LISTEN: Phish studio track written for legendary Memphis player

We first told you about this back in November.

Phish, the famous Vermont jam band, operates like few other groups ever have. That goes for how they play their shows, promote the group, release their music and and write their songs.

Frontman/nimble guitarist Trey Anastasio's taken to sports as of late, fully embracing the "Willllsonnnnn!!!" chant at Seahawks games/Phish shows (a connection between the Phish tune and Seattle QB Russell Wilson).

And on Phish's forthcoming album, Fuego, the band's included a song titled, "The Line."

It's about a Memphis basketball player and an infamous moment. Darius Washington, Jr. missed two of three free throws in the 2005 Conference USA finals. The Tigers then missed the NCAA Tournament because of bricks. It's part of Memphis lore, and will forever be part of Washington's basketball story.

Via Rolling Stone, we now have the studio cut for "The Line," which saw its debut last Halloween, at an Atlantic City gig. Embedded above is the album edition. To my ears, it's a nice effort, but not as good as "Waiting All Night," which is also on Fuego (I've played that one at least 20 times in the past week).

At last check, Washington was still playing and making money to hoop, so don't worry about him too much. He's been in the Turkish Basketball League. I'd love to sit with him and get an honest review of the song after a first listen. He's on Twitter, though via a protected account.

Here are the lyrics and those heartbreaking missed foul shots.

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


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

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning senior writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his eighth season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics,... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories