Depending on the school and the hoops program, there are different levels of Midnight Madness.
Some stage a family-friendly atmosphere with games and autograph sessions that all ends well before midnight. Some make it into a big party, complete with rock-n-roll, flashy entrances and TV coverage. Some completely ignore it.
Then there’s Maryland.
Former Terps coach Lefty Driesell invented the whole idea back in 1971. The school’s maintained the event in some fashion ever since and don’t even bother with the “midnight” anymore. It’s just Maryland Madness.
Now: anybody remember Midnight Maryland Madness last year? Remember how Gary Williams entered? Remember all the cool stuff the players did in their intros?
No? Oh, that’s because it wasn’t cool. Gary Williams walked in…on his feet. The players were introduced…boringly. There were no fires, no Lamborghinis with a semi-funny skit, no armored trucks, no funny dances, no F1 cars, no rappers. It was, in a word, basic. You know what the players did? They stood in a line as their names were called.
It was boring. Maryland Madness isn’t supposed to be boring. Maryland invented this. The entire idea is to get the student body and fanbase rocking about the season; it’s supposed to be an event. When it isn’t, it’s a failure.
And give the author, Ben Broman, some credit. He’s not just bitchin’ for the sake of bitchin’. He lays out six ways the Terps could spice things up — flashier player intros, big names involved, add a surprise or two — and properly set the stage for Maryland’s season.
And why not? The whole thing’s a fan vent anyway. The players may like it, but it’s not crucial to their season. If the fans want more, give it to ’em.
(H/T: Rush the Court)