Goodman Shaffer: ‘One Shining Moment’ is always a lot of fun


I love the NCAA basketball tournament. From the crazy upsets to the crazy fans, the Big Dance is one of the big joys of American sports.

Everyone can participate — and everyone does. From morning show hosts, to past presidents, everyone shares their brackets; even preschoolers and puppies make predictions on who will come out on top.

But my very favorite part of the CBS coverage is the song it plays that always closes the tournament: “One Shining Moment.”

I used to love creating highlight reels of the local district and state championship games, both boys and girls, to that unique anthem, written by singer-songwriter David Barrett.

It’s been used as the NCAA Tournament anthem since 1987, with versions recorded over the years by musical legends like Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross, Jennifer Hudson and Ne-Yo; it’s become a tradition, just as the cutting down of the nets.

The picture painted by the song is awesome: “The ball is tipped … there you are …” it goes …“you’re running for your life … you’re a shooting star.”

Supplemented with outstanding, creative images captured by network videographers, the song celebrates all that the college basketball tournament means to its players, coaches, schools, fans and communities.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has called it “the best song for any sport in the world.”

But the theme of One Shining Moment is way bigger than basketball.

While images roll: teams running onto the court, bands swaying in unison, three point rain-makers, the video recounts the tournament excitement.

But the lyrics remind us of all that goes into getting there in the first place, and what it means to step up when you have the chance to do something truly special. That can be on a basketball court, or sitting at a piano, or in any circumstance of life.

“But time is short…and the road is long…” so the song goes“…”in the blinking of an eye…ah, that moment’s gone…”

Athletes know that their time is short. For college basketball players, four years go by in a heartbeat, the three weeks of the NCAA tournament is like a flash. But the years of youth sports,, summer and traveling teams, JV and varsity experiences made those shining moments possible, and precious.

“And when it’s done, win or lose”… the anthem surmises… “you always did your best… cuz inside you knew…one shining moment you reached for the sky, one shining moment you were willing to try.”

The victory is not only for the ones that hoist the trophy, but for everyone who gives their all. The shining moment is not just for the champions, it celebrates not only the outcome, but the experiences along the way.

So in the realm of basketball or business, piano or parenting, even if we don’t have such a wonderful theme song, we can all work toward our own one shining moment.

Kellie Goodman Shaffer can be reached at kellie@bedfordcountychamber.org. Her column appears on Tuesdays.