Phish Debuts New Song About 2005 Memphis Freshman Who Missed 2-of-3 Free Throws, Crushed Team’s NCAA Dreams

by NESN Staff

November 4, 2013

phish-spotlightCollege basketball fans, raise your hands. Improv-heavy, time-signature skipping Vermont jamband fans, the same. Not much overlap there.

Regardless, Phish debuted a new song at a concert in Atlantic City on Halloween: a seven-minute ode to the free throw tragedy of Darius Washington, Jr., current Turkish Basketball League player and then freshman for the University of Memphis in 2005.

Washington and Memphis were playing Louisville in the Conference USA final with an NCAA berth in the balance. Washington went to the line with his team down two, three shots and no time left on the clock. He made the first one.

He missed the next two.

Louisville would eventually fall to Illinois in the Final Four, but that would be no consolation to the freshman, who immediately covered his head with his jersey after missing the final shot. Sensitive to this delicate moment, Phish frontman Trey Anastasio wrote lyrics for the song — titled “The Line” — that go a little something like: “Dry mouth, push it out, I can hear my heart pound, a hero?s what I?m not.”

So much for the vote of confidence. Anastasio would include a dedication to Washington after they finished their seventh harmonica solo, saying, “Dedicated with much love to the incredible Darius Washington, Jr., that song is about his experience when he missed those two free throws at the end of the Final Four Michigan State game. We love him, and we can relate.?

Not exactly Stump the Schwab but there probably wasn’t anybody in the crowd who noticed the gaffe.

Photo via Twitter/@LivePhish

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