If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: nothing says March Madness like some crying kids on national television immediately after getting their heart ripped out of their chest. I actually said it last week when this poor Arizona State kid (who turned out to be the son of the athletic trainer) became the first sad tourney kid of 2018 during the play-in games. It’s become a part of the experience at this point.
The CBS/TNT/TBS/TruTV crew have been on a tear the last few years in the crying fan department. They’ve created viral moment after viral moment doing this and they’re experts at it now. You know when a game is going down to the wire and somebody is about to lose in dramatic fashion, that we’re about to see some waterworks.
This obviously has people on the internet deeming this problematic.
Good news for us is that CBS is sticking to their guns. They aren’t bowing to the internet mob and they rightfully defended themselves against this stupid narrative. Yahoo asked CBS producer Harold Bryant about this growing criticism and he pretty much shot it all down.
“It’s part of the drama and the storytelling of the tournament,” he said, speaking on behalf of both CBS and Turner. “It’s part of the emotion. We try to capture the emotion and we try to strike that right balance.”
When asked about the specific criticism that showing kids is a cheap or lazy way to convey drama, Bryant said, “Again, we try to strike a balance. We show happy kids, we show sad kids, we show happy adults, we show players that are happy, we show players that are sad, crying on the benches or on the floor. We do our best, throughout all of these games, throughout the tournament, to strike that proper balance.”
This is March. It’s what the tournament is all about. One second you’ll see a Michigan fan losing his goddamn mind because Jordan Poole just cashed a contested NBA three to send his team to the Sweet Sixteen, and the next it’s a 10-year old Houston fan who got his soul crushed.
Sometimes you’re the Michigan fans, sometimes your the Houston fan. That’s life. Props to CBS for not backing down.