I live 5 miles away and have two little ones I want to implant a love of basketball seed within, so I took them to Davidson's Midnight Madness event last evening. (It actually took place from 6-9pm)
The Wildcat program's event was completely family friendly with tons of kid oriented activities going on. You name it and it was there. Food, face paint, carnival games etc. Wholesome stuff. My kids went nuts running this one inflatable obstacle course setup against other kids. It's the first time I've seen that look of competition in their face as they sized up who they would be running against. For me, a neat feeling. There were a number of things for the kids to do that were in that vein.
Also, the players from the men's and women's teams ran the activities and they did a great job representing their school. LOL, I had an OSU fleece jacket on and those who had the time to gave me grief for it in a good natured way.
After two hours the activity area was shut down and those in attendance were asked to find a seat.
On court, the players, by class, joined together and did dance routines. The dance team performed. Go ahead and give the Ooh La La if you want. The cheerleaders did a series of cheers to music. Then the players were all introduced with spotlights blaring by wading through, from one end of the court to another, two lines of kids on either side which they gave autographs to.
Then as we were leaving, the coaches got up to speak. I think there was going to be a skills competition, or something wholly basketball related afterwards but my kids (4 and 6 yrs old) were spent and needed to go home. (I thought they did really well sitting up to that point after the activities were shut down)
So anyway, I was thinking how great of a time that was and how exciting it was to be around others who were into basketball that night. Secondarily, and I didn't plan on this at all, I began to think about how great it would be for Ohio State to put something like this together for it's men and women's programs to participate together in.
First, I know this topic has been beat almost to death here, like it has elsewhere in the Buckeye world, but I think it's valid to want to enjoy the very start of the season with the team which has your loyalty.
Secondly, I know it would be impossible for Ohio State to allow it's players to do things within an event like this one as the Davidson kids did. But still, the feel of what I witnessed last night was great. My kids were really excited and so was I. For basketball.
Someday, I hope the Buckeyes give their fans a treat by staging an event like this one in Columbus. There certainly is enough room in the Schottenstein Center to put on quite a show.