News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Indiana State University

March 24, 2011

B-SIDES: 1979 Indiana State Sycamores gave us ‘One Shining Moment’

TERRE HAUTE — In Indiana, it is permissible for a grown man to cry when facing basketball-related nostalgia.

The state constitution should contain such an amendment.

I’ll admit it — I get choked up when Jimmy Chitwood promises “I’ll make it” during the Hickory Huskers’ final timeout of the greatest hoops flick ever, “Hoosiers.” Others’ eyes might well up at the sight of grainy video footage of Pete Maravich in his LSU days.

So, after reading the following revelation, guys who also happen to be Indiana State Sycamore fans may want to wear shades — to maintain their dignity — while watching the closing seconds of the NCAA championship game on April 4.

“One Shining Moment” — the musical backdrop used by CBS for its popular Big Dance highlights montage, shown after every NCAA men’s basketball title game since 1987 — was inspired by the 1979 Sycamores.

Yes, it is (gulp) true. The quintessential Cinderella team captivated the song’s writer, David Barrett. Thus, even though ISU got knocked out of this year’s tournament in the first round, the university will be present in spirit when the 2011 winners cut down the nets in Houston, 12 days from now.

Wow. Terre Haute is the setting for the national anthem of March Madness. Why? “Because I lived in America and loved basketball,” Barrett explained by phone from his home in Ann Arbor, Mich. “And for a lot of people who think they are basketball players, as I did, we were watching Larry.”

(“Larry,” of course, is Larry Bird, who led ISU from anonymity to a No. 1 ranking and a 33-0 record before falling to Magic Johnson and the Michigan State Spartans in the 1979 NCAA Final.)

The story behind Barrett’s “One Shining Moment” is filled with irony, rejection, acceptance and good timing.

Seven years after ISU’s improbable NCAA run, Barrett found himself sitting virtually alone in a bar at 2 a.m., watching the day’s NBA highlights on ESPN. Up on the TV screen in that bar — which was located in, of all places, East Lansing (home of Michigan State University) — was Bird, performing his wizardry with the Boston Celtics.

“Then the most beautiful waitress in the Midwest, who didn’t know I existed, sat down beside me at the bar, which was empty,” Barrett recalled. “So, what next?”

He tried to impress her with his knowledge of Bird, dating back to 1979. “It was my moment to talk about what I know,” Barrett said, “and she was not impressed.

“I turned around and she was gone, never to be seen again,” he continued, “but I got a great song out of it.”

The phrase “one shining moment” hit Barrett as he walked out. The next morning, he sat at a table in the Knight Cap 2, waiting to meet a friend for breakfast, and wrote the lyrics to “One Shining Moment” on a napkin. They ate, and Barrett drove back to his apartment in Haslet, Mich., and composed the song’s music at his “funky little piano” in less than 20 minutes.

Soon, another friend heard a tape of Barrett playing “One Shining Moment” and paid to have him record it professionally. Then, Barrett bumped into a childhood friend, Armen Keteyian, an investigative reporter for CBS, who eventually heard his old buddy’s song and passed it along to Doug Towey, CBS Sports’ creative director. Towey loved it, and planned to use it during the highlights of Super Bowl XXI, but postgame interviews ran long and it got bumped.

So, Towey saved it for the 1987 NCAA basketball championship two months later.

Seconds after Indiana guard Keith Smart’s corner shot beat Syracuse, Barrett’s life changed as he watched it all on a sports bar TV.

“I didn’t know how they were going to use [“One Shining Moment”] and I saw Keith Smart hit that shot, and then, wow,” he recalled. “It was like lightning in a bottle.”

CBS pieced together video snippets of the ’87 tournament’s most dramatic moments, accompanied by the sounds of Barrett singing and performing his song. That’s been the routine ever since, with CBS later using versions by Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross and Jennifer Hudson. Hudson’s rendition drew widespread criticism because the montage included clips of her singing, rather than all-basketball highlights. As of Wednesday, Barrett wasn’t sure whose version CBS will air the night of April 4.

These days, Barrett, now 56, writes songs and scores musical themes for such things as the telecasts of the PGA Championship and tennis’ U.S. Open. He’s married now, and his wife is an avid basketball fan, too. They live in Ann Arbor. The waitress who walked off during his Larry Bird stories in that East Lansing tavern is now an English teacher, and Barrett learned that she uses his inspirational book, “One Shining Moment,” based on the song.

Barrett has withstood unending gripes that his signature song is corny and syrupy. Nonetheless, it is a March Madness fixture and marks its silver anniversary on CBS this April, 32 years after a team from Terre Haute, Indiana, caught Barrett’s attention. Even though Barrett grew up in Michigan, he “actually was pulling for Indiana State [against Michigan State], because I was so taken by this guy, Larry Bird — like, who is he, and where’d he come from?” He soon found the answers, and tried to explain it to that waitress while they watched Bird’s NBA highlights in 1986.

“I sat there thinking, ‘This guy’s so good, he’s at a time in his life that he’s like Picasso with a painting,’” Barrett said of Bird’s Celtics heyday. “He could do anything.”

Except write a song. That’s Barrett’s court or canvas. A couple years ago, a reporter asked Bird if he realized “One Shining Moment” was written about him and the Sycamores. “He said he didn’t know that,” Barrett said, “but he said something [that was] vintage Larry: ‘Well, the song’s done good.’”

I need a handkerchief.

Mark Bennett can be reached at (812) 231-4377 or mark.bennett@tribstar.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Indiana State University
  • ISU football picked last in MVFC

    Indiana State’s football team found itself in familiar, if depressing, territory when the Missouri Valley Football Conference preseason poll was released on Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Degano2.jpg Bullpen mates: Three relievers coming on strong down stretch for Rex

    The Terre Haute Rex pitching staff ranks fifth among the 12 teams in the Prospect League in earned-run average this season and first in the league with only four home runs allowed all summer. But the Rex pitchers might be the best in the league the past two weeks as the team has had two shutouts and two games with one run allowed in the past week.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Prettyman wants ISU to be prepared for potential NCAA changes

    Against a rising tide of media, public and institutional sentiment that would suggest otherwise, Indiana State Director of Athletics Ron Prettyman believes that the current model of college athletics still works.

    July 26, 2014

  • SPT 102613 UNDER TACKLE.jpg Can Sycamores bounce back from rough 2013 season?

    One week before Indiana State begins preseason practice, there really is only one fundamental question that the Sycamore program faces.
    Can it win again?

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ISU basketball trio earn national academic honors

    A trio of Indiana State basketball student-athletes have been named to the 2013-14 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court as announced by the national organization. Honored from Indiana State were Lucas Eitel, Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell.

    July 23, 2014

  • Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville

    Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Truebytower.jpg Memorable experience in Morocco for ISU soccer team could help team's growth

    Coming off the best season in its history, the Indiana State women’s soccer team figures to have the experience to do even better in the upcoming fall season.
    Or maybe that’s #TheExperience.

    July 23, 2014 11 Photos

  • Metro: ISU graduate Johnson sixth in shot at Monaco

    Indiana State graduate Felisha Johnson competed in her first International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League track and field meeting Friday, placing sixth in a shot put competition that featured six of the top seven throwers in the world for 2014.

    July 18, 2014

  • MVC to shift women's basketball tournament to Moline, Ill.

    The Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament will move 90 miles farther from Terre Haute beginning in 2016, the league announced Thursday.

    July 17, 2014

  • Metro: ISU-IU football game to be on ESPNEWS

    Indiana University announced Wednesday that the season opening game between Indiana State and IU will be played at noon on Sept. 30.

    July 16, 2014

  • Odum heads for Vegas with Kings summer team

    Terre Haute native Jake Odum scored three points in the Indiana Pacers’ 84-74 victory on Thursday over the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League.

    July 11, 2014

  • odum.jpg Odum has 5 points for Pacers in summer play

    Former Indiana State standout Jake Odum contributed five points, three assists and a steal in 15 minutes on the court Wednesday for the Indiana Pacers summer league team.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • MVC Tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018

    Missouri Valley Conference men's tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018.

    July 9, 2014

  • Odum scores 2 points off bench for Pacers

    Three of the top picks in last month’s draft are adjusting to NBA at different speeds at the Orlando Pro Summer League.

    July 7, 2014

  • SPT062714dans gardner1.jpg Gardner staying sharp with Danville

    This summer with the Danville Dans is a big one for Terre Haute native Cody Gardner, who wants to play a part in keeping Indiana State baseball successful in 2015.
    The former Terre Haute North High School standout painfully sat and watched as a Division I transfer as ISU made its ninth trip to the NCAA Tournament with a 35-win regular season.

    July 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Metro: ISU’s Wise starts out well in USATF championships

    Indiana State sprinter Katie Wise advanced to the semifinals of the women’s 100 meters as she ran 11.42 seconds in the opening heat of the event Thursday evening at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships.

    June 27, 2014

  • SPT021914ISUMBB odum.jpg ISU's Odum talks about agreeing to play for Pacers' summer-league team

    No team selected him in the two-round NBA draft Thursday night, but Terre Haute native and four-year Indiana State basketball standout Jake Odum agreed Friday to play for the Indiana Pacers’ summer-league squad next month.

    June 27, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • SPT 030914 ODUM FILE.jpg Steady success: ISU continued to climb ladder with one of its best overall seasons ever

    First of all, if you’re an Indiana State fan, stand up and applaud. The Sycamores collectively went where only one Sycamore athletic department went before in 2013-14. ISU finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference All-Sports Trophy standings. ISU recorded a score of 3.538, its highest in school history.

    June 25, 2014 6 Photos

  • SPT021914ISUMBB odum.jpg Jake Odum about to reach red letter date in his career

    Terre Haute’s Jake Odum made a name, a reputation and a wonderful career for himself during his four seasons at Indiana State. If nothing else were to happen in his basketball life, he’ll always be one of the Sycamores’ all-time best.
    Of course, Odum wants more. He wants to play in the NBA. Since ISU’s season concluded in late March, he’s been on a three-month quest to fulfill his dream.

    June 24, 2014 3 Photos 1 Story

  • Metro roundup: Odum to work out with Lakers

    Terre Haute native and former Indiana State guard Jake Odum will have two more workouts before next Thursday’s NBA Draft. Odum will work out with the Los Angeles Lakers today. Odum will have a second workout with the Orlando Magic next week before the draft.

    June 20, 2014 1 Story

  • ISU takes balanced approach with newcomer Tre Bennett

    Indiana State’s men’s basketball program recruited Tre Bennett to be its next starting point guard. Indiana State does not want to put too much pressure on Bennett in his first season.
    Those two sentences seem to be a contradiction. But ISU’s coaches and Bennett himself are hoping there’s a third way, a path where he can ease into a role as a contributor without the pressure, at least right off the bat, of being “the man.”

    June 18, 2014

  • SPT061214 ISUMBB parker.jpg New ISU coach Parker makes first impression

    Indiana State assistant coach Terry Parker hasn’t had too much time to make a first impression.
    Officially hired in late April, but identified as Dave Ragland’s replacement on Greg Lansing’s staff long before that, there haven’t been many team activities for Parker to take part in since he joined ISU’s staff from Utah Valley.

    June 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Greggmar Swift advances to NCAA hurdles final

    Greggmar Swift advanced to the finals of the 110-meter hurdles to highlight Indiana State’s performances during day two of the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field.

    June 13, 2014

  • Katie_Wise_(Credit_Chris_Zoeller).jpeg ISU taking mix of veterans, underclassmen to NCAAs

    With three sophomores among Indiana State’s record number of entrants heading to the NCAA outdoor track and field championships, the Sycamores are in position to have athletes competing for a national title for at least a couple more seasons.
    Katie Wise, in particular, has the potential to rack up multiple All-American accolades between now and the time she graduates in 2016.

    June 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pair of Sycamores selected in Major League Baseball draft

    Two Indiana State baseball players were chosen in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft Saturday.
    Senior shortstop Tyler Wampler, a 2010 graduate of West Vigo High School, went to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 17th round (519th overall) and junior catcher Mike Fitzgerald went to the San Diego Padres in the 27th round (807th overall).

    June 7, 2014

  • SPT041113lutz point.jpg Ex-Sycamore Lutz begins NFL journey with Colts

    The end of the journey. Or, really, just the beginning. That's how former Indiana State center FN Lutz described his emotions after signing a free-agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday morning.

    June 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Metro roundup: Rex opener postponed to today

    The Terre Haute Rex grand opening has been pushed back to today due to Monday’s thunderstorms.

    June 2, 2014

  • SPT 053114 LANDON CURRY FLY.jpg ISU baseball can't find lifeline

    Indiana State ends NCAA regional with 0-2 mark as its season ends.

    May 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT 053114 MITCH HANNAHS.jpg FROM THE PRESS BOX: Hannahs strikes pitch perfect no-excuse, no-apology tone

    ISU coach Mitch Hannahs strikes pitch perfect no-excuse, no-apology tone.

    May 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT 053014 KEAFFABER THROW.jpg Despite loss, ISU's Keaffaber draws praise

    Indiana State pitcher Ryan Keaffaber lost to Stanford in NCAA regional, but his effort was lauded.

    May 30, 2014 2 Photos

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village 3 People Killed, Deputies Wounded in NC Shootout Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Smoke, Explosions Fill Gaza Skyline Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Today in History for July 31st Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity