BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The following is a commentary blog from WBRC Sports Director Rick Karle:
Fame can be a great thing, but it can also be dangerous.
A case in point took place on Monday night, when moments after the shot heard around the world, moments after Villanova beat North Carolina 77-74, moments after the Wildcat's Ryan Arcidiacono was named the game's Most Outstanding Player, a broadcaster tried to make the moment all about him.
The talented yet forcibly sappy Jim Nantz met Arcidiacono on the court to continue what he called his personal Final Four tradition: He gave Arcidiacano his necktie.
That's right, a middle-aged man thought so highly of himself that he believed a young college kid would be honored to be given one of his almighty ties.
"I was shocked," Arcidiacono said.
"The tie symbolizes a lot for me: My father, how he taught me how to tie a tie," Nantz explained.
"I just felt a few years ago I wanted to do something to honor a senior who wins the title, to give them something to take home. I bring a new tie to the game every year and I find a player that I'm inspired about everything about them. What they do on the floor, what they do on the classroom. That was an easy one tonight," Nantz added.
While I can appreciate the heartfelt thoughts of Nantz (like Nantz, my father taught me how to tie a tie), my overriding thought continues to be: A necktie? From a broadcaster?
I'm thinking that Nantz thinks a bit too highly of himself. I mean, Arcidiacono had just won something he had dreamed of winning all of his life, and it wasn't a piece of clothing worn by a broadcaster.
What next, Verne Lundquist giving his sweater vest to Leonard Fournette? Chris Fowler giving his belt buckle to Derrick Henry? Marv Albert giving his hairpiece to Lebron James?
And don't think this personal tradition by Nantz hasn't forced me to think about giving a can of hairspray to our weekly high school football MVP on our "Sideline" show.
It's a big week for Jim Nantz, a polished, smooth talking head who now heads to Augusta National to do what he does best: Keep the blue hairs from getting upset.
May I suggest that when Henrik Stenson or Jordan Spieth are being presented the green jacket on Sunday evening, Nantz refrains from saying, "Hey, I have a great-looking tie that would go with that size 44...wanna try it on?"
What a Monday it was: One of the best endings to a national championship game ever, capped off by a tradition unlike any other: The Jim Nantz necktie presentation. And you thought you had seen everything.