By: Jeff Riger

I admit it, I love the NCAA tournament!  Of all the sporting events out there, I’m pretty sure that I like the tournament the most.  It has to be the “one and done” mentality of it all that really draws me in.  Knowing that the best team doesn’t always win too, makes me like the event even more.  There is nothing like the Big Dance in sports and I’m already bummed that it is over, considering it seems like it all just started.

But, it’s not just the tourney alone that I love, oh no, it’s more than that.  I love the mascots, the buzzer beaters, the upsets and most of all “One Shining Moment.”  That’s right, I love that silly little song that has probably had about 15 remakes and is played after every tournament accompanied with the best highlights of March Madness.  I make a point of setting my dvr just to make sure that I have the ability to go home and watch “One Shining Moment” again and again, until I have memorized the exact amount of times Michigan, Michigan State and other state schools have been represented.  I enjoy breaking it all down.

So, you can imagine that it came as a complete shock to me as I recently found out that my love for “One Shining Moment” is not shared by others.  In fact there is a small contingent of people that have never even heard of the song in their entire life.  How can this be?  It just doesn’t make any sense!  I thought the order of events that follow after the title game is known by all.  You know how it goes!  You watch the team cut down the nets, you watch a couple of interviews, CBS eventually throws the broadcast back to whoever is hosting the event, the losing coach is interviewed and then it happens…

Duh Duh Duh Duh Duh….

I know the above is plain rubbish considering you have no clue what it means, but I do.  It’s the start of the icing on the cake, the satisfying finish that is “One Shining Moment,” one of the greatest sports traditions of all time.  Every time I hear “the ball is tipped” I get chills and find myself singing the rest of the way.  Every time “you’re running for your life, you’re a shooting star” is uttered those chills turn into goose bumps as most of the time you see some player diving out of bounds to save a ball for his team.  The whole thing is just so damn inspirational.  I don’t know why I like it so much, I just do.  I just can’t believe that others don’t share my enthusiasm.

So, I have decided to get serious.  After contemplating for a bit after finding out that so many people hate the NCCA fantastic tradition of “One Shining Moment” I have decided to get to the bottom of this all.  I want to know if the majority of college basketball fans enjoy the song or if they wish it would just go away?  My findings will determine if I ever mention the genius tune again or if I can continue with my public love affair with it.

So what do you say?  “One Shining Moment?”  Jam it or slam it?

Before you vote below, let me state my case.

Every sporting event has some kind of tradition.  In the NHL teams shake hands after the series after beating the bloody pulp out of each other.  At the Indy 500, the winner downs gallons of creamy, thick, possibly curdled milk.  And, then there is the Boston Red Sox, where during the middle of every 8th inning, the crowd at Fenway sings “Sweet Caroline” a truly sickening sight and thought.  Of course the general sports public thinks all of the above are awesome traditions, so why does “One Shining Moment” get treated differently?

Who could forget Mateen Cleaves dancing after MSU won it all in 2000?  Who could forget Chris Webber calling a timeout Michigan did not have in 1993?  And, who could forget Miles Simon and Mike Bibby winning a title for Arizona in 1997?  I could never forget these great tournament moments and neither has “One Shining Moment.”  That is what makes the song and tradition great.

Did you know that after every title game the entire working media, with their deadlines looming stop to watch “One Shining Moment” at whatever venue they happen to be at?  That sounds like respect for the tradition.  Doesn’t it?

I absolutely love the way the NCAA tournament decides to wrap up their perfect playoff system.  But do you?

Sure the song is cheesy, nerdy and could very easily have been played on many after schools specials in the eighties.  But the tune is also the beauty of the greatest sports spectacle known to man.  Its 3 weeks of solid, entertaining basketball wrapped up into 3 minutes of a catchy, sing-along ditty that leaves you with all you need to know about what transpired in the days previous.  It’s “One Shining Moment,” the greatest sports tradition of them all.

So I ask again…

“One Shining Moment?”  Jam it or slam it?

I think the answer is obvious!

Comments (3)
  1. Mike says:

    Riger likes wheelbarrows and hearts made out of leaves

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