Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Thursday, September 6, 2012

On #CUMidnightMadness

As if I need an excuse to talk CU hoops...

Midnight madness is a time-honored tradition for college basketball powers.  It's easy to think of the events featuring schools like Kentucky and Kansas, for which the first second the team can practice is a cause for celebration.

Some take the name to heart, having a practice shortly after midnight on the first allowed day of practice; others simply wait for the following evening, making for appointment viewing on ESPNU.  At the giants, the events are storehouses of antics and showmanship, designed more as pep rallies to get fans pumped up for the season.  Smaller schools participate as well, showing that the start of basketball is a nation-wide holiday.  Of course, some programs, like UCLA under Ben Howland, stay away from the practice, but most see it as a chance to fire up the fanbase, and announce that hoops is back in session.
Places like Kentucky do this right.
CU has had Madness-like events in the past.  Even last year, there was a "Meet the Buffs" program about a week after the start of practice. But attendance has usually been as poor as the promotion, and recent attempts seem disproportionate when considering the new heights of the program.  It's just never been a true Midnight Madness, either in atmosphere or execution.

But it's a new mindset in Boulder.  There's a passionate fanbase desperate to see CU basketball anoint the coming of a new season the same way other programs around the nation do. Over the past few months there has been a concerted effort by the fans, particularly on twitter (lead by friends of the blog @CUGoose, @jgisland, and @TZiskBuff), to get a more high profile kickstart to fall practices.  Even the players have been eager to talk about it.  It's fun for them too, afterall.
They also make for convenient times to raise banners... hint, hint.
The visions of a true Midnight Madness event at the CEC are powerful, and I'd be eager to see what sort of antics the team can get up to when pumping up the C-Unit.  The plan as I've heard it would be to hold the event the evening of Friday, October 12th (not actually at midnight).  It would coincide nicely with a home football weekend, as the Buffs host ASU the previous evening (the Great American Beer Festival also takes place that weekend), hopefully making it easier for a larger portion of Buff Nation to fit it into their schedule. 

It's not a slam-dunk decision to get the ball rolling, however.  Coach Boyle has been asked repeatedly about the concept, and always has the same answer.  He loves the idea, and wants to see it happen at Colorado, but just wants to make sure the event is well attended.  The caution is understandable, no one wants to spend countless hours and thousands of dollars creating the event just for the team to run out of the tunnel in front of 2,500 people.  While the support for the event has, so far, been extensive, it's not yet to the level that Coach Boyle would be comfortable giving it his go-ahead.
Coach Boyle just wants to make sure this thing lives up to the high standard he's setting on the court.
That's where we, the fans, come in.  The movement behind #CUMidnightMadness needs more from BuffNation.  As Goose pointed out on AllBuffs, you've got to be proactive in letting the athletic department know that there's a solid foundation of supporters willing to make this event happen properly.  Call or email Mike Bohn, vote in this poll, and tweet with the hashtag #CUMidnightMadness.  Make it known that you're dedicated to making the BasketBuffs a legitimate basketball power, and understand that holding a Midnight Madness event is an important step in that process.


No comments: