Cinderella (sports)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In sports, the terms Cinderella, "Cinderella story", and Cinderella team are used to refer to situations in which competitors achieve far greater success than would reasonably have been expected.[1][2] Cinderella stories tend to gain much media and fan attention as they move closer to the championship game at the end of the tournament,[3] the term comes from Cinderella, a well-known European folk tale embodying a myth-element of unjust oppression/triumphant reward. The title character is a woman living in unfortunate circumstances that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune; in a sporting context the term has been used at least since 1939, but came into widespread usage in 1950, when the Disney movie came out that year, and in reference to City College of New York, the unexpected winners of the NCAA Men's Basketball championship also that year.[4] The term was used by Bill Murray in the 1980 hit movie Caddyshack where he pretends as the announcer to his own golf fantasy: "Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion."[5]

Referring somewhat inaccurately to the plot details of the classic Cinderella story, the media will debate whether the given "Cinderella" team or player will "turn into a pumpkin", i.e. fail to win the prize and then return to its former obscurity.[6] In the fairy tale, it was the carriage that turned into a pumpkin at midnight, not Cinderella herself. Another popular term is "strike midnight", when a Cinderella team does finally get beaten.[7]

Prior to the widespread use of "Cinderella" in this way, the more common term for unexpected and dramatic success was "Miracle", as in the "Miracle Braves" of 1914, the "Miracle of Coogan's Bluff" in 1951, the "Miracle Mets" of 1969, and the "Miracle on Ice" in 1980.[8]

Cinderella teams are also referred to as a surprise package or surprise packet, and their success would be termed a fairy-tale run.[9] A related concept is the giant-killer, which refers to a lesser competitor who defeats a favorite, reflecting the story of David and Goliath.

Examples of "Cinderellas"[edit]

Many teams are considered "Cinderella teams" when they seemingly overachieve, for example, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Arizona Cardinals went all the way to their respective leagues' championships in 2008 only to "turn into a pumpkin" at the end. This list is largely confined to "Cinderella teams" that won championships.

American football[edit]



Association football[edit]

  • Denmark (Euro 92) – Denmark won Euro 92 after originally failing to qualify. They qualified for the tournament as a replacement team after Yugoslavia, who had initially won the group, was the subject of United Nations sporting sanctions following its civil war. They advanced from the group stage after winning their last match against France and then through goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel saving a penalty in the semi-final penalty shoot-out from Marco van Basten of defending European champions, the Netherlands. They won the tournament by defeating reigning world champions Germany 2–0 in the final.[22][23]
  • Greece (Euro 2004) – Greece were the second-least favorite in the competition to win, with Latvia being the least favorite. Greece was also considered as outsiders and underdogs and was given odds of 150-1 of winning before the tournament, they were drawn in Group A, ending up with Portugal, Spain, and Russia, a "group of death"; Portugal, hosts and favourites to win, Spain, former European champions, and Russia, who won the first-ever Euro as the Soviet Union. Very few people expected Greece to proceed to the quarter-finals, let alone win the tournament. Greece won the final 1–0, defying odds of 80–1 from the beginning of the tournament, with Angelos Charisteas scoring the winning goal in the 57th minute. While the dedication of the side and the victory were celebrated by their nation, Greece were dubbed by Barry Glendenning of The Guardian as "the only underdogs in history that everyone wants to see get beaten", due to Greece's rough defensive strategy.[24]
  • Leicester City F.C. (2015–16 Premier League) – Leicester City became 2015–16 Premier League champions, the first in their 132-year history, two seasons after gaining promotion to the Premier League in which they narrowly avoided relegation on their return. Bookmakers had them at 5,000-1 odds to win the title and forced bookmakers to payout £25 million, which is the biggest loss on a sporting event in British history.[25][26]



  • New York Mets (1969) – The Mets won their first ever World Series title after beating the heavily favored 109-win Baltimore Orioles in the 1969 World Series; previously, the Mets had finished either last or next-to-last in the National League every year.[27][28]
  • Florida Marlins (2003) – The Marlins used a strong second half to win the World Series, after upsets against the San Francisco Giants, the Chicago Cubs, and the New York Yankees.[9][29][30] The NLCS was especially memorable for the Marlins' rally and another Cubs collapse, as it extended the alleged Curse of the Billy Goat.
  • Boston Red Sox (2004) – The 2004 Red Sox ended an 86-year World Series drought by winning eight straight games to come back from a 3-0 ALCS deficit against their rival New York Yankees. While most Cinderella teams come from relative obscurity to win a championship, the 2004 Red Sox won 98 regular season games and were a dominant team throughout the 2004 regular season, they did however beat a NY Yankees team which won 101 games, along with sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals who won a league best 105 regular season games. However, their Cinderella status was established after becoming the first Major League Baseball team to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a 7-game series and only the third team in Major American professional sports to achieve such a feat.[31][32]
  • Houston Astros (2017) The Astros were known for being among the worst teams in the league for many years. Not only were they swept in their World Series debut in 2005 against the Chicago White Sox, but the 2010s had not been kind to them either, with three seasons in a row consisting of over 100 losses, the aforementioned World Series was their final playoff appearance until 2015, where they made the Wild Card game and won against the New York Yankees, but lost in the ALDS in five to the eventual World Series champion Kansas City Royals. Two years later, however, after their city had been ravaged at the hands of Hurricane Harvey, they went 101-61 and took their first divisional win since 2017, they would win the ALDS in four against the Boston Red Sox, and then overcome the New York Yankees in seven games where not only did they overcome a 3-2 deficit, but each win was in the respective home field. That punched their ticket to the 2017 World Series, where they won in seven games against the Los Angeles Dodgers, giving Houston, and by extension the state of Texas, their first World Series title.[citation needed]

College Baseball[edit]

  • Fresno State (2008) – In one of the more improbable Cinderella stories in American sports history, the Bulldogs surmounted a daunting array of obstacles on their way to the NCAA title.[33][34] Fresno State had never won an NCAA championship in any men's sport going into the 2008 tournament, the Bulldogs entered the Western Athletic Conference tournament at 33-27; they would likely not have made the NCAA tournament without winning the WAC tournament, which they did. They subsequently played a total of six elimination games in their NCAA tournament run, winning all six.[35]



  • Boston Celtics (1969) – The Boston Celtics were coming off a championship against Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and the Los Angeles Lakers and superstar Center Bill Russell was heading into what would be his final year. The aging Celtics had won 10 of the previous 12 NBA Championships, but with offensive powerhouse Wilt Chamberlain joining the already powerful Lakers, it appeared as if the Celtics, who were practically limping into the Finals, would easily be taken care of the old squad, the Celtics fell into a quick 3-2 deficit but came back to force a Game 7 in Los Angeles, with Bill Russell calmly stating "One thing the Lakers cannot do, is beat us". With the Lakers preparing balloons and confetti for "when, not if, they win", the Celtics took inspiration from their arrogance and went on to win it with a key circus basket by Don Nelson that bounced high from the back of the rim before sailing through the net, the win sent Russell and fellow hall of famer Sam Jones to retirement as champions, with Russell winning his 11th championship and Jones his tenth.[36]
  • Houston Rockets (1995) – The Rockets were the 6th seeded team in the 1995 NBA Playoffs and managed to become the champions for the second straight year in the 1995 NBA Finals by sweeping Shaquille O'Neal and the Orlando Magic, setting playoff records for most games won on the road as well as defeating three 60-win teams en route to defending their championship.[36]


Canadian football[edit]

  • 1989 Saskatchewan Roughriders – The Roughriders finished the season with a 9-9 record and made an improbable run to the 77th Grey Cup. The team went into the playoffs on a three-game losing streak, but upset the 10-8 Calgary Stampeders 33-26 in the West Division Semi-Final before upsetting the heavily favoured Edmonton Eskimos (who finished the season with a 16-2 record) in the West Division Final, 32-21, this victory set up the Grey Cup game against the 12-6 Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Dave Ridgway's 26-yard field goal in the final minute gave the Riders a 43-40 victory, along with the franchise's first Grey Cup championship since 1966.[41]

Ice hockey[edit]

  • Chicago Black Hawks (1938) – The Black Hawks would struggle with a 14-25-9 record. However, they earned a playoff spot, and in the first series, took on the Montreal Canadiens, although they lost the first game of the series, the Hawks would win the next two games including a shocker 3–2 OT victory at Montreal. Then, they faced the New York Americans. Like the first series, the Hawks would drop the opening game, before winning the next two games; in the Stanley Cup Finals, they took on the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Black Hawks won the first game before dropping the second game. Then the Hawks won the next two games to take home their 2nd Stanley Cup, they are considered the biggest Cinderella story in NHL history and they became the first pro sports team to win a championship with a losing record.[42]
  • United States men's national ice hockey team (1980) – The American team, consisting entirely of amateur and collegiate players, won the Olympic gold medal. Along the way, they defeated the Soviet Union, considered the best hockey team in the world at the time, by a score of 4-3 in a medal round game, an event known as the Miracle on Ice and widely considered to be the greatest U.S. sports achievement of the 20th century.[43]
  • Los Angeles Kings (2012) – The first eight seed of a conference to win the Stanley Cup. The Kings entered the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs despite finishing with 95 points; in the first round, they defeated the first overall seed and Presidents' Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks in five games. They proceeded to sweep the second seed St. Louis Blues and eliminate the third seed Phoenix Coyotes in 5 games, going undefeated on the road in all 3 rounds. They started the finals against the New Jersey Devils by winning the first three games of the series, they lost games four and five to the Devils before winning game six and their first ever Stanley Cup championship in Los Angeles.[44][45][46]
  • Washington Capitals (2018)[citation needed]


Formula One[edit]

  • Brawn GP – Prior to the 2009 Formula One season, Honda Racing F1 announced their withdrawal from Formula 1. It had been a fully factory supported team that had achieved lacklustre results despite a $300 million budget and staff of 700.[47] A few weeks before the season was about to start, the team was subject to a management buyout by Ross Brawn and chief executive Nick Fry[48] and was subsequently rebranded as Brawn GP.[49] The team were not expected to be competitive following the loss of 270 jobs, necessary to ensure the teams survival[50] and having only three cars available as opposed to eight in better funded teams,[51] the team began its season with Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello scoring a 1–2 victory respectively[52] with Button starting from pole.[53] The team then won 5 of the 6 following races, all by Button[54][55][56][57][58][59][60] before the well funded and factory supported opposition began to catch-up.[61][62][63][64][65] By the end of the season, two further victories from Barrichello was enough for the team to take the Constructor's Championship. Button won the driver's title.[66]

Rugby union[edit]


  • Connacht (2015–16) – Traditionally the "weak sister" of Ireland's four provincial sides, having nearly been shuttered by the Irish Rugby Football Union in 2004 and never finishing higher than seventh in Pro12 prior to 2015–16,[67] Connacht finished the home-and-away season level on points with traditional power Leinster atop the table (with Leinster claiming the top play-off seed on a tiebreaker) and went on to claim their first-ever title with a convincing win over Leinster in the final.[68]

Examples of Cinderellas that did not win the championship[edit]

These Cinderellas made it to the finals in their respective leagues.

American football[edit]

  • 2016 Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons entered the playoffs for the first time in four years with an 11-5 record and easily defeated the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers to reach Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots, and despite reaching a 25-point lead almost halfway through the third quarter, the Patriots would proceed to score 25 unanswered points to tie the game and bring it into overtime for the first time in Super Bowl history. The Patriots won the coin toss and they had the ball the entirety of four minutes before they scored a touchdown and got the win.

Association football[edit]




  • Loyola Marymount University (1990)[78][79] – After averaging an NCAA record 122 points per game, the Lions lost senior leader, and former scoring and rebounding champion, Hank Gathers, to a heart condition as he died on the court. However, the Lions fought their way to the Elite Eight where they lost to eventual champion UNLV Rebels, their run included defeating defending national champion Michigan 149-115.
  • George Mason University (2006)[80] - The Patriots entered the tournament as an 11 seed, after not having a guaranteed spot following a loss to Hofstra in the CAA Tournament. Subsequently, many critics believed the Patriots should have been excluded from the tournament. However, the Patriots would go on to not only prove the critics wrong, but also capture the attention of a nation; in the first round, George Mason dispatched the Michigan State Spartans by a score of 75-65. Following their improbable win, the Patriots would continue their journey by downing the defending national champion, North Carolina Tar Heels, 65-60, the Patriots, having already made history in their first Sweet 16 appearance, would follow that up with a shocking victory over potential Cinderella story Wichita State Shockers, 63-55. Having once again triumphed, the stage was set for the Patriots toughest test yet, the top-seeded Connecticut Huskies, the Huskies, led by Rudy Gay, had a total of 5 players soon to be taken in the 2006 NBA draft. Regardless of the odds stacked against them, the Patriots were able to withstand the test and emerge with a 86-84 victory, concluding a thrilling overtime. Having once again made history, the Patriots advanced to the Final Four, where they lost to the eventual national champions Florida Gators, 58-73.
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (2011)[81]
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County (2018) - The Retrievers became the first 16th-seeded team to win a game in the men's NCAA tournament against a number-one seed, namely the Virginia Cavaliers. UMBC's remarkable run ended with a narrow 50-43 loss to 9th-seeded Kansas State in the round of 32.
  • Loyola Chicago (2018) - The Ramblers became the 4th 11th seed to reach the Final Four. In the Final Four, they lost to Michigan after leading the game for 30 minutes.


  • Macedonian men's national team, Eurobasket 2011. FYR of Macedonia hadn't had any success in basketball before and were considered one of weaker teams of the tournament; in group stages they unexpectedly beat Greece, Croatia and Slovenia and advanced to playoffs. In the quarterfinal they were considered underdogs against hosts Lithuania, but they managed to defeat the Baltic team 67-65 in one of the biggest upsets of the tournament. Macedonia finished fourth with a record of 6 wins and 4 losses only losing in double digits to Spain.[82][83]


  • Phoenix Suns (1976 NBA Finals)[84] – Despite entering the playoffs with only a 42–40 record, the Suns would upset the defending champion Golden State Warriors to enter the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. Despite giving the Celtics a triple-overtime thriller in Game 5, the Suns would lose to the eventual champion Celtics 4 games to 2, that season's team was given the nickname of the "Sunderella Suns".
  • New York Knicks (1999 NBA Finals)[85][86] – The Knicks became the only eighth-seeded team to make it to the NBA Finals, before losing to the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs, 4 games to 1.

Ice hockey[edit]



  • Minnesota North Stars (1981 Stanley Cup Finals)[further explanation needed]
  • Vancouver Canucks (1982 Stanley Cup Finals)[further explanation needed]
  • Minnesota North Stars (1991 Stanley Cup Finals)[further explanation needed]
  • Vancouver Canucks (1994 Stanley Cup Finals)[further explanation needed]
  • Carolina Hurricanes (2002 Stanley Cup Finals)[88][89] – Though the Hurricanes were seeded third as a division winner, having won the Southeast Division, in actuality they had the second-lowest point total (91) and the lowest win total (35) for a playoff team not only in the Eastern Conference, but also the whole NHL. However, they defeated the New Jersey Devils, the Montreal Canadiens, and the Toronto Maple Leafs all in six games, to reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time, where they lost to the Detroit Red Wings in five games.
  • Edmonton Oilers (2006 Stanley Cup Finals)[90] – The eighth seed of the Western Conference upset the Presidents' Trophy winning Detroit Red Wings in six games in round one of the 2006 playoffs, then came back from a 2-0 series deficit to defeat the San Jose Sharks in six games in round two. After this, they beat the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in just five games in the Western Conference Final, becoming the first eighth-seeded team to ever reach the Stanley Cup Finals and were on to their seventh championship, where they played the Eastern Conference Champion Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes won three of the first four games to take a 3-1 series lead, but the Oilers won the next two to force a winner-take-all game seven in Carolina. However, the Oilers' luck finally ran out and they lost the game 3-1, giving the Hurricanes their first Stanley Cup.
  • Philadelphia Flyers (2010 Stanley Cup Finals)[91] – The Flyers, inconsistent for much of the season and battling injuries that left them at one point starting their 4th choice goaltender (Johan Backlund), qualified for the playoffs in the final game of the season in a shootout against their rival New York Rangers. As the seventh seed, the Flyers upset rivals and Atlantic Division champions, the New Jersey Devils in five games in the first round; in the second round, the Flyers defeated the Boston Bruins in seven games, in the process becoming only the fourth team in sports history to win a series in which they had trailed 3-0 at one point. In the conference final, they needed just five games to beat the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens, who had been on something of a Cinderella run themselves; the Canadiens had defeated the top seeded Washington Capitals and defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. In the Finals, the Flyers lost in overtime to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games, who won their first Stanley Cup in 49 years.[92][93]
  • Nashville Predators (2017 Stanley Cup Finals) – The Predators, who were dead last in the NHL's Western Conference at one point in the season, qualified for the playoffs as the second wild card. As the eighth seed, they swept the top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, they would then defeat St. Louis Blues in six games in the second round to advance to their first conference final in franchise history, in which they took down the Anaheim Ducks in six games. However, in the Finals, the Predators were defeated in six games by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who became the first team to win back-to-back Stanley Cup championships since the Detroit Red Wings accomplished the feat in 1997 and 1998.
  • Vegas Golden Knights (2018 Stanley Cup Finals) - As a new team added to the NHL at the start of the 2017-18 NHL season, composed of at least one player from each of the other 30 NHL teams, the Knights were anticipated to have a very low chance to win the Stanley Cup or even reach the Finals,[94] with some even believing that they would have a very dismal first season,[95][96] but they unexpectedly played very well through the regular season,[97] taking control of the Pacific Division and earning 109 points by the time playoffs began. The Knights also made an improbable run to the Stanley Cup Finals, defeating the Los Angeles Kings, the San Jose Sharks and the Winnipeg Jets while losing only three games.[98] Entering the Finals against the Washington Capitals, the Knights boasted a seemingly impregnable defense, with a low goals-against-average and four shutouts, in part due to Marc-Andre Fleury's impeccable goaltending. However, such defense soon proved to be no match for the determined and potent Capitals, who shut down the Knights in five games, with at least three goals per game, to claim their first Stanley Cup.[citation needed]


Rugby league[edit]

  • In 2004, the North Queensland Cowboys reached the finals for the first time in their 10-year history.[100] Finishing seventh at the end of the regular season, the Cowboys were drawn against the second-placed Bulldogs in the first week of the finals and pulled off a major upset by winning 30–22,[101] they followed this up with a 10–0 defeat of the Brisbane Broncos on their home ground; this marked the first time the Cowboys had defeated the Broncos in their history.[102] However their run would be ended with a close 19–16 defeat by the Sydney Roosters in the preliminary final.[103]
  • In 2005, the Wests Tigers, in just their sixth season of existence, won the premiership. They had never previously made the finals in five seasons and had been as low as 12th on the NRL ladder by the middle of the season. However, they were able to find some good form in the second half of the season to eventually finish the regular season 4th on the ladder; in their first ever finals match, the Tigers scored a big 50–6 victory over the previous year's Cinderella story, the North Queensland Cowboys.[104] This was followed up with a 34–6 victory over the Brisbane Broncos in the second week[105] before going on to upset the premiership favourites St. George Illawarra 20–12 in the preliminary final.[106] This advanced the Wests Tigers to their first ever Grand Final, which was dubbed the "Battle of the Cinderellas", as their opponents were the North Queensland Cowboys who fell one game short of the decider in 2004 but went one better in 2005, the Tigers would then win the Grand Final 30–16 and complete their own Cinderella fairytale.[107][108]
  • Twelve months after finishing last in 2009, and seemingly being a club in disarray on and off the field, the Sydney Roosters, under veteran coach Brian Smith, conjured one of the greatest turnarounds in recent NRL history, finishing sixth at the end of the 2010 NRL season and proceeding to reach the Grand Final, in which they had the chance to become the first team since the Western Suburbs Magpies in 1933–34 to rise from wooden spooners to premiers in the space of twelve months but lost to the St George Illawarra Dragons.[109] Star recruit Todd Carney, who spent most of the previous year in exile after being sacked by the Canberra Raiders in 2008, won the Dally M Medal in the lead-up to that season's finals series for his outstanding comeback season.[110][111][112]



  1. ^ " Page 2 : Who are the greatest Cinderella stories?". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  2. ^ Kim, Suzie (26 March 2004). "Cinderella stories: Battling from the bottom up". The Gazette. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Bonsor, Kevin. "How March Madness Works". Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  4. ^ ESPN (2009). ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men's Game. New York: ESPN Books. p. 28. 
  5. ^ "Soundclip of Bill Murray in Caddyshack". MovieSoundsCentral. Retrieved 2007-02-26. 
  6. ^ See, for instance, "...hopeful that Cinderella's magical carriage won't turn into a pumpkin just yet."
  7. ^ See, for instance, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-12. Retrieved 2013-03-24.  "Clock Strikes Midnight For Cinderella Team George Mason"
  8. ^ Gruner, Elisabeth (4 November 2010). ""Miracle on Ice"". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Brewer, Jerry (October 26, 2003). "Marlins Stun Yankees for Title; Josh Beckett Pitched a Gem as Florida Completed a Fairy-Tale Run". Orlando Sentinel. p. A1. 
  10. ^ Anderson, Dave (January 13, 1969). "Jets Upset Colts by 16-7 for Title in the Super Bowl". New York Times. p. 1. 
  11. ^ "Football's Super Star; Joseph William Namath". New York Times. January 13, 1969. p. 32. 
  12. ^ a b c d e Rank, Adam (18 March 2013). "Greatest Cinderella stories in NFL history". Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "Oakland Raiders Glory Year: The 1980 Cinderella Story". 13 May 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  14. ^ Martel, Charles (5 November 2014). "Rams Mid-Season Report Card: Quarterback". SB Nation. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  15. ^ Shaughnessy, Dan (February 4, 2008). "History derailed: Giants ruin Patriots' quest for perfection with 17-14 stunner". Boston Globe. p. A1. 
  16. ^ "The AXS Six-pack: Worst records to win the Super Bowl". 28 December 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2017. 
  17. ^ "'A Team Makes a Miracle': How the Underdog Eagles Became the Unlikeliest Super Bowl Champs". Sports Illustrated. 5 February 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2018. 
  18. ^ Ferguson, Mike (6 December 2013). "ACC Flashback Friday: 2006 Wake Forest Demon Deacons". Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  19. ^ "The Jon Abbate Story to Become Motion Picture". Wake Forest Football. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  20. ^ Forde, Pat (2 January 2007). "Broncos earn respect with improbable victory". ESPN. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  21. ^ Dvorak, Todd (1 December 2011). "Class of 2006 leaves big imprint on Boise State". Yahoo! Sports. Associated Press. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  22. ^ Jones, Mark (17 January 2014). "Football's 7 Greatest Cinderella Stories of All Time". Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  23. ^ Kadiyala, Vishnu (2 December 2013). "The Danish Fairy Tale". Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  24. ^ Glendenning, Barry (5 July 2004). "Portugal 0–1 Greece". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  25. ^ Rayner, Gordon; Brown, Oliver (2 May 2016). "Leicester City win Premier League and cost bookies biggest ever payout". News. The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  26. ^ Granados, Nelson (3 May 2016). "Leicester City Wins English Premier League And Takes Over Social Media". Forbes. Retrieved 4 May 2016. On Monday, Leicester City was crowned champion of the English Premier League. The biggest Cinderella story in soccer and sports had the happiest of endings, and the social media party has taken off. 
  27. ^ a b Sullivan, Paul (October 22, 2008). "Amazin' turnabout; Rays' rise evokes memories of Mets' gripping run to '69 title". Chicago Tribune. p. 4. 
  28. ^ Collier, Clayton (14 June 2013). "Frank Robinson Still Swears Miracle Mets Scuffed Ball In Game 5 Of 1969 World Series". Mets Merized Online. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  29. ^ Greenstein, Teddy (October 26, 2003). "Happy ending to fish tale; Beckett ices Yanks with 5-hit shutout". Chicago Tribune. p. 1. 
  30. ^ Sheinin, Dave (October 26, 2003). "King Fish; Beckett Blanks Yanks, Cinderella Marlins Stun New York in World Series, 4-2". Washington Post. p. E1. 
  31. ^ "Greatest best-of-7 comeback ever". WhoWins. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  32. ^ Shaughnessy, Dan (6 April 2006). Reversing the Curse: Inside the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 9780547346939. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  33. ^ "Fresno State reaches historic postseason heights". ESPN. 2008-06-23. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  34. ^ "Fresno State shocks Georgia for first CWS championship". Associated Press. 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  35. ^ Fry, Jason (26 Jun 2008). "Fresno State Writes Happy Ending to Cinderella Story". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  36. ^ a b "Top 10 Cinderella Runs in NBA Playoff History Include 2011 Memphis Grizzlies, 1969 Boston Celtics". 2 May 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  37. ^ Botkin, Trey (22 February 2010). "Reliving The Memories: 1966 Cinderella Texas Western". Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  38. ^ Arnett, Autumn. "Glory Road". Black Sport the Magazine. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  39. ^ Weinberg, Rick. "N.C. State dunks Houston in NCAA final". Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  40. ^ Hollis, Randy (23 March 2010). "N.C. State was team of destiny in 1983". Deseret News. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  41. ^ Brunt, Stephen (2 October 2012). 100 Grey Cups: This Is Our Game. Random House LLC. ISBN 9780771017469. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  42. ^ Pelletier, Joe. "1930s Hawks Had American Dreams". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  43. ^ Fitzpatrick, Jamie. "Miracle on Ice: American Hockey's Defining Moment". Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  44. ^ Goss, Nicholas. "LA Kings Complete Cinderella Run to Claim Stanley Cup Glory". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  45. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-09-13. Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  46. ^ "Markazi: Kings' first Cup was long time coming". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  47. ^ Honda withdraws from Formula One racing from the International Herald Tribune
  48. ^ Cary, Tom (2009-02-27). "Honda buy-out gets green light". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  49. ^ "Honda Announces Sale of the Honda Racing F1 Team" (Press release). Honda. 6 March 2009. Archived from the original on 16 May 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  50. ^ Brown, Kris. "Brawn GP Win Has Brought Credibility Back to F1, But Old Guard Follow Near". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  51. ^ Collins, Sam (2009-10-18). "Brawn BGP-001: record breaker". Racecar Engineering. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  52. ^ Brilliant Button wins on Brawn
  53. ^ Button heads all Brawn front row Archived 2009-03-29 at the Wayback Machine.|2009-03-27|
  54. ^ Button gets dream win|2009-03-29|BBC Sport
  55. ^ Classy Button wins abandoned race|2009-04-05|BBC Sport
  56. ^ Benson, Andrew (26 April 2009). "Brilliant Button wins at Bahrain". BBC Sport. Retrieved 28 April 2009. 
  57. ^ "Another Brawn 1–2 as Button takes arms". Autosport. 196 (7): 30. 14 May 2009. 
  58. ^ "Ferrari powerless to stop Brawn". Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  59. ^ Vettel flies home with RBR maiden win Archived 2009-04-21 at the Wayback Machine. 2009-04-19. Retrieved on 2009-04-19
  60. ^ "Button halts Red Bull charge". Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  61. ^ "Vettel charges to dominant win". Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  62. ^ "Murray Walker answers questions". 
  63. ^ "Allen's star of qualifying". Archived from the original on 2009-07-16. 
  64. ^ "Where everyone finished when Webber won at last". Archived from the original on 2009-07-15. 
  65. ^ "Hamilton takes first win of 2009". Archived from the original on 2009-07-29. 
  66. ^ Carline, Peter (2009-10-18). "Brazilian Grand Prix: Jenson Button seals world title with brilliant drive". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  67. ^ English, Tom (8 May 2016). "Glasgow Warriors come up short against mirror-image Connacht". BBC Scotland. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
  68. ^ Morrison, Iain (28 June 2016). "Connacht 20 – 10 Leinster: Cinderella club enjoy the ball". The Scotsman. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
  69. ^ a b c Sproat, Ken (April 2005). "Blyth Spartans 1977–78". When Saturday Comes. Retrieved 18 February 2017. 
  70. ^ Downer, Kristian (8 December 2010). "FA Cup Upsets and Cupsets #1 - Barnsley Vanquish Liverpool and Chelsea in 2008". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  71. ^ "Barnsley 1-0 Chelsea". BBC Sport. BBC. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  72. ^ Skillen, Charlie (8 March 2013). "Where are they now? Barnsley's historic quarter-final win over giants Chelsea in 2008". Mail Online. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  73. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  74. ^ Livingstone, Seth (October 23, 2008). "'Bossman,' DickieV boost Rays' Upton". USA Today. p. C4. 
  75. ^ Cafardo, Nick (October 30, 2008). "A great finish saved face". Boston Globe. p. C2. 
  76. ^ Robbins, Josh (October 30, 2008). "Phils end Rays' magic". Orlando Sentinel. p. D8. This Cinderella season did not end happily ever after...The Tampa Bay Rays' Cinderella season is over. 
  77. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  78. ^ 1991 International Year Book. Macmillan Educational Company. 1990. p. 447. 
  79. ^ "1989-90 Basketball Team Is Celebrated at LMU". 31 January 2010. Archived from the original on 16 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  80. ^ "March Madness: It's been 10 years since George Mason's Final Four run". NCAA. 2016-03-26. Retrieved 2018-03-17. 
  81. ^ "NCAA Tournament Final Four: Is VCU the Greatest Cinderella Story of All Time?". Bleacher Report. 2011-03-27. Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  82. ^ "Midnight for Cinderella? Angola shocks FYR Macedonia, 88-84 - BallinEurope". 3 July 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  83. ^ Manfred, Tony (17 September 2011). "An American From New Orleans Is Leading Macedonia's Cinderella Run In The European Basketball Championships". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  84. ^ "Suns: 1975–76". 
  85. ^ Wise, Mike (June 26, 1999). "Knicks' Magic Ride is Over". New York Times. p. D1. After a moment of disbelief had passed over the crowd, they began clapping and saluting this implausible Knicks run that began with a miracle in Miami, swept through Atlanta, somehow overcame Indiana and ended with a four games to one loss in the league championship series. 
  86. ^ Roberts, Selena (June 26, 1999). "Spurs Win Title as Knicks ' Dream Ends". New York Times. p. A1. It was quite a finish to an improbable and enchanting playoff run for the Knicks. 
  87. ^ Albright, David (March 28, 2010). "RIT downs UNH, reaches Frozen Four". Retrieved November 15, 2011. 
  88. ^ Robinson, Alan (June 5, 2002). "Carolina canes Detroit, forcing fans to stow brooms". Associated Press. Carolina finished 25 points behind Detroit in the regular season, the largest gap in the Finals since the Rangers' 27-point edge over Vancouver in 1994. 
  89. ^ Marrapese-Burrell, Nancy (June 5, 2002). "Hurricanes do Damage; They Stun Wings by Winning in OT". Boston Globe. p. F1. The impressive Cinderella team continued its giant-killing ways at Joe Louis Arena last night, beating the Red Wings at the 58-second mark of overtime, 3-2, and capturing Game 1 of this best-of- seven series. 
  90. ^ " - NHL - 2006 NHL Playoffs - CUP". Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  91. ^ Gallagher, Tony (June 10, 2010). "Cinderella ultimately a bridesmaid; Philly can't escape the noose this time". Vancouver Province. p. A60. 
  92. ^ Carchidi, Sam (June 10, 2010). "Sudden Death; Flyers' unforgettable run ends as Hawks win Cup". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. C1. 
  93. ^ "Remembering the 2009-2010 Flyers - Philly". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  94. ^ Allen, Kevin (May 18, 2018). "Ability to win in different ways puts Golden Knights on brink of Stanley Cup Final". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved May 21, 2018. 
  95. ^ Petchesky, Barry (June 22, 2017). "Wow The Golden Knights Are Going To Be Bad". Gizmodo Media Group. Retrieved May 21, 2018. 
  96. ^ Cutler, Teddy (June 22, 2017). "Vegas Golden Knights Are Going to Suck in 2017-18 and Here's Why". Newsweek. Newsweek Media Group. Retrieved May 21, 2018. 
  97. ^ Paine, Neil (January 16, 2018). "Vegas Has The Best Expansion Team In The History Of Pro Sports, And It's Not Close". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved June 8, 2018. 
  98. ^ Katsilometes, John (May 20, 2018). "Stunned Jets credit Golden Knights: 'It was their time' – Las Vegas Review-Journal". Retrieved June 8, 2018. 
  99. ^ Keating, Steve (2018-02-25). "Ice hockey: Silver is miracle enough for Germany". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-06-18. 
  100. ^ "Latham backs 'Cinderella-story' Cowboys". 20 September 2004. Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  101. ^ "Fearless Cowboys round up the Dogs - League -". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  102. ^ "Cowboys shut out Broncos in NRL semi - League -". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  103. ^ "Ready Roosters end Cows' dream run - League -". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  104. ^ "Fanatics". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  105. ^ "Tiger cubs savage Broncos - League - Sport -". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  106. ^ "Dragons dream over as Tigers roll on - League - Sport -". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  107. ^ "Fairytale for Wests Tigers - League - Sport -". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  108. ^ "Wests Tigers win battle of the Cinderellas - League - Sport -". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  109. ^ "Drought finally broken as Dragons reign in Roosters in wet". Sydney Morning Herald. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  110. ^ "Pearce the Roosters' main man: Carney". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 27 September 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  111. ^ Jancetic, Steve (1 October 2010). "Subplots galore as rivals chase glory". AAP. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  112. ^ "Carney wins Dally M from Farah". Sydney Morning Herald. 7 September 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  113. ^ "Unseeded Tsonga blows away Nadal to reach Australian Open final". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  114. ^ "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee - AustralianOpen2008 - Tennis - Sport". Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  115. ^ "Battling Djokovic outlasts Tsonga". 27 January 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2017.