In Chinese culture, each year is assigned one of 12 animals, and January 23, 2012 through February 10, 2013 is designated the Year of the Dragon. But with all that's been going on in sports, China might have to add to their tradition and call November 10 through November 19 the Week of the Underdog.
Saturday, November 10, 2012: Texas A&M upsets Alabama 29-24. A collective gasp could be heard from the college football faithful when they realized a team that's not from the SEC just might end up hoisting the crystal football come January.
But the upsets were far from over even after the universe's top-ranked college football team fell. The same guy who left his job as head coach of the New York Knicks earlier in the year wound up getting the head coaching job of the team with the second-most NBA titles, as announced via press release on Monday. And to become coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Mike D'Antoni had to beat out Phil Jackson, a guy who has never coached a team to an NBA championship finishing ahead of somebody who has more rings than fingers ... even if you count thumbs.
Then Tuesday night rolled around. Dreary, eventless, Tuesday night. The middle of the week. But in a time when anybody can come out on top at any time, there's no reason Tuesday night couldn't be exciting, especially when ... Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buerhle were traded to the Blue Jays!? Listless Toronto, the team from North of the Border that hasn't even won a division title since 1993, suddenly picks up three former all-stars in one shot.
And there's a chance this epic win streak of the underdog, a streak King Leonidas himself would have trouble matching, won't come to an end for at least another few days. Four NFL starting quarterbacks were hurt in this past weekend's slate of pro football games, making it possible that the likes of Byron Leftwich (Steelers), Nick Foles (Eagles), and/or Jason Campbell (Bears) will take the field this weekend. (And it has already been reported that Leftwich will in fact start in place of Ben Roethlisberger this weekend).
Yes, this streak has to end. Order will restore itself. Alabama will go back to winning, the starting QBs in the NFL will heal and re-take the field, and there's a good chance Toronto will still finish third or fourth in the AL East next season.
But for a few days, the underdog was the champion. So stand up and rejoice, sports fans. (Unless you happen to want the Tide to Roll, or miss Phil Jackson, or, like me, are a fan of New York Yankees). The Week of the Underdog has arrived.