A few weeks ago,while we were live on air on a sports programme I regularly participate in, the anchor of the programme asked all four of us who were in the analyst seats a question, “who do you think the best football coach in the world is? In response, two people went with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, one other person supported Bayern gaffer Pep Guardiola, as for me, my choice was Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti. One thing I found interesting about the choices the four of us made, was that our choices were managers of the richest football clubs in the world. These are clubs with huge revenue bases, “Sugar Daddy” clubs so to speak. Pep Guardiola has managed only two football clubs in his career, FC Barcelona and FC Bayern. since he left FC Porto in 2002 Jose Mourinho has managed the richest clubs on the planet. Even my choice Carlo Ancelotti has managed AC Milan, when they were one of the richest clubs in the world, Roman Abrahamovic’s Chelsea FC, oil Rich PSG and now he is in charge of Real Madrid, easily the richest football club in the world today. Why are managers of big clubs often the ones that take the awards, where are the Diego Simeones, the Jurgen Klopps, the underdog managers who perform wonders on shoestring budgets? Will there ever be a time, when a “David” manager will finally challenge these “Goliaths” and prove that the underdog myth is really true? Well sorry to burst your bubble, the underdog myth is bullshit, the Goliaths will continue to take all the trophies and the awards, while all the Davids can hope for is the occasional good performance.
Speaking of David and Goliath, I think that biblical story, which has become the classic example of the underdog myth today, is the most bullshit example of the underdog story. According to the story, Goliath was a three metre tall philistine, a battle hardened veteran who loomed over everybody else and made even Saul the King of Israel shit his pants in terror, while David was the ruddy cheeked boy of barely fifteen, who was actually in charge of sheep and wasn’t old or strong enough to join the army in the first place. He wasn’t even strong enough to wear armour. On paper, the battle was a gross mismatch, and all was set for Goliath to break David in two like a broomstick. However against all odds David managed to beat Goliath with a stone to the forehead and thus became the story that is used to encourage, anybody who finds himself up against a huge obstacle in his endeavour. But I want the motion that says using that story as an underdog story is bullshit and I am supported by 1st Samuel 17:45 which says that Goliath was not even up against David, he was up against God, and you can hardly call God an underdog can you? In fact I will even argue that Goliath was the underdog here given that he was up against two entities, the boy who slung the stone at him and the omnipotent entity that was backing the boy up, now given that 1st Samuel 17:8 says Goliath specifically called for one man, one can, after a few drinks, technically call that “cheating” (God can’t cheat you rotten drunken infidel) I know Goliath abused God and all that, but still, two entities against one man? That story should not be used as an underdog story but to illustrate the assertion that “you can only win if you get the required help.”
Now the current fun thing to do on social media is abuse Linda Ikeji and even God knows I will never carry last when it comes to having fun. One thing we all agree upon is that she has changed the face of blogging in Nigeria, but to suggest that she “started from the bottom” would be stretching the truth a bit. Here was someone who had been a model before she became a blogger, and no one can argue that being a model (the money, the contacts and the fine figure and face) is an enormous head start in the blogging business especially in the kind of blogging she does, not like us small time writers who like John the Baptist in are like lone voices in the wilderness, churning out locusts and wild honey (compared to the juicy gossip she offers) and generally being ugly and having zero social life. This is why I find the defence she put up on her blog amusing, “of course Aunty Linda, we don’t pity you (or maybe I don’t), it is not as if you are one underdog blogger being oppressed by a bully or something.” I could go on and on Bill Gates, Mark Zukerberg, Aliko Dangote, any rich person you know, they have all had help like David. You can google them at your own leisure if you are the mood
When I call out bullshit on underdog myths, I like to tell this story. Some years ago a small time underdog club rose from obscurity and started beating anybody that stood in their way for two years they did the rubbing shoulders with the best of the best thing, until their big bad neighbour known as FC Bayern got bored of their presence. The evil Goliath neighbour lured away the best players of this small underdog club, spoiled their party and sent them right back to StrugglingClubVille
The Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) has over 200 members, but only eight have ever won the FIFA World Cup. Of the eight, five are forced to share seven titles while only three have won thirteen between them and title number 21 which will be up for grabs in about four years, is likely to be won by one of the eight, where then will the David come from that can beat all these Goliaths?
So what have we learnt today folks? The underdog myth is bull shit, everybody who opens his mouth to call himself a “self made man” is a self made liar. And nobody who “started from the bottom” ever “gets to the top” unless he gets some big time help along the way