Elements Of A Good Underdog Story

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As a retired collegiate athlete and sports fan in general, there is no greater time of the year than March. Sure, the highly anticipated spring break takes place during this month, Thanksgiving round 2 (Easter) also sometimes occurs, and even my birthday falls into this period. While all these things are awesome, none of them compare to the greatest event that takes place during the month of March: The Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, also known as MARCH MADNESS. While a single-elimination tournament is exciting on any plane of competition, one unique aspect of March Madness keeps fans coming back and makes this event one of the greatest, if not the greatest sporting event in the world. The underdog. Every single year some no-name, low-major …show more content…
There are two vital components of a good underdog story: overwhelming odds & likeability. There can be underdog without some sort of impossible task or enormous foe. There has never been an underdog story where the main character accomplishes something normal or defeats an opponent relatively equal to him/her in skill or ability. Overwhelming odds are absolutely necessary for the makings of an underdog story. Another important aspect of a good underdog story is likeability. Nobody has ever cheered on someone they disliked. You must like someone/something if you are going to root for them! Now that we have laid out the foundations of a good underdog story, we can make our case as to why Mark Watney is the ultimate …show more content…
There are a few theories as to why we, especially us Americans, love an underdog. One theory suggest that our country’s founding is an underdog story so of course we sympathize and rally behind an underdog because it is in our core. Another theory suggests that we root for the underdog because we have an underlying desire for fairness in the world. I can see where the point can be made for these ideas and while I do not deny their validity, I believe the true reason why we root for the underdog is somewhat of a combination of these theories. I believe we root for the underdog because the themes usually found within an underdog story represent many virtuous ideas. There are three themes recognizable in almost any underdog story of any kind. The first, as mentioned already, is justice. There is something to be said about the innate societal desire for there to be fairness in any situation. We can see this in young children. What is the first thing a child says when some sort of injustice is done? “That’s not fair”; which is usually followed by the typical “well, life’s not fair”. We’ve all said the first as children and the later towards children as adults. The idea of everyone getting an equal shot is something that can be described here in the United States as the “American Dream”. We like to see scores settled and justice played out; which is why we enjoy seeing an underdog triumph. The second virtuous theme of any underdog story is bravery. It

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