Certainly the description of the 'fan experience' in this article is accurate. For the fan, it is as if I myself have marched the show and been crowned champion, or made finals, or beaten this other corps, etc. Even if the 'winner' wins by 0.025, for example, it's still a 'win.' One group (or group of fans) is happy, and the others are not. It is kind of absurd that someone's subjective opinion of a performance determines my emotional reaction, but it's what happens, and only later, and then only for some, can rationality set in.
I can also see that the 'system' of drum corps competition