Well, I lucked out and snagged some great seats for our version of Midnight Madness. Let me start by saying it was not quite what I expected. There were a few things that struck me as pretty odd, and the least of which was probably Hilby's (too short of an) act.
First things first. The main act? 2 guys (who I presume to be students) lip-syncing pop songs. Cringe-worthy, face-palmy stuff. Don't get me wrong, they get an A for effort. I thought it was pretty funny. It takes a lot of guts to do what they did. But most of the crowd was not feeling it, at all. It was really awkward to see so many people watching and not enjoying something that these 2 guys put so much into.
Second of all, the student section was my biggest disappointment. It was really odd how tame they seemed. During player introductions, most of them sat motionless. There were some that clapped and "YEHHHH"-ed, but for what I would say should have been the most exciting part, they didn't make a whole lot of noise. At first I thought maybe it was because the freshmen came out first, but that proved to be wrong after BMK and CJ and Rak garnered plenty of noise from the stands. But the noise seemed to come from the regular people there, and not the students. During Boeheim's ESPN interview, their shots of the students included at least 2 yawns, many folded arms, and just a few excited faces. (As a side note, they had an ESPN banner taped to the barrier beyond Boeheim and the casters, and they actually had ESPN guards making sure nobody walked in front of it. )
Also um..........Uh, Boeheim came out in a 1957 Checker Taxi?
Yeah hmmmmmm................No idea. Can somebody explain that to me?
Hilby's part was pretty short. Two short stunts and he was gone. If you watched his youtube video, you saw one of them. I was pretty disappointed they rushed him off, he actually had some people laughing. He's generally a crowd pleaser, but they seemed more than ready to play him off with the band.
What's next............No programs? I didn't see any. There was no agenda. Also, I got up an hour into the show to buy a shirt and a hat, and all the souvenir counters were packed up. Very odd.
To add to the lack of programs, the whole spectacle seemed poorly organized, and without a reference for the events of the evening, many people left before the dunk contest began. Which, let me also point out was very disorganized and anticlimactic. At least 2 different breaks in the action during the night resulted in a mass exodus. This could just be that it was getting late, but c'mon, it's a Friday night and it isn't even 10pm yet. There were also a ton of empty seats as it is. I was pretty underwhelmed by the crowd.
The scrimmage was pretty cool. Ennis and Cooney headed the winning Orange squad, while Fair and BMK were the notables on the White team. Ennis had some fantastic drives to the bucket and a couple of dazzling passes. Cooney missed what seemed like only one bucket the entire night, including warmups. He was on fire. Fair looked solid, and a little thicker than he was last year. DC2 looks a bit lighter on his feet.
I don't mean to sound harsh, so please don't think I'm wholly negative. I had fun, and it was great to be 5 rows from our famed hardwood. It was great to get a taste of basketball prior to the season, but I felt this event was lacking in a few different places. For what it seemed to be last year (granted I watched it on ESPN) this year's show didn't seem like what you would expect from an elite basketball school.
Also, free orange glowsticks in the stands that almost nobody waved during the dark portions of the night.
Thoughts? Issues? Questions? Interested to hear what it looked like on TV.