Sports and Other News

Our family rooted for the Giants on Sunday night– and this, to the mild (perhaps) dismay of my sister Emily, who lives in western Mass and so, of course, was rooting for the Patriots.

We did root for the Patriots when they were in the Super Bowl six years ago, but that was when they were the underdog. We like rooting for the underdog. It’s the American way.

Yes, Go Underdog! Unless Duke is in the game. Duke isn’t ever the underdog, and that reality is the means by which I can come to understand the venomous hatred with which some people consider the Blue Devils men’s basketball team. That, and Pure Envy. But maybe that, too, has something to do with the underdog. Maybe the underdog, despite everyone’s being “for” him, is always envious of the guy who isn’t the underdog.

Anyway, we were pleased when the Giants beat the Patriots on Sunday night. We enjoyed the game, despite the fact that two of us were already experiencing the extraordinary discomfort of the respiratory flu, and another of us was on the brink of it. The Super Bowl is a great event, so very All-American, you know. And Tom Petty was the half-time act. It doesn’t get much better than that.

As we settled in to watch it, one of the children asked if everyone in America would be watching the game, and Bill said that about half of all Americans watch it. That’s A Lot Of People.

Funny, isn’t it?, the American stance on the underdog. Very much for the underdog, though we, ourselves, at an international level at the very least, haven’t been the underdog in a Very Long Time.

And who would be– on an international level– the underdog, one wonders? Any number of geographies might come to mind.

But I would have to say that Africa might be the continental underdog. Sub-Saharan Africa, anyway, has a Very Hard Time of it. And now, of course, Kenya is a part of that– a wretched truth that I have a very hard time believing, the news of which always comes as a dreadful shock. About a week ago, I heard a reporter on NPR say that Kenya is, slowly but almost certainly, “lurching her way toward anarchy.”

My friend Steven wrote this on some of the problems in Africa. He and his wife Amy live in South Africa, and it is through him, for the most part, that I know what’s going on over there. I suppose you could say that it was their passion to help the underdog that made him and Amy move to Africa in the first place. So very American of them, don’t you think?

Although I will say that I don’t think it was an American impulse that sent them to Africa, so much as it was their love for Jesus.

Now there is Someone who always goes for the underdog.

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