There are many ways to tell if a journalist has moved you with a story.
Here’s one: If they have me checking the Internet Saturday morning trying to find out who won the Cricket World Cup.
Yeah, I was as shocked as you are. I give not a hoot about cricket, like most Americans. I’ve seen it a few times in passing, and one time in our hotel room in Paris I watched five minutes of highlights of a game on CNN International, and was thoroughly confused.
And yet, Saturday I cared. Because a day earlier I read this truly wonderful story by Wright Thompson of ESPN.com, about India, cricket, and their Michael Jordan-caliber superstar, Sachin Tendulkar.
Billions of people around the globe love this sport, and so I was intrigued to read Thompson, a tremendously-talented young sportswriter, and his tale of traveling to India. The obsession with cricket in India, and the national team, sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard before. Thompson does a great job weaving what he learned into his tale of Tendulkar, other great players on the team, and how cricket has helped India with its identity crisis as it morphs into a country vastly different from what it once was.
Not coincidentally, the story came out a few days before India was to play Sri Lanka in the World Cup Finals, with India trying to capture its first world title in 28 years.
Miraculously, they did win Saturday. But if you have a few minutes (and it’s Sunday, I know you’re relaxing, people!) read Thompson’s story. It’s sensational.
**Speaking of sensational, the sensational Butler men’s basketball team won again on Saturday, beating VCU in the Final Four, 70-62. Now they get to play UConn, who won a pretty lackluster game over Kentucky, 56-55. It is good vs. evil, since Huskies coach Jim Calhoun has run a lawless program over the years, and is generally considered by most to be a jackass (I’m in that group).
But forget basketball for a minute and read about a community in Connersville, Ind. that did a wonderful thing last week.
Connersville, hometown of Butler star Matt Howard, took up a collection that totaled $10,000 to send Howard’s parents and eight siblings to Houston, so they could be there in person to watch Matt try to win a national title.
I’m a sucker for stories like this, because they reveal so much that is good about people. And since it’s Indiana, and it’s a small town, well, I have to play this: