On Friday John Calipari and company kicked off the start of the college basketball season with their version of Midnight Madness, Big Blue Madness. Kentucky is coming off a National Championship-winning year so they're allowed to get a little nuts. We're talking hip-hop music nuts.
The celebration of Calipari's first championship as Wildcats coach and expectations for this year's freshmen contributed to an electric atmosphere. Fans went crazy when the arena went dark at 7:30 p.m. and music blared to the entrance of Kentucky's women's team.
They were followed by T-shirt giveaways, 3-point shooting contests and a cheerleader performance that built anticipation for the Wildcats' first practice.
Calipari and his players delivered, whipping up the crowd by entering to smoke machines and hip-hip music, with Goodwin emerging as the team's best dancer so far.
Electric atmosphere is right! But that atmosphere costs money.
UK spent $300K on lights for Midnight Madness which is more than they spend on football recruiting.— Bleed Blue Kentucky (@BBK_Aaron) October 14, 2012
Technically, UK spent $336,000 for football recruiting in 2011. UK reported the light show costs $250-300,000 range.— Bleed Blue Kentucky (@BBK_Aaron) October 14, 2012
We all know that Kentucky is basketball crazy, but this seems particularly...out of whack. For what is nothing more than a glorified pep rally, Kentucky is cutting a check for essentially the same amount of money it does trying to fill out a football roster. Kentucky football, by the way, is an FBS team in the SEC. The SEC. That may have more to do with the price disparity than anything else, but come on 'Cats, at least try!
Kentucky, fans revel in Big Blue Madness [Daily Independent]