There is a quality in human affairs, so rare, so fleeting and so intense that to invoke its name in any context risks derision. To invoke its name in the context of sport must seem especially perverse, pretentious, preposterous and pathetic. I have always flirted with those four mockable Ps and nothing can stop me now. Even a reasonable night’s sleep hasn’t diminished the euphoria that sees me now unleashing a peal of eulogistic superlatives and hyperbolic encomia that can only bring me taunts, yawns and snorts.
What is this quality, so rarified, so prized? It is Glory. Glory is a golden word to be used, like saffron, in sparing pinches. Religion has always loved it, and tried to deny it to the sublunary sphere. Gloria, gloria; Gloria in excelsis Deo. Glory be to the Father. Solomon in all his glory. Our glorious dead. It has often been observed of war that while it is rightly hated and feared for bringing out the worst in humankind, it cannot be denied that it can sometimes bring out the best too. It is one of the few human arenas that can produce true glory.