Bloodied, bruised, broken and strung out after three grueling battles, you emerged from the fray when all but a few had written you off. The odds were against you. The world was against you. But, your fans believed. And you believed.
As the sweat of the jungle poured from your aching limbs, you advanced across the pitch towards a fourth foe. You would not advance further.
Casualties took their toll and the probing speedy attacks finally found the chinks in your impressive armor, those weak spots where wars are truly fought and won, or lost. Even then you battled on, refusing to accept that all hope was lost. The odds were against you. The whole world was against you. Your fans believed. And you believed.
If there hadn’t been a time limit on this particular battle on this particular day you would have found a way to regain the ground you had lost.
So hold your heads high, be proud of what you accomplished. Enjoy the triumphs of your first battles. Revel in the glory of having succeeded where so many others would have and did fall. Care to your wounds. Spend time with your families. But, keep your swords sharp and your wits about you, because you will be called upon again.
And next time, though the odds will be against you, and the world will be against you. Your fans will believe. And you will believe. That love of the game, that passion, that never-say-die attitude matters more than the rest.