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Thread: Our fascination with underdogs.

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    Our fascination with underdogs.

    We see the concept of the underdog(s) everywhere: in our movies, mangas, even in daily life. In movies and comics, it ranges from the female that's being chased by the killer to your typical indecisive guy in anime. For some reason we tend to want these underdogs to succeed. Some real life examples:

    - The Starbucks that my roommate works at hired a guy who had no job experiences, and only on the fact that he seemed eager, attending school, and being the only parents to his kids.
    - Super Bowl 42: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots. The Giants were clear underdogs and unless you were crazy you weren't going to bet on the Giants to win. I am on the West Coast, so generally the game shouldn't have any effect our people. Even so, that night at a family restaurant (not a sports bar) when the Giants scored the winning points, the whole restaurant cheered.

    What I want to discuss for this topic is:
    1. Why do we tend to support the underdogs of life? Is it our nature to?? I mean my parents never taught me to support the underdogs.
    2. Or do you think that maybe (in cases where there's an "opponent" to the underdog) that it is in our nature to want to see the opponent be miserable?
    3. Why do we continue to want the feel-good story, even though it's very unlikely the underdog will succeed?


    I mean, the Giants are probably not going to beat the Patriots if they play for another 99 times. In the real world, the indecisive (introverted) guy will not get the girl, and the girl is likely to be killed by the monster. Sorry if doesn't seem clear but I can't seem to get all my thoughts in tonight, but ultimately I think the topic boils down to this (for those of you too lazy to read):

    Is it our good side that wants to see the underdog succeed, or is our evil side that just wants the underdog to stick it to the big guy (whichever form the "big guy" takes)?

    'Cause you give me something / That makes me scared, alright / This could be nothing / But I'm willing to give it a try / Please give me something
    'Cause someday I might call you from my heart

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    I'm sleepy... Jukebox Hero Champion, Word Up Champion, Word Craze Champion gren may be famous one day gren may be famous one day gren's Avatar
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    Re: Our fascination with underdogs.

    It's for the same reason that movies about the underdogs succeeding against all odds gross ridiculous amounts of money at the box office. The world loves a Cinderella story, seeing someone overcome everything and show that it's always possible (though not always probable) to triumph no matter what makes us feel that we could do it too, that there's always hope. Cheesy, I know, but I'm pretty sure that's what the pull is.

    Me, I usually root for whoever doesn't come off as a huge jerk. But maybe that's it too, we see the opposition to the underdogs as overconfident snobs who need to be brought down a peg or two.
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    Re: Our fascination with underdogs.

    Quote Originally Posted by gren View Post
    Me, I usually root for whoever doesn't come off as a huge jerk. But maybe that's it too, we see the opposition to the underdogs as overconfident snobs who need to be brought down a peg or two.
    That's right, that was the point I forgot to add. In movies and comics, the creators villianize the oppositions very strongly in order to make things nearly black and white. The thing is in real life things are never that black and white. So how does that factor into your decision??

    'Cause you give me something / That makes me scared, alright / This could be nothing / But I'm willing to give it a try / Please give me something
    'Cause someday I might call you from my heart

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    Re: Our fascination with underdogs.

    In Japan, the phenomenon is pretty old... hougan biki (sympathy for the hougan). It seems to have come into style after the death of Yoshitsune (a brilliant strategist who, in spite of having been on the winning side of the Genpei War, was hunted down by his own brother and after watching his family killed, committed seppuku). Esentially Japanese people love depressing things... and nothing is more depressing than a good person being betrayed, crippled, maimed, tortured and/or killed in his or her prime.

    This extends to more idiotic things... like money.

    The guy currently on the 1,000 yen note is a doctor who did virtually nothing except make a bad hypothesis that Yellow Fever was bacterial (then promptly died of it!)... but he had a twisted arm, so his cripple-status makes him more worthy than all the other great Japanese people who... you know... actually did stuff

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    Re: Our fascination with underdogs.

    i think its maily because we want the underdog to win, because it installs us with a bit of hope for ourselves. subconciously or not, seeing someone suceed against great odds in their oppisition makes one think that they, too can accomplish seemigly unnatainable goals.

    at least, thats what i think. as for football games, it may be just not to go with the mainstream idea or what not.

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    Re: Our fascination with underdogs.

    My opinion:
    Most people don't belong to the rich upper class and really like to see the team/person/animal who didn't get the big chances and doesn't have the money advantage win. It's a sign of hope that, if you try hard enough, you can make it no matter who you are or where you come from. Notice that this might explain why Americans in particular like underdogs.


    The Japanese style of Underdog is slightly different. As Tsurara mentioned, they tend to like the sad stories and many of the underdogs don't actually win in Japanese stories. For them, trying is more important than winning.

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    Re: Our fascination with underdogs.

    Well what people like about underdogs is that they are just like you and me and they know where they are coming from and we want them to win to put a regular guy on top and beat the guy who has the fame and wealth.

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    Re: Our fascination with underdogs.

    Quote Originally Posted by The GunGrave of Trigun View Post
    Well what people like about underdogs is that they are just like you and me and they know where they are coming from and we want them to win to put a regular guy on top and beat the guy who has the fame and wealth.
    Exactly!

    We get that a lot in NASCAR, esp in the second-tier Nationwide Series. People just cannot stand when the Sprint Cup drivers come in and dominate over the Nationwide Only drivers. (Except, for me, when it comes to David Ragan; he runs both, and I love that boy!)

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