Michigan State Midnight Madness 2013: Tom Izzo Steals Show at Spartans' Event
He's come dressed as everything from a spartan to a hippie, fighter pilot, astronaut and IndyCar driver. Here's his Iron Man entrance from last season:
What did he have up his sleeve this year?
Mike Wilson of Scout.com snapped a picture of a net standing above the court to create some intrigue as to whether that would be part of Izzo's entrance:
This net is set up. So there's that. pic.twitter.com/0iY4LiMZRp— Mike Wilson (@MikeWScout) October 19, 2013
Then there was this, via Matt Charboneau of The Detroit News:
The video introducing Izzo is pretty good stuff ... yup, he's coming out of a cannon— Matt Charboneau (@mattcharboneau) October 19, 2013
Izzo was looking to get "fired out of a cannon" knocked off his bucket list. And apparently this could have been much, much worse.
Izzo says in video, "I've done everything but be shot out of a cannon." This is happening.— Mike Wilson (@MikeWScout) October 19, 2013
In suggestion video, Dane Fife suggests "Have you seen that wrecking ball video?" Izzo responds with "Fife, you're fired"— Mike Wilson (@MikeWScout) October 19, 2013
Kevin Pauga, MSU's director of basketball operations, snapped a photo of the head coach sitting atop the "Izzo Cannon":
After much hype and buildup, eventually the cannon did go off, and the stunt went off without a hitch.
Alas, it was all a ruse. A member of the Spartans dance team named Jennifer was identified as the crazy person who chose to be shot out of a cannon, via the Lansing State Journal's Brian Calloway:
Jennifer, the person shot out of the cannon, looked like she was a member of #MSU's dance team— Brian Calloway (@brian_calloway) October 19, 2013
Seriously, though, did you really expect a 58-year-old man to be fired out of a cannon?
It's a good thing that was pretty much the final act of Michigan State's Midnight Madness. After an entrance like that, the rest of the thing would be a bore in comparison. The only way the event could've matched up was if Keith Appling, Adreian Payne or Gary Harris were shot out of that same cannon, only to pull off a full-court dunk, NBA Jam-style.
What's so much fun about this event is how Izzo kicks back and has a good time. You watch him on the sidelines, and you'll be lucky to watch him crack a smile that isn't a sarcastic one directed at the officials. While he may be a stern coach in practice and during games, he knows how to have a good time and make fun of himself.
Following the human cannonball act, there was an intrasquad scrimmage, but as it was a glorified practice, much of the action had already occurred.
MLive.com's Diamond Leung had a couple of talking points:
The scrimmage is what you think it is. Two takeaways: Gauna hit a 3. Ellis went up and tried to dunk on Payne.— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) October 19, 2013
Matt Costello had a putback over Adreian Payne and pointed as if to say "count it."— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) October 19, 2013
Harris and fellow Spartan Gavin Schilling wanted to thank the fans who came out to the Breslin Center:
Had a great time at midnight madness! Thanks to everyone who came out, we love yall #spartannation its gonna be a great year!!— Gary Harris (@thats_G_) October 19, 2013
Had a great time at midnight madness! Appreciate all the support from the fans, friends and family. Lets get this season started!!— Gavin Schilling (@G_Schills34) October 19, 2013
Give credit where credit is due for the women's team as well. Head coach Suzy Merchant had a pretty nice entrance as well, riding in on a military humvee.
This was no doubt a Midnight Madness befitting one of the best basketball teams in the country.
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