Image courtesy AP via SI

It’s 5 am on the East Coast, and I just watched the insanely great tennis match that took place in Australia between Roger Federer and Janko Tipsarevic.  I haven’t gone to bed yet, and all of this sleep deprivation in the sake of sporting has made me realize how much I love these types of things.

Some of the best sporting moments in my life are events that others might have just passed over — making sure that I was awake at 4 or 5 am to watch those international sporting events that don’t match up with Eastern Standard Time, like Olympics and World Cup matches.  If you’ve ever gone off of your normal routine to do the same, then you know the feeling.  The match feels more intimate; like you’re the only person in the world watching it.

Of course, millions of people across the world saw the exact same tennis match I did.  But it leaves you with the opposite feeling of an event like the Super Bowl, where you can take in the enormity and feel like you’re part of a bigger group.  Waking up early for sports gives you the feeling like it’s a privilege, as if the match were a secret that you were in on.  It’s hard to explain; if you don’t know what I’m trying to describe, get up at 3 a.m. during this Australian Open and turn on ESPN2.  If you get lucky, you’ll get to see some ridiculous tennis that all those other chumps will have to watch in primetime replay form about 12 hours later.