I am going to offer some examples of second fiddlers from college basketball a long time ago. They did not respond to their position in the same way.
"Second fiddle" sounds third rate.
[Havlicek was the greatest second fiddler in basketball history. He played second fiddle to Lucas in college. Then he became the greatest "sixth man" in the history of the NBA with the Celtics. He would come off the bench and win. Finally, he started. He scored over 26,000 points, the all-time scorer for the Celtics, and third in the NBA only to Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson when he retired in 1978. Coach Red Auerbach called him "the guts of the team."]
[I got an article out of this rule: “Lew Alcindor and the Gold Crisis.”]
[The coaches' rule backfired on them in the 1970 finals. If Jacksonville's players had been allowed to dunk, UCLA would have lost. Their front line was 7 feet 2 (Artis Gilmore), 7 feet, and 6 feet 10.]
[My friend R. E. McMaster, the newsletter writer and commodities trader, was a cheerleader for Houston that night. I did not meet him until a decade later.]
1. Assume the shot will be missed. (Change happens.)
[I spoke with both men, but several decades apart. In the fall of 1964, I was in the student union at UCLA. I spotted Lacy. I went up to say a few words. He was polite. I noticed that I was at shoulder level with him. Then Alcindor walked in. Lacy walked over to chat with the freshman. He was at shoulder height to Alcindor. That was when I realized just how tall Alcindor was.