Monthly Archives: March 2006

One Shining Moment

It’s come down to this. We’ve made it through 19 days of March Madness since Selection Sunday…some of us made it through a little more successfully than others: Florida, George Mason, LSU, and UCLA. It’s been a lot of heart ache, a lot of smiles, a lot of NO WAYs, a lot of years erased from the end of our lives because of last second shots and overtimes. We have new names to learn: Bradley, Northwestern State, Larranaga (How did I miss knowing about this fantastic coach), etc. But there are still 5 games to play and one very important ending.

Since somewhere around the ‘86 or ‘87 championship, one thing and one thing alone has closed the book on every Men’s Basketball National Championship tournament. It’s a montage of exciting and heartbreaking moments from the previous three weeks set to the most perfect song, “One Shining Moment.” The song was written by David Barrett, who, oddly enough, has spent his life writing scores to different sporting events as well as the score to a PBS special on C.S. Lewis. He sang the original recording of “One Shining Moment” (which you can buy at here), but now I believe the recording by the late Luther Vandross is the one that CBS uses.

From Selection Sunday to the trophy presentation, I wait, somewhat impatiently, for the One Shining Moment B-roll. It is by far my favorite part of March Madness. Little kids have grown up watching that ending to the tournament and hoping one day to be one of the faces in the clips. Some see it as an honor, an achievement for all they’ve accomplished. I can hear those words and that music in my head for the entirety of March Madness, and I even find myself mentally picking out clips game by game that I think will make it in. So, even if you’re not planning to watch the final game or if you’re planning to turn the TV off as soon as the game is over, I urge you to stay up just a little longer and just watch. I’ve included the lyrics and a link to where you can hear a 36 second snippet of the song here. For the song in its entirety, tune in April 3rd to CBS. You won’t be sorry.

The Lyrics
The ball is tipped
and there you are
you’re running for your life
you’re a shooting star
And all the years
no one knows
just how hard you worked
but now it shows…

(in) ONE SHINING MOMENT, IT’S ALL ON THE LINE
ONE SHINING MOMENT, THERE FROZEN IN TIME

But time is short
and the road is long
in the blinking of an eye
ah that moment’s gone
And when it’s done
win or lose
you always did your best
cause inside you knew…

(that) ONE SHINING MOMENT, YOU REACHED DEEP INSIDE
ONE SHINING MOMENT, YOU KNEW YOU WERE ALIVE

Feel the beat of your heart
feel the wind in your face
it’s more than a contest
it’s more than a race…
And when it’s done
win or lose
you always did your best
cause inside you knew…

(that) ONE SHINING MOMENT, YOU REACHED FOR THE SKY
ONE SHINING MOMENT, YOU KNEW
ONE SHINING MOMENT, YOU WERE WILLING TO TRY
ONE SHINING MOMENT….

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A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

Ok. Listen carefully because you will NOT hear me say (or type) this again unless something no one in their right mind ever would have predicted, happens on April 1st and possibly April 3rd. Ok…you ready…

GO PATRIOTS!!!

Of course I mean the George Mason men’s basketball team that makes its home about 10 minutes from my house and not the red, white, and blue Foxborough boys who make their home in a stadium sponsored by a company that can’t make up its mind how many blades a man needs to shave his face.

So as these Green and Yellow Patriots make their way to Indianapolis as so many Patriots have before them, I have only one hope for the Final Four…MAY THE PATRIOTS PREVAIL!!!

March 24th, 1976

Forgive me this minor indulgence…………….

Happy 30th Birthday, Peyton!!!

Here’s hoping that your Birthday Present comes a little late this year, say February 4th, 2007. 🙂

Common Ground

Last night I did something I never thought I’d do. I felt bad for Duke. I felt bad for J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams. Heck, I even felt a little bad for Coach K. Now let me set you (the reader) straight. I am most certainly not developing a soft spot for Duke. I still hate (such a strong word) them, and maybe one day I’ll have the strength and courage to explain all the reasons why, but today is not that day. It’s too emotionally driven and tied to family history and extends way beyond the basketball court to a place in my mind and my heart that I don’t allow myself to go to but once or twice a year. All that aside, the pain was still there.

When I first met Jessica, I thought “what an awesome person.” And then I thought, “oh heavens there has to be something wrong with her because no one is this cool without a flaw and we all have flaws no matter how cool we are.” Then, I found out…she is a Duke fan. “Oh this will never work,” I thought. I cannot be friends, scratch that, good friends with a Duke fan. It’ll never work…we’ll drive each other insane with my talk about Roy Williams and her talk about Coach K. We’ll be pulling each other’s hair out before mid-season. Oddly enough though, it works. I think we’ve both been equally successful in tuning the other one out when we go on our UNC or Duke rants. She called to console me after the first Duke/UNC game of the season, and I provided the chocolate after the second meeting. I think it surprised us both that we were able to develop such a strong friendship in spite of our mutual admiration (read: obsession) of rivaling schools, but it surprised me even more that I was able to console her last night without cracking a smile or jumping up and down (things I’ve been known to do in the past after a Duke loss). In fact, the only thing I laughed at last night was the air horn they brought out to the scorers table because the Georgia Dome buzzer system had malfunctioned. Now THAT was funny.

But in the end, it was all about my friend and how unhappy and sad she was last night. There was nothing I really could do since I couldn’t jump through the TV and make LSU lose. I wanted to make her smile and laugh, and I did a couple of times. And after all was said and done, I realized I wasn’t necessarily feeling bad for Duke and their coaches and players as much as I was feeling bad for my friend who saw a dream fall apart that she had wholeheartedly believed in with her team. I know that feeling. OH how I know that feeling. It’s a sadness so deep that it hurts. So, it’s just basketball (or sports in general) most will say, but to us it’s different. We’ve seen the desire in their eyes just by watching every game they’ve played. We’ve seen the smiles and the tears. We’ve felt the agony of defeat and the joy of victory. We’ve read every article, every biography, every statistic. Simply because we’re obsessive fans, and we love our teams. And even when you’re fans of two schools who avidly hate each other, which dictates that the two of us should hate each other, somewhere amidst the rubble of the hopes and dreams of both schools, you find a common ground that builds a friendship. I (heart) you, J.Mo! Hang in there!

Sweet Curses

So, Who’s it gonna be? Which team is going to cut down the nets in Indy as the 2006 Men’s Basketball National Champions? I’ll give you a hint. It’s probably not one of these six teams. As much as I would love to see GMU take it all the way, I’ll be surprised if they do. I am a little surprised to see Boston College considered a surprise though. Sports Illustrated keeps trying to knock out the curse by putting multiple teams on their cover, but hey…I still think the curse is alive. So it’s up to you, BC, Bradley (eliminated last night), Florida, GMU, Gonzaga (eliminated last night), and Wichita State. Surprise us all and beat the curse!

Anything Can Happen

Dum da da dum, da da da dum. (Yes…that’s me singing the CBS NCAA Tournament theme music.) Today and tomorrow should be Federal Holidays. We should all be home, popcorn popped, remote in hand, glued to CBS as the final second before 12:20pm ET ticks off the clock at which point the madness truly begins…Anything Can Happen.

Sure this week has been spent in madness already with most of us pouring over statistics, reading articles, sitting on the edge of our seats until the report from Allan Ray’s eye doctor came in, and writing in a team on your bracket only to go back and scratch it out 5 minutes later because you just read an article that said their opponent hasn’t lost an opening round game in any of their tournament appearances (never mind that the last time they played in the tournament was 1973)…Anything Can Happen.

How many people predicted #14 Bucknell to beat #3 Kansas last year??? And that “holy terror” is back this year to try their hand at the Arkansas Razorbacks. (Side note #1: The Bucknell Bisons are located in Pennsylvania [you know you were curious]. I have visited the BucknellBison.com website twice today…that’s probably a record for anyone outside of their student body. It’s not half bad actually.) Can a Razorback beat a Bison or vice versa?…Anything Can Happen.

The bracket is flooded with possible Cinderella teams, even though I remember the days when Gonzaga was a potential Cinderella team. Could this be the year they finally win it? Is Adam Morrison their ace in the hole that will seal their destiny? Will this be the year that perennial tournament chokers the Florida Gators finally stop saying, “there’s always next year”? Ever since they lost the Championship game to Michigan State in 2000 they haven’t made it back to the Final Four. Then there’s my wonderful Alabama Crimson Tide. This is their 5th straight tournament appearance, but in the last 4 they’ve only made it out of the second round once. But I still keep hope alive. 🙂 Can UNC repeat with a bunch of freshman? Considering I didn’t expect them to win last year (I’m not kidding), it’s possible. (Side Note #2: I LOVE TYLER HANSBROUGH!!) Could Villanova be the first #1 seed in history to fall to a #16 seed? Monmouth is coming off a 22 point win over Hampton…Anything Can Happen.

The field of 65 was a little different than I’m used to. Creighton, Tulsa, Cincinnati, Louisville, Stanford, Wake Forest, and (my favorite) College of Charleston (who likes having to write out that one more than once on their bracket?) are all missing this year. It’s amazing the difference a year or two makes and just how much one or two players really meant to a team’s chances…Anything Can Happen.

Today the Madness begins and I couldn’t be more ready. There are few events in my life that I can tell you exactly where I was when they happened, but I can tell you where I was on the opening day of March Madness for the last 5 or 6 years. It is my favorite two day span of the entire year (the NFL draft comes in a close second). Nowhere else can you see 32 college basketball games in 2 days (If you have Direct TV, you can watch 4 at once), hopes and dreams are achieved and lost in a matter of a 2 hour span, new stars are revealed and old ones show that they’re only human, and suddenly we end up with a 14 seeded South Alabama in the Sweet Sixteen. So, from the opening pre-game show with Greg Gumble and Clark Kellogg (what does this guy do during the rest of the year?) to the final chords of “One Shining Moment” just remember one thing…Anything Can Happen.

Irony in Advertising

I was standing in line at the Pentagon Bus depot the other day waiting for my bus to arrive. When it finally pulled up, I noticed the advertisement on the side of the bus. Metrobuses are used to advertise new TV shows, financial institutions, crisis helplines, etc. You name it and they’ve probably advertised it on the side of one of their buses. However, this particular time the advertisement caught my eye and struck me as quite ironic, yet disturbing. The advertisement this time was for the 3rd installment of the movie Final Destination (a poorly done trilogy…don’t bother seeing it). So, no lie, the bus that I was about to board actually claimed on the side of it:

FINAL DESTINATION 3:
THIS RIDE WILL BE THE DEATH OF YOU

I honestly thought twice about boarding the bus, but thankfully there wasn’t truth in this advertising.