Cinderallas dime a dozen during basketball tournament

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 23, 2000

Cinderella not only has had a complete sex change, but has grown from a five-foot-two, eyes-of-blue blonde beauty to a seven-foot-three, dusky complexioned male-type who thinks nothing of crashing the boards with all the force of a 275 pound frame.

In other words the diminutive, princess-like 107 pound beauty has done a complete 180.

She now, in this after-life, has abandoned the pumpkin-like chariot with its mice-to-horses locomotion and the glass slippers, having exchanged them for a 2001 Mercedes and a set of size 15 low-quarter basketball shoes.

Can you beat that?

The sports scribes and TV color commentators all sound like broken records on this subject these days.

Any basketball team of the unranked variety that makes it past the first 64 in the NCAA roundball tournament automatically becomes a "Cinderella" team, and at once is credited with achieving a miracle.

The annual tournament has always been rife with "Cinderellas."

The word was so overworked that at the last count the sports announcers had used it no less than about 1,000 times over the weekend. Each sentence uttered appeared to have at least two "Cinderellas" interspersed therein.

That ain't all though, folks-not by a long shot.

Sports writing and announcing have become such "trendy" vehicles for their users that certain of their usages are being written and spoken on a national scale.

Take these basketball-related examples, for example: "he's shooting from the paint," "man, that's nothing but string music," "he's using the iron for a roll up and in," "he's using the glass," "Alley Oopperfect," and on, and on into the night, ad nauseam.

Then there are the hacks-those who scribble out 100 words for a dime-whose sports conference is The Conference, one that can no doubt place three or four teams in the final four, with every likelihood of winning the national championship.

Folks drawn into sportscasting, and many of those in sportswriting as well are for the most part like a bunch of miniature Howard Cosells, frustrated would-be athletes who couldn't make it in the arena.

They strut about in a grand manner, injecting their listeners and readers with their expertise-less opinions and conjectures.

Most of these are meaningless, "tinkling cymbals" that pose and posture but for a brief moment on their little stages.

To use another overworked media phrase, you can put a "wrap" on all those Cosells and Cindrellas-none are of the heavyweight variety.

We feel we serve a far better purpose than any of the above-lending real substance to our reason for being.