Throughout sports history we find countless stories of underdogs. What is an underdog? An underdog is a team with maybe not as good of a record, not as many talented athletes, or just a flat out worse team than the opponent they are facing. So an underdog is most times expected to lose. Not worth as much as the opponent and no high expectations of them. Here are some examples of underdogs in sports history that defied all odds.
- Rulon Gardner defeating Alexander Karelin in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Perhaps some of you recall how Karelin was a sure lock for the gold medal. Rulon Gardner's only claim to fame was an Junior College championship and a 4th place in the NCAA tournament. Gardner, a Wyoming native, defeated Alexander 1-0 and claimed his gold medal.
- I'm sure many of you remember the 2004 ALCS between the Yankees and the Red Sox. Now the Red Sox weren't necessarily an underdog to begin with. Both teams had many good players. But the Yankees in a 7 game series won the first 3 games only needing to win one more to win the series and advance. The Red Sox than became a HUGE underdog. It had never before been done in the game of baseball for a team to come back in a series and win after being down 3-0. Do you think this stopped the Red Sox from trying? The Red Sox kept hope (I think) and never gave up. They came back to win the series and became the first team to ever come back from that kind of deficit.
- Last but not least Super Bowl XLII. This game featured the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. The Patriots were favored by 12 points to win the game. The New York Giants were a giant underdog. The Patriots were the first team since the 72 Miami Dolphins to complete the regular season without a loss. Clearly the Patriots were going to win right? The New York Giants, against all odds, won Super Bowl XLII 17-14 and the game was known as (arguably) one of the greatest upsets of all time.
Now what on earth did any of that have to do with the Atonement? Have you ever felt like you were an underdog in life? Anything you did just wasn't good enough? I'm sure these underdog teams felt that maybe they couldn't do it. Sometimes they had those doubts. But in life there is always hope. No matter how low you are or have gone. The Savior and his Atonement cover all that is unfair about life. Many times in my life I have felt like these underdog teams. How do you think the Savior felt in the garden of Gethsemane knowing exactly what he had to do? I doubt it was easy for him, but he prevailed. He felt anything and everything we have all gone through. While going through this process he went to the low of lows. He descended below all things but yet, he prevailed. Because he did that, when we reach our low of lows, when we feel we've hit rock bottom, we can have him on our team. He can be our team captain and help us through these times. The Savior is the all-time MVP so why not put him on your team? It is my humble testimony that the Atonement of Jesus Christ covers everything that is unfair in life. We all have our times of trouble and turmoil. But the Savior and his Atonement cover it all. So when you think your an underdog and just can't win, my message to you is that you can. Don't ever give up hope, don't ever quit, because the Savior never did. In the sacred name of him who conquered all, Jesus Christ, Amen.