Everyone loves to root for the underdog, especially in sports. Underdogs have been a piece of American sports culture forever, from the United States men’s hockey team defeating the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympic Games to the North Carolina State University basketball team winning the 1983 National Championship under coach Jimmy Valvano.
The most recent example of an underdog would be that of the Washington Nationals. It’s safe to say, coming into the postseason as a wild card team and going up against the best team in the national league, the Los Angeles Dodgers, nobody was expecting much from the Nationals. The team refused to lie down and forced the series to five games, winning it with a grand slam off the bat of Howie Kendrick. Then, the team moved on and swept the St. Louis Cardinals to advance to their first World Series in team history.
People love underdog stories, because it could be argued that they see themselves as one. While underdogs are common in sports, people notice the underdogs in real life, too.
When you think of journalism programs at Arizona colleges, NAU is usually not the first school that comes to mind. Sometimes it seems that, of people who are in Arizona and looking to pursue a career in journalism, most choose the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.
ASU’s journalism school is like the Dodgers. They’re the favorite — the team people expect to cruise through the division series, the championship series and eventually the World Series.
That makes NAU’s journalism school the Nationals — the underdog that people aren’t expecting much from and the team that is likely going to have their one, shining moment, then get taken out by the heavy hitters.
Baseball is not just a game, it can sometimes be used as an example of how life goes. Odds can be stacked against you, and everyone can expect little from you. That’s the moment where you tell the naysayers, “Watch me.”
NAU’s journalism program is on the rise, and in my opinion, shows no signs of slowing down. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been granted the opportunities I have received in my three years with the program, from doing live game broadcasts on the radio to writing the article that you read now.
I believe the sky is the limit for all the students who work in the Media Innovation Center, including myself. So, next time you see a matchup of David and Goliath proportions where it looks like the underdog has no shot, remember this comparison. Just because someone is an underdog doesn’t mean they can’t become a champion.