The purest expression of sports fandom can be found on elementary school playgrounds.
Still learning (and arguing over) the rules of the game as they play, kids merge their identity with the players they know and love from TV. Just as fights broke out over who got to be Barry Sanders or Cecil Fielder when I was a tyke, kids today call out "I'm Calvin Johnson!" or "I'm Miguel Cabrera!" when they take the ball field at recess.
They learn the game by mimicking the moves and styles of their favorite players. On the rare occasions they shake a defender with a jump-stop, or hit one over the playground fence into the scary old lady's yard, for an instant sports superstardom is their reality.
Since I was tiny, in sports—heck, in life—I've always been drawn to spectacular talent. I watch sports for many reasons, but there's nothing I love more about it than when a surpassing athlete deploys screw-you ability at a critical moment, defying physics and reality to win at will.
As a baseball playing tyke, I was very short, very thin, but pretty quick. For someone of my limited gifts, the only path to jaw-dropping baseball I saw was "infield glove wizard" in the mold of Ozzie Smith.