Everyone loves a story about an underdog. No, not Underdog, the crime-fighting cartoon canine. Just your average, everyday underdog — the guy or gal who overcomes obstacles and comes from behind to achieve something great.
Sports is filled with these stories, especially in the movies: "Rocky," "The Bad News Bears," "The Mighty Ducks," "Rudy," "The Longest Yard," "Hoosiers," "Breaking Away" ... and on and on.
After reading through a bit of Twelve Mighty Orphans: The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites Who Ruled Texas Football (Thomas Dunne Books, 279 pages, $24.95), I'm convinced we'll be seeing it onscreen in the next couple years as well...
Who could be considered more of an underdog than a bunch of scrawny Depression-era orphans in hot, dry Fort Worth, Texas?
Twelve Mighty Orphans author Jim Dent knows Texas football. He's a journalist who's covered the Dallas Cowboys and an author of six books, including best-seller The Junction Boys, about Bear Bryant's success with the Texas A&M football program in the 1950s.
Rusty Russell is the man who turns around the orphan team. He's already a successful coach on the rise at a regular high school and his wife is pregnant with their first child — so why would he want to go backward, to a place where they don't even have a football? History is filled with heroes like Russell, who see a challenge, embrace it, and start thinking outside the box when it looks as if there's no hope.
So, if you're looking for a little inspirational reading and aren't into self-help books, Twelve Mighty Orphans might do the trick.