America loves an upset. Oh yes we do.
Rooting for the underdog has been just as much apart of American culture as heckling umpires, Ford 150s, and a blonde woman in a red polka-dot dress holding a Coca-Cola; an advertising machine.
David versus Goliath, the American Revolutionaries, Rocky Balboa, and Team USA's Miracle on Ice, featuring Kurt Russell's temporary parted waves.
Everyone loves the underdog. The Rags to riches, get rich or die trying, overcoming adversity, ESPN's 30 for 30, and Bob Ley's Outside the Lines Documentaries define sports entertainment. Player X is diagnosed with disease Y, and overcomes all odds and plays professional sports. People shut off the TV after the documentary, their spirits lifted.
We love these stories. But why?
We all come into this world small and fragile. We take orders from parents, guardians, teachers, bosses and the Society of Associated Governmental Authoritative Organization of a Unified League of Affiliated Alliance Confederation Incorporated. (SAGAOULAACI) (If you haven't heard of them, it's probably a good thing) (Oh and Don't Ask Questions)
Because we are constantly at the mercy of these people higher in the feudal system called society than us, we have the tendency to root for the "little guy" out of sympathy, because, well, that was you at some point in your life.
As the first round of the NBA Playoffs draws to a close, the #8 Memphis Grizzlies have upset the #1 San Antonio Spurs. While the whole country with an exception to southcentral Texas, roots for the amazing "American" upset, I am left with mixed emotions.
Coming from New Orleans, I dislike the San Antonio Spurs and am glad they have been eliminated from the playoffs. Yet, I would rather watch a Spurs-Thunder series with a San Antonio club old enough to be the father of the entire Thunder team than a Grizzlies-Thunder series.
(Me: No offense Tennessee)
(Tenn: Oh, non taken)
(Me: We cool?)
(Tenn: Yeah, I guess so)
(Proof: If Spurs Head Coach, Greg Popovich, had a child at age 17, he/she would be the same age as Thunder Head Coach, Scott Brooks).
If the Hawks & the Grizzlies make it to the NBA finals, ratings and hype will suffer. Am I rooting for Lakers/Celtics? not necessarily.
Upsets are good for the game. They keep people on the edge of their seat. But what about other sports? Round robbin tournaments with a 5 or 7 game series have taken this country by storm.
Single elimination is a different story. The excitement surrounded by an NFL playoff game, NCAA Basketball Tournament game, and a College Football bowl game is indescribable. We all love upsets in these single elimination situations.
But to watch a possible 4 game series between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Oklahoma City Thunder? I'll pass.
America loves an upset, yet ratings tell a different story.
What should we do???
I'm just going to do the only thing I can do; pull up the lever of my recliner and watch.
After all, it's the NBA.
It's where amazing happens.