Western Michigan University’s Hoop Team Needs Midnight Madness!

October 20, 2009


When the clock strikes midnight in mid-October, most colleges and Division I universities are celebrating their basketball team’s Midnight Madness.

This marks the beginning of a new season, erasing all of the mistakes and failures from the previous season while bringing excitement to their new crop of fans. Not only does this mark a new season, it also gives freshman the opportunity to get accustomed to playing in front of the bright lights of the collegiate level in order to erase all of the early jitters.

This event is generally free and includes free food, a dunk contest, a three-point shootout, and a scrimmage in the end to give fans a glimpse of all the hard work that the players have put in over the off-season.

More than one-third of all Division I schools celebrate this event…but who? (Drum roll please?) And the survey says…Western Michigan University!

Why don’t we have this event? This should and could become a traditional event at this university in order to bring more excitement into Western Michigan University’s basketball program. Then the university wonders why more fans don’t show up throughout the season. It’s the small things like these traditional events that connects fans to their teams and brings them to games, it’s not all about the wins and losses.  

We could be the best team in the nation (which is highly unlikely by the way) and still not draw as many fans as some of the less-talented teams because we may not have established a good enough connection with them in order to win their support. On Friday, October 16, teams like Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and even Eastern Michigan University(!!!) all celebrated their Midnight Madness. 

You mean to tell me that EMU can celebrate an event like this in Ypsilanti, Michigan and we can’t duplicate this in Kalamazoo? I don’t believe there is any reason that we cant and shouldn’t embrace this tradition. No disrespect to EMU or the city of Ypsilanti but I just fell as though we are just as capable to do these types of things if they are because we are both Mid-American Conference schools.

If the university feels as if money is a problem than I don’t agree with this in any way, shape, or form because who wouldn’t want to spend a little extra money in exchange for more fans? And they are thinking about potentially moving into another stadium in the future? They have to become more conscious of how highly successful college programs are running their organizations and most of them always have more interaction with their fans starting with the Midnight Madness.

Although I do give them credit for running a successful football organization, I just think the basketball team could be equally as good if not better. WMU almost always play their rival football game versus Central Michigan University around the time of Midnight Madness as well, which is also a big deal, but in the end the basketball team is paying for it. They should just start to reschedule the rival game like they did a couple of years ago.    

So just spend a little extra money and let’s get Midnight Madness up and running on WMU’s campus. I’m pretty sure the results will be satisfying.


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