In light of the 2018 World Cup, it’s safe to say that the realm of sports are full of surprises. If you are not aware or if you haven’t been watching, in this year’s World Cup, Mexico beat Germany in the second largest upset in World Cup History. Elite teams such as Spain and Argentina did not advance to the quarter-finals, which shocked and disappointed fans across the globe. And the unexpected team of Croatia fought tooth and nail to earn their place in the final match as a contender to win the entire tournament. It has truly been a whirlwind of events. But, this is why sports can be so thrilling to watch — The rivalries, the competition, the unexpected moments, the victories.
And the same thing can be said about life.
We live in a world full of competition — Full of people trying to make it, people trying to achieve a goal, people trying to pursue their dreams, people trying to come out victorious. And the greatest part about sports and about life is that people will always surprise you. The outcome is never certain.
Sometimes, you never know who will prevail or who will disappoint. Though there are always going to be the crowd favorites and the top contenders, there are also always going to be the underdogs —And those are the ones worth watching.
Take the famous story of David and Goliath, for example — If you are not religious or familiar with biblical references, then this may not be as relevant to you, but allow me to enlighten you regardless.
The story of David and Goliath tells the tale of a boy named David who had all the odds against him. He was confronting a giant amongst men, named Goliath— An adversary who was twice his size and strength. However, despite the seemingly impossible odds, he managed to defeat him with a mere sling and stone.
The moral of this story is that even though the odds were against him, he still came out victorious. Had this story ended differently, everyone would have gone about their business and things would have returned to the status quo, but instead, it inspired many.
And that’s what underdogs usually do for people. They inspire them.
Take another more modern analogy, for example — In the Hunger Games movies, the main character Katniss’ main reason to fight was because of her sister. She volunteered herself to enter a knowingly savage, bloody battle that ultimately led to the deaths of everyone else involved just so she could save her sister’s life.
Little did she know, this act of bravery would create a spark that would ignite a fire and light up a nation. Her initial sole purpose for fighting and reason for survival became so much greater than herself alone. In turn, it started a revolution.
You see, this is the thing about underdogs — They always have a greater purpose. There is a weight that they bear which is far beyond their own personal motives. Even if it might have began as a small spark, it grows into a flame that burns so high, it sets hearts ablaze. They end up, not only representing themselves, but an entire population.
This is much of the reason why I love rooting for the underdog so much (in both sports and in life). The meaning behind their victory is so much greater than their own. They win, not only to achieve their own goals, but also to open doors for the next generation.
I’m a sucker for the underdog. I love when people prove the vast majority wrong. When people defeat impossible odds. When people come out victorious even when it seemed like all hope was lost. Underdogs are the outliers. They are the exceptions to the rule and the ones that shake up the game.
In life, there are always going to be people on top and people at the bottom. It’s unfortunate to say, but sometimes people get dealt a better hand than others.