NERDS! Who doesn’t love them, hell, I was the biggest nerd ever -my wife says I still am. I got this awesome picture from Deadspin.com and I couldn’t resist sharing it on Facebook with commentary. Then I realized Facebook didn’t offer the space required to do the in-depth analysis this picture deserves. For me, it will go down as the single best photo of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, if not the best sporting picture of the year. If you haven’t figured it out, it’s of the Harvard Band. Their joy was captured during March 21st’s Crimson’s upset win over New Mexico. Warning! If you’re sensitive to fun being poked at rich white and Asian kids, go away.
First it’s obvious that the band is the team’s best weapon, and the reason Harvard was invited to the big dance in the first place; the fact is, the band’s mere presence distracts opposing teams so much that they can’t concentrate on their game. It would take a team loaded with narcissists, or a team who grew up in Nerd infested environments and thus have a natural immunity, not to be distracted by this motley collection of Poindexters. Unfortunately for Harvard, most teams at this level of competition are indeed the former. Notice I’m trying to sound intelligent, so that any Crimson student or alum who happens to stumble upon this blog would be impressed and not sneer and dub me a heathen. Enough of this ridiculous preamble, let’s get on with our in-depth analysis.
The first person that deserves mention, other than Lewis, the joyous band leader, who is politely clapping in honor of his team’s momentous achievement is the member on the upper right with his hands atop his head. He doesn’t look happy, as a matter of fact, he seems distraught – as if he has bet his future stock options against the Crimson or he procrastinated in completing his dissertation on the bet they would be back at Harvard by Friday night in time to cram all weekend. Whatever the case, he seems to be in the initial stage of panic and is considering relocating to San Jose and becoming a mid-level manager for a high tech firm.
Next to Lewis, we have Poindexter who in his excitement pitched his violin and is doing the Macarena. Cymbal Girl, now she’s intriguing, I can’t tell if she is going to climb the ladder at the FBI or if she’s a serial killer. She’s not celebrating the victory as much as revealing in her opponent’s misery. The kid to Cymbal Girl’s right is an athlete, but not good enough to make the team, even at Harvard, his reaction indicates a rich fantasy life in which he’s just sunk the winning basket.
The gal in the second row waving her fist is activism personified. And tonight her spiel is painful for New Mexico, because she’s about to say: “Not only are we smarter than you, we just kicked your ass.” The fat trumpet player next to her seems to be the love child of John Candy and Truman Capote, I’m happy that his team’s fate isn’t depended on him sinking a free-throw with no time left. Next to Truman Candy we have a leader, only I can’t tell if she’s the winner of the next papal conclave or if she’s taking over the North Jersey Mob. Whatever the case, she’s internalizing the moment and will use it against someone, someday, somehow. The redheaded guy next to Pope Soprano, he’s the underachiever; he could be the smartest one of the lot, but he has the least confidence and will end up drinking himself to death, become a novelist, or both. Asian guy next to Ernest Harvardway is simply happy, he will probably produce an algorithm unlocking the secret to attaining that blissful state.
Third row, second from left looks like Lurch with a brain. Big enough, but not coordinated to play round ball. The guy next to Lurch is in a way the most intriguing: The lack of emotion indicates he is a deep thinker, and eternally inspired by what he sees, so much so that in watching the course of the basketball during game he began theorizing the effects of a black hole’s gravitational implication on spherical objects. If the game were to have gone on another two minutes he would have completed the Unified Theorem, but the game ended and the crowd’s outburst derailed his train of thought and now a great moment in science was ruined by a bunch of guys in shorts chasing a ball.
And then there’s the flute girl. Potentially the most complicated of the lot. She’s wearing black and a hat, so immediately the band even considers her an oddball. If her hair is an indication, her brain is boiling and is a time bomb ready to go off. That she plays the flute is symbolic of something. Her expression says that her team’s victory grants external validation to complex, tangled emotions that Freud wouldn’t tackle and Dickens couldn’t write about. It is my opinion she should lose the hat and allow some pressure to vent before her head explodes.
For those in the band that I didn’t mention, congratulations, because this means you will slip into the life of a multi-millionaire almost unnoticed and with little fan-fare, you are the king makers and truly hold the next generation’s power.
A word or two about those not in the band, but had their suffering sitting behind this Gaggle of Geeks digitally captured – wrong place at the wrong time people.
The African-American guy on the left, well, South Park has Token. The lady in the teal is looking at herself on the megatron and thinking: Do I look fat? The redhead is thinking: I’m going to keep my kids watching the Kardashians, I don’t want them to grow up and be as embarrassing as these nerds, I mean, who wears jackets and ties to a basketball game? The Cougar thought she was in Candy Land when she heard she got seats behind the band, but then she realized what band it was and had to settle for the ex-jock in red sweat-suit next to her. The ex-jock is haunted by Bruce Springsteen’s Glory Days playing over and over in his head.
In a seriousness, what a great picture. Congratulations on your moment of joy. It allows a fool like me to take an hour and create stories. It was almost as much fun as being there. Band members, if you ever vacation to my little corner of Montana, look me up, I’d be honored to buy you a beer… ah, I mean a cocktail.