An Ode to the Confetti and Streamer Operator, Who Was Unbelievably Clutch Under Pressure

Kyle Koster
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Kris Jenkins’ heroics will live on forever. A buzzer-beating three-pointer to win a national championship is as good as it gets. Many words have already been spilled celebrating one of the biggest shots in college basketball history, and rightly so.

But let’s pause for a minute and celebrate another heroic performance turned in last night in the face of unbelievable pressure.

Here’s to you, Confetti and Streamer Operator. You had one job and you performed it to perfection. When others would have hesitated, you were decisive. Your contribution to the rich sensory experience that was the Villanova win will be overlooked and that’s a shame.

Especially considering the stakes and razor-thin margin for error.

If the button to release the confetti and streamers had been pressed prematurely, we’d have had quite a mess on our hands. Imagine a prolonged cleanup delay before overtime. Imagine putting a halt to all the game’s momentum while workers feverishly swept the floor and smoke clogged the air.

Confetti Operator would have had to move to a remote area with the person responsible for the Super Bowl blackout and cut off all human contact.

If you think I am bestowing too much praise at the feet of this unseen human being, I implore you to put yourself in his or her shoes. Marcus Paige had just tied the game up with a miracle shot. Sporting events, especially ones of great importance, tend to speed up when something special is happening. So here comes Villanova with the ball and a chance to win. A shot goes up and the buzzer goes off. Then the ball goes through the net, immediately causing everyone to forget what happened up to that point in their lives.

Which came first? The shot or the buzzer? Replays show Jenkins released the ball with .8 seconds remaining. Confetti Operator didn’t have the crutch of replays. C.O. had to make a decision and trust his or her eyes in the moment.

And guess what? C.O. nailed it.

I can’t imagine the pressure. I can imagine exactly how I’d have wilted.

Once at a wedding I was politely asked to press a button on an iPod to play a song as the couple walked back up the aisle. To make a long story short, a grown man freaked and a frustrated wife had to pinch-hit.

It’s inspiring to know there are people in this world with the steely resolve needed to perform such tasks. Hope there’s a few extra zeroes in this hero’s paycheck. God knows they’re warranted.

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