I wonder why watching competitive sport is a religious experience for me. Perhaps because I don't come across such passionate people in normal day life.
This newspaper headline tells you about South Africa's historical victory over Australia in the fifth one-day match. And what a show it was! We were glued to our TV screens. Anyone who ever wanted to see what naked, raw passion and the desire to win at all costs look like could see them there in that cricket field. Players gave every morsel of their energy. Just watch the last 10 overs of that match and it will generate enough adrenaline in you for you to keep going for years.
South Africa had their 9th player caught out on the fourth last ball of the match. Three more balls to go, two runs to win, last pair playing! The incoming man is a bowler by specialty; the set batsman is on the non-striker end. The new batsman HAS to strike, HAS to make at least a run. If he doesn't strike, doesn't make a run, doesn't give a chance to the set batsman to finish it off, doesn't let South Africa win this match, there is a chance there would be racial riots in South Africa tonight--the new batsman being a Zulu, the one at the non-striker end is of European descent. The third ball is thrown, the new batsman is able to play it, and he RUNS. The crowd cheers like crazy, the passion is overwhelming, people are literally crying, South Africa has leveled the score. The second last ball is thrown, the batsman drives it to the boundary, South Africa wins the match in style.