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AUDIO: Phish wrote a song about Memphis' Darius Washington, Jr.

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

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As a person who grew up in Vermont, this is a weird convergence of my favorite things here on the blog. Phish, the most popular musical act to ever emerge from the Green Mountain State, has written a new song that's likely to be part of the group's forthcoming LP, the 16th record the foursome will have made in its three decade-long career to date.

The song has an interesting subject matter. But, again, we're talking about Phish, a band whose lyrical inspirations have come from things such as "McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters," "Bathtub Gin, "Colonel Forbin's Ascent" and "Golgi Apparatus." This one, entitled "The Line," relates to one of the more infamous failures in recent college basketball history. It was debuted on Thursday night, Halloween, at the band's first night of its three-gig show in Atlantic City, which wraps up their fall tour.

Darius Washington, Jr. played for Memphis from 2004-2006. It was during the C-USA finals in 2005 when he missed two of three free throws -- as a freshman, with no time on the clock -- that prevented the John Calipari-coached Tigers from reaching the NCAA tournament. One of the bigger, more memorable moments in college basketball in the past 10 years, for sure. And now Phish has put the tragedy in a tune.

It's no "Stash" or "Run Like an Antelope," but it's a jam nonetheless -- a happy-feeling postscript to what was such a heartbreaking moment for Washington, Jr., Memphis and many college basketball fans. Washington, Jr. currently plays for Olin Edirne of the Turkish Basketball League, according to Wikipedia. I'm dying to know what he thinks of this. I'm guessing Billy Breathes is not on his iPod.

Here are the lyrics. Below, Washington, Jr.'s moment of infamy.

Dry mouth, push it out, I can hear my heart pound
A hero's what I'm not
Voices scream, flashes flare, frozen as the people stare
My crucifixion shot

Friends were electric on the western side while triangles
Were shifting on the floor
Squeezing out the breath that I don't have, they're quiet now
They only want two more

And you step to the line
And you step to the line

Every shot I've taken has led me to this moment
Since I was 4 feet high
Big D is watching, I remember what he taught me
Don't let 'em see you cry

[Chorus]

Try to see your future from the line
You're clinging to the notion you'll be fine
But the circle's getting smaller all the time

 
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