A Team and a Song United by Hate

What does Duke and “One Shining Moment” have in common?

A lot of hatred.

Some of it with merit, most of it unfounded.

For non-sports fans, let me explain.  Monday night, Duke University won it’s 4th NCAA men’s basketball championship, defeating Butler University, 61-59.  At the end of the telecast, CBS plays a song called “One Shining Moment”, written by .  On Twitter last night, there were many who were not afraid to vent their hatred towards Duke, some defending Duke, and many who have soured on “One Shining Moment.”  Let’s break both of these topics down.


For the record, I respect Duke as a team.  It doesn’t mean that I have to like or love them.  Part of that reason is what chief sports antagonist and flamethrower Gregg Doyel penned in his on-line column for CBS Sportsline Monday morning.  For as many contributions Dick Vitale has given to college basketball, Vitale is unable to pull himself away from gushing about Duke and proclaiming that their “stuff” don’t stink.

Love him or hate him, Dick Vitale has a major role in the divisive debate about Duke.

It’s nauseating and needless.

We know Duke is a good school.  Good students attend Duke.  My uncle is a Duke grad.  But going to the “Duke can’t do no wrong” card is blasphemy.  They have just as many problems as North Carolina, Iowa, and Drake has (see Duke Lacrosse and the school’s handling of it).   Former Blue Devil Jay Bilas and author John Feinstein, unlike Vitale, isn’t afraid to criticize Coach Mike Krzyzewski and the program when it’s needed.

It’s called doing your job as an analyst.

Christian Laettner, to me, is the driving reason for my dislike of them, despite the fact that I was a huge Bobby Hurley fan.  Hurley played his guts out.  Laettner was a borderline thug.  Fans didn’t like how he stepped on Kentucky’s Aminu Timberlake in the memorable 1992 East Regional Finals.  He was never called for the foul, was never remorseful about it, and he made the game winning basket to win the game.

Yeah, bad guys do win. 

As far as calls going their way, yes a good number will go their way.  Why? When you are a team that has been in the top 25 for nearly 20 years, finishing in the top half of the ACC in all but one year since the late 80’s, and you’re on TV more than “Leave it Beaver” reruns, damn right you will get some breaks.  That’s life as the hunted.  Some of it isn’t entirely Duke’s, or Mike Krzyzewski’s doing, but you get them anyway.

Unless you are flopping like a fish like Greg Paulus looking for a charge, J.J. Redick leaning into you in mid-air while getting a shot off to draw a foul, and Gerald Henderson using his elbow as a meat-cleaver to North Carolina’s Tyler Hansborough’s nose.  Any well-versed fan will admit that some of the antics that has been pulled by some Duke players have drawn the ire of many college hoops fans.

The man behind "One Shining Moment." Click on his picture and read his story.

“One Shining Moment”

Since 1987, “OSM” as I’ll call it for short, has been the song that signaled the official end of the college basketball season.  Originally sung by David Barrett, it has been used in a montage showing the best moments of the tournament that has concluded.  Sadly (and pathetically in my opinion) this song has started to sour among most who have watched the tournament.  Namely men.  Why?  Because Jennifer Hudson was selected to sing the new (4th) version of OSM.

Second, men thinks the song is cheesy.  Any guy who hates it must have forgotten what it’s like to be in high school and in college playing sports.  For many of these players, they will not go to the NBA.  When the clock hits 0:00, basketball and college for them is over.  That song has a meaning.  Maybe you need to listen to it a lot more closely to understand it.

Don’t blame Jennifer Hudson for this. Blame CBS.  Besides, it’s not us that CBS should be getting the approval from.  It’s the guy who wrote the song that should have every right to sign off on a singer performing it or not.  If he signed off on Hudson, then I can’t bitch about that.  It’s his song, not mine or yours.

Here are the the following renditions, for your listening pleasure, in order:  the original by Barrett, Vandross, and Pendergrass.

I didn’t have problems with Hudson’s version at all.  It was tastefully done and it was different.  Just like the Vandross and Pendergrass versions were.  And yet, no one whined.

Until now.

If you don’t like it, turn it to ESPN once the game ends.  I turn the channel when Bruce Springsteen or Bono starts singing.  It’s not that I hate them.  I’m not a fan of their music and I respect them.

I would rather listen to Hudson’s singing it over Green Day, T-Pain, or some hack performer today mess up a good thing with some of the trash I’m listening to these days.  At least she has some credibility.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. TCMSM says:

    Bingo! You nailed it. It’s how it the highlight package is put together. Paul, do you think CBS has gotten somewhat lazy in doing the highlights, or is there a sense that they have to rush it at the end? Shows now having shorter openings and closings and as a viewer, it makes me feel that something is lacking.

  2. Paul Yeager says:

    It wasn’t the singing that got me out of tune, it was the lack of good plays. Emotional cutaways are good at the end of a game. Not 40% of the OSM. You want the big plays, a acrobatic plays, the coach jumping up or hands in the air of the huddle. OSM is NOT about WHO is singing it. You want to more than 2 shots of UNI. Creative angles anyone? You own all the tape, all the angles, someone with talent needs to be thinking of getting shots we didn’t see if we watched most of the tourney.

    That’s my beef. Too many tears, not enough great shots, great huddles, teammates joined arm in arm while their PG shoots a FT to ice the game, that’s what you want.

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