What It’s Like Always Rooting for the Underdog

The world is full of a lot of people who can be categorized into a lot of groups. One of those distinctions is the one between the popular and the underdog. An underdog can be defined as “a competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest.” Societal context has added to this definition, and now an underdog is someone who people think have no chance of winning, but damn do we want to prove them wrong. When you step up to support an underdog, you’re believing that somebody, against all odds, will succeed. 

There are underdogs no matter where you go. Maybe that guy you passed on the street today is an underdog at his job on the 24th floor of his office building. Maybe nobody is expecting him to last the next few months, but he’s struggling with his home life, dealing with mental illness, and can’t seem to climb out from the hole people are pushing him into. Don’t you want him to do well? If this were a movie trailer and this kind, unsuspecting guy was struggling, wouldn’t you like to see him have a happy ending rather than end the movie realizing life is nothing but suffering? 

I’ve always been one of those people. Without even trying, I’ve been drawn to the underdog – the person everybody wants to mercilessly attack for no valid reason.

One example always comes to mind. Whenever I tell anybody that I’m a Red Sox fan (literally every damn time), they always give me this disgusted look then say, “I guess I can forgive you for that.” Like, excuse me? What does that mean? Is it because I’m the fan of the underdog that I’m at fault? What if I, the lowly Red Sox fan, went up to someone and said, “Wow…this is going to be tough for me but I guess I can still be nice to you even though you like the Tampa Bay Rays.” Does this make sense? No! And if a Sox fan said it, they’d be criticized.

And that is the first lesson you will learn when you support an underdog: people will make you feel like you need to apologize for it. 

This applies to tons of other things, like movies. Recently, I saw the new film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (and wrote a little review on it) which a lot of people were not rooting for, even months before it was released. Truly the definition of an underdog in film. I, on the other hand, love comic books, Batman and Ben Affleck, so I went in with an open mind. The day after I saw it, my friend told me that his friend hated the movie, and thought it was the worst thing he’d seen. I didn’t remember asking. I have never understood the moments when somebody feels the need to bring you down when you’re not in the situation to have a conversation about it. If my friend had told me that he saw it and didn’t like it, I’d be willing to discuss both our perspectives. But in the underdog situation, people just have to let you know that you are in the wrong for liking what you like. 

So, another thing you will have to deal with is people giving you opinions you don’t want. 

Loving the underdog can be tough, but it is also one of the most rewarding feelings. When the Red Sox win a World Series game and fans are celebrating on the streets, it’s rewarding. When you find people like you who loved a movie as much as you did, it’s rewarding. Someone who loves an underdog is someone who isn’t a bandwagoner. They don’t like what other people tell them to, but rather sit through the criticism and negativity knowing that in the end, there is still something out there for them to enjoy.