LOVE, FORGIVENESS, REDEMPTION, AND THE HOUSTON ASTROS

As rabidly as everyone else hates them, we Astros fans still love them. Why?

After the sign stealing scandal broke in 2019, I was ashamed of them and reluctantly renounced my 50 years of loyal fandom; I wished they’d just slink away.

But they didn’t go away. They did the opposite: They went from town to town, night after night humbly bearing all the fresh taunts, bean balls, and trash cans thrown at them, never denying the weight of their collective sin yet determined to play on.

Before the scandal, Jose Altuve was one of the most beloved players in baseball. But now, you can tune in to any away game and watch as, stone-faced, this fallen hero is mercilessly mocked by a maniacal mob momentarily freed from the weight of its own sins. Leaving you to wonder, “Could I handle that with such grace? Could anyone I’ve ever known?”

And so, I forgave them. I started watching Astros games again this year and noticed that their shared suffering through the nightly tidal waves of humiliation had led them to pass through a veil beyond mere winning and losing and forged a real brotherhood among them. You could see they were determined to pull each other through whatever abuse was thrown at them.

They came up two games short, but all season long it was inspiring and enlightening to watch them persevere – and excel − together.

Let the mob jeer, we Astros fans know real greatness when we see it.

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