By Bryan Frantz

WASHINGTON — Sports are great for so many reasons.

That whole “thrill of victory, agony of defeat” bit is certainly one of those reasons, but there’s so much more to sports than just winning and losing. It’s the beauty of some of the world’s best athletes performing feats we never could. It’s the chance to put the real world away for a few hours to immerse yourself in an alternate reality in which the most important thing is the game unfolding in front of you. It’s the bonding with good friends or total strangers over mutual admiration or disdain for a team or player.

And, of course, it’s the chance of an authentic souvenir.

Sometimes you catch a keepsake thrown from the court.

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/NBAE via Getty Images)

Sometimes you go down to the field before or after a game for autographs.

And sometimes, the ball girl at Nationals Park tosses you a foul ball and it makes your day. Scratch that. Not just your day, but the day of everybody around you.

Sports are so great.

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