The throes of the Big Blue Madness campout are upon us, and tonight looks to be one of the best in recent memory. With record numbers, a historic recruiting class, and great (if rainy) fall weather, all the ingredients for a fun night are already in the pot.
But this demonstration of devotion from the fans wouldn’t be possible without the accommodation of the University. And who knows the burden of that more than Associate AD of Operations, Kevin Saal? Roger Kuznia of Sporting News wanted to find out exactly what goes into it.
Turns out it consists of a long day, a few porta-potties, and a wireless microphone.
My wife would tell you it’s not borderline. It is crazy.
And not just crazy, but potentially hazardous, too. With hundreds of people hanging out in one spot, there are a lot of things that need to be done to ensure safety, and comfort, for the hardest of the hardcore. That involves coordinating 125 employees, from the bookstore to the fire marshal, to keep everything in check.
But, of course, it’s worth it.
It’s a special tradition for the university, the Commonwealth, Big Blue Nation, the fans, our basketball program, and the bottom line is that it’s a fun, free event, and the athletic department does a great job in the production of that event. The primary objective is to keep the process fair but most importantly to keep it safe.
Some people might prefer a non-conference game because it “matters,” but the biggest part of college basketball is having something for fans to enjoy, and this year is clearly proof that fans enjoy Big Blue Madness, and the Big Blue Madness campout. So while it’s clearly a lot of work for Saal, this weekend is proof enough that it’s clearly something that we appreciate.
Kudos to Sporting News for getting a hold of the guy behind the Madness.