"The Underdog"

In one incredibly lucky, completely unexpected evening, my bank account grew $100,000. For the past seven years, I have foolishly chosen the bottom-ranked team to win the NCAA tournament with the childishly optimistic hope the underdog is bound to come out on top eventually. Thank you Fordham University women’s basketball. Thank you for losing nineteen straight games only to make a Disney-style comeback at the end of your season. Thank you for allowing me to retire from my dead-end job as a greasy auto-mechanic.

Thank you Samantha Wallace for being the only senior on your team. Thank you for mentoring your younger teammates and offering them sweet midwest hospitality the way only girls from Kansas can. Thank you for not giving up when winning seemed like a distant memory from your freshman year.

Thank you Angela DeAngeles for your overly girlish appearance, which tricked opponents into underestimating your intensity on the court. Thank you for straightening your hair and applying makeup before every game. Thank you for being a WASP from Staten Island with the attitude of an inmate from Riker’s island.

Thank you Taleisha Thompson for being freakishly tall and strong. Thank you for being a total bitch to your rivals, throwing elbows and spouting obscenities. Thank you for being an example of a butch lesbian who always gets what she wants.

Thank you Sarah Ortoff for being a basketball goddess. Thank you for showing quiet girls are skilled. Thank you for practically never missing a shot. Thank you for pulling down nearly every rebound and hitting all your free throws. Thank you for playing with such grace and skill opponents are tempted to stop the game to marvel. Thank you Galina Georgaklis for filling the fifth starting spot. Thank you for running back and forth, knowing nobody will give you the ball. Thank you for guarding the other team, knowing they would get past you, but stopped by another teammate. Thank you for sucking, but acknowledging your lack of skill and allowing the others to pick up your slack.

Thank you Lady Rams. Thank you for not allowing me to waste $100 again this year. Thank you for sparing me from having to tell my boyfriend I spent the week’s grocery money gambling. Thank you for finally helping me move out of a rented ranch and into an owned split-level. Thank you for the 1967 red V-8 convertible Camaro I will be purchasing tomorrow. Thank you for defying the odds. Thank you for restoring my faith in the little guy.