Being a Hofstra grad means long ago coming to grips with the fact that Midnight Madness and overflow crowds at football games are things that happen at other schools. On the bright side, we rarely have to deal with frontrunners, and it’s kind of cool to feel as if you’re in on the secret that nobody else knows about when you’re among the two dozen people at Suppertime Shootaround or the couple thousand of fans at a football game.
Still, I read about Mason Madness (and wonder how many of those fans showed up in October 2005) and the Old Dominion community going batty over the football team and can’t help but wish it’d be like that at Hofstra, just once.
Tomorrow would seem to present an opportunity to learn what such experiences are like. The men’s basketball “Fan Fest” begins at 11 am and features a 90-minute Blue and White Scrimmage that ends at 2:30 p.m., which gives everyone in attendance half an hour to get across Hempstead Turnpike for the kickoff of the football game against ninth-ranked New Hampshire.
I mean, does it get any better than that? A wall-to-wall day of Hofstra sports, the chance to build and partake in the communal atmosphere generated by college sports and you’re home in time to watch the Yankees take the next step towards blowing the ALCS (that’s to make sure my wife is reading). October rules so much.
And with both programs at pivotal junctures, it’s a perfect time for this type of exposure. The minimal expectations of the big fat meanies that cover the CAA aside, the buzz is building around the Flying Dutchmen basketball team, and major props to the powers that be for making the five returning players available for autographs before the youth clinic starts at 11:30. The more people that are on board before the Dutchmen knock off top-ranked Kansas three weeks from today, the better.
The football team, meanwhile, controls its playoff fate with a month left in the season and can increase its profile by knocking off perennially powerful New Hampshire. A win there, in front of hundreds or even thousands of newcomers to Shuart Stadium, would theoretically provide an immeasurable boost to the program’s popularity.
Alas, the Dutchmen will be decided underdogs against New Hampshire, and even an upset victory probably won’t change a thing. If you’re of a certain age—like, older than 20—you know how it’s nearly impossible for the men’s basketball program to sustain momentum from week to week and over the course of the season, never mind a football program that drew flies even when it was among the nation’s best.
And like usual, it looks like Mother Nature won’t be doing the gridders any favors, so my guess is the day for most people will end with the final whistle of the Blue and White Scrimmage. Oh well. If that’s the case, it won’t lessen my enjoyment of a day I wish would come up on the calendar more than once every Yankees-Angels playoff series.
I’ll hope to convey my enthusiasm over on Twitter, where I’ll do my best to crash the servers by live Tweeting the crap out of both the Blue and White Scrimmage and the football game. Stop by at http://twitter.com/defiantlydutch and join the fun! And return here Monday morning (this is the Sunday I snap out of my usual football-watching sloth and produce a post by sunrise Monday, I swear) as I begin to recap the weekend.