Thursday, March 12, 2009

One Shining Moment originator dies; but our wasted youth is eternal

Doug Towey, the man behind making One Shining Moment into the anthem of CBS' NCAA Tournament coverage, died earlier this week. It would be remiss to not acknowledge his passing.
"Folk singer David Barrett penned the song in 1986 and gave it to his high school friend CBS News Chief Investigative Correspondent, and then Sports Illustrated staff writer, Armen Keteyian. He passed it along to Towey who planned to use it to accompany the network's closing highlights of Super Bowl XXI in January 1987. But due to long-running interviews the song never made it to air.

A couple of months later, Towey was looking for a way to bring CBS Sports' NCAA Tournament coverage to a close and decided to use it. One Shining Moment made its Final Four debut on March 30, 1987, following Keith Smart's baseline jumper in the final seconds that gave Indiana a 74-73 victory over Syracuse.
It's schmaltzy as all hell, but you'd defy anyone not to get a little misty.

Two personal favourites always stick out: One was 1997, Arizona's overtime win over Kentucky (the Wildcats beating the Wildcats), just for the shared experience of a bunch of guys sitting in the TV room at a university residence, living and dying with every basket, every foul. There was so pent-up emotion in that room that once it was over, the only way to let it out was to throw on some sweats and running shoes and go out and play touch football on the lawn outside, even though it was midnight out and snowing heavily. Of course, we waited for One Shining Moment.

Last, but not least, Syracuse in 2003.

There was room full of yelling, screaming 19-year-olds that night, at least not with that mid-20-something who watching on a TV in a newspaper office's boardroom. Times change and you learn to put away childish things, but not all of them.

Strange karma: CBS' "One Shining Moment" guy dies (Los Angeles Daily News; via The Quad)

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Helen said...
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