The anticipation is building. There is a chill in the air. I can sense it. I can smell it. March Madness is upon us. Selection Sunday is days away. Powerhouses will get paired with the little-colleges-that-could. It’s time to celebrate the underdogs as they get their glory and then have your heart ripped out when the seasoned squads go down in flames. From the heart touching backstories of the players to the heart pounding buzzer beaters, in my book it’s the most wonderful time of the year (cue the music).
On a trip to visit my paternal family in Indianapolis a few years ago, my aunt took me downtown to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art where she was a docent. The museum is near the NCAA Hall of Champions, and she was gracious to add that to her planned tour for me. Once inside I was instantly transported to a place of nirvana when I saw that it has an area dedicated to all of the “One Shining Moment“ videos. This musical montage that plays at the conclusion of the tournament after the champs cut down the nets has been a favorite moment of mine since it began in 1987. It was the inspiration for me eventually becoming a promotion producer for a CBS affiliate and loving every sports assignment I got so I could get one step closer to producing my own One Shining Moment-like video pieces. I love the soulful renditions that Teddy Pendergrass and Luther Vandross did, but the original version sung by David Barrett, who also wrote the song will always hold a special place in my heart. For some reason in 2010 they had Jennifer Hudson cover the song. I love J-Hud but she cannot turn everything she touches into gold.
Through the years the talent of the players has improved, so has the production of the March Madness swan song. I can’t wait to see if a Cinderella emerges this tournament – who will rise and shine and who will have bragging rights for the year to come. Let the Madness begin!