Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Underdog

THERE’S ONE STORY in the Old Testament that I find many parallel in real life stories. It’s a source of inspiration for mismatches. The ultimate validation of the underdogs.What I’m referring to is a story about a small warrior named David who valiantly defeated a giant and ferocious Goliath. It is an epic for the great mismatch of all time, from height to the amount of muscles, from weaponry and crowd boos. The only advantage of David is that the Almighty was on his side. And that made all the difference. It somehow raised his IQ and found the solution to deter his possible demise. David simply identified his enemy’s weakness and wasted no time in assailing it with a single blow from his slingshot.

~photo credits goes to Jacobsohn/NBAE/Getty Images~

It is proof to an old Filipino saying, walang malaking nakapupuwing. As I write this, the news about the Golden State Warriors scribling their contribution in the history books by forcing the biggest NBA playoff upset against the Dallas Mavericks, still lingers in my head.

It is a recent example of David-Goliath mismatch, minus the negative or evil implications, of course.

The Mavs has won a league best 67 wins in the 82-game regular season, thus, equating them the highest probability of another trip to the NBA finals. Coupled with predictions of Dirk Nowitzki bagging the title of the Most Valuable Player, indeed, by mere premise, they have an undoubtful chance of a repeat of their last year and winning the elusive NBA championship.

On the other end, the Warriors, badly needed to win their last regular season game, were seeded 8th place in the playoff standings. Their roster was in disarray coming from several trades and injuries. They were to consider one of the teams you wouldn’t waste an effort nor attention that they would even surpass one game in the first round. Simply put, the team of Baron Davis is unworthy of an opponent and would amount an automatic sweeping of the first four games.

But lo, and behold.

Statistics is a good measure in forecasting games, but can not be always used as premise in determining outcome, just like Steve Kerr when he predicted last year that the San Antonio Spurs will win the NBA championship. Bilog ang bola, ika nga ni Jawo. (The ball is round, according to Jawo a.k.a. Robert Jaworski) Unfortunately, Wade and his Miami Heat squad prove Kerr wrong.

In any competition, I am always thrilled when the underdog becomes the victor in the end. Their stories truly inspire those who view themselves at the same level where defeat in their own struggle is obvious.

Baron Davis was a hero and ignored a hamstring injury. Don Nelson coaches the Warriors, but he was the one who brought the sleeping superstar power of Dirk when he still direct the Mavs plays. This must have let Nelson abuse Mavs weaknesses. What further hurt the Dallas team was the sight of a drained Nowitzki that seemed to have lost all his flair in the regular season and was ineffective most of the games.

The GSW with a much smaller line up compared to the DM, was the third last-placed team that have eliminated a number 1 seed. The same feat was made by the Denver Nuggets when Dikembe Mutombo was still part of that team. They only lost twice in a best of seven series that concluded last May 3, 2007 as compared to the previous records when first round playoff lasted only up to five games. I am sure, it was the perfect moment to be a Golden State Warriors fan.

Another story that truly inspires the low and the powerless has transpired in the concluded elections for gubernatorial in the province where I grew up. A priest with no money, no backing of solid political machinery, and with no capacity at all to launch his own campaign by his own terms has defeated a re-electionist incumbent and a wife of an influential person and alleged drug lord in Pampanga.

Father Ed Panlilio has made the history and record books as the first member of the church to win a seat in the government in what is perceived as a revolution of the province’s governance.
Among Ed as what he is known for, has gain a wide support from the masses, volunteers, businessmen and lawyers to help him in his bid for the seat in the capitol hoping to change the alleged rotten government of my fellow Cabalens.

This has further proved that the power comes from the people and from what Among Ed has been telling them, he will bring forth change for the good of the people.

During the proclamation last week, the euphoria was celebrated by his supporters as the official announcement of Among Ed being the new governor. It was certainly a great moment to be a Kapampangan. Even if I belong to the city of Angeles that never vote for the provincial positions, I am excited and affected of what the future beholds for my fellow Kapampangans.

In any competition, I am always thrilled when the underdog becomes the victor in the end. Their stories truly inspire those who view themselves at the same level where defeat in their own struggle is obvious.

It pumps up the adrenaline of those ready to give up, their dreams and aspirations, their goals when they seemed to be very far and unreachable.

The stories of David, the Golden State Warriors and Among Ed give us hope whenever we are hopeless in our own fights and feel that nothing seems to be going right in our way, to continue and labor to meet our aims.

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