The Corner

The Sheer Unlikelihood

When the “impossible” happens, we see that it is not impossible after all. And sometimes we forget that it was supposed to be impossible. Bear with me for a second. In fact, let me quote from a piece I once wrote about Tiger Woods — this was directly after he won four “majors” in a row:

When I was young, the greatest record in baseball — the one that would live unto eternity — was Lou Gehrig’s 2,130 consecutive games. That, all the experts said, was the one mark no one would ever reach. But then, when Cal Ripken closed in on it, they changed. They cheated. Now they said it was Joe D’s 56-game hitting streak that was numero uno. Ah, but I remember: I won’t forget. Ripken’s achievement must not be slighted — everyone said it was impossible.

And now Tiger: The non-golfer will simply have to trust me that no one was supposed to be able to do what Tiger has, in fact, done. . . .

A Republican succeeding Ted Kennedy in the Senate? That was pretty impossible too. The sheer unlikelihood of it must not be forgotten, as the shock wears off and Brown-as-senator becomes normal. But, of course, it will: The sheer unlikelihood will be forgotten. By most . . . 

P.S. I think it will be hard for Brown to be reelected in ’12, as our politics normalizes. The Democrats, for one thing, will be ready for him. And with a better candidate. Massachusetts will probably revert to form. But I realize this is a night for Republican celebration, and I must not poop on the party (or whatever the appropriate expression is).

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