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Sports Then and Now



Sports, Spirituality, and the Role of the Underdog 1

Posted on September 16, 2009 by John Wingspread Howell
There will always be a place for underdogs, like the New York Jets in Super Bowl III, in sports.

There will always be a place for underdogs, like the New York Jets in Super Bowl III, in sports.

There’s more to life than sports, for sure, but there’s more to sports than sports…

There’s a lot of life in sports. As a theologian, psychologist, author and more recently also a financial strategist, I have identified the psycho-spiritual-political dimensions of rooting for the underdog, being the underdog, and the ways in which spirituality, psychology, and even irrational belief can trump size, talent, and win/loss records, and how these dynamics and principles can be useful in the quest for success and victory at various levels and in various arenas, not the least of which, economic.

Any sports fan knows there’s a reason the “worst” team vs. the “best” teamĀ  still have to play the game. There is a reason why upsets occur, more often than we might think, and why sports pundits and odds makers who ignore the intangible factors in a match-up, do so at their peril.

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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month won a Bronze Star in Vietnam before going on to win American League Rookie of the Year honors and playing 14 seasons in the Major Leagues.

      Though only 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, Al Bumbry was a four-year basketball player at Virginia State College (now University). The school restarted its baseball program during his career and Bumbry hit .578 during his senior season to earn notice from the Baltimore Orioles, who picked him in the 11th round of the MLB Draft.

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