Every year since 1987, the NCAA Tournament ends by the playing of highlights from the year’s tournament with the song One Shining Moment in the background.
The highlights themselves are great, and CBS and Turner have done a great job of wrapping up the biggest moments of the tournament in a short video that allows fans to remember the upsets and drama of each year’s tournament. This should continue.
But what absolutely needs to stop is the playing of One Shining Moment with it.
I know what some of you are saying, “What? How can you not love One Shining Moment?!”, but I would say, if you are actually honest with yourself, can you look me in the eyes and tell me you actually like this song?
This song is awful. It is flat out terrible. It’s offensively bad.
The instrumental version sounds like it is from a corporate training video from the 1980s. The random synthesizer piano bits make no sense. The piano work itself is bland but alright, but when mixed with those horns, the song becomes unlistenable.
The singing, while serving as a bit of a redeeming quality — but not much of one — is done to lyrics that are so on the nose that they can’t even be passed off as tongue-in-cheek. Children’s TV shows have songs with more creativity and thought put into the lyrics for god’s sake.
The ball is tipped and there you are
Oh yeah, you sure are standing right there. Never would have guessed.
You’re running for your life you’re a shooting star
You aren’t just a normal star, but a shooting star. Wow.
And all the years no one knows just how hard you worked but now it shows…
We all know how hard these players, who are essentially professional athletes — even though no one can pay them without the FBI getting involved — work to get where they are. We get it.
One shining moment, it’s all on the line. One shining moment, there frozen in time
Sometimes there are lines in poems or songs that rhyme too much, and, holy hell, this is a prime example of that.
In fact if this song wasn’t so aptly named One Shining Moment, there is little chance this ever caught on in the first place, because again, this is a objectively terrible song.
There are, in essence, two camps of fans who enjoy this song.
There are those who like it ironically. There is a reason that The Ringer’s not-so-serious College Basketball Podcast is called One Shining Podcast. It’s a ode to the post-modern style of love for this track, in the “it’s so bad that’s it’s good” style of enjoyment.
But this post-modernist trend of liking things ironically together is a plague upon society. It isn’t genuine, and when taken to its final destination, it leads us to a society where we are incapable of sincerity or progress.
We will just be listening to One Shining Moment and hate-watching the Bachelor together forever, just pretending to actually like it, because haha, it’s so funny that we are all in on it. But all this leads to is more generic media and more shows like The Bachelor being produced, and it eventually makes it so people can no longer have sincere likes and dislikes. Everything just becomes a meta-joke shoving itself up its own ass. Make it stop.
Moving on, there is the group that solely likes the song being played because it is a tradition. It makes a little bit of sense why the song caught on in the first place. It screams 1980s, but to continue to play it today makes little sense.
Tradition is good, and one of the few things that can bridge gaps between generations and bring people together, but doing things solely for tradition’s sake is not. It allows terrible things like this damn song to get put on pedestals they don’t deserve and blocks them from critique and deep thought from culture and society.
This tradition for tradition’s sake is what leads to dangerous hazing still being prevalent in fraternities and sororities, and why arranged marriages still exist in many areas of the world — but there are quite a few arranged spouses who are happier than those who have chosen their life partners, but I digress.
Put simply, there isn’t a good reason that year after year the NCAA Tournament highlight package needs to keep using such a terrible song for its theme. CBS and Tuner should continue to do the yearly highlight video, but choose a different song.
Literally any other song would do. Just give us a bland sports instrumental if you have to.
As the new king of the edgelords put it, — The Last Jedi was great and a needed direction change for Star Wars, and there will be no debate — “Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to.”
Let’s all stop pretending to actually enjoy One Shining Moment.