Dohrmann: Childhood nemesis: After besting a future pro athlete, where are they now?

From George Dohrmann at The Athletic on March 25, 2019:

You know the guy.

Maybe he sat next to you on the long flight from JFK to LAX or grabbed the adjacent stool at the local brewery while you were watching a game. He saw the team logo on your hat or pointed to the television behind the bar and then came an awkward segue.

“You know, I once . . .” he began, and then came The Story.

He has told it so many times that it flows like soft serve. It involves him and a now-famous athlete. Maybe he struck out Bryce Harper in Little League. Maybe he intercepted Tom Brady in high school or went five-hole on Roberto Luongo in junior hockey. Maybe that person at the bar is a woman, and she brags about how she hung 30 on Sue Bird at an AAU tournament. 

The writer Cynthia Ozick wrote that memories are “permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen.” That seems most true when it comes to athletic memories. For many, a fleeting moment of success against a future professional athlete has become an invaluable treasure, polished and shown off at every opportunity.

The problem with these stories is: How do you know if they are true?

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Originally published: March 25, 2019. Last Updated: March 25, 2019.