GW is among the worst in the Atlantic 10 conference at retaining athletes and students often complain about lack of school spirit. Midnight Madness is one of the biggest opportunities of the year to make athletes feel like they have a community supporting them and attempt to recharge the spirit of a student body easily distracted by city life. But this year’s Midnight Madness, organized by the Student Activities Center, did little to increase student spirit as the event focused on side-show acts instead of the men’s and women’s basketball teams and many students left before the teams were introduced.
Midnight Madness is meant to celebrate the first official practice of the new basketball season, which officially starts at 12 a.m., hence the “midnight” timing of the “madness,” but the countdown was well after 12 a.m. and players’ names were inaudible and never displayed. Athletes and coaches said they were happy with the event, but SAC could have done more to focus the attention of the audience on basketball and the athletes. SAC officials instead decided to focus on entertaining but insignificant side acts.
Students come to Midnight Madness with the intention of rooting for GW basketball. SAC should incorporate the flair and energy from the acts building up to midnight to the actual introduction of the teams. Players are introduced with more excitement at home games than they were at their annual gala event.
The side acts should add to the excitement surrounding the basketball season – not distract from it. All acts should have stopped before midnight and attention turned to the teams – with an appropriately-timed countdown.