HOPE springs eternal in football. It doesn't matter if your team is top or bottom, rich or poor, big or small, no fan can avoid the illogical impulse to think that something good might happen.

It's the prospect of what might be rather than perspective of how it really is that is at the core of being a football fan.

It's what in the last week made Bournemouth supporters travel to Chelsea, Manchester United fans chant "attack, attack, attack" and Bolton Wanderers supporters stage a fill-the-Macron campaign.

Wanderers could have filled the Macron and it wouldn't have made a jot of difference to the club's perilous financial state.

But that's not the point. The point is people hoped it would.

It's the hope which stems from the dreams of our younger selves that we would one day score the winning goal in an FA Cup final or at least see our team do it.

Anyone who has ever had that dream can never again be immune to the hope which fans the flames of football fandom.

And hope is the only reason the FA Cup third-round draw is televised.

On the face of it millions of people glued to the TV to watch a set of fixtures being organised is ludicrous.

But if people weren't interested it wouldn't be televised.

The fact is they are. And not only interested, but quite excited by it.

I for one could feel adrenalin – yes, real adrenalin – going through me before the draw was about to be made live on BB2 at 7pm.

That was the hope kicking in, the prospect of a good draw for the teams I support and cover and a stinker for the subject of my schadenfreude.

It was the same hope that non-league Whitehawk's manager Steve King displayed when he was asked who he would like his team to be drawn against.

Liverpool came the response, his facial expression seemingly betraying it being for personal reasons. There was no room in this moment of daydreaming for the fact that Whitehawk aren't even through to the next round yet but must negotiate a replay against Dagenham and Redbridge first.

Televising a draw is a strange thing to do on the face of it. It's not sport but a process by which we organise sport.

But the clever thing it does is tap into the bottomless pit of hope that lies at the heart of everyone who has ever had any connection with football.

From a Wanderers perspective I was watching it – as many Bolton fans were – in the hope they would get Manchester United away and earn some cash to help their current financial crisis.

The trouble with illogical hope is that it is usually followed by despair.

And so it was on Monday night when the cruel balls paired them with Eastleigh. And away at that.

East-who? It even needed a quick Google to look up who they were. This was no money-spinner

But as always with football hope is never too far away and within a couple of minutes talk started about the game's prospects of being shown live on TV and the decent money that would bring, not to mention the greater chance of progressing to the fourth round and another crack at the big boys in the draw.

In the meantime for Wanderers it's Hull City away today and the fans will be travelling east in their hundreds as usual not thinking their bottom-of-the-table penniless, debt-ridden club and unpaid players will pull off a shock against the fourth-placed Tigers. But hoping.