The Month of the Underdog


If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll notice most of my tweets revolve around three distinct things: Quotes from people I like, retweets of semi-appropriate Zach Braff comments, and basketball. That’s pretty much it. And the truth is, in my heart of hearts, I am a baller. Like, for reals though.

Basketball has always been part of me. In high school it was how I had fun and decompressed. Countless pick-up games were waged with NBA play-off like intensity. We mainly played on the streets and cul-de-sacs of neighborhoods, borrowing someone’s rickety hoop and deflated basketball.

Since those blacktop days of skinned knees and bruised egos, I still love the game. And I absolutely, without reservation, love college basketball.

March is a month where it is oh-so-good to be a college basketball fan. Every year, we long for back to back games, the thrilling upsets, the beauty and intrigue that is March Madness. Every year I fill out a bracket only to crumple it up and throw it out the next week. Even those who might only label themselves as the ‘casual’ sport fan enjoy March Madness.

The reason?

March Madness is the month of the Underdog.

Regardless of liking the sport or not, March Madness is all about the story. It’s the narrative of a Cinderella team that brings an upset. Or the serendipity that’s released when a lucky bounce, with only seconds left on the clock, brings victory. March Madness is a reminder that the playing field is equal. Sure, some are more suited for victory than others, but that doesn’t take away the beauty of possibility.

What’s true for the pandemonium of March Madness is true for us who live in the normal world, far removed from televised athletic contests.

Every year. Scratch that. Every moment, we’ve been graced with an unprecedented opportunity to do something awesome. Seriously. The fascinating thing about time is that we all get it. Each day is twenty-four hours regardless of what you look like, where you’ve been, or what you’ve done. That’s pretty freeing if you really stop to think about it.

The title of underdog has always felt like a natural one to me. I’m sure a lot of us feel this way. I find myself resonating with those characters in movies and television shows that just need a second, third, or fifteenth chance. Often times, I feel like a William Wallace in Braveheart, or a Peter Lafluer in Dodgeball. Underdogs understand the odds are not in our favor. However, they also understand the opportunity present to rise up.

So, to commemorate the start of March Madness 2014, I’m thinking about what I can do to embrace my status as an underdog and risk something. It doesn’t have to be epic or grandiose; it doesn’t need to involve a Cinderella story and be all dramatic and what not. Perhaps it’s as simple as changing things up because we can, or taking a chance on ourselves even if failure is imminent.

Underdogs love when the stakes are against them…because those are the moments when they shine the brightest.

What is it you’re afraid of?

Where in your life do you feel you are outmatched, outnumbered, or overwhelmed?

Start there.

Take a chance.

Cause an upset.

Be an underdog.


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1 Comment

  1. billie

    once again you make me think a little deeper…love your writings…

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