I’m a day late here with the Valentine’s Day references, but I remembered the flowers and nice dinner for my wife Wednesday, which is what really matters.

Sports and I have quite a love/hate relationship, but it’s mostly filled with adoration. Not only is it my job to write about and cover sports, it is also something I love to follow and keep track of, especially at the college and pro levels.

Your childhood favorite team never stops being your favorite, and the Atlanta Falcons and New York Yankees will always have my heart.

The Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl to shatter my heart into itty-bitty pieces last season, but right after the game, head coach Dan Quinn said they’d make it back (they didn’t), and I was right back on board.

I’ll catch a lot of grief for being a Yankees fan, but without them, I probably wouldn’t be married to my wife, a native New Yorker. Spending summers listening to John Sterling and his wacky home runs calls has become one of my favorite things to do.

Even the Yankees have added to my love/hate relationship with sports. My first year really following them was 2004, the year the Curse of the Bambino was broken and the Red Sox won the World Series for the first time in 86 years. Boston has won three titles since — go figure.

But I keep coming back because I love it so much. Most can relate — no matter how much sports can frustrate you, you keep coming back. The Steelers and Penguins went through dark seasons, but have seen a revival and won titles. The Pirates, I promise, will eventually make it back to the promised land, as well.

Look no further than this college basketball season for WVU. The Mountaineers’ men’s team lost its season opener by 23 points.

“This team is gonna be terrible.”

WVU rattles off 15 wins in a row and is ranked No. 2 in
the country.

“This team has a real shot at a national championship.”

The Mountaineers lose five of six games, including several in which they blow big second-half leads.

“This team is nowhere near as good as we thought. We’ll be lucky to even make the NCAA tournament.”

WVU wins two in a row, including on the road against everybody’s favorite college star, Oklahoma’s Trae Young.

“We’re back, baby! Final Four, here we come!”

And finally, in the last two games, another disappointing home loss, to Oklahoma State, and a payback win over TCU.

As head coach Bob Huggins said after the win at O.U., “There are some really non-athletic, overweight people that jump on and off bandwagon so much, I’m afraid they’re going to get hurt.”

And so goes it as a fan — teams will break your heart, but you keep coming back in hopes of that one time they won’t.

If this basketball season has proven anything, it has shown that we have no idea what to expect from WVU. That can even go from half to half.

But we’ll all watch because we all love it.

Whether it’s high school, college or pro sports, if you treat it right and stand by its side, hopefully, it’ll return the favor and make it all worth it.

Sports: A true love story.

Follow Sean Manning on Twitter @SeanManning_DP. Email: smanning@dominionpost.com.