What is it about underdog that excites us? Given a choice, why do we always opt to support the underdog? Why is there this innate allegiance with someone who generally finds it tough to make it big in his/her domain? Why do we just love seeing the big guys being toppled by toddlers?
In India, people are bogged down by the government, the traffic, their spouses, their bosses and by life in general. The common man feels burdened by these strong forces that govern him/her. Any outlet, and they cling onto it, lust for it, try savouring it for the rest of their life. Sport for many has been that outlet all along. A way to let the emotions flow, a way to get the adrenaline pumping, a way to feel alive. And when they see a player/team, down in the dumps, fighting tooth and nail against the strong forces, they tend to relate to them.
The most romantic stories in sport are those when these underdogs beat all odds to emerge triumphant. And people relate to it, as they see themselves, underdogs in their own field, emerging victorious as well.
Aizawl FC’s Leicester City like victory is probably the most romantic moment in Indian Football. A club that was relegated last season, only to be drafted back into the top division, as two Goan clubs pulled out, is now at the helm of Indian Football.
They drew(1-1) their final league game against Shillong Lajong to become the first club from the North-East to be crowned champions of the I-League. Aizawl needed one point from their final fixture to emerge champions and they did it in the most dramatic of fashions.
Lajong took an early lead, when Asier Pierrick Dipanda nicked in a header from close range to make things tricky for the Aizawl side. A sea of attacks were then constructed by the highly dominant Aizawl side, as they finally broke the deadlock in the 67th minute through William Lalnunfela.
Aizawl’s victory is inspiring and healthy for Indian Football, as a club that wasn’t even in contention to play the I-League has worked up the ranks and stayed consistent all through the season. It is a huge step in Indian football, a story that could inspire more young individuals to take up the sport.
Hopefully the ‘underdog’ common man comes across this story, compares it to his own, embraces it and starts watching Indian Football.
Aizawl FC wins the I league! Super super story! Well done Mizoram, you are the new home of Indian football! @IndiaToday
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) April 30, 2017
What an inspirational story of Aizawl FC winning the I league ! Focus on the North east , the next champs in other sports are hidden here!
— Vikram Sathaye (@vikramsathaye) May 1, 2017
Amidst the cricket, put your hands together for #AizawlFC.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 22, 2017
— Shaji Prabhakaran (@Shaji4Football) April 30, 2017