The NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament, branded NCAA March Madness - or now just MARCH MADNESS is a single-elimination tournament played each spring in the USA, currently featuring 68 college basketball teams.
It has become extremely common in popular culture to predict the outcomes of each game, even among non-sports fans. It is estimated that up to 50 million Americans participate in a bracket pool contest every year.
And so, this Sunday Blog is all about......
An underdog is a person or group in a competition usually in sports and creative works, who is largely expected to lose. The party, team, or individual expected to win is called the favorite or top dog. In the case where the underdog wins, the outcome is an upset.
Rooting for the little guy is the American way. It's Horatio Alger and Rocky Balboa and the Miracle on Ice. You can Google: The Underdog Concept in Sports.
Consider all the underdogs in our culture - from the Bible, from literature, and from every sports movie ever made. It's no accident that we Remember the Titans.
OK, land the plane, Tom......
Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile. Which wireless carrier is the underdog?
Zoom, BlueJeans, Webex, Adobe, GoTo, Teams. Meet. Which conferencing product is the underdog?
And so, it is not BlueJeans, but BlueJeans by Verizon. It is not Teams, but Microsoft Teams. Not Meet but Google Meet. Why? Because Verizon is a Fortune 23 company and Microsoft is Fortune 21. Please don't confuse them with being an underdog, thank you very much. I have heard that AT&T is 13th on the Fortune 500 rankings, with revenues of $168 billion. Hey AT&T, what's up - no conferencing product? Hey Google, welcome to the party!
We just had the Oscars. Underdogs won. Movies and actors that were not supposed to win - did so. And, with all the feels. Most of us have seen the pic of Harrison Ford and Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan hugging - it was way more than just a celebration of one movie's victory. It was an Underdog story.
Speaking of Harrison Ford - ever hear of Star Wars? Underdog, big time. That movie almost never made it. It had an original budget of $11M and went $3M over budget due to multiple delays. The studio came ever so close to shutting it down. No Star Wars, no Harrison Ford. And I guess, no Mandalorian either.
And so whether it is movies, or basketball games or conferencing products or smartphones or computers or......(the list is long) why do we buy what we buy? Are we making decisions with our heads or with our hearts? I went to PURDUE. Yeah but I live around 7 miles north of FDU.edu. I have presented there many times. Ah yes, who does one root for... decisions, decisions.
Underdogs are cool. Underdogs grab our hearts first, then our heads (and then our wallets). Underdogs make the memories that last a lifetime.