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Why Is It So Compelling To Watch Big Teams Choke?

2016 Warriors, meet 2018 Germany!
by Ash Mahinay | Jun 29, 2018
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The World Cup group stage is often a procession wherein the big teams inevitably move on to the next round at the expense of the smaller nations, but every now and then you get major exceptions. This year's victim? Germany, who just so happened to win the 2014 World Cup. It's something approaching a winner's curse at this rate—the 1998, 2006, and 2010 holders all crashed out in the group stages as well. After underwhelming in their first two games, Germany needed a win against bottom-placed South Korea to get out, and they lost 2-0 in dramatic fashion. Cue one million hot takes, memes, and lols at their failure.

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It's a very familiar reaction: big team loses, we lose our minds. Meanwhile, if small team loses, life goes on as normal. We can think of several reasons why we love to watch teams choke, from simple sporting concepts to bad blood mindsets.

We don't like repeat winners

Whenever a team dominates, they instantly become everyone's target for next season. Probably because a "competitive" league needs contenders and having the same team (ahem, Eastern Conference) win all the damn time becomes tiresome really, really quick—aside from their fanbase of course—so we eagerly await someone to knock them off their perch.

We think champions are "mayabang" so they need to be humbled

Cockiness deserves some comeuppance! This is also why that 3-1 was so enjoyable, it gave off this aura of "Ha! Kala niyo ah" with all of Steph Curry's posturing and Green mouthing off—they really needed to be shut up.

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We also don't like teams becoming "too good"

Which is why something like KD to the Warriors was also so problematic. Stack your talent too high and people get turned off real quick. Germany looked like a solid unit—perhaps too solid—going into this cup and it was a relief when they shit the bed.


We love underdog wins

Pinoys love underdogs, and any team that goes up against a reigning champ is automatically the David to their Goliath. It is deeply satisfying and relatable whenever a team comes from behind at the expense of a favored opponent. Maybe we're projecting our nation's inferiority complex into sports?

We want revenge

On their way to the big win, the champs have undoubtedly trampled over your favorite team in the process, so that means every single fan that ever lost to them is going to have a nice satisfying laugh because now their win over your team is empty and meaningless (not really though).

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This doesn't erase your 7-1 loss to them you know

We simply enjoy watching successful people FAIL

This mindset is honestly not limited to sports. When a team or person is flush on success, the green monster inside us wishes for them to fall down hard because why do they get all the luck while have a shitty life, right? Is this what they call crab mentality? We say yes.

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