A Call For Restraint
It's been with us for several years, but now it's only getting worse. I'm talking about, obviously, the complete overuse of the term "Cinderella" as it relates to the NCAA Basketball tournament.
It seems to work this way with every major sporting event -- the press feels the need to find some "human interest" story that appeals to the more "casual" fan, to go along with all the stats and penetrating analysis ("You suck, ref!") that the serious sports fans want.
Before the tournament, you have articles analyzing which team can be the "Cinderella", to the point where there are over 400 stories at Google News discussing the term. Quite frankly, it's been cheapened to the point that it really has lost its meaning.
I call upon all sports media to voluntarily adopt the following guidelines to determining whether or not a team deserves to be called a "Cinderella":
1) They must have beaten at least two higher-seeded teams in the tournament.
2) The only exception to Rule 1) is if a 16 seed ever beats a 1 seed.
3) Under no circumstances will a team be called a "Cinderella" if they've won one game over a WAC team!
Proposed Rule 3) is what got me to post about this subject this morning. Sure, 12 seed Montana beat 5 seed Nevada, but c'mon... Nevada is from the WAC! WAC teams aren't even supposed to win tournament games, and now Montana is being labeled a "Cinderella" for beating one?
The worst thing is the cutesy titles they try to come up with for these stories. I imagine that somewhere, in some newsroom last night, some sports reporter was thinking to him- or herself: "Let's see, Montana is the Grizzlies, which is a type of bear. And Cinderella is kind of like Goldilocks, in that they're both fairy tale persons of gender. I should title my story "Grizzlies Find The Glass Slipper 'Just Right' ". My editor'll love it!"