Underdog stories are fun since they remind the average person that life isn’t set and that things can happen to topple those that are at the top of their game and think they’re untouchable. Unfortunately, this also means that, sometimes, people view those who have earned their place at the top as arrogant, ignorant, and as the bad guy. The truth of the matter is that underdogs aren’t always those who are overlooked and taken for granted.
Sometimes, underdogs are those who have little to no chance because they don’t want to do the work but have all the passion in the world. Passion on its own doesn’t mean much of anything, especially when it comes to existing at the top of your desired field of expertise. It doesn’t matter if you want it since, to be realistic, no one is going to give a person what they want since they haven’t earned it and therefore don’t deserve it. The underdogs in the movies and TV can and do gain meaningful victories to inspire and motivate people, but in the real world, it’s not always that simple.
Here are five ways that underdog movies are unrealistic.
5. These stories happen, but they’re far rarer than the movies and TV depict.
It can and does happen that underdogs get to win the day and show that they’re not as easy to beat as many thinks, but the fact is that they’re still rare occurrences that get the type of attention they do because they’re not as bound to happen as the movies make us think. Underdog wins are great to watch and to think about, but at the same time, they’re not as bound to happen since, like it or not, those at the top of pretty much anything have usually done the work and put in the time and effort to make sure that they can reach the top. While those at the top aren’t always the best people, the fact is they still put in the work to get there.
4. Passion combined with hard work usually beats passion alone.
It’s great to be passionate about something you love, be it sports, acting, writing, whatever. But if you’re not willing to do the work, then the passion isn’t going to be enough. A person can want something all night and day, but if they’re not going to do what is needed to make that passion work for them, then it’s like having a basket of grapes and wanting a bottle of wine.
In the movies, passion is usually one of the driving forces behind anything, but those that truly succeed are those who are seen to break their bodies and stretch their willpower to the breaking point. Hard work is what’s needed to make sure that passion gets its chance to shine since, without it, passion can burn a person up from the inside or fade out slowly and painfully.
3. Telling people to be passionate about what they do is great, but it’s better that they learn through hard work.
There are a lot of people who will talk up another person’s passion over and over, telling them that yes, they want what they want, that this person needs to do this, to do that, and that they’ll be successful one day. But then again, there are those who will discourage the type of passion that people want to express and build upon, stating that it’s just a silly dream and that hard work is the only way to get anywhere in life. The funny thing is that both sides would be right since hard work is the way to get somewhere, but holding onto one’s passion along the way is difficult, but also vital to enjoying what a person works so hard to attain.
2. The movies and TV shows aren’t realistic since they depend heavily on highly skilled individuals to beat themselves.
Take a look at some of the most popular underdog movies, and you’ll see that the people at the top of their respective fields tend to do more damage to themselves than the underdogs do. Sports movies are notorious for this since Rocky depicts a man that had no ambition and no shot at anything better until Apollo Creed decided to let his ego take over. When compared to the story of Daniel Ruettiger, the inspiration for the movie Rudy, Rocky is still inspirational, but it’s not nearly as realistic since, in each movie, Rocky was undeniably tough, but his opponents tended to underestimate him far too often, meaning that he won because they had already weakened themselves in a very big way.
1. Such stories create a huge imbalance in the idea of the best candidates getting their deserved shot.
A lot of people are going to be the underdog in life at some point, but what happens is that those few that do the work and actually attain their goal will become a part of the status quo that they looked up at one point because they’ll have worked hard and earned what they wanted. Those who aren’t willing to go the extra mile will either settle into a rhythm that works for them or will end up bemoaning why they didn’t get their chance or their shot.
The idea of becoming the best means that one is willing to do whatever it takes to be the best, but the issue with an underdog story, at times, is that some believe that passion will get them what they want without the needed skill that goes with it. The idea that hard work isn’t needed to make one’s passion bear fruit is an idea that’s cropping up in quite a few movies and shows these days, and it’s a bad habit that implies that passion is all that’s needed to win, and that skill and hard work are overrated.