Summary

  • The Underdoggs do not win the championship, but their growth as a team is shown in a sweet and emotional moment of support and camaraderie.
  • Jaycen initially chooses his talk show over the championship game, but quickly realizes his mistake and prioritizes the kids, showing his personal growth throughout the film.
  • Cherise and Jaycen start to rebuild their relationship, but the movie emphasizes that the focus is on teamwork and resiliency, not a romantic relationship.


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Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Underdoggs

Amazon Prime’s The Underdoggs includes an ending that answers many of the plot’s big questions while conveying a hopeful message. Snoop Dogg’s film starts out by introducing the main character of The Underdoggs, Jaycen Jennings – a professional football player with a reputation for having too big of an ego and a hot temper. By the start of the film, he’s washed up and retired with an agent who has no faith in him. After finding out that nobody wants to work with him, he angrily gets into his car and pulls into traffic, where a bus hits him.

A judge sentences him to community service with the parks department. While doing his court-mandated community service, Jaycen encounters a ragtag football team with little hope. He decides to take over as their coach, but this isn’t enough to get the team in shape. Jaycen realizes he needs to put in time and real effort with the kids, leading to The Underdoggs’s ending – which is equal parts funny, moving, and emotional.

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Do The Underdoggs Win The Championship?

Mike Epps as Kareem and Snoop Dogg as Jaycen JJ Jennings with their team in The Underdoggs.

Unfortunately, in the eponymous film, the Underdoggs do not win the championship. They come extremely close but miss their last touchdown right as the game ends. This seems extremely disappointing at first, but it brings about one of the sweetest moments in The Underdoggs. The teammates come together to comfort one another, even cheering up Tony, the player who missed the touchdown. This is vastly different from their dynamic when the movie first introduces the team. As such, the team losing in The Underdoggs was necessary to show the amount of growth from the start to the end.

Jaycen’s Decision About The Talk Show

Snoop Dogg as Jaycen JJ Jennings looks across the field in The Underdoggs.

When he first gets the offer from his agent, Jaycen tries to change the date of his talk show audition so that he can attend the Underdoggs’ championship game. However, when he’s forced to choose between the two, Jaycen decides to go to the talk show. As soon as he starts his audition, he realizes his mistake and leaves so that he can arrive at the championship. This is an important moment for Jaycen because it shows how much personal growth he’s gone through.

At the start of this great sports movie, Jaycen would’ve never even cared about the opinions of children, let alone his impact on them. What’s more, he wouldn’t see them as a valuable part of his life. By choosing the children’s championship, he’s acknowledging both his role in their lives and theirs in his.

Do Cherise And Jaycen Get Together?

Tika Sumpter as Cherise in The Underdoggs.

In The Underdoggs, Cherise and Jaycen are former flames who broke up in high school, leaving their relationship on a sour note. When they first meet, Cherise doesn’t seem thrilled about seeing Jaycen. However, the movie slowly but surely allows the pair to mend their relationship. Based on the genre tropes, the pair would usually get together by the end of The Underdoggs.

Interestingly, the end of the film hints that they’re starting to rebuild their relationship but aren’t actually together. This choice is important because it reaffirms that The Underdoggs is about the football team and the kids, not about a romantic relationship. If Cherise and Jaycen had gotten back together again at the end of the movie, it would’ve distracted from the message about teamwork and resiliency.

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The Significance Of Ghost’s Gender In The Underdoggs

Ghost holds her helmet and looks nervous in The Underdoggs

The Underdoggs sets itself apart from many football movies by including Ghost, a girl player on the eponymous team. Her gender and the way it was handled have a deeper significance within the movie. Ghost hides her gender by always wearing her helmet and keeping her hair up. Based on Jaycen’s reaction after everyone learns Ghost is a girl, the coach clearly knew about Ghost’s gender much sooner. The fact that he keeps it quiet shows that he understands how unwelcome girls are within the sport. Importantly, rather than excluding her from the team, he keeps her secret.

The way that everyone reacts to Ghost’s gender is also important. When her helmet falls off during the game, she visibly holds her breath, waiting for a reaction. She exhales and smiles when people start cheering for her, knowing that she’s a girl. This reaction shows the progress that society has made when it comes to girls playing football. The sport is more accepting of girls playing football, with women taking on bigger roles in the sport. As such, Ghost has a place on the team in The Underdoggs not despite but regardless of her gender.

Dwayne’s Lie About The Shoes Explained

Caleb Dixon as Dwayne in a scene from The Underdoggs.

Throughout The Underdoggs, Dwayne stops at the store after every practice, telling the others that he’s going to buy new shoes. Everyone seemingly knows that this is a lie, but nobody brings it up. In one of the most emotional The Underdoggs scenes, Jaycen finally confronts Dwayne when dropping him off. Jaycen reveals that when he was a kid, he lied about going to a 7/11 after practice so that nobody would see him going around the corner to the trailer park where he lived. It turns out Dwayne was lying for the same reason.

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This scene was crucial in highlighting the stigma and shame related to being poor. Decades apart, two characters are doing the same exact thing in order to hide where they come from. Rather than making Dwayne feel bad about his circumstances, Jaycen comforts him. They then go buy Dwayne a new pair of shoes that he wears at the next football game.

How Does Jason Get Through To Trey?

Snoop Dogg as Two Js coaching Superstar in The Underdoggs

Cherise’s son Trey is the quarterback of the Underdoggs, but he refuses to work as a teammate. Rather than running the plays properly, he always runs the ball so that he can get all the glory, which frustrates Jaycen and the rest of the team. Jaycen finally has a breakthrough with Trey during a game when he snaps and confronts the kid about his behavior. Trey repeats back the statements that Jaycen made earlier in the movie, helping Jaycen realize that the young quarterback has the same anger, resentment, and ego that got the pro player in trouble.

When Trey calls Jaycen a loser, the adult surprisingly agrees, pointing out to Trey that he became a loser due to the same behaviors Trey is now exhibiting. It’s only in this moment of humility that Trey realizes that he’s been treating his team and coach horribly. He makes amends with the team, which turns everything around for them.

In The Underdoggs, Jaycen gets sentenced to community service after a car accident. While cleaning up dog poop at the park, he comes across the football team and his former girlfriend Cherise, who is trying to run the team. Rather than coaching the team for altruistic reasons, he has three very selfish reasons for taking on the job. Firstly, it will get him close to Cherise, giving him a second chance to woo her. Secondly, it means he doesn’t have to pick up poop at the park anymore, an action he deems below him. Lastly, it will revamp his image.

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The Inspiration For The Underdoggs

The end credits shows real-life photos of Snoop and his team the Steelers in The Underdoggs

The end of the positively reviewed film The Underdoggs reveals that the film was loosely inspired by a real program created by Snoop Dogg. In 2005, Snoop founded the Snoop Youth Football League (SYFL), an after-school football program in the Los Angeles area. The SYFL is meant to keep kids off the streets, foster teamwork, and encourage personal goals. Snoop has had hands-on experience coaching children in the league, as explored in the docuseries Coach Snoop. Ultimately, the SYFL has had an extremely positive impact on the children and communities involved.

Players In The Snoop Youth Football League

Overall

85,000

Who went on to play football in college

20,000

Who went on to play NFL football

25

The True Meaning Of The Underdoggs’ Ending

Adan James Carillo as Tony and Caleb Dixon as Dwayne in The Underdoggs.

The Underdoggs includes many themes like teamwork, camaraderie, and mentorship. The movie emphasizes that kids can rise above their limiting circumstances with support. The ending of The Underdoggs wraps all these themes and messages together while also conveying a deeper message. The children grew so much, but they weren’t the only ones who walked away from the film better off. Jaycen grows into a kinder and more self-actualized individual by spending his time and energy helping the kids in The Underdoggs. Ultimately, this is reflective of the idea that everyone benefits when adults invest in the next generation.

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