In sports, there are three teams that I want to win more than any other. The first is obvious. I want my favorite team to win. It doesn’t matter who they are playing, the stakes, or the game. They just need to win because they are my favorite. The second is less admirable, and malignant at times, but if I am honest I will tell you that I want whoever is playing against my favorite team’s rival to win. I don’t like the color of their laundry. Their uniforms are ugly. They need to lose. The third is a bit more curious as I don’t necessarily need to have any rooting interest in either team in order to, well, find a rooting interest. You and I and everyone besides President Snow root for the underdog. But why? Well, let me answer my own question with a question. What is an underdog?
An Underdog Is The One Who Is Supposed To Lose, But They Don’t Have To Lose
Maybe they aren’t as talented as their opposition. It happens. Or maybe the odds are stacked against them. Then we think maybe it isn’t fair. We decide it isn’t just. Life shouldn’t be that way. Everyone should stand a chance. You and I believe we should stand a chance in a life that doesn’t seem fair. Growing up, a sense of fairness is innate. Cheating at anything isn’t tolerated on the playground or in the classroom. If someone breaks a rule in a game of basketball, they will be called out on it. If someone is caught copying another student’s work, they will fail. We all know this.
But When We Grow Up, We Find Out That Life Isn’t Fair
Oh, it should be. After all, Colossians 4:1 says “Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.” Justice and fairness are concepts consistently discussed in the Bible. How we treat people matters. But not everyone is fair, and no one is always fair, so we must learn to deal with these consequences. We must learn how to be an underdog who wins.
The Solution Lies In The Problem
There’s a reason why and underdog is an underdog: they’re weak. They usually lose because they are supposed to lose. That’s why we love underdogs. They overcome the odds. But how we do we overcome the odds? By exposing the opposition’s weakness. David seemed to have found Goliath’s weak spot when he slung a stone in his forehead. But there was something deeper than that.
Romans 7 talks about our weaknesses in depth, giving us both the problem and the answer.
Verse 18: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.”
Verses 24-25: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” In the end, the reason we love underdogs is simple: we are incredibly weak, the world isn’t fair, and we need hope. These are the things I thought about while writing The Dream. Every character has something they need to overcome. Those of us who find Jesus Christ find the enemy’s weakness. We are all underdogs, and we are supposed to lose, but we don’t have to lose.
“I can’t go back home. The city reeks of failure. That’s where dreams go to die.”
-Timmy Emerson, The Dream by Tyler Scott Hess