The Underdogs

by Tamara A.

“You got no time for the messenger,  got no regard for thing that you don’t understand.  You got no fear of the underdog, that’s why you will not survive.”

-Spoon, lyrics from the song The Underdog

I’m not really a fan of golf.  With that being said, I am a sucker for a good underdog story, especially when it is a down-to-earth 22-year-old that comes in and simply cleans up on the course.  Rory McIlroy’s performance at last week’s US Open was just incredible.  To come to a foreign country and became the youngest player in 88 years to win this famous tournament is a stunning accomplishment.  And what is more, amidst the hoards of people chanting for him and the continuous comparisons to the game-changer Tiger Woods, Rory is very rooted in his traditional and respectable family values and that makes him an even more admirable winner.

What makes an underdog so appealing is the dedication and extra effort that they put in to overcome the overwhelming odds against them.  The leaders have already proven their skill, have built a support group or fan base, and most likely have the financial backing to move them right along their successful path.  Thus, they are expected to do well.  But where is the excitement in that?  To always have the favorites win or expected happen, it’s predictable; it’s boring.  Just watch Remember the Titans, Miracle, or any other cliché, feel-good sports movie to clearly paint this picture for you.  Knowing that an individual, player, team, group, company, or country stood in the face of adversity, overcame that extra obstacle, and found success on their journey is exceptionally respectable.  Everyone loves this kind of triumph.

This kind of story exists in so many areas of life, not just the sports world.  Seeing someone who has started with very little or who has defeated a series of challenges in order to help himself or herself, their family or their community is inspirational across the board.  A homeless man getting a break as an announcer.  A refuge escaped from their homeland to start a fulfilling life for their family in a new country.  A car crash victim learning to walk again.  An Illinois senator becoming the first black president.  An 80-year-old freedom fighter entering the first grade to receive an education.  All had to fight an extra fight, to push a little harder to get where they are now.  I respect that.

The underdogs.  This is why Edge of Seven was established with our mission “to invest in education, health, and economic opportunity for girls in developing countries.”  These women are definitely underdogs.  The odds are stacked against them.  Look at the obstacles that they face: poverty, domestic responsibilities, gender stereotyping, lack of educational resources.  How can they pull their families out of poverty when there are no financial opportunities for them?  How can they help to better their communities when education is just out of reach?  We would like to help lessen these gaps and shorten the hurdles that these ladies have to conquer.  Help us in our mission to do this.

Golf information taken from The New York Times’ June 20th article, “McIlroy Wins U.S. Open, and Fans, With Disarming Dominance”.

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