The Detroit Lions Highlight the Appeal of the Underdog

Calvin Johnson has made Lions fans smile a lot this season
The recent, and surprising, success of the Detroit Lions has reenergized the city of Detroit and brought new excitement to football. After enduring a winless season in 2008, the Lions became a joke among the league and fans. However, they have kicked off this season with 5 wins and quieted countless critics. While the Lions try to move on from two recent losses, they  move forward with an army of new fans. Their recent winning streak highlights the power of the underdog, but what is it about an underdog winning that generates such excitement?

I have always gravitated to the underdog and hope they will achieve victory-and maybe that is why I love the Phillies so much! But once the team successfully transitions from underdog to the leading team, I actually start to dislike them. The underdog is so appealing to me in the sports world, but why?

  • Unpredictability: Sports is unlike any other business in existence because the team with the "best" players and the biggest payroll does not spell out the formula for success. I absolutely despise the New York Yankees. They have won countless championships because they are funded by an owner who does not have a limit. While the Yankees have proved time and again that you can buy a championship, it does not automatically mean that they will always win. They have fallen short of the World Series the past two seasons, and only exemplifies the unique nature of sports.
  • Allegory to life (This may be a stretch but just go with me): I can recall times in my life when I was passed over or ignored because I was not the "best," and I am sure may of you can also recall those likely painful moments. Similarly, the sports underdog is told by critics that they cannot win and will not achieve success. Then, against all the odds, the underdog team pulls out a shocking victory and/or goes on to win the championship. Even just witnessing such an unpredicted outcome, it can make me feel that same feeling of success.

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