Staff Editorial: Let’s go mad at midnight

GW should change Colonials Invasion back to Midnight Madness.

In early 2003, Director of Athletics Jack Kvancz decided to cancel the decade-old tradition of Midnight Madness because it had become more about the opening acts than the midnight introduction of the teams.

At the time, teams were first allowed to take the court at precisely midnight on the NCAA-mandated first day of the season, and Midnight Madness became a nationwide celebration of the college basketball season kickoff. At GW, the problem became that students would lose patience while sitting through pre-midnight performances, waiting for the basketball team to take the court at the stroke of the twelve.

In fall of 2003, GW Spirit Programs launched Colonials Invasion, to be “more about basketball and less of a circus,” according to Niccole Macchione, then GW spirit coordinator. With the NCAA rule change allowing teams to take the court as early as 7 p.m., Colonials Invasion was designed to be an evening basketball show that ends well before midnight.

This year, GW Spirit Programs did the fiscally responsible thing and opted not to have an outside performer, which should shine the spotlight even more brightly on the actual basketball teams we are celebrating.

So since we finally have the programming right and are actually celebrating the teams, why can’t we join all the schools nationwide who have Midnight Madness?

The timing is better than ever, because now the teams can hit the court before midnight, and the whole event is still a show highlighting the players and the sport. It could start before midnight and culminate with a rousing, spirited countdown to midnight and the start of the season.

In 2003, Kvancz expressed concern about players “not getting to bed until two or three in the morning” and being affected at the next day’s real practice, but if Midnight Madness culminates at midnight, that should not be a concern.

This could be something fun and successful on campus. Midnight programming is exciting in college, and events such as Midnight Breakfast have been successful in the past.

Midnight Madness also has the ring of tradition and is a recognizable event all across the nation. GW should tap into the one area of spirit it doesn’t have to drum up and give the basketball team and fans a new, better, madder basketball kickoff.

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