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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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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

      Read more »

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