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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” team  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

    • Archie Griffin: 2-Time Heisman Winner
      December 11, 2022 | 1:42 pm
      Archie Griffin

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is the only football player ever to capture college football’s top individual award twice.

      As a star running back for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Archie Griffin claimed the Heisman Trophy during his junior season in 1974 and then was able to repeat the honor the following season.

      Griffin joined the Buckeyes for the 1972 season, which happened to be the first in which freshmen were eligible to play varsity football, and made an immediate impact. After fumbling in his only carry of his first game, Griffin more than made up for it in his second game by rushing for 237 yards against North Carolina. By the end of the season, Griffin had rushed for 867 yards.

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