By Diane Forrest,
I just finished watching another holiday movie on Hallmark. The movie was about a young man who went to his girlfriend's family's farm to meet her family before proposing to her. The young man was a lawyer from the city, and the young woman was from a farm in the Midwest. Once he arrived in her home town he learned there was a local man also vying for her attention. In order to prove his worthiness to her family, he had "compete" in all types of farm life experiences. Even though the challenges were difficult, he was able to overcome the obstacles and win the respect of the young lady's father and the rest of the family.
Movies like that are so inspirational. When you see the underdog able to accomplish things they never thought possible it makes you think that you too can accomplish goals that seem out of reach. The term underdog is believed to come from the shipbuilding industry. Planks of wood were referred to as dogs and, as they were placed, one man had to supervise from above while another, the underdog, stood in the dark pit below, covered in dirt and sawdust.
Today when we use the word Underdog, we think of a participant in a fight, conflict, or game who is not expected to win, much like Rocky, in the boxing movies, or Daniel Larusso in the Karate Kid movies. You find yourself cheering for the one who has the least chance, and in the end they pull through for the win.
Underdog was also the name of a cartoon super hero. His phrases were "Never fear! Underdog is here!" and "Here I am to save the day".
Today is National Underdog Day. It was established in 1976 to keep unlikely heroes in mind. So today we salute the underdogs who work just as hard as the heroes, but are never expected to make it out of the pit.