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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Don’t get upset over upsets

    You know what’s more annoying than Carlos Mencia? OK, almost as annoying?

    The ridiculous amount of media hype that has come from Appalachian State’s win over then-No. 5 Michigan to kick off this year’s college football season.

    If a 400-pound sumo wrestler gets tipped over by a sack of bones weighing in at 150 pounds soaking wet, it doesn’t make the wee-man invincible.

    Yeah, a low-grade team beat a powerhouse in the Big House, but it wasn’t Armageddon. The dinosaurs aren’t coming back and pigs still don’t fly.

    So the Mountaineers got lucky. It doesn’t mean that automatically the Division I-AA team is now the best in the nation.

    “”Watching them on film, we thought, this is a great team, but not invincible,”” Mountaineer defensive back Corey Lynch told Sports Illustrated. “”We respected them a lot, but we knew we could play with them.””

    Ah, there lies the rub. An upset may place a team or an individual on the same plane as its opponent, but for only one game. And in no way does it place the underdog on the same plane for any extended amount of time. Its luck will run out.

    Upsets in sports are nothing to get upset over. An upset – where a highly ranked and respected team is beaten by a team on the opposite end of the totem pole – is an example of good luck and good timing.

    If a 400-pound sumo wrestler gets tipped over by a sack of bones weighing in at 150 pounds soaking wet, it doesn’t make the wee-man invincible. With odds against the underdog, it’s an upset, no question, but is it enough to declare that lightweight the best wrestler in the word?

    No way, Jose.

    The sack of bones in the sumo ring may have pushed the 400-pounder at just the right angle and the exact time when the mammoth’s balance was a fraction off. Lynch timed his jump just right when he blocked the potential tying field goal in the ASU-Michigan game. Good fortune plays a large role in both cases.

    With the Arizona soccer team upset of No. 3 Texas Sunday night, the Wildcats automatically became the best team in America, right?


    Arizona goalkeeper Danielle Nicolai timed her dives perfectly and set herself up in the right position, saving five shots. Her luck was just better than Dianna Pfenninger, the Longhorns’ goalie.

    Not to take away from the play of athletes when they manage to outplay their opponents, but if the underdog is just that – an underdog – there must be a lucky rabbit’s foot in someone’s pocket, or the better team had an off-day.

    When the Arizona football team upset then-No. 8 California 24-20 on Homecoming last season, Antoine Cason happened to be in the right spot when he intercepted a pass from Golden Bears’ quarterback Nate Longshore to score the winning touchdown. It doesn’t mean that Cason is a bad player, but the Wildcats were clearly the little brother of the matchup. Arizona finished the season 6-6 and California ended up 10-3.

    As for Mencia? His rabbit’s foot can’t seem to go bad.

    Just my luck.

    Lance Madden is a journalism sophomore. He can be reached at

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