Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 3/27/2023
The NCAA basketball tournament (AKA “March Madness”) is always hugely popular and draws great ratings. This year, I think for the first time ever, every number one “seed” has been eliminated before the semi-finals (“the final four”). Schools that include Fairleigh Dickinson, Princeton, and San Diego State have defeated teams such as Purdue, Arizona, Alabama, and other powerhouses.
I find that people who don’t have a particular dog in that race (e.g., it’s not their alma mater or they haven’t bet on one of the teams) are always ecstatically happy when an “underdog” wins. (Hard to escape the canine metaphors here.)
Why is that? What’s our love affair with the underdog?
I think it’s because we all feel like the underdog at times. The government does things that, to many of us, are unfair and inexplicable. (I just read that the president wants to raise trillions more in new, additional taxes.) We feel we “can’t fight city hall, nor the utility companies, nor the unfairness of the police giving a speeding ticket to one driver amidst 40 who were speeding.
We’ll never be long-term winners at the casinos, nor win the huge lottery prizes. The tickets to the big concert go to insiders or people who have lined up for six hours in the cold. We have a long history of “second place finishes.”
It tends to rain on our parade.
So we identify with the underdog, the upset, the proof that sometimes we all get a chance to win.
The great New York sports writer, Damon Runyon, wrote: “The race isn’t always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong. But that’s the way to bet.”
It’s good to know that sometimes, somewhere, someplace, that bet is wrong!
Everyone loves a comeback story, and everyone loves the underdog as well. I kind of feel like I’ve been the underdog. Hopefully that inspires people to not give up on themselves and their lives and not give up on their dreams. —James Arthur
When an underdog wins, they win for everybody, because somebody gotta come through that door and break it open and make it possible. —Saint Jhn
I always consider myself to be the underdog. —Jessica Andrade
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