Rooting Interest

While eating dinner today I had the chance to watch the college playoff championship, which did not go as well as I would have hoped.  For a half, it looked like it was going to be a really good game, which is any game that Alabama loses, only for Alabama to win despite missing a short field goal at the end of regulation to increase the drama.  It felt a lot like the Super Bowl last year, which was also only a short way away from being a really good game which is any game that the Patriots lose.  Although there are definitely teams that I root for, there are also some teams that I root against.  I guess it could be said that like many fans I have a rooting interest against any dynasty that doesn’t happen to be one I support out of principle.  As a Steelers fan and a USC fan, I have no problem with those teams winning championship after championship [1], because I have a rooting interest for those teams.  On the other hand, when a team I do not particularly care for wins year after year, it gets pretty old pretty fast.  I cannot say that I would particularly hate a fair to middling New England team, but they are insufferable as a perrennial Super Bowl contender.

It so happened that while the game was going on that I was reading a book.  I enjoyed the book, and it was the sort of novel that has promise as an adaptation to make an action movie with biblical undertones.  Of particular interest is the fact that Megan Fox really likes the story and the author wants her to be in the movie adaptation of the book, should there be one.  In reading the book I had to agree that this would be a role that Megan Fox definitely should want, as it is a powerful and appealing female lead in a thrilling action movie with some meaty roles.  One could say that one of the more striking aspects of the book was that an actress that has been out of the game for a while and is looking for a comeback vehicle has a rooting interest in the novel.  It so happens that the novel is a pretty compelling one which has a striking interpretation of the repercussions of a familiar story in the Bible, namely that of David and Goliath, and the book encourages us to root for David against Goliath, which is pretty easy for most of us to manage, I think.

Why do we root for the underdog and see ourselves as the underdog even when we may not be?  There is clearly some sort of psychological advantage to be gained by seeing oneself as being disrespected and underappreciated as opposed to the complacency that one gets from feeling that one is on top of the world.  There is a hunger and a chip on the shoulder that comes from feeling that one has not been treated as one ought, and that chip on the shoulder spurs one to greater achievement.  Even among those who have a fair degree of advantages in terms of background or talents often act as if they have to overcome disadvantages because the belief that one is disadvantaged makes one’s victory all the sweeter, while thinking that one won because one had a head start would likely make the victory seem less of an achievement.  Reaching the top of the mountain when one believes one has started from the bottom is a lot more of an achievement than reaching the top of the mountain after having started at the high plateau just beneath the summit.  The climb just doesn’t have the ring of achievement when one has already started so high.

Rappers are especially prone to living with chips on their shoulders and bragging that they started from the bottom even when they started from middle class homes or were child actors on Degrassi–I’m looking at you, Drake.  It so happened that the football game I was watching while eating and reading had for its halftime show a rapper, and it was a pleasant surprise that it was a good rapper, namely Kendrick Lamar, who started his show by spitting out some pretty fierce bars from his hit song “DNA.”  I teased one of the other people watching the game, who was a guy who must have been about sixty years old or so, about being a fan of Kendrick Lamar when he obviously didn’t know any of his songs.  Whether you sit down and act humble or start from the bottom and end up here, rappers definitely take full advantage of the psychological games of thinking the world is out to get them, or at least a big part of that world.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2011/01/19/book-review-lost-sundays-a-season-in-the-life-of-pittsburgh-and-the-steelers/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/12/22/they-cant-all-be-that-good-can-they/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2014/02/02/why-i-want-the-seattle-seahawks-to-win-this-years-super-bowl/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2011/01/24/super-bowl-mentoring/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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