BYU’s annual Midnight Madness lives up to its name
BYU’s basketball programs held their annual Midnight Madness pep rally Thursday night to raise excitement for the upcoming 2022-23 season. This year’s madness was complete with SpaghettiOs, Eminem and the BYU dunk team.
While the event started around 11:15 p.m., students were lined up outside the Marriott Center long before then. One of the first students in line, freshman Mia Malone, showed a lot of enthusiasm despite the long wait.
“I love the basketball teams here. I’m excited to see the games this season and the sportsmanship,” Malone said. “I hope everyone can win and I think they are going to do better because I am finally here to cheer them on.”
After students piled into the Marriott Center, the dunk team brought everyone to their feet. With a “Stranger Things” theme, the team performed their stunts featuring a couch and Cosmo.
“The dunk team was my favorite part of tonight, they were so sick,” freshman Jake Blan said. “That was probably the best performance I’ve ever seen by them.”
The women’s basketball team was up next, introducing each of its players in a black-light spotlight and then dunking each other in SpagettiOs and BYU true blue foam.
New women’s head coach Amber Whiting was given the mic to talk about her goals for her debut season.
“We have some big goals this year and we’ve attacked them fearlessly, but we need your help.. we want 10,000 fans in the stands at home games,” Whiting told the crowd. “Get wild, get crazy and help us get some dubs at home.”
Finally, it was time to bring out the men’s basketball team. Head coach Mark Pope started off by asking a famous question:
“Look, If you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted, one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?”
That question was made famous by rapper Eminem in “Lose Yourself”, but Pope put the capital “M” in “Madness” when he proceeded to rap the rest of the song’s first verse.
Following Pope’s solo, the rest of the men’s team was introduced with each player running down the arena steps to the court as the crowd erupted in cheers.
However, the team’s seniors Rudi Williams and Gideon George were waiting in the stands to discuss the million dollar question: Is BYU blue navy or royal?
Their answer? Both. The players shed a layer of clothing, revealing the new uniforms featuring a navy blue body and a royal blue outline.
Just before the night was over, Pope called out for BYU student “Timmy Schloss” to join them on the court.
There was a catch: Timmy Schloss does not exist, but is rather the alter ego of program legend Jimmer Fredette.
Lo and behold, Fredette walked onto the court and shot a clean free throw basket, despite the ROC’s best efforts to deter him.
“When teams come here to this gym, they do not shoot well from the free throw line,” Pope said. “When they come in front of the ROC, they have a 60% free throw rate. We love you guys so much.”
The night ended as the court gathered together to jump with Williams as he made one last dunk of the night.
If Midnight Madness is a reflection of the upcoming season for these teams, the hype can only grow from here. The women’s first home game will be held on Oct. 27 against Westminster. The men’s first home game is scheduled for Nov. 2 against Ottawa.