Who’s your favorite underdog?
Who doesn’t like to root for the underdog? Every year, in practically every sport, there is a team or individual who, against all odds, snatches victory from the jaws of defeat. These stories seem to spark something inside all of us. That is why they get so much coverage on the news and have been the underlying plot of so many stories and movies.
It has been a theme going back millennia. Who hasn’t heard of David and Goliath? Young, inexperienced, ill-equipped David is pitted against the larger, stronger, seasoned Goliath. Everyone believed that David’s fate was sealed. There was no way that he could survive far less vanquish such an opponent. But as we all know, in the end, it is David who manages to succeed and lives to fight another day.
There is a similar tale where an unknown person comes out of nowhere to claim a high honour. It is most commonly known as a Cinderella Story, named after the well known fairy tale. Once more we are all rooting for this unknown person who has gained our support by rising above their setbacks in life to come out on top. In the original tale, we all want the young, oppressed Cinderella to become a princess and live the life of her dreams.
In today’s world, we use the term “Cinderella Team” in sports to denote a team that manages to stay in the running against all odds. As the season comes to a close, this team manages to squeak past the other teams who have had better records all year long. In so doing, their fan base increases and they are all elated when they pull off that final, unexpected victory and take home the season’s top prize.
There are countless movies that rely on a prevailing underdog as a main or underlying theme. Whether it be a comedy, romance, thriller, sci-fi or horror movie, there are many underdogs who come to mind. Just think of any of your favourite movies and I am sure you will be able to think of one character in it who beats the odds or overcomes some form of adversity.
Some characters have cashed in repeatedly on this theme. Who hasn’t seen at least one of the films in the following series: Rocky, Aliens, Die Hard, Karate Kid. I am sure you can come up with many others on your own. We all know the main character will prevail, yet we watch the film and worry about them at each pitfall and feel elated when they finally come out ahead.
So why is that so many of us crumble at the first setback in our own lives? We throw in the towel instead of persevering. We need to have the same faith in ourselves that we place in these characters. When this feeling of despair starts to set in, picture yourself as one these characters. Whether you relate more to Rocky, Cinderella or David, just try to envision yourself overcoming your obstacle and coming out ahead as they did.
Remember how you feel at the end of these stories when the underdog eventually prevails. Imagine how much stronger that feeling will be when you are the one defeating the odds. Use this feeling to propel yourself through any obstacle and soon you will be living the life of your dreams.
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Who’s your favorite underdog?