- 01/24/2012, 10:29AM ET
Golden Grillz said 01/24, 10:29 AM
This is a tournament TD. For those that saw the original TD post, I had specified UEFA tourney only (as agreed by WWJ).
Greece's 2004 Euro triumph is not the greatest Cinderella story.
I bring you "the Death Match"
http://tinyurl.com/796ujcy to prove this isn't a copy paste wikipedia argument
USSR soccer players were forced to face a Nazi team to help prove the dominance of the Aryan race. Having already defeated the Nazi team once before the Russians were forced to face the Nazis in rematch with German troops present.
While the Russians knew they could be facing grave consequences by beating the Nazis again (as made apparent by Nazi soliders and police). The Russians still gave it their all.
The game was officiated by Nazi refs. Making it a very one sided officiating (including Russian Goal keeper being kicked in the head at one point).
End Russians 5- Nazis 3
Should they have won? no, but they did against bigger odds than any one can ever face.
Yes they were tortured, and some killed afterwards, but the political statement made by defeating the Aryan Nazis was more important. Way more important than Greece winning 04 UEFA.
williewilliejuan said 01/24, 09:41 PM
The story of the Death Match is harrowing. It is a story of incredible courage and pride. Russian players went out and played to win even though they knew they would face dire consequences for doing so. The easy thing to do would be to lie down and let the Germans win, but they refused to do it. It's an amazing story. It just isn't a Cinderella story.
When I think of Cinderella (I have three daughters, so bear with me here), I think of someone who took home the ultimate prize even though she wasn't even invited to the ball. The Death Match, inspiring though it may be, doesn't fit that bill.
The Russian Start team was excellent. One of the main reasons why the Germans did what they did was that the Russians were too good. They were expected to be at the ball; in fact, they were the only ones invited.
The same cannot be said about the 2004 Greece team. They were a true Cinderella team. At the beginning of the 2004 Euro, the Greek team was given 150-1 odds of winning. They were a team that came out of nowhere to win the Championship.
While the stakes of their game were nowhere near as high as the Death Match, the 2004 Greek team was a legitimate Cinderella story.
Golden Grillz said 01/25, 08:51 AM
Tragedy happens. Cinderella is left with evil stepmother and sisters, and forced to live in substandard conditions.
Russian teams are disbanded when Nazi's take over Ukraine. Those not killed, are placed in camps with poor living conditions.
Rise above adverse conditions to crash the ball
Cinderella, gets her self past her below standard conditions, and gets herself to the ball.
Start is created. Triumphing over several other teams (most of which live in better conditions), and a rematch with the Nazis (aka the ball).
The Belle of the ball
Cinderella shows up to the ball. She's the most beautiful person there despite her situation.
Start was the favorite.
Clock strikes midnight
Cinderella has to leave the ball and go back to her horrible home, and suffer the wrath for her actions.
Start players are tortured, executed, etc. for winning game.
Prince saves the day
Cinderella glass slipper found, and she is saved by Prince. Story is retold. Giving hope to all.
USSR reclaims Ukraine. Frees surviving players. Story lives on to give others hope.
Death Match =Cinderella Story
williewilliejuan said 01/25, 10:37 AM
You've done a deft job of trying to select a "story" for this topic that will tug on the voters' heartstrings. You've done an even defter job of trying to shoehorn this story into the Cinderella myth. However, as pointed out before, this really isn't a Cinderella story. The bigger problem is much of this story can't be substantiated as true.
While a match most certainly took place, the details of the match and the aftermath are disputed. In 2005, a verdict in Hamburg declared there was no evidence any of the Start players had been shot for participating in the game.
If this topic was "Best inspirational soccer-based story that's largely propaganda and was later adapted to a Hollywood movie", the Death Match would be a great choice. Alas, that is not our topic.
The 2004 Greece team that won the Euro championship does fit the topic. They had low expectations, having only qualified for one World Cup and one Euro previously. They beat host Portugal in the group stage and defending champion France in the quarterfinals, the first time in Euro history that a team beat the host and defending champions in the same tourney. They went on to beat host Portugal again in the final.
Golden Grillz said 01/25, 12:08 PM
Too often stories can be confused when used improperly. Case in point, most people on FN don't think of some blonde chick when you mention Cinderella story, but instead Bill Murray.
A true Cinderella would have to overcome some adverse conditions as described in Death Match story. Those conditions were definitely to the extreme, but Greece didn't have that much adversity to overcome as much as their own physical limitations.
For this reason, the true story the 04 Greece win fits is not Cinderella but...
David and Goliath
Goliath challenges the Israelites to send out a champion to decide the outcome of a battle.
Some of the best teams in the world (not just Europe) were in the tourney:
02 WC runner-up Germany
06 WC Champions Italy, and runner-up France
Delivering supplies to his brothers unknown David is present at the battle.
Greece barely made the tourney, and was not considered to be much of a threat based on previous accomplishments.
David defeats Goliath
Greece wins tourney
It's really that simple. No major injuries to overcome. No Walt Frazier. No Kurt Warner. No Bill Murray
Good TD, but 04 Greece isn't Cinderella.
williewilliejuan said 01/26, 12:21 AM
While the discussion about whether the term "Cinderella Story" as used in American sporting parlance is really the right term is interesting, I'm not really sure what it has to do with this TD.
As it used in a sporting context, a "Cinderella team" is one that enters into a tournament with low expectations and is much more successful than anyone thought they would be.
In that context, Greece's Euro 2004 triumph was the greatest Cinderella Story in World Soccer history. They came into the tournament with extremely low expectations. No one expected them to beat the host country Portugal even once; winning twice in the same tournament was unthinkable. Before their opening match victory, Greece had never even won a game in a major tournament.
They were given no chance in the tournament at the outset, facing 150-1 odds of winning. Certainly, no one expected them to beat undefeated defending champion France, but they did and moved on to beat the Czech Republic, who were the favorites at that point in the tournament.
When they defeated Portugal in the finals, no one could believe what this Cinderella team had done.
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