Monday, July 6, 2009

Rooting for the underdog...

For all those who know me well, I am not a sports maniac, quite unlike D...I do like watching tennis, cricket and a bit of college basketball…however my interest in these games too is limited to the more exciting part of major tournaments aka quaterfinals, semi finals, finals etc. As to with whom my loyalties lie in the games that I do watch, understand and enjoy...oh yeah, it's always with the quintessential underdog, provided , of course, he /she puts in the fight of a lifetime in an effort to grab victory from the clutch of the one deemed favorite. As to all the other games that I am compelled to watch just to give D company, I inevitably end up rooting for the team D doesn’t support (just to add some excitement to the whole game watching process) or more often than not, the team with the better looking dudes :-)

There is one exception to this support for the underdog however, and that is when India as a team or an Indian player is in the game. But more often than not, they end up playing as the underdogs and even if they do happen to be the favorites in a tournament, it's rare to see them keep up the momentum and the winning streak to reach a position where they are actually defending a title...sad but true, for whatever reasons...so, for the major part, I am saved the ordeal of feeling guilty and unpatriotic for subconsciously empathizing with a non-Indian underdog playing against an Indian favorite:-)

I very vividly remember the 1992 Wimbledon final...the thrilling five setter between Goran Ivanesevic and Andre Agassi...I was sitting at the edge of my seat in our family room in Guwahati and cheering Ivanesvic all the way till the end when Agassi hit the winning championship point...17 years since then, that aspect of me hasn't changed much...yesterday as I was watching the Roddick- Federer Wimbledon final, I was sitting at the edge of my seat hoping that Roddick would hit the winning point...I love Federer (other than his habit of weeping at the drop of a hat ) for the brand of power precision tennis he plays, but I desparately wanted Roddick to win for the long, brave fight he was putting in...

A lot of my friends echo my thoughts of involuntarily supporting the one deemed less likely to win a game ...there are, of course, quite a few others who do not resonate our thoughts and believe that a champ is a champ because he deserves to be at the top and that in sports, there is absolutely no room for empathy…skill, talent, power and killer instinct are all that matter…after all it’s records and names of winners on the mantle that are passed on as legacy from one generation to another…I hear them and all that they say makes enormous sense to me…but I still root for the underdog :-)

I wonder what is it that's so appealing about an underdog to those of us who inevitably support them!! Perhaps an underdog, putting in a brave fight against all odds, personifies the tenacity and resilience of the human spirit...perhaps we see a bit of ourselves and our imperfections in him or her... perhaps because at some point in our lives, we have all felt small and powerless and yet have wished and worked hard to change our destiny…perhaps because we believe and want to continue believing in fairy tales.. perhaps there is some message of hope in each of the stories of underdogs, rising from the ashes like the phoenix, urging us to follow our dreams, hold on to hope and overcome our personal mountains...

4 comments:

Ravi said...

I second your strategy of supporting anyone other than whoever D is supporting

SBora said...

another nice one..always rooting for the underdog...
your post makes me realize how disconnected i am from the sportworld....sad but true!

Priyanka Rajkhowa said...

@R2: :-)

@Rhimjhim ba:Once D and A grow a bit older, I am sure there will be this phase in their lives when sports and sportsmen/women will constitute a major chunk of discussions at home...remember me and my bro going through that phase...You mentioned in one of your posts that you played professional shuttle badminton in school...do hope you still keep playing as a hobby...

SBora said...

thanks for your comment on my blog...this convention despite its numerous glitches was indeed quite successful and made me yearn for home, especially my parents. and raja's songs took me back to my school especially college years when almost every other night we all used to jam and sing along with him.