New York rapper Fabolous made more than 2,000 GW students wait more than two hours for his Colonials Invasion performance Friday night at Smith Center.
While waiting for the performer to arrive, students attending Colonials Invasion were treated to an introduction of the men’s and women’s basketball teams for the upcoming season and performances by the dance and cheerleading squads, mascots and the pep band. “Hopefully you guys can come to all of the games,” Karl Hobbs head coach of the men’s basketball team, said.
He added, “The thing that makes this place special … is the fans. There’s a reason it’s one of the hardest places to play.”
Since its inception in 1997, the kick-off celebration for the men’s and women’s basketball teams has had many different names.
From 1997 to 2002, the event was known as “Midnight Madness” and was cancelled in 2003 because of “the loss of a basketball focus and increased hoopla from side acts,” The Hatchet previously reported.
In 2003, the celebration was changed to Colonials Invasion and was held for two years until it was cancelled last year because of budget cuts. When GW last held Colonials Invasion, in 2005 officials reported that 3,500 people attended the event. As a replacement, “Spirit of the Night” was organized as a less extravagant way to get students excited about the upcoming basketball season.
This year the Student Association lobbied the University to bring back Colonials Invasion with the inclusion of a major musical act.
Despite the chart-topping rapper’s success, many students were unfamiliar with Fabolous and some would have preferred a return to past incarnations of Colonials Invasion.
“I don’t think people came for Fabolous; I don’t think anyone knows who he is,” said senior Greg Berlin. “I think it should be Midnight Madness. Besides, they always complain about how much it costs, and Midnight Madness would cost a lot less.”
Although students criticized the rapper for showing up late, many students said they enjoyed the show.
Freshman Natalie Sutherland said the event was a great idea, generating excitement for the upcoming season and showing school spirit, although she too was not sure who Fabolous was.
“To be honest I don’t really know much. I haven’t heard about him,” she said. “But it’s good to have him as entertainment at the event, especially if it gets more people to come.”
Freshman Micah Cohen was one of those people that came out because of Fabolous.
“Fabolous is the only reason I came,” he said.
Junior Kate Myers said that while she also was not familiar with Fabolous, it was exciting because it would bring out a wide variety of people.
“Freshmen aren’t used to the rituals,” she said. “It’s really exciting that Colonials Invasion has come back.”
Some criticized the University for not promoting the event enough.
“Not enough of the freshman class know about it. M
ost of them probably forgot that it’s tonight,” said Chris Geissler, a freshman working as part of the event’s staff.
Freshman Adam Lovell, a member of the pep band, said he agreed.
“If I wasn’t in the band, I wouldn’t know about it,” he said.
Sophomore guard Jeff Del Favarro also said he was disappointed in the promotion and turnout.
“I think it’s a really positive event, but I wish that more students had showed,” he said. “I think if they had opened it to the public we would have gotten a lot more support.”