The University of Michigan Fab Five Essay

The University of Michigan Fab Five Essay

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There seems to be a fine line, a three-point line, between pushing the envelope and pushing a revolution. In 1991, five freshmen from the University of Michigan brashly stepped over that line redefining the world of college basketball as we knew it and in the process, revolutionized the relationship between style and sport. These men were "fresh" in more ways than one, causing an entire nation to dub them fabulous. They brought a hip and a hop to a game that was previously flat. Anyone following college basketball loved or hated to love the "Fab Five," evincing that either way five things were on people's minds or television screens. Whether you were a kid begging your mom to take you to a sporting goods store, like I was, to "get those black Nike socks" for your next game, or an adult watching through squinting eyes as five pairs of extra large shorts and swagger loomed over your favorite team's home court, you were full of awe.
Chris Webber, Jimmy King, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, and Ray Johnson manifested a transformation of style through oversized attitude and clothing. Since then, it seems to me that whoever got a chance to know these guys from the stands or sofa has been aching for a taste of that envelope that they pushed back in the early nineties. Every kid whose favorite show was Saved by the Bell and whoever seriously competed in basketball wants to be the one who pulls his shorts down past his hips when his mom told him to pull up before his game and play so well that he receives no verbal assault on the way back to the car. I'm left wondering what these five guys were really about, and why they decided to revolutionize the attitude of the game they played. After all, they seemed to plan the revolution on a whim—or...


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...r's infamous timeout. Like a Shakespearean tragedy the Fab Five's climax came at the end and same forces that caused them to rise caused them to fall.
Once upon a line, these five freshmen were just that—five players that displayed their unique unified attitudes through alley oops and baggy shorts. These five were the first to acknowledge the worth of transferring another aspect of that street game onto the polished college court. Arguably, this transplant of dress and style was only possible because of their superior play, and like some transplants, was susceptible to the normal disease of media attention and hype characteristic of any organized sport. Ultimately, only their cleverly alliterated nickname remains on the line they crossed all those years ago. Freshman-status, long shorts, black socks, cocky attitude. What did it matter? They were the "Fab Five."

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