The Lovable Losers and the Hateable Winners

We are in an exciting time in the world of sports. For only a few weeks a  year, we have all three major sports (four if you count NHL) going at the same time.

Two big ones are the MLB World Series, signifying the end of baseball, and the tip-off of the NBA season. Within the two events there is a complex interweaving in which there stand two teams, one that is loved and one that is hated.

161022225025-07-national-league-championship-series-1022-exlarge-169One of the teams I am referring to is the Cubbies of Chicago. The “lovable losers”  have clawed through the dirt and for the first time since 1945 they will have an opportunity to end their curse.

But what  makes the Cubs so lovable?

It boils down to the underdog effect. We want to see something happen that defies what we feel is possible. We want that #16 seed to beat a #1. We long to see a team outside of Alabama or Ohio State win a football game. And we want to see the Cubs win a World Series.

I am a die hard St. Louis Cardinals fan. I have been conditioned my entire life to hate the Chicago Cubs, yet last night as game one got underway, I found myself longing to see the boys in blue pull out  a win (sorry grandad).

With seemingly no reason at all my heart pulls me toward a team that hasn’t won a title in over 100 years. But what happens if the Cubs win? Does the charm go away?

Right now everyone understands the enormity of the losing streak. The Cubs have their loyal fans, but for the sake of this next part let’s ignore the fan base that has been there from the beginning.

Right now there are thousands of people rooting for the cubs that cannot tell you anyone on the team. They are rooting for the underdog. These people may have watched three baseball games this season, but are out there posting on Facebook or tweeting how cool it is to see the Cubs in the Series.

If the Cubs win this year, and make it back next year, does the casual fan care? The answer more than likely is no. That is because the hype is gone. No longer are they losers. They are winners, and nobody likes a winner… just ask the Golden State Warriors.

Which brings me to my next point… As MLB ends, NBA begins and if there is one team that nobody wants to see win it is the Warriors.

The Warriors are like the group of 6th graders taking on the group of 3rd graders in a    pick-up game. Even if they win nobody cares because they have three of the best shooters in the league and Draymond.cgzpzpxwsaa-dgr-jpg-large

The Warriors (again, outside of fans from the beginning) have drawn viewers, but for the opposite reason. People want to watch them lose. Last night the Spurs routed the Warriors by 29 points to tip off the NBA season. I slept easy.

On either side of the aisle, people want to see losers overcome winners. It’s a fact of sports. So if you’re a fan of the #16 seed, the small college or any other under dog hang in there. Wins may not come often but when they do, it’s even sweeter.

 

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