Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Underdogs: Derby County FC and Paul Potts

I'm now into week 5 out of 8 of my Paediatric clerkship and I am still very worried about how I am going to perform in my end-of-clerkship examination. My Cantonese is still very accented after nearly eight years in Hong Kong and I'm still encountering doctors who believe I should be practising more in the wards. What they don't realize is there is a limit to how good my Cantonese will be, just like some doctors' English will be accented no matter how much they use their English. When doctors talk about empathy and understanding how other people feel, this is one situation where they dramatically fall short.


Everybody loves an underdog story since most of the population aspire to this - beating the odds to become a success, overcoming all obstacles. We rarely get to see these stories in real life though, since most success just comes through cool hard cash. However there are two stories which I like to mention that could come into this category.

Derby County just got promoted into the Premier League two months ago and now face a difficult season. They played well enough to win the playoffs but the way they play might not work this time around. They built their campaign on a sturdy defence with nipping a quick goal on the break. However a good defence will not make you lose but a good strikeforce is required to make you win, which Derby do not have.

They have brought in Robbie Earnshaw who has Premier League experience but will require two more forwards to give Billy Davies options if Howard or Earnshaw becomes injured or suspended. They have invested well, bringing in Tyrone Mears and Andy Todd, but still require some experience in central midfield. They cannot solely rely on Matt Oakley and David Jones.

Let's just say that Derby County is everybody's favourite to be relegated but also everybody's second team since they will be relying entirely on grit and hard work to get their points, not cash and flamboyance. Yet grit and hard work will only get you so far.


I surf Youtube quite a lot, looking at pirated videos of "Mock the Week", "QI", "Have I Got News For You" and "Top Gear". When I was slightly bored, I looked at the all-time watched videos in UK and found this:

I was amazed by this voice. Paul Potts was just a mobile phone salesperson with some opera training but suddenly produces this performance to stun the judges of "Britain's Got Talent", including evil Simon Cowell. He's that underdog everybody wants to succeed. He's your average bloke with an amazing talent, who managed to beat some very talented performers to win "Britain's Got Talent" plus £100000 plus a recording contract with Simon Cowell. Not only has he become famous in Britain but, thanks to Youtube and the internet, is famous in USA. He has been asked to perform at the season two finale of "America's Got Talent". I really hope that he succeeds because he has gone through a lot of hardship in his life and he deserves what he's got.

It just goes to show that there are Cinderella stories in real life - it is just a matter of finding them.

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