Last night I sat in cold drizzle watching my son's team compete valiantly against a pack of fast mean kids who taunted and trash-talked throughout the game, flipped the bird at the visitors' coach, drew fouls by pretending to be injured, and so on, and so on . . . more or less a repeat of last year's playoff game, except that the score was much closer.
And at the end of the game, I watched every member of my son's team burst into tears, and cry and cry as they embraced each other and hugged their coaches, and sought out their parents and their friends, and then they turned back to each other with a kind of mythological despair, all the while still crying and crying. And behind me, the girls in the stands said to each other in wonder, "Look at the boys cry."