Posted by: everynation | April 28, 2008

There Are No Cinderella’s

by Ron Miller

Did you watch any of the NCAA Basketball tournament during March Madness? If so, I’m sure you saw the new Nike Commercial. The theme of the commercial is:

There are no Cinderella’s—become legendary!

The commercial starts with a bell ringing and then shows a basketball player doing “suicide” sprint work in a basketball gym. As he is sprinting, scenes from legendary games like the 1983 N.C. State upset over Houston and Michael Jordan’s winning shot as the University of North Carolina Tarheels defeated Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown to win the 1982 college basketball championship. It also shows players in practice working on the plays, such as Boise State’s statue of liberty to beat Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, which have now become legendary.

Then, it flashes back to the basketball player in the gym catching his breath as he rests in between sprints. The scene quickly switches to a second hand on a clock on the basketball gym wall. The second hand is quickly approaching the number twelve. Tick, tick, tick, tick and the second hand finally strikes twelve. The next scene shows the athlete duck his head and start running another “suicide” sprint. The commercial ends with the words:

There are no Cinderella’s—become legendary.

The whole point of the commercial is players have paid a price to be able to accomplish the historic sport moments that we now celebrate. In other words, these occasions did not happen by chance or by accident. A tremendous amount of effort and work went into executing these plays to perfection while under pressure with the championship on the line. The athletes we remember in these historic happenings paid the price to accomplish their feats. They are worthy of such honor.

I remember watching the movie “Miracle”, which is about the 1980 Olympic hockey team that beat the USSR to win the gold medal. Kurt Russell plays the legendary coach Herb Brooks. The movie emphasized Brooks’ training techniques as he took a team of divided and narcissistic college hockey players and turned them into Olympic champions when no one thought it was possible.

After the movie, I called a mentor and good friend of mine who coached college basketball for many years of his life before going into full time ministry. I consider this gentleman a very wise person and a man of deep passion. I was very interested to hear what he thought about the movie and Herb Brooks’ coaching style.

As my friend and confidant answered his phone, with great expectation and enthusiasm, I asked him the question, “What did you think about the movie?” True to form, without hesitation, he gave me one of his classic sagacious one-liners that I will never forget. He said, “Well, it was no miracle.” It was such a statement of truth. The U.S hockey team had paid the price to win the gold medal.

One of my favorite scenes is at the end of the movie when Herb Brooks is talking and reminiscing about his amazing experience as the scenes show the team and fans celebrating the victory. Then it switches to the medal ceremony. Brooks (Russell) comments on how he responds when people ask him about his most memorable moment during his time in Lake Placid. As he watches the medal ceremony he gives his answer by saying, “It was here, the sight of twenty young men from such different backgrounds now standing as one—young men willing to sacrifice so much of themselves for an unknown.” Brooks knew firsthand these young men had paid the price. He knew they were worthy of such honor.

In the context of paying the price, I can’t help but think about Jesus who proclaimed Himself to be the King of kings, Lord of lords and Savior of all mankind.

Is He worthy of such titles and such honor?

1 Timothy 2:5 says, “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men.”

Revelation 5:9 says, “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

Yes! Jesus is worthy because He paid the price of being tortured, shedding his blood, and dying on a cross to be our Lord and Savior. There may be no Cinderella’s, but there is a Christ who paid the price for our sins.

Serve Jesus and become legendary!

Ron Miller, Jr. is a gym rat who blogs regularly at Gym Chats. He is a husband, father, artist and musician stuck in an athletic body, and the senior pastor of Every Nation, Tallahassee.



  1. Ps. Ron,

    good point – I would much rather have a legendary life (so celebrated as to having taken on the nature of a legend) than that of a fairy tale

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