Monday, April 7, 2014

One Shining Moment

On my flight to New York for the sweet sixteen games, I met a woman who was a big fan of March Madness and was set to attend the doubleheader that night at Madison Square Garden. She told me that at her wedding the couple's first dance was to the tune of One Shining Moment.

For those not familiar with the tournament, or for those who give up waiting for it at the end of the championship game, "One Shining Moment" is an uplifting song that is the backdrop to a montage of tournament highlights.  The reason the announcers tease viewers with "coming up next, One Shining Moment, is that it really is fun to watch And the more time viewers wait for it, the more advertising time CBS can sell late at night.

This has been a great tournament.  One nail biter of a game after another.  The sight of the Wisconsin players at the end of their game against Kentucky was enough, without any words, to explain why "the agony of defeat" is a real phenomenon.  And Kentucky's explosion when the last shot bounded away captured "the thrill of victory."
I can understand how my airplane riding friend could select the Big Dance's One Shining Moment for her Big Dance.  We can all identify the shining moments in our lives.  The times we put it on the line and reached for the sky.  Even the basketball metaphor is apt:

"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, and now it shows...for one shining moment"

Life, I say to any who will listen, is a cornucopia.  The ultimate amusement park. The trick is when the ball is tipped to try and capture those shining moments available to us. And when we have done so, we look back happily. Nobody looks back at those moments when we made extra money; we look at those moments that touch our hearts.  Nobody in the tournament tonight will yelp in joy or in agony because of a nickel.  The exuberant winners will jump like maniacs because their hearts are filled up with the joy of working together successfully.  And my friend on the plane wanted that music played at her wedding because--I am guessing since I never met her before and will likely not see her again--for that one shining moment of her wedding she had reached for the sky and her heart would soar.

Prediction: Connecticut wins. Why? They do not have any business winning and this tournament has been so unpredictable. Connecticut should lose by 20, so they will win by 5.

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