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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

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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