Posted by: kcgadiyar | October 26, 2008

Rooting for the Underdog

Quick Takes:

  • Happy Diwali to everyone
  • The challenger series is really testing the Indian team aspirants due to a very slow pitch
  • Got a Hathway cable modem net connection in the new place i have moved into.
  • India beat Australia, 1-0 up with 2 tests to go
  • Vishwanathan Anand is 3 points up with 4 games to go against Kramnik
  • Not much else happened this week, most people are on Holiday in office.
  • Do they have reserved parking for non-handicap people at the Special Olympics?
One of my favorite things to do for the past 2 weeks while getting ready to go to office has been to watch the Major League baseball championship series. I saw every single match of the Boston Versus Tampa Bay ALCS finals and now have seen all 3 of the Philadelphia Vs Tampa Bay World series matches held so far.
For the record, Philadelphia lead 2-1 after a late, late single in the bottom of the ninth inning gave them a 2-1 victory in game 3.


After the match though, they had the interviews with the coaches and when the coaches were asked “Do you think you are the favorites?” both of them played it down by saying “No, we are the underdog”


This was a ploy by both teams to get the undecided supporter to back their team, because deep down we all like to root for the underdog.


Sylvester Stallone understood this perfectly, in every single “Rocky” movie, our hero starts off as the underdog. This makes the audience sympathize with the hero early on and become emotionally invested in the story unfolding on screen. Not to say that this is a bad thing, far from it. “Rocky Balboa” was infact one of my favorite movies from last year.


The question here is Why do we root for the Underdog? Because we have been conditioned to since childhood. The first stories we hear are Fairy tales, and each fairy tale is basically an underdog story. Don’t believe me, lets see the evidence.
  • Cinderella: An outcast among her own family, no chances of success -> fairy godmother -> Princess
  • Rapunzel: An outcast girl living in a tower -> Prince Charming -> Kill evil witch -> Princess
  • Snow White:  An outcast living with dwarves -> Prince Charming -> Kill evil witch -> Princess
and so on and so forth.


So, we are conditioned to the fact that in order to triumph you have to be the underdog at the start. This is ingrained in all of us. One of my friends in IIMI was an underdog supporter to such an extent that he actually didn’t bother which team was playing, he always supported the underdog in the UEFA Champions League. (BTW, huge Barca fan myself)


So, basically, as long as people will support the underdog, people will claim to be the underdog. This is all well and good to an extent. I, personally, draw the line when people support Force India over Ferrari. 🙂


Until Next Time,

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