This I Believe

Laura - Grand Rapids, Michigan
Entered on December 8, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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The Underdog

I believe in the underdog. I want the team not likely to win, to succeed against all odds set out for them. When I pick sides, I consistently pick the underdog. This has been my approach for years, and it has worked well, leaving other people with the impression of me as a loyal fan.

Take a team like the Detroit Tigers; a couple years ago, they had the worst record in baseball. In the years before leading up to the infamous 2003 season, if they were not the bottom, they were close, they were the underdog. The last time they finished a season above .500 was in 1993. I was a fan in 2003, and I was a fan before 2003. For what reason other then ‘hometown’ support, would you love the losing team for that long? They were the underdog. When I played little league softball, my team always won. For years we were undefeated, in fact we, as a team, started to feel sorry for those we played. I wanted the underdog to have a fighting chance at winning. This started my love for the underdog and my belief that they need support too. It is not fun wining all the time, the excitement of the game is gone, and knowing you are always going to win going into the game gets old. In the same way, it is not fun to lose every game, who wants to lose every time they step out onto the diamond? I think there is always a chance that the underdog will defeat those favored to win. In 2003 the Detroit Tigers took on the New York Yankees, the Tigers managed to win one of the three games played during May. The Yankees went on to win the American League Championship that year. Did the Tigers, who were on the bottom of the American League, think they had a chance against one of that season’s best teams? They were the underdog for that series. Without the support of fans, they probably wouldn’t have won that game. The excitement of the game draws me in and the chance that the game will end in an upset keeps me coming back.

For the underdog, cheering for them is what is going to make them try harder even when the situation looks bleak. Knowing someone is there believing in your ability to succeed is what it takes for a team to believe in themselves and push to win. It is important going into a game unfavored, to have fans. Without that support, they will lack belief in themselves. Where would the Tigers be without the support of their fans? Without support, they may not have gotten all the way to the 2006 World Series. Without the support of fans, the underdog would not have the drive to push themselves harder to win. I feel it is important to provide that support whenever possible. The underdog should have the greatest chance of winning possible, so why no help them? Wouldn’t you want someone to do that for you too?