SPORT IN AMERICA

OUR DEFINING STORIES

The most poignant moment in Sport in America—the HBO documentary that premieres at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving—is the story of Monique Vasquez. If that name means nothing to you, that's the point. The show tackles a familiar topic (what sports means to us) in a novel way: by relying on the voice of the fan. In the Nov. 28, 2011, issue, SI put out a call to fans to share their memories, and thousands responded, with stories such as Vasquez's. After learning she had cancer in 2006, the suburban Detroit mother drew strength from the Tigers and outfielder Magglio Ordo√±ez, who overcame a serious leg injury to lead Detroit to the World Series. It's powerful, touching and moving stuff, the kind of thing that reminds us of just how prominent a role sports can play in our lives.

PHOTOCHUCK SOLOMON FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (ORDOÑEZ)