October 16, 2010 by staff
Midnight Madness, When the small clock on the back wall of the gym little tight struck midnight, the Caltech men and women’s basketball teams competed in the ground cheering students and a band of loud cheer.
“Pep band?” asked senior center Ryan Elmquist. “Since when have a band of mind?”
For three days.
Turns out, a dozen musicians from across campus gathered in this event and would be dissolved immediately.
“It’s late, and I have yet to write a paper,” said flutist Annie Ritch.
For most other universities, Midnight Madness is just the title of the celebration surrounding the first official day of basketball practice. For Caltech, home of the most intelligent children of this country and the worst teams in basketball, is a literal description.
On Thursday in the gymnasium of Braun, the first attempt by the school to copy the widespread tradition, it was pure madness.
A team of men who have not won a conference game in 25 years – is 0-297 at the time – ran to the floor accompanied by a cheerleader, cheerleader school only, and only at night when there is a lot task. The overworked man wore his hair spiked orange, short orange shorts, orange-striped socks and a smile exhausted.
“‘Cheermaster,’ Sorry, but it is the correct term,” said senior Kyle Verdone. “I dress up like an idiot and dance, so I won.”
A team of women with a program record 42-269 took the floor to cheers from a crowd of students, some of whom may have joined the staff in the field. Four of the players this year, you see, have not even played high school basketball.
“I do not envy my friends who are training to play Connecticut and New York,” said coach Sandra Marbut. “But say it is more difficult to try to engage with my admission standards.”
The madness was 531 children, more than half of the students, encouraging both teams showing could not be entertained by the traditional dunk contest.
“I really do not have a lot of people on our team who can dunk,” said sophomore Mike Edwards.
The madness was a free-throw shooting competition among students who raised enough bricks to build a new library headquarters. A contestant shooting three consecutive air balls. Another free throw hook shots in the race. Every success was greeted with a rare standing ovation. One of the winners will become one.
“What can you say?” Said assistant coach for the men of Jon-Michael Smith with a smile. “This is Caltech.”
The madness was a basketball relay offers students trying to dribble the length of the court in flip-flops, leather shoes and some barefoot, even balls and bodies flying everywhere.
”We are scientists, basketball players, “recalled cheermaster Verdone.
Madness, in short, was a shooting match from midfield in which the winner received a ball autographed by the signatures of five Nobel Prize winners, who taught at Caltech. It could only happen here. Fittingly, as they fought to make free throws, one of the students Nobel sank the shot.
“I remember seeing a night like this when I was at Georgia Tech,” said Jean-Lou Chameau, president of the school. “This, I would say, is a little different.”
A little different. Much cooler. Imagine the only thing holding her prestigious school is not doing well. I imagine hundreds of students blowing undoubtedly the most difficult task in the country to join the celebration.
It’s easy to cheer their team when it comes to Duke. It’s harder to cheer for your keyword is “duck!” The only thing close to the brains of these children Caltech, apparently, is its backbone.
“It was unbelievable,” said men’s coach Oliver Eslinger, who devised the Midnight Madness. “This demonstrates the importance of community to these children. This shows the optimism and faith in us all.”
There was a monetary bonus given to the residential house in most of the students there, but it was not worth the number of academics.
“I know how difficult it is for me to give words of encouragement after losing 50 consecutive games,” said Marbut. “I can not imagine how difficult it is for these children to come out and cheer for a losing team, and then pull an all night.”
It is very difficult to care for the game at home from school is usually around 50. Beavers are a Division III school that plays in the eight-team Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference against the likes of Occidental, Whittier and Redlands. While schools also have high academic standards, Redlands, once won the men’s team at Caltech by 98 points.
But things are improving. The women won seven games last year and men, while coming off a 0-25 season, won a game two years ago against Polytech Institute at the University of York and actually believe that their conference of 25-year drought is nearing completion.
“It’s going to happen, I can feel this happening, never stop believing,” said Elmquist sweaty, smiling like Kobe Bryant, jumping like Shannon Brown, the crowd cheering wildly for a man who has won two games in his four years , the science geeks make the midnight to dawn.
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