Why We Love Rooting for the Underdog

It's been a long time since we've seen so many cinderella teams make it this deep into the NCCA tournament.  But that's what March Madness is all about, right!  There’s nothing like seeing the little, no-name programs like Northern Iowa (my alma mater!) defeat the traditional, mighty powers like Kansas.  But all this “madness” got me thinking.  Why do we love the underdog?  Why do we love rooting for the little guy?  I think it’s because we see ourselves in the story of these cinderella teams.  We identify with the “Davids” because we are weak in and of ourselves.  Not many of us are naturally gifted to do great things.  But all of us want to be a part of doing something great.  Ironically, this is God’s pattern for showing His greatness.  “He chooses the foolish things in the world to shame the wise; he chooses what is weak in the world to shame the strong; what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are” (1 Cor. 1:26-28).  God takes delight in choosing the weak things of the world to show His strength.  He loves choosing the small things to show forth his greatness and power. 

We see this in Scripture, don’t we?  God chose little Israel.  God chose little Moses.  God chose little Gideon.  And God chose little David.  We could go on and on to show how God chose the “underdogs” to carry out his plan.  But why did God choose them?  Answer: “so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Cor. 1:29).  To say it positively, God did it so that we would be humbled.  That we would know that His glory is seen most powerfully in humility. 

The greatest picture of glory seen in humility is Jesus.  Jesus was the ultimate underdog.  He came as a tiny baby from the little town of Bethlehem.  He worked in obscurity as a humble carpenter.  He grew to be a poor man despised by the world and betrayed by his friends.  And he died a humble death on a cross.  But there was victory.  Victory and glory seen through humility.

I love the line from one song that says, “Who would’ve thought that a lamb could rescue the souls of men?”  That lamb is our Victor.  That’s our Champion.  The lamb who was slain.  The Savior who came out of nowhere to defeat the greatest opponent ever-sin and death.  And we will spend eternity in awe of this humble, crucified King.

So, why do we love the underdog?  Because we follow the One who lived humbly, suffered greatly, and died horribly, but now reigns in victory.