There are some images that leap off the page. Yesterday's upset of Missouri in the NCAA tournament, in my mind, will be remembered not by a win or a loss, but in a simple, elegant and beautifully composed moment between two opposing players. When Norfolk State center Kyle O'Quinn consoled Missouri guard Phil Pressey in a compassionate embrace, the stereotypical image depicting most jubliation and dejection in sports was shattered. After looking at thousands of "arm pit" shots in basketball it was refreshing to see an image that made me really care -- a moment in time that truly touched my soul. It would be diferent if Pressey was being embraced by a member of his own squad, but O'Quinn's gesture stands out as unique in sports. The image shows how emotionally charged sports has become in society and the tremendous pressure it places on athletes.
During the 1930s, Henri Cartier-Bresson, a young French photographer, described his style of making pictures as the decisive moment. Bresson observed, “To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality.“
Memory is stitched together by a millions decisive moments. To hold’s one breath – to recognize a flash of universal truth in a tear or a smile –– when life becomes a series of discrete instances captured on film.
The road to the Final Four is littered with broken dreams and hearts, but seeing an image that speaks to the human condition in such a way humanizes the prevailing "tough guy" image often associated with sports today.