The power of the viral-ness of the NCAA Tournament truly hit the Groves brothers last week when they were out on Silver Lake, about 10 minutes from the campus of the Eastern Washington Eagles, trying to catch some bass — and leave their combined 58 points against the Kansas Jayhawks on the dock — when another boat pulled up awkwardly close to them.
“Hey,” one of the fishermen said, “you’re the guys that scored a ton of points against Kansas, right?”
It was, indeed, the same bearded man, Tanner Groves, and his curly haired Napoleon Dynamite lookalike brother, Jacob, who had turned into tourney celebs.
“I told you so!” another of the fishermen said to his buddy.
“Jeez,” the first fisherman said. “I’m fangirling right now.”
This scene would be perfect in the sequel to Napoleon Dynamite, or it could just be the opener in a movie on the Brothers Groves. Their story is just screaming to be told. You may know the latest: Tanner schooled Kansas with some old-school, back-to-the-basket work on top of splashing some treys on his way to 35 points, and his beard/bushy hair/red headband provided Blazers-era Bill Walton flashbacks and also reminded some of Will Ferrell’s Jackie Moon character in Semi-Pro. Then Jacob, a mix between Napoleon Dynamite and Malcolm Gladwell, nailed four treys himself, scored a career-high 23 points and nearly had his first double-double. Their looks, the near upset of KU and the fun in their games made them instantly lovable characters of March and racked up the mentions on Twitter.
Then when their coach left for Portland, the brothers entered the transfer portal and now they’re on their way to Oklahoma to play for another man who made his name in March: Porter Moser.
All of this is still pinch-me-type stuff for Tanner and Jacob. They didn’t just experience 15 minutes of fame. One game changed their lives. Dig a little deeper and you realize what an insane turn this is for these two brothers.