Underdogs and beating the odds - the thing that makes sports so exciting

in sportstalk •  10 months ago 

I've been doing a lot of reading lately, more out of recreation than my usual preference of non-fiction titles. But somehow, I've been sucked into the world of young adult dystopian adventure novels recently, the latest being The 5th Wave series. That got me thinking, what is it that makes these kinds of novels so engaging and addictive?

Well, the answer lies in a combination of factors. But when we turn our attention to the world of sports, then it makes it easier to appreciate this world of young adult adventure novels. For starters, the twist and turns, the action, youthful characters with extraordinary abilities etc. These ingredients all go a long way into entertaining the spectator. But there's something more.

Personally, my most memorable sporting memories have mostly been of underdogs, coming from behind, or producing the most unlikely wins. Just think of the story of Cool Runnings, or the numerous other sporting films that depict underdogs winning against all odds.

In the same way, these novels, with their depiction of unlikely heroes against all odds strike the same emotions in our human wiring, that is able to produce the same sensations of nail-biting joy and elation.

For me, when it comes to sports VS novels, the greatest sporting contest are always going to win out against fictional stories. The sheer reality and humanity of sporting contests, and most importantly, their uncertainty makes it so exciting. And when the unlikely happens, when someone or some team wins against all odds, under all adversity, then that can be one of the most inspiring events.


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Yes @nextgen622 the inspiration mankind can draw from underdog sports stories can, at times, almost be beyond the finding of adequate words to express.

A couple of examples:

  • Chariots of Fire - the magnificent story of Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams, in the 1924 Olympics. This Englishman, Eric, who was later a missionary in China, ran for the glory of God.
  • Life of Jesse Owens - the inspirational story of James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens in the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany. This American singlehandedly crushed the myth of Aryan supremacy ...

We also have the inspiration mankind can draw from underdog stories outside the world of sports, but that would be a different topic ... 😉

I hope all is well with you and yours!

Great examples. I love these stories for so many reasons. Eric Liddell’s story is one of my favorites, so inspirational on so many counts. Thanks for sharing brother.

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