Thursday, October 23, 2008

Morning Madness?

Midnight madness is storied, crazed college basketball tradition in which the new season is ushered in. Some schools get pretty enthuastic (see North Carolina) and even have their coaches dance, unfortunately.

But here in Miami, where football reigns supreme, we have Morning Madness.

Last Saturday, October 18, the University of Miami Hurricanes' basketball teams opened practice to the public for the first time. But contrary to most big-time programs, Miami's "HoopFest" started at 10 A.M., a time when college students are still supposed to be asleep. And instead of the face painting and shaking arenas, the athletes were greeted by scarce cheering by 150 attendees.

The arena was so empty that you could have two or three rows to yourself. All alone. No one else.

The practice was followed by a breif yet enjoyable autograph session with both the mens' and womens' teams. The players were actually personable and friendly despite having to sign a whopping 150 autographs. Among the nicest and talkative were point guard Lance Hurdle and star shooting guard Jack McClinton. They both shook everyone's hand while delivering a quick conversation starter.

The HoopFest was a success despite the drowsy and unspirited attempt at "Midnight Madness." But I think we can agree on something, coffee and basketball just don't go together.

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