December 18 — third Friday every year

Dr Watson

Dr Watson

A day to honor backup staff, unsung heroes, like Sherlock Holmes’ Dr.Watson and Robinson Crusoe’s Man Friday.

Also those who come from behind to win – tortoises and hares (see them at the tops of this page).

Underdogs can end up as top dogs like in Malcome Gladwell’s article “How David Beats Goliath: When underdogs reack the rules,” in the New Yorker. click here.

Do you have examples?

Do you have additional examples of underdogs you’d like to email us? Our email address is

Origin of “underdog”

The word underdog came from the men who sawed wood when building wooden ships. Planks of wood, which were called “dogs,” were placed over the top of a pit. Two men would do the sawing. One would stand on top of the planks and one man would stand underneath, would get covered with sawdust. He became known as the underdog.

Day Underdog Day sawmen

Origin of Underdog Day

Underdog day was established in 1976 by Peter Moeller (1940-1999). Peter lived in Clio, Michigan.

The Underdog Day that Pete had created was part of Bill Chase’s Calendar of Annual Events. Bill was Peter’s father in law. He tells people about the times Peter would name the underdog of the year, that news media would park in his front room until he had decided.


 Dec underdog dog