What happened to rooting for the underdogs?
Jan 10, 2012 | 910 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Three events that couldn’t be less related last week all got me thinking in the same direction. When did we start to dislike underdogs?

The first was GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul coming in slightly behind Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in the Iowa Republican caucus.

For starters, since Republican candidates started narrowing down (with the exception of Newt Gingrich who hasn’t gotten any narrower), Paul has long been considered a longshot. Even with a push by moderates and Libertarians and Tea Partiers, it was hard to picture Paul breaking into the top half of any caucus.

But days after the votes were cast in Iowa, some were ready to whittle it down to Santorum and Romney.Nevermind there’s a lot of voting left to go.

It was surprising to see so little talk about Paul having so much stronger of a showing than more publicized candidates like Gingrich and Michelle Bachman.

The second was the passing of Gatewood Galbraith.

Galbraith was a perennial governor candidate in Kentucky, as well as a successful lawyer and an unmatched speaker. He was also an uncompromising individual.

Galbraith advocated a number of policies and stuck to those. Largely funding his campaigns himself, he also refused to run for offices below the state’s highest. Even with his nontraditional political views, it would have been hard for anyone to compete with Galbraith in a spotlight smaller than the one cast on the Governor’s mansion. He did attempt two unsuccessful congressional bids and one as Attorney General, but didn’t have the same record as his five attempts at the governor’s office.

By and large, though, Galbraith was never considered by either of Kentucky’s two major political parties as a serious contender. Both a perennial candidate and a proverbial underdog.

Likewise, they didn’t consider his ideas a threat to the status quo. Legalizing marijuana, increasing aid to students heading to in-state colleges, cleaning up corruption?

The last thing that got me thinking was actually a pair of underdogs Saturday. Talking sports with 11-year old Ethan puts things into perspective. We were watching the NFL’s wildcard playoff game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Houston Texans.

Admittedly, we were watching for the Bengals. But, honestly, before the game, both teams were fairly even (we won’t mention the lopsided beating that it became).

Both teams had survived up and down seasons. Both had their share of injuries. Both were starting rookie quarterbacks. One team was trying to make its first successful playoff berth, the other their first successful in more than two decades.

Two teams, both underdogs as far as the rest of the playoffs were concerned.

So what was most of the pregame commentary about by the talking heads?

Every team except the Bengals and the Texans. They talked about the game coming on next, the games to be played Sunday, coaching changes, Tim Tebow and what teams were already done for the year. But nobody seemed really interested in what lay in store for the winner in Texas, as if the win automatically knocked them out of the playoffs.

Paul, Galbraith and the Bengals-Texans match have nothing in common. Except for the fact that all seemed to get glazed over as people look for the next big thing.

That’s too bad.

Both Paul and Galbraith, winners or not, brought different ideas to their respective tables. And the Bengals-Texans? Well, go Saints.
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