There is a strange contradiction that fans feel when our sports heroes grow old. There is denial, and there is acceptance. Denial insists that the clock can go in both directions; denial holds out hope for one more perfect day, for Nicklaus at the ‘86 Masters or Connors at the ‘91 U.S. Open or Nolan Ryan throwing just one more no-hitter. These things do happen, not often, but often enough to spark hope.
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