How Do Football Players Know They're Underdogs?

How Do Football Players Know They're Underdogs?


How Do Football Players Know They're Underdogs?


It’s us against the world. No one believes in us. No one gives us a chance. These rallying cries in the football world are so common that they’ve largely lost all meaning. Heck, Nick Saban does it with his Alabama team. Alabama!

Everyone likes to enter a game believing they are the perceived underdog — even heavy favorites. It provides an edge, a talking point, a hater to prove wrong. I now have just one quick question about this phenomenon. How do the players know they are in this role?

Based on Tony Romo’s comments to SI’s Jimmy Traina yesterday, point spread talk never makes it into the locker room.

It’s difficult to believe that in 2018 with a deluge of gambling and gambling-adjacent content in sports media that players don’t come across the lines. Maybe they’re too focused on preparing physically to hear Bill Simmons and Cousin Sal guess the lines, or tune into Colin Cowherd’s Blazing Five, or field a call from a degenerate fan looking for some insight on why the Dolphins are laying six points at home.

If true, it begs the question: how do they know when to feel disrespected and when to feel properly respected? How do they even know they’re underdogs?

The mind reels. It’s possible a coach could tell them absent of specifics. But then the player wouldn’t know if the media thought they’d be losing by one touchdown or two. There’s a significant difference in motivation there.

What a weird sport.

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