Friday, March 31, 2006

David vs. Goliath, or how Geoge Mason should Act Saturday

I read recently that the core group of seniors that comprise the surprising George Mason basketball team refer to themselves as "The Dynasty Class." Apparently, they have been using this nickname ever since their freshman year. I like that because it upholds their status as a "David" versus the "Goliaths."

Wait a minute you might ask? Aren't "Davids" supposed to be underdogs? Underdogs don't go around proclaiming that they are favored in any way, shape, or form. They are supposed to be humble and deferential, right?

Well, it is true that the most used metaphor for teams such as George Mason are "Cindarellas" and Cindarella was certainly humble and deferential, allowing fate and her fairy godmother to propel her forward. If it were up to her, she'd still be sweeping floors and wouldn't have even made the "big dance."

David was a different story. We think of him as a wide-eyed kid just kind of flinging a slingshot like Doug Flutie throws a Hail Mary Pass, just kind of hoping for a stroke of luck before Goliath snaps him in two like a twig. The funny thing is that if we go back to the Good Book itself, David was a pretty cocky little kid. There was no doubt in his mind that he was going to win the fight with Goliath.

First King Saul tried to talk him out of going to the fight: "You are little more than a little boy" he somewhat rationally pointed out in 1 Sam 17:31 (TNIV). David would have none of this "little boy" talk: "Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came...I went after it...I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it." (I Sam 34-35) This is pretty comedic when we think about it. It can be translated into today's vernacular this way:

Saul: Um, you are a little kid.
David: With all do respect sir, I have killed lions and bears with my bare hands. Don't "little kid" me.

Then when he goes to meet Goliath, Goliath is understandably pretty upset that he is being insulted. He's been railing against the Israelite army for 40 days and when they finally send someone to fight him, they send a little kid. Goliath says "Am I a dog, that you come after me with sticks?...come here and I'll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals" (I Sam 17:44).

David isn't too intimidated: "This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head" (I Sam 17:46), which is of course, exactly what happened. Now, to me that is pretty refreshing, kind of like Joe Namath's "We'll beat the Colts. I guarantee it." I wonder if more underdogs talked like David if we'd have more Davids reach the Final Four. In particular, Davidson University seems like they have the potential to be a David.

Edit: I think GMU heard a little bit too much "Cindarella" talk and not enough "David and Goliath." For what it's worth, I don't doubt that Joakim Noah would beat the crap out of Goliath.

7 Comments:

Blogger Heidi said...

okay, i don't understand your comparison (obviously) but i like your version of the story. very, interesting.

are you a christian?

3:37 PM  
Blogger Azor said...

Heidi,

Not only am I a church-goer, but my Pastor is Canadian. He's actually a Canadian citizen preaching to us Americans. How do you like that?

3:55 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

yeah, good job answering the q. are you a christian? i don't really care if you go to church or not.

i like them apples.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Azor said...

LOL. Do you know a lot of non-Christian churchgoers? I mean, I know there are a lot of Christians who don't go to church, but I'm not sure about the other way around.

11:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

again, you didn't answer my q. yeah, im sure they have secret meetings to discuss their life to eachother. a cult of some sort....
-Heidi

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

muslims and hindus go to church.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so do jewish people.

9:13 PM  

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