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The door slammed shut.

A piece of paper stuck to it.

I scanned the list of names.

Up and down.  Down and up.  Twice.  Three times.

My name wasn’t there.

Reality set in.

I didn’t make it.

I hurried out of the locker room, fighting back tears.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

“You’re not good enough.”

“You’re too small.”

“You’ll never make it.”

It would’ve been easy to quit.  Who would’ve blamed me?

“The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.”  Chazz Palminteri’s voice echoed in my head.

I knew I had the talent.  And I loved the game too much to let one setback stop me from trying.

After all, you need to fail in order to succeed.

So I decided put in the work.  Doubled down on my dreams.  And made it my goal to prove everyone wrong.

Nine years later I’m sitting in an apartment with my college teammates when my phone starts blowing up.


“Well deserved brotha”

“Proud of you”

I was named honorable mention All-Conference for my senior season.

Reflecting on my journey and all the time and hard work, I realized that it was my underdog mentality that brought me to that point.

At some point in our lives, we all face road blocks.  Barriers that challenge our will.

Everyone has an underdog story.

And that’s what Joker Mag is all about — telling the stories of those who’ve conquered every obstacle and found success against all odds.

Welcome to the home of the underdog.

Grab our FREE eBook — The Anatomy of An Underdog and get instant access to 5 underdog stories you’ve never heard from your favorite athletes and entertainers!

Tyler O’Shea is the founder of Joker Mag.  A former Division III baseball standout and diehard Philadelphia sports fan, he enjoys reading in his spare time.  His favorite TV shows include The Sopranos and Curb Your Enthusiasm.  His proudest moment came in 4th grade when his childhood hero, Arnold Schwarzenegger, called his house and left a voicemail, but his mother deleted it before he could get home in time to hear it.

Why Joker Mag?
The site’s mascot is named after our family bulldog, Joker. He was the runt of the litter and our family picked him out after learning that he was the outcast that no one else wanted.  He’s had a tough journey, overcoming two hip replacements, breathing problems, and other ailments.  Joker is a literal underdog in every sense of the word and represents everything we’re about here.  In case you’re still wondering, he got his name from the black spot around his eye that’s reminiscent of the infamous Batman villain! The logo was created by my talented friend Alex Hagendorf.