by DANIEL MOLINA, Distribution Manager, and JACLYN MARR, Assistant Editor
A line of eager students decked out in Jasper green wrapped around Draddy Gym waiting for the start of the annual Manhattan Madness.
It is that time of the year again—time to celebrate the beginning of the men’s and women’s basketball seasons.
As the doors opened to Draddy, green and white pompoms were in the air as the cheer and dance teams welcomed students into the gym.
Students raced to the tables to get t-shirts representing The Sixth Borough, the student section at basketball games, before finding their seats in anticipation of the start of the event.
Sophomore Melissa McVicker atteneded for the first time this year.
“The music was great,” McVicker said. “I loved how everyone walked out to music and danced. I had a lot of fun. I enjoyed myself.”
But before the festivities could happen, The Office of Student Activities had to make some decisions around an event that involved almost 75 percent of the student body of Manhattan College.
The design and selection of the always popular Manhattan Madness t-shirt was a process held on Twitter, where students voted online for their favorite design.
Last year, 2,700 green Under Armour shirts were available at Manhattan Madness.
This year, 3,000 t-shirts were ordered, with the additional ones only made possible by changing back to a standard t-shirt.
Although some students protested, John Bennett, director of Student Activities, preferred to allow more Jaspers to take a souvenir back to their dorms and homes.
“It was one of those cases where the more shirts are the better,” Bennett said. “We’d love to have Under Armour again, but we’d like to make more students happy going home with one.”
After the stands were packed, the lights went down and the cheers of the Sixth Borough resounded while the Pep Band started playing their rendition of Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries.”
Both the cheer and dance teams performed at the event as the school celebrated basketball starting for the women’s basketball team and the defending back-to-back MAAC champion men’s team.
“I’m excited for this season,” senior Rachel Harrison said. “Being able to see them win two years in a row and actually go to the playoff games last year was an amazing experience. We gained some powerful players for this season and I’m really excited to see what they do and what they bring to Manhattan. I don’t think the MAAC knows what’s coming this year.”
Manhattan Madness happens every year, but it is a little bit more sentimental when it’s your final time either walking out with your name being called if you’re a player or watching and cheering if you’re a fan.
“It was actually really upsetting,” Harrison said. “As sappy as it sounds, at one point I was just standing there looking around and thinking ‘Wow, this is it, this is my last Manhattan Madness.’”
The evening was closed by the appearance of the special guest Lloyd Banks, a rapper who become popular with the group G-Unit. Banks gave a motivational speech to the Manhattan College community about the importance of education in one’s life.
With this year’s Manhattan Madness, another chapter of the Jaspers’ basketball history has begun. The Sixth Borough was present in full support to kick off the season and cheer on both new players and seasoned veterans looking for their third consecutive MAAC championship.
For a full Manhattan Madness slideshow, click here.