Midnight Madness signals that the start of the college basketball season is finally here.
In that sense, it is and always will be an exciting time.
But forgive me if I don’t show the same kind of excitement for the events as folks around the country.
Midnight Madness has changed. Its no longer the first practice of the season, Midnight Madness has turned into a nationwide pep rally. Its become more of a recruiting tool than anything else, a way to show off to the 16 and 17 year olds that are being recruiting by the program.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the excitement for the college students and the fans of the program. What better way to kick off a Friday night in college than to throw a few “Friday Natty Lights” back before heading up to your school’s arena to watch dunk contests and player introductions and a concert.
Seriously, a concert.
Drake was at Kentucky last season. Wale was at Georgetown last season. This year, Rick Ross is at Memphis and Meek Mill is at Syracuse. And that’s just off the top of my head, if I cared enough to look it up I’m sure the list would be much, much longer.
I feel like I’m being a Debbie Downer right now, and believe, that is far from my intention. Midnight Madness — which should really be called 7:00 pm Madness, because the NCAA changed a rule that allows teams to hold their first “practice” on the last Friday before October 15th — is a great experience for the fans and for the players. Its a fun way to kick off the college hoops season, and its a sign that we are just three weeks away from playing actual college basketball games.
So go enjoy these events. Go cheer for your favorite returners and give the freshmen a proper welcome. Make sure you’re loud, because you want the recruits in attendance to be impressed. Sing along with every word to “I’ma Boss” and don’t be afraid to sneak a couple of those Natty’s into your seats.
But remember, Midnight Madness is not a practice.
Its a party.