it approaches the plate, then time for another flashback, and then the batter thinks of his mother and drives with all of his might, and he misses! Another flashback time! This time he remembers when the girl next door said she was moving away! The ball flies forward! He swings and he misses again! The crowd is on the edge of its seat! The ball flies again and we cut to another flashback! This time he thinks of his old dog Skip! And he swings with all of his might, and he connects! The ball soars over the back fence and the roar of the crowd is triumphant as the music!

Basketball, meanwhile, offers far fewer opportunities for pause, and Soccer even fewer, so I have no idea what to do with those.

I will always be impressed that one manga writer managed to turn Tennis, one of the fastest-paced games, into a story that could allow for paragraphs of thought in between each return. Maybe it's easier to do in comics than in movies.

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