This is what it's all about. This is the moment we yearn for, the moment that drives us. This is why we watch, through victory and defeat, through success and failure. This is what makes us spend our hard-earned cash on tickets, jerseys, and over-priced beer. This is what fuels the dreams of little boys and girls, running and playing on great grassy fields and blacktop courts, imagining themselves as the heroes of the game. This is what makes grown men shout and scream, high-five and clap, leap for joy and weep in despair.
We watch our heroes, gods in human flesh, battle for supremacy night-in and night-out. We sit in anticipation of the start and dreading the finish, when our heroes retire, eventually for good. We awake with refreshed spirits each day, even after witnessing crushing defeats, for that is the nature of fandom. To believe in something completely out of our control, but so close to our hearts. We choose to make the heroes larger than life, because we all want to be like them, to be loved and cheered for. To taste victory on the world's largest stages.
No matter what happens this evening, I know, as you all do, that being a sports fan is one of the greatest choices a person can make. To put our hearts in the hands of men and women we may never meet. Because at some point, they were just like us - fans.