If there is one thing I have learned in my 30-odd years on planet Earth, it’s that everyone loves an underdog. Whether that is Leicester City defying all odds to claim the Premier League title in 2016, the proverbial ‘Miracle on Ice’ at the 1980 Winter Games or Casey Donovon snatching the 2004 Australian Idol trophy right from Anthony Callea’s heavily favoured hands, there’s just something compelling about an upset. When you think about it, David versus Goliath battles have captivated audiences since, well, biblical times.
As a storyteller myself, these little wins are the nuggets of gold you search for. When the narrative is set and the outcome feels all but pre-determined, you look into the eye of the challenger for that one glimmer of hope. Occasionally, you find it.
When the Matildas ran onto Suncorp Stadium on August 12, the whole world saw it too. A team full of underdogs, without their star player, taking on the might of the much-feared French national squad, the Aussie legends put the weight of a nation on their shoulders and came out on top. The explosive penalty shootout didn’t just secure a Matildas victory, but also a legion of new fans, of which I am proud to call myself one. Underdogs no more, the adoration has been hard-earned.
The same cannot be said for Fyre Fest founder Billy McFarland. This month, the contentious entrepreneur announced the surprise return of his ill-fated music festival and the social media response was savage. It appears not all comebacks are worthy of commendation.
From success on the pitch to controversial returns off it, August was a month of sweet highs and schadenfreude-inducing lows, but there was much to celebrate. The Man of Many team found ourselves taken with Volkswagen’s overachieving Passat 20TSI R-Line, enamoured by the world’s top watch producers and intrigued by the Tulsa King redemption arc. Watching Sylvester Stallone tear up the screen as the hardened criminal trying to get back on top, I was again reminded of just how mesmerising the comeback trail is.
Come to think of it, has there ever been a better underdog story than Rocky?
Editor-in-Chief, Man of Many
Featured Video from Man of Many