Like so many teams in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 64, “One Shining Moment” was almost a one-and-done footnote.
The song, which has become a staple of March Madness, had to be shelved from its slot during the Super Bowl XXI telecast in 1987. That Super Bowl is known for the debuts of two other traditions: the Gatorade shower and the MVP exclaiming “I’m going to Disney World!”
Had “One Shining Moment” run on CBS after the Giants’ victory over the Broncos, it very likely would not have been more than backdrop music for some game highlights.
Instead, the bump meant it would be played at the end of the March Madness that spring. Now, a tournament highlight package featuring “One Shining Moment” will play for the 34th time after the NCAA men’s basketball championship on Monday.
The last-minute Super Bowl switch is one of the many quirks in the unlikely run of a song written on a napkin at a bar in Michigan by Emmy-winning composer David Barrett.
“I was writing all sorts of songs,” Barrett told Front Office Sports. “I was just writing them and putting them in my sock drawer. Then ‘One Shining Moment’ happened and all of a sudden I became talented.”
Barrett, now 66, doesn’t talk about the money he’s made from “One Shining Moment,” other than saying CBS “pays me like an adult, and that’s good.”
Some of the royalties also go to the estate of Luther Vandross — whose vocals will be used for the 18th time Monday — with a chunk of that money going to a scholarship program for HBCU students.