Earlier this year, legendary blues artist Keb’ Mo’ released an album. It’s called Good to Be, and it’s a worthwhile listen and comes highly recommended from this sports blogger. The title track of the album was written while Keb’ was spending time back in his neighborhood in Compton, and the chorus starts with a recognition that “it’s good to be here... it’s good to be anywhere.”
This is as delicate a distillation of a universal truth as you will find throughout blues music, a genre built on the common ground of, well, the blues. This song isn’t focused so much on the loss or plain bad luck that you may find in other blues records; this is instead a celebration of being here—of being somewhere.
We could learn a lot from this California-born blues singer. Both Tar Heels teams are playing in the Sweet Sixteen; that’s a very good thing. As the days fall away from the calendar and we head deeper and deeper into March, to still be playing is a blessing that deserves celebration. It’s good to be here, indeed, playing after the equinox in the best tournament in the world of college athletics.
It’s good to be anywhere, whether that’s Fort Worth or Philadelphia or Tucson or Greensboro. Whether it’s up 25 points or clawing for an overtime win. Whether it’s both of those things in just 11 minutes of game time.
I will never, ever, complain about extra basketball (unless it’s overtime in a game like I mentioned above after settling for a deep three instead of driving the ball... hypothetically speaking). Far be it from me to sing the proverbial blues about getting to watch my favorite team play more of a sport that I love.
The Carolina men’s team has a date with a different set of blues from California, although this group doesn’t give me the same good vibes as Keb’ Mo’s smooth delivery. Vince Carter would tell you that these blues aren’t totally equal, but that’s an ad for beer. This is the Sweet Sixteen, with a chance to extend the season that much farther.
It’s good to be here, and it’s always a good day to be a Tar Heel.