Rooting for the Underdog: Little Guys Who Came Out On Top

They say you can’t keep a good man (or woman) down but why are we so obsessed with the underdog? Is it because we respect perseverance? Or watching someone else’s follies make us feel better about our own? Maybe we relate to their struggles and see a piece of ourselves in them? Anyone who’s had to overcome adversity and call on inner strength has a lot of underdog inside. Whatever reason you love an underdog, we’re right there with you. Get all the feels by watching some of these underdogs rise up.  

‘Legally Blonde’

Elle Woods- the feminist underdog. One of the biggest underdogs of all time is Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, played by Reese Witherspoon. After being dumped by her hot jock boyfriend, Elle follows the hot jock (whose insides are ugly) to Harvard law school to win him back. However, plans take a turn when she is faced with discrimination and public embarrassment by professors and peers because of her overtly feminine style. When all odds are placed against Elle at Harvard we assume she is going to give up and drop out except she works harder and becomes motivated to prove them wrong. Why do we love this feminist underdog? Elle doesn’t get discouraged and she never quits. She proves determination and self love will always win. She comes out on top and screams from the rooftops women can be and do whatever they want and wear whatever they want doing it. Thank you Elle Woods, we celebrate you! Make it a perfect day and watch Legally Blonde.

‘Erin Brockovich’

A story about an underdog, fighting for the underdogs. The movie is a dramatization of the real life Erin Brockovich played by America’s sweetheart, Julia Roberts. Erin is a struggling, single mother down on her luck. She gets a job working at an attorney’s office where she uncovers a major scandal within a water corporation who is lying and poisoning the town’s local residents. Since Erin comes from a similar blue collar background, she is able to connect with the victims whose lives are at risk due to this cover up. Erin is up against several factors: not being taken seriously in her profession and fighting big money. Erin has no choice but to throw herself into work while her personal life suffers; it seems all is lost. The underdog rises and we love to see her come out victorious. From barely being able to feed her child to uncovering the biggest environmental crime in history, Erin Brockovich starts at the bottom but comes out on top along with the many people whose lives she helped. If your background has ever limited your opportunities, get inspired and watch Erin take on “the man.”


“Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!” Based on a true story, Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger, was a 5’6 semi-athletic kid with a learning disability who dreamed of playing football for The University of Notre Dame. He was told he was too small and too dumb to play college football, he recounts “My whole life, people have been telling me what I could do and couldn’t do. I’ve always listened to ’em, believed in what they said. I don’t wanna do that anymore.” This film has a beautiful way of showing us how much other people’s doubts have a way of defining us but only if we let it. The turning point for Rudy happens when he realizes he is the master of his own destiny. He becomes laser focused on believing in himself, training harder than anyone and he gets his chance (three chances) to play with the fighting Irish. Rudy proves someone who seemingly has no chance at making their dream a reality but still finds a way has inspired millions. Rudy’s story can be applied to many aspects of our lives and remember, “it’s always too soon to quit.”

Don’t quit on our love for Rudy yet! Watch our favorite football analytics expert, Cynthia Frelund, tell us why Rudy is her favorite movie of all time in Shameless Promotion from the DIRECTV STUDIO.

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