Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What if we held a big event and EVERYONE came?  That scenario became very evident last Saturday as a crowd of over 4,000 attended the second Coach Joe’s Low Country Boil and the thrilling NGU-Wingate football game at Younts Stadium.  Now Crusader fans … here’s the challenge:  get out your calendar and put a big red circle around Saturday, Sept. 20 at 7:00 p.m. for NGU vs. Kentucky Wesleyan.  Let’s pack the stadium again.

·         I saw a Red Sea of fans cheering, bouncing up and down and really getting into the game.  We’re on a mission at NGU (where Christ makes the difference) to change our athletics culture.  Put home athletic events on your calendars and become a ‘Crusader Crazy.’  It is fun!

·         Don’t know where to find NGU events?  We make it easy for you.  Just go to ngcrusaders.com and click on FAN ZONE at the top.  Then, fill out the ‘join our mailing list’ link.  And presto  (as Bullwinkle used to say) … instant emails about NGU athletics.

·         How about the atmosphere outside Younts Stadium during the Low Country Boil?  Wow!  Seabird put on a great concert; there were tents, tailgating, volleyball games, and lots more fun. 

·         I wonder how many pounds of shrimp and ribs Coach Joe put out there for us on Saturday?

·         Get used to seeing NGU sport management majors in their black event staff shirts at home contests.  We are preparing these young men and women to become the athletic administrators of the future.  They are training to run events in the future and they are there to serve you. 

·         Speaking of sport management majors, Dr. Jeff Briggs, Associate Professor, took five NGU students down to Presbyterian College to held manage their home game vs. Fayetteville State this past Saturday.  Student Erin Davis, Whitney Smith, Andrew Patton, Rod Harris and Kevin Hunter performed various duties from running the music, handling on field promotions, and the streaming video of the game.  This was arranged by Brian Hand, PC’s assistant athletic director for operations and sports information, who is an NGU graduate.

·         Public address announcer Steven McMahan noted that he enjoyed the fireworks after NGU scores the other night.  He also remarked that you could actually see them at night as opposed to day games.

·         This brings me to another point.  At the Liberty game, they placed a large flame generating machine on top of a building at the north end zone.  After an LU score, the flame would shoot 10 feet in the air.  LU’s nickname is the Flames.  Get it … What we need at NGU is something significant (and different) to celebrate our Crusader touchdowns.  I’d love to hear your ideas.

·         When you think today’s generation of young people is attached at the hand to technology … consider the nearly 100 children on the field Saturday night at halftime being honored for participating in NGU’s summer reading program.  Now that’s was great.

·         How hard is it to be the NGU mascot?  Mascot protocol means no names and no talking, but I saw the young man who was in the suit when he shed it after being outside during pregame.  He was very hot and dehydrated.  Consider though, that after a break, he re-donned the hot costume and went back out there.  True devotion to the task!

·         How serious is Newberry taking the game this Thursday?  Well, they took last Saturday off to prepare for NGU.

·         Speaking of Newberry, they are one of the recipients of the NCAA’s inappropriate nickname edicts.  Formerly the Indians, the NCAA forced the school to abandon the long standing nickname.  They are in the process of coming up with a new moniker, but right now, their athletic teams are simple known as … Newberry.

·         Two NGU students that make home athletic events really happen … Matt Britt and Dustin Fuls. 

·         Note to self … be sure to bring sunglasses and a hat to future NGU home games.  The sun glaring into the press box was fierce.

·         Have you joined the Crusader Club yet? 

·         I really enjoyed the halftime performance by the Crusader band and the young lady who twirled the fire baton. 

·         You want to know the place to be “seen” at NGU games … just stand along the brick wall behind the home stands.  Great place to network.  Just be sure you go to the concession stand first!

·         I needed to stick a decibel meter out the press box window after Rashad Cummings’ touchdown in the fourth quarter.  Wow!

Catch the Newberry game on 95.5 FM (The Vibe) at 6:45 pm. Thursday night.