Occasionally, a piece of music comes along that so perfectly captures the societal moment, so harmoniously lyricizes the cultural zeitgeist and so effortlessly attaches itself to the brains of all who hear its melody that it simply cannot be anything but a popular '90s sitcom theme song rewritten by a pair of little-used college basketball players seeking to inspire, motivate or simply entertain their team before an NCAA tournament Sweet 16 game.
So it was that Wisconsin walk-ons Aaron Moesch and Matt Ferris produced a Badgers parody video of Will Smith’s "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" for their absurdly wonderful Moesch Madness series. Just a day earlier, they’d hilariously tried to recreate Bronson Koenig’s game-winning three-pointer against Xavier in "The Shot," while last week’s video featured the self-deprecatingly charismatic duo exploring St. Louis and interviewing players prior to Wisconsin’s first-round victory over Pittsburgh.
On Thursday, Moesch and Ferris were at it again, in '90s garb (multicolored hats!) and with a boom box shouldered, stretching, hooping and then traveling across the country, a la Smith in the show’s famous intro. Incidentally, the Badgers were headed to Philadelphia – the initial setting for Smith’s autobiographical song ("In West Philadelphia, born and raised…") – for their Sweet 16 matchup with Notre Dame on Friday.
Neither Moesch nor Ferris has played yet in the NCAA tournament, which is probably for the best if the team hopes to continue winning, but their work off the court has been prodigious and no-doubt a welcome reprieve for the team from the weight of the games. Although that pressure hasn’t seemed to be a problem for Wisconsin; last year, Nigel Hayes became a sesquipedalian sensation for his efforts trying to flummox the press conference stenographer, and this year we have the delightfully self-unserious walk-ons.
It's clear: The Badgers own March (er, Moesch) Madness.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.