Set-Up: If I’m doing the math correctly, most of you were about about ready to enter Kindergarten or 1st grade in 1998.
This was the year — summer, actually — when the then-Cubs player Sammy Sosa and the then-Cardinals player Mark McGwire dueled it out all season to break the seemingly-unbreakable Major League Baseball single-season home run record.
To baseball fans, this was a big, big, big, big deal. To non-baseball fans, this became a big, big, big, big deal. It was about home runs. Bigger than that, it was about one of the oldest ‘records’ in our culture on the verge of being broken…and everybody was drawn in. Even bigger than that, it was a classic tale of 2 ‘heroes’ facing off.
Game after game after game as the entire country watched. Held their breath. Leaned forward. Wondered. Wondered. Wondered. Cheered…
…until something unthinkable happened after the record was broken.
- Read the following article — “Mark McGwire’s Summer of Love” — about that season, about that record, about those ‘heroes’, about what came next.
- Share with us what you noticed about the discussion of ‘heroes’ in this article.
- Suggest what this says about our need — as a culture — for heroes and what happens when our heroes let us down.
- Optional: suggest what you think this might have to do with our discussions the rest of the year in terms of heroes and audiences — good, bad, and mysterious.
Length: 7+ sentences