|
|
|
The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • A League of Her Own: Cinderella stories

    • email print
      Comment
  • There were a ton of upsets in this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament. I love it. Who doesn’t? But I wish they wouldn’t call them “Cinderella” stories.
    Because, let’s be honest, Cinderella did little to help her cause. She was already a beauty, dressed in rags. All it took was a fairy godmother to doll her up. It was only in her beautiful gown that she was able to turn the prince’s head.
    I have my doubts that he was that great of a catch. With Cinderella back in rags, and out of her fancy party dress, he didn’t even recognize her. It took a shoe to convince him.
    Sure, Cinderella was dealt a rotten hand and was probably a very nice person, but so are a lot of people. Most survive because they put in the hard work and effort to move forward. They don’t rely on a man or fairy godmother to solve their problems or find success. They look within.
    This situation of underdogs defeating higher-ranked teams has nothing to do with magic. Yes, the players have a coach or “fairy godmother” guiding them, but if they don’t put in the sweat and hours of practice, if they don’t believe in themselves ... then a magic wand certainly won’t create an impossible victory.
    Can’t we instead call them “Bethany” stories in honor of pro surfer Bethany Hamilton, who survived and lost her left arm during a shark attack, but rallied and got back on the board?
    Or maybe “Dan” stories, after speed skater Dan Jansen, who fell twice in the 1988 winter Olympics after learning that his sister, Jane, had died from leukemia while at the games. He didn’t do well at the 1992 winter Olympics either, failing to medal. But Jansen didn’t give up, and at the 1994 winter games he finally earned a gold in the 1000-meter. Jansen dedicated his medal to his late sister.
    It’s insulting to call them “Cinderella” stories.
    Awe-inspiring moments that show how the human spirit can persevere and accomplish things no one thought possible shouldn’t be compared to a lovely princess who did nothing more than put on a pretty dress.
    Heather Gillis Harris is a reporter for the Country (Mass.) Gazette. She can be reached at hharris@wickedlocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @heatherharrisWL.

        calendar