"At this point in my life, I’m self-aware to realize that people’s affinities for a specific team, their hometown team…is the need to feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. But once you’re aware of that need, how can it still be there?"
In his book, The Extra 2%, Jonah Keri shows us how a group of baseball outsiders took over the struggling Tampa Bay Rays a few years back and turned them into one of the best teams in baseball. Keri’s argument is that the new owners did everything just a little bit better, on and off the field—the extra 2% of his book’s title. Last night, the Rays pulled off a dramatic victory, on the last day of the season, to enter the playoffs. Sometimes, 2% more is all you need.
Down by nine games in early September, down by seven runs on the final day of the season. And yet somehow, these Tampa Bay Rays made it to the playoffs. Steve Nesius/Reuters
At the Aspen Ideas Festival last week, the affable and brilliant Ta-Nehisi Coates talks about professional sports, labor issues, owners and players, and whether sports fans are becoming less racist.