Many basketball brackets were busted last week – who would have thought a first-round team like Virginia Commonwealth University would make it to the venerable Final Four? I read somewhere that at the beginning of the season, VCU’s odds of making it that far were 2500 to 1.
There’s something to be said for being the “underdog.” In fact, companies like Avis Rent-a-Car made it a marketing pitch – they were #2, so they “tried harder.” And throughout history, underdogs have even prevailed: David downed Goliath, Susan Boyle wowed Simon Cowell and the Giants beat the previously undefeated Patriots. The desire to pull for the underdog seems to be part of our psyche. Some people, with no team allegiances, will automatically pull for the underdog simply because they’re the underdog.
I believe it’s because Americans are the most charitable people on the planet and they appreciate rags-to-riches stories because they’ve been weaned on the “American Dream.” If you believe it, you can achieve it. Try harder, and you’ll succeed. And, if Cinderella turns into a pumpkin, you can always heed the mantra of long-suffering Chicago Cubs fans…”there’s always next year!”