Joel Stein on Super Sunday

With the odds against him, can a gritty, overachieving columnist inspire a football team to great heights?

Illustration by John Ueland for TIME

Other kids wanted to be Rudy, Rocky or Seabiscuit; my dream was to be the guy who gave those inspirational sports heroes a motivational speech. I could be responsible for great triumph without having to work out, get punched or spend my retirement having sex with females chosen by other people. I see a less Hefneresque retirement for myself.

But I've never had the opportunity to give that great speech, since people — even the nice people who run TIME's softball team and whose most threatening competitor is the Village Voice — keep me far away from crucial sports...

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