Cinderella isn’t only referred to as a Princess but also as a sports term. A “Cinderella Season” or a “Cinderella Story” is a phrase used in American and Canadian sports when a team or player advances much further in a tournament than what was anticipated.

The “Cinderella Season” comes from the ending of the fairy tale, it’s unexpected success after a period  of failure. This quote became popular because of Bill Murray in the 1980 movie, Caddyshack. He pretends to be the announcer to his own golf fantasy. When filming the scene, Murray had improvised that line and from then on a “Cinderella Season” was a movie quote that was named one of the top 100 movie quotations in American Cinema (AFI).

The way the term works is that the media will determine if the given “Cinderella” team/player will “turn into a pumpkin,” which is the equivalent to failing, going back to obscurity. In the fairy tale, the carriage turns into the pumpkin at midnight, therefore there is another term called “Strike Midnight,” when the Cinderella team does get beaten.

The Cinderella sports analogy doesn’t stop there, in order to refer to a teams’ success, fairy-tale run is used.

All in all, a Cinderella Season basically refers to a team that’s struggled through the season and in a short period of time, they surprise everyone with brilliance. Just like our Princess!

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The Cinderella Effect

The Cinderella Complex