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  • Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC

  • Learning English. I'm Neil.

  • And I'm Georgie.

  • Whether it's Cinderella,

  • David and Goliath or the Rocky movies,

  • we all love an underdog story.

  • The underdog in a situation is the person who seems least likely to win,

  • nevertheless, with some luck

  • and plenty of hard work the underdog sometimes ends up the winner.

  • Sport is full of underdog stories -

  • minor teams and sports people who play with courage

  • and end up beating the superstars and multi-million pound clubs.

  • But if you were given a choice between your team being the favourite

  • to win or being the underdog,

  • it's pretty obvious you'd want to be the favourite, right?

  • Well yes,

  • being the favourite gives the team confidence, but maybe the fact that

  • no-one expects the underdog to win is actually an advantage

  • which could help them to a surprise victory. In this programme,

  • we'll be hearing about an underdog

  • football club, doing just that

  • and as usual, we'll be learning some useful new vocabulary, too.

  • Great. But first I have a question for you, Georgie.

  • One of the biggest underdog stories in sports history

  • happened in the 2015-16 English football season

  • when a little known club beat top clubs like Manchester City and Liverpool

  • overcoming odds of 5000-1 to win the Premier League,

  • but which club was it? a) Charlton Athletic

  • b) Leicester City or c) Crystal Palace?

  • I'll guess it was Crystal Palace.

  • OK Georgie,

  • I'll reveal the correct answer at the end of the programme.

  • The English football Premier League is a good place to find underdogs.

  • Each season the three best clubs in their second league are promoted up

  • while the three weakest Premier League clubs are relegated down.

  • One club that knows all about relegation is Luton Town FC.

  • In 2009,

  • Luton Town were relegated entirely from the English league.

  • Slowly, their fortunes improved

  • however, and they have now become the first English team to progress from non-league

  • to the Premier League.

  • Here's Luton fan, Alex, talking about his team's chances to BBC radio programme,

  • Mental Muscle:

  • But some of these Elite Premier League clubs will look down their nose at us

  • and just think we shouldn't be there, and we are there on merit

  • and we've just gotta prove it this season.

  • So we are the underdog, certainly, financially, but on the pitch

  • I don't think we will be.

  • Alex thinks

  • some of the rich Premier League clubs will look down their noses at Luton.

  • If you look down your nose at someone, you think you're better than them.

  • But underdogs Luton have done better than expected,

  • even beating some of the big clubs like Newcastle United.

  • The question is how?

  • Is there something about being the underdog

  • that improves a team's chances of winning?

  • To answer that sports psychologist,

  • Gillian Cook, spoke to BBC

  • Radio programme Mental Muscle.

  • So, you could find that when

  • the newly-promoted team comes up,

  • they've got high confidence because they've just come

  • from a season of winning -

  • so they've got the belief that they can do it.

  • But on the flip side,

  • it's just as important to look at the top dogs' performance

  • who everyone expects them to win they're playing the newly-promoted team.

  • So we might think of Man City

  • who might be about to come up against Luton Town.

  • So, what we can see from that is what in psychology literature

  • is known as choking and that's

  • when pressure gets to an individual or a team and they underperform.

  • Clubs newly promoted to the Premier League are used to winning

  • and start the season confidently. On the flip side,

  • they have to play much stronger teams than before. The phrase 'on the flip side'

  • is used to show the opposite, less positive side of something.

  • Of course it's not just the underdog playing, there are also top dogs,

  • the most successful or powerful person or team.

  • No-one expects underdogs to win

  • and this gives them freedom to relax and play naturally.

  • Top dogs, on the other hand, experience a lot of expectation,

  • and this sometimes leads to 'choking',

  • a sports term which describes the failure of a player to perform

  • their best because of psychological pressure or social expectation.

  • Choking causes teams and players to underperform,

  • to perform worse than expected. It is also true that neutral fans -

  • people watching a match when their team isn't playing

  • - tend to support the underdog as well.

  • In football, it's tough at the top.

  • I think it's time to reveal the answer to your question, Neil.

  • You asked me about the famous Premiere League winning underdogs

  • of the 2015-16 football season

  • and I guessed it was Crystal Palace.

  • Which was the wrong answer,

  • I'm afraid, Georgie. In fact, it was Leicester City, nicknamed

  • the foxes, who became the unexpected champions of the Premier League.

  • OK, let's recap the vocabulary

  • we've learned from this programme about the underdog,

  • the person in a competition or situation who seems least likely to win.

  • If you look down your nose at someone, you think you are superior to them.

  • The phrase 'on the flip side', is used to show the opposite, less positive

  • or less popular side of something. 'The top dog' is an informal way

  • of saying the most successful or powerful person in a group.

  • In sports, choking happens when a player or team fail to perform their best

  • because of psychological pressure or social expectation.

  • And finally, the verb 'to underperform' means to perform worse than expected.

  • Once again, our six minutes are up.

  • Remember to join us again next time

  • for more topical discussion and useful vocabulary, here at 6 Minute

  • English. Goodbye for now! Bye!

Hello. This is 6 Minute English from BBC

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Why everyone loves the underdog ⏲️ 6 Minute English

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    VoiceTube staff 發佈於 2024 年 03 月 28 日
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