Tuesday, April 09, 2013
I'm a huge fan of college basketball, though these days I usually don't get into it full-time until March Madness rolls around. Now that it's over, I have to admit I'm going to miss it a lot. Even the commercials. (Charles Barkley and Alec Baldwin have been hilarious.)
Last night's game between Michigan and Louisville was one of the best basketball games I've ever watched. I went into it rooting for Louisville (even though I'm a UK Wildcat girl from birth) but found myself early on cheering for Michigan freshman Spike Albrecht. This kid, who is only 5'11" was sinking 3-pointers like there was no tomorrow. He averages like 1 or 2 points a game, but he scored 17 points in a sudden, ferocious burst during the first half (and kept Michigan in the game). Then I got into cheering for L-ville because Luke Hancock (the bearded wonder) finally got his game on, and of course, the camera kept reminding us about sweet (and severely injured) Kevin Ware, smiling broadly from the sidelines after handsome Hancock sunk 3 or 4 long ones in a row to revive his team just before the end of the first half.
If UK or KU is not in the game, I can easily be swayed - my emotions are open to anything during a good college basketball game.
And the Final Four playoff game night is never complete (and here my emotions overflow) until "One Shining Moment." There's nothing comparable to it in any other sport. Sniff, sniff.
The song was written on a napkin in a bar in 1979 by David Barrett. Here's the backstory:
Barrett, a singer/songwriter from Michigan, wrote the song after seeing Larry Bird star for Indiana State in the 1979 NCAA tournament. In 1986, he passed the song along to high school friend Armen Keteyian, an investigative journalist for CBS Sports and, at that time, Sports Illustrated, who in turn passed it to CBS Sports Creative Director Doug Towey. However, Towey originally planned to debut the song not after a basketball game, but after a football game, Super Bowl XXI. It was to have been the postgame montage from that contest, but CBS ran past the expected airtime and had a primetime show to debut in the next time slot, so the montage was canceled. CBS then asked Barrett for use of the song after the 1987 NCAA championship game, in which Indiana beat Syracuse. Towey decided to use "One Shining Moment" to close CBS' coverage of the Tournament. The positive public response led to it becoming an annual feature. It has been used to end CBS' coverage ever since.
The song has endured. Now sung by Luther Vandross, the first one that aired in 1987 was performed by the songwriter himself. For a walk down memory lane... (at 3:13, is that Pitino??)
Watching "One Shining Moment" always points out what good, honest competition should be about: dreams, hard work, determination, fun and camaraderie. With all the garbage we've seen in college sports these past few years, it's nice to think that these guys (and gals - Louisville's women play tonight for the championship!) really dig deep and play their hearts out during this tourney just because, well, they can.