"If you make this shot...we'll buy your books for next semester."
Decked out as Batman—a.k.a The Dark Knight—Prof. Jim Timmer, men's athletic director, uttered the challenge, upping the ante on the nearly-impossible, half-court challenge in Calvin's Van Noord Arena.
A few yards behind the half court, junior Brendan Coallier dribbled the ball. The crowd grew quiet.
CALVIN GAME DAY
This is Midnight Madness, and event planned by Calvin Game Day—a student group responsible for marketing, advertising and hospitality at home sporting events.
The staff of Game Day plans Midnight Madness as a way to get people really excited (okay, psyched out of their minds) about the Calvin Knights and the winter sports season. At this event, the Game Day group organized mini-games of dodge ball, tug-of-war, musical chairs with basketballs and chuck-a-tennis ball (where the winner, sophomore Abby DeBat, walked away with a 32" HD TV).
It was a huge success. "We had about 1,000 people in attendance," said Andrew Vermeer, a senior and part of the five-person Game Day staff. He handles the advertising, along with sophomore Luke Berlin and juniors Bethany Zoerhof and Ryan Olthoff, while senior Drew Sikkema oversees the hospitality.
Andrew, Bethany, Ryan and Luke are all sports management majors at Calvin. And while Andrew is excited to bring more school spirit to Calvin, he's also thrilled with the hands-on experience that he can add to his resume. "It's great because we get internship credit for being a part of this group."
A native on Lansing, Illinois, Andrew chose Calvin and West Michigan for good reasons. "(Grand Rapids) is smaller than Chicago, but (Calvin) is large enough for great business internship experiences."
REASON FOR CHEERING
Game Day's initiatives are working—with the group's help, there is more student involvement at games, and the crowd cheers are much more entertaining.
Of course, the Knights definitely gave Game Day something to cheer about: with six MIAA titles, they just turned in the most successful fall sports season in Calvin's history. Capping off an already amazing season, the Knights are currently holding first place in the prestigious Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings, which measures the combined success of a school's athletic programs.
As for Brendan Coallier's half-court shot that launched Midnight Madness? Nothing but net.