Monday, July 6, 2015

A different kind of Big Dance

Last weekend, we saw one of the great performances by any student section in the country this season at the St. Joe's-Temple game. But yesterday, two YouTube videos from elsewhere on the college basketball landscape got national attention.

A different kind of Big Dance

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Last weekend, we saw one of the great performances by any student section in the country this season at the St. Joe's-Temple game. The Cherry Crusade's "funeral" for the Hawk rightly got national attention for its creativity, humor and depth.

If you didn't see the details of it yet, watch the video below. There's a rundown of all the rollouts and other signs here. I would have liked to have been at the game, but I had to do my actual job that day.

We all know about the great fan traditions in Philadelphia. But yesterday, two YouTube videos from elsewhere on the college basketball landscape got national attention.

Let's see how they measure up.

We start in the Missouri Valley Conference. The student section at Northern Iowa (you remember Northern Iowa, right?) has been performing a quite elaborate dance routine at games this season called Interlude. The dance has gotten some national attention in recent weeks, in part because of Northern Iowa's nationally-televised BracketBusters matchup against George Mason.

The famous Zooperstars traveling mascot troupe was in the house that night. I think we can all agree that any good dance routine is made even better when a group of inflatable animals is involved.

Here's how it all turned out.



Not too shabby. Those moves definitely take some coordination, especially when wearing an plastic costume with disproportionate extremities.

Our second contestant comes from just over the Mason-Dixon Line. George Mason, a Colonial Athletic Association rival of Drexel (and a dark horse to make a big run in this year's NCAA Tournament), has one heck of a pep band.

You might have heard of the band's extroverted conductor, Doc Nix. He's been running the show in Fairfax, Va., for the last five years, and has become a bit of a cult figure down there.

This week, Doc Nix got up to his old tricks again. Perhaps appropriately for a band called the Green Machine, Nix arranged a Rage Against the Machine score.

Also impressive in its own way. A good mix of bass beats and brass, and the size of the band also helps give the piece some oomph.

But I still think the Hawk Funeral trumps both of the above pieces. And of course I say that in my most objective voice ... well, maybe not. See for yourself and let me know what you think.

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Soft Pretzel Logic is Philly.com's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

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