There are two things people love: underdogs and being first.
There’s an inherent inclination for humans to root for the underdog. Something in our wiring creates a need to witness people conquer overwhelming odds and stand on the field of battle victorious. This is true in life, and it particularly manifests itself in sport. Sylvester Stallone is a perfect example of both of these cases; we need the Vietnam Vet-loner and Philly nobody to succeed. For us to sleep soundly at night, Stallone must evade an egomaniacal, small-town sherriff and rescue P.O.W.s from hordes of Viet Cong. It is imperative that he escape his life as a low-rent thug/mob enforcer to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World…and defeat Communism. Actually, Stallone defeats Communism twice, once in Moscow on Christmas and again in the mountains of Afghanistan. Sly is the ultimate underdog. Watch Rocky or Rambo, all nine of them, and try not to root for him. It is impossible, your synapses are wired to scream at the TV “Get ‘im, ROCK!” I call this the Sly Stallone Underdog Phenomenon. If you want further evidence of the Sly Stallone Underdog Phenomenon check out: Over the Top (third greatest arm-wrestling movie of all time) and Victory (the greatest movie about Allied P.O.W.s playing soccer against Nazis ever made). You cannot help but root for him!
Being first is pretty self-explanatory. If you get picked first in gym, you’re probably good at sports. If you’re first in your class, you’re probably smart. If you’re first in line, you usually get what you’re waiting for before everyone else. If you discover something first, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you were on the ground floor of something. Just look at any comment space or message board and you will likely find three people whose post only reads “First”…actually, that’s not self-explanatory, that’s just stupid. But in most other instances, it’s good to be first, and people want to be recognized as first.
This brings me to Jarrett Bush. Some…maybe most, readers just clicked away. To them I say, good riddance! But if you’ve stuck around to see how these two things relate, you may be rewarded. There is no player on the Packers roster that draws more ire than Bush, and not without some merit. However, since Al Harris’ injury, Bush has stepped into the nickel role and played solidly, not great, but not terrible. Aaron over at CheeseheadTV even recognized this.
I am on record as saying I’m leading the Jarrett Bush Bandwagon as far back as here and also here. The reasoning for this is outlined above. 1) There is no bigger underdog than Jarrett Bush. For him to escape his rep as mistake-prone, it will take a Rambo/Rocky-like effort over the course of these next few games, an effort that I think he can give (The nice thing? The bar is set pretty low for success). 2) As tweeted, and to the best of my knowledge, I’m very much the first on board this bandwagon, I just looked in the rearview mirror, and I can’t even see anyone for miles. It’s a little lonely, but I firmly believe that it will slowly fill up. Just remember I was here first, and you should never underestimate my desire to say, “I told you so!”
There is a final reason that I’m wishing for #24’s success. It’s just easier and more enjoyable to root for someone to succeed than it is to root against them and hope they fail, unless of course they’re this guy. Once I committed myself to rooting for Bush on Sunday, I got incredibly excited for Sunday to arrive. It’s a different feeling to not root for the star, but rather the goofy, yep…underdog. It’s difficult to explain, but putting faith in someone who is not recognized for much other than failure, is an exciting feeling.
…and this is why am I rooting for Jarrett Bush this weekend, I may the only one, but that makes me first and you can’t fight the Sly Stallone Underdog Phenomenon. Climb on the bandwagon.
“Get ‘im, BUSH!”
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