Hopelessly Devoted

Being a fan is like having your own personal time machine

It was a little after 5 A.M. on May 26 in my home in Hong Kong when Jerzy Dudek, the Polish goalkeeper of Liverpool Football Club, saved a penalty from Andriy Shevchenko, a Ukrainian playing for AC Milan. The save ended the most exciting sporting event you could ever see, secured for Liverpool the top European soccer championship for the first time in 21 years and allowed me to breathe. Within seconds, my wife had called from London, and the e-mails started to flood in--the first from TIME's Baghdad bureau, others from Sydney, London, Washington and New York City. In my fumbled...

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