Pinky Pie

Underdog, Butler & Me

Posted on: April 6, 2010

“There’s no need to fear,

Underdog is here!”

We all need an Underdog hero

Those were the words that Underdog – the secret identity of the lovable dog character, Shoeshine Boy – announced upon arrival.

In 124 episodes between 1964 to 1973, Sweet Polly Burebread and Capitol City often needed regular rescuing from Simon Bar Sinister. Any  any of us would need that assistance t fight off a cartoon character with a name like that?

As one plot summary for Underdog put it on ImDB, the internet movie database: “The story begins with a normal, bumbling everyday watchdog beagle named Shoeshine who gets exposed to a substance that gives him the powers of a superhero. And not to mention the ability to speak during an accident.”

I thought of Underdog as I watched and rooted Butler University play last night for the national championship in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Please don’t tell my friend, Paige, but I also rooted for the Butler Bull (under)Dogs Friday night against Michigan State. That may come as a big surprise to some because I started my college career at Michigan State. I finished at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and my kids go/went to the University of Minnesota.

It’s the underdog concept; I love to root for a “Cinderella” team, one no one expected to get that far in the tournament. It’s why if I lived in New York, I would never be a Yankee fan. Duke is such an overdog, who wants to see it win again and again? It did.

My good childhood buddy was in the unusual position of having daughters at two colleges in the tournament – Kansas and Butler. Laurie rooted for both, but expected Kansas not Butler to be playing Monday night.

Who didn’t? As a tournament commenter said when the No. 1 ranked Kansas lost to Northern Iowa, “That’s the sound of people tearing up their brackets.”

Including me. I picked Kansas to take it all and not just because my son in law and so many of his friends are alumni. KU was ranked number one in the nation for most of the season.

I was so excited about the possibility of another Kansas NCAA win that I planned my first trip post cancer treatment to visit my daughter and her husband in suburban Kansas City for the Final Four Weekend. Two years ago I was in Kansas City the weekend of the final four when KU won. I knew I wanted that experience again.

Need more convincing? Here’s a quote from the cartoon:

Small Boy: Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird.
Woman: It’s a plane.
Man: It’s a frog.
Crowd: A frog?
Shoeshine Boy: It’s not a bird, or a plane, or ev
en frog. It’s just little old me, Underdog.

I couldn’t have said it better.

Need more inspiration to root for the underdog? Here’s the cartoon theme song:

When criminals in this world appear,

Underdog! (Underdog!)

And break the laws that they should fear,

And frighten all who see or hear,

The cry goes up both far and near for…


4 Responses to "Underdog, Butler & Me"

The Butler Bulldogs are still champions! Look what they accomplished with a tiny school, tiny budget and big hearts!

I totally agree. It’s heartwarming.

I’ll let it slide that you were cheering for Butler. My 97 year old grandma was cheering for Butler and then heckled me when I called her after the game. That doesn’t happen often. 🙂

How did you find out? I specifically wrote for you not to know. 🙂

Isabel was harassing you? Oh that’s right. She’s from Indianapolis.

This was the craziest tourney this year. But on to next year …

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