What a perfectly ludicrous holiday National Marquette Day is. Sure, other schools have homecoming or alumni week or some sort of general celebration of their school, but nothing is as egregiously named as ours. Someone had the absolute audacity to shove a “National” in front of the title as if they were under the assumption that the rest of the country would follow suit in our celebration of a small urban college beyond the watch parties that exist in other places with alumni.
I love every single second of it.
It’s one of the few days out of the spring semester when you’re not constantly thinking about how goddamn cold it is until it starts getting warm the minute finals studying starts. But some of you may not know how to navigate through this sacred day. You may be a new student, an alum trying to relive the glory days when I guess Wells Street had bars????, or a student who has just done it wrong to this point. Wherever you are in life, just take my hand and I will guide you to the perfect NMD Weekend.
1. The Women’s Game Is The Perfect Start
The Marquette women’s team plays Providence at home on Friday evening, with tipoff scheduled for 7pm. I got into this team far too late. I pound my chest extra hard during the “through my fault” portion of the Confiteor at Mass because of this. The Big East Tournament at the Al McGuire Center last year was ridiculously fun. I highly recommend attending this game because
A. They’re good and exciting this year.
B. It’s a good tease for the all day party on Saturday
There’s also a pep rally in the parking lot across the street before this game, and fireworks after the game. I’ll never discourage you from going, but standing in a parking lot at night during winter means you’re going to need some blankets. On the flip side, there’s going to be s’mores and mac & cheese.
I trust that you will *ahem* know your limits this evening, because Saturday starts early.
2. Waking Up
The Party Debate has shaped civilizations for as long as Frank Haith has been scorching the grounds of the colleges that decide it’s a good idea to hire him. While many enjoy the concept of two parties in one day, others find the fight to the finish line not worth it. The other wrench thrown into this game is the desire to get a good seat. If you’re wanting lower bowl, arriving at the Bradley Center doors at 11:30 is probably your best bet, which means you’re getting up at 9 just to get your group together for an hour or so before you leave. It also means that you’re sitting idly at the Bradley Center for 2 hours. They are good seats, so I won’t discourage this from you either, but these are things that must be considered.
I preferred an approach a little more on the side of “all in”, if you will. I’d sat in the lower bowl for many games, so I didn’t necessarily care about sitting up top once or twice if it meant I didn’t have to chug my Irish coffee. Even if that one perpetually late member of your group overslept again (but seriously, get it together next time, Steve), you still have a good buffer because your morning isn’t as time sensitive. Enjoy your morning. Regardless, 9:00 should be the latest time that you are out of bed. Also, pre-hydration is a real thing. Hydration in general is key. I swear by it. Guzzle on some water before anything else (and obviously throughout the day) and you’ve made Sunday a lot easier on yourself.
3. The Buildup
I’ll start with a plea. Cue Sarah McLachlan. I need you to call your professors. Call the AD. Call Dr. Lovell. Call Commissioner Val Ackerman. Call the president of Fox Sports. Let’s make National Marquette Day games start in the evening. Last year was a perfect storm. God saw that my senior year somehow needed more fun and made that one day 75 degrees and Marquette played Xavier at 7:00. Kilbourn ceased to exist as a road and became merely a bridge for girls who thought cutting a triangle in their $200 jerseys was a good idea to stumble from one house to the other. It was complete mayhem. I want this for you. I want to see seniors looking out over balconies to witness a sea of blue and gold 5 hours before the game. As it stands, there is still some hurrying factor no matter how you approach the timing of getting to the game. Then people get back from the game at 4:00 and have an awkward 5 hours before evening activities start. Day games are Perfectly Fine in moderation, but we need more night games. Not just on National Marquette Day, but in general. A 7:00 NMD tip is a fantastic place to start. One call can save a student’s party.
A few things:
- Caff’s and Murph’s will likely have a lot of alumni. Some of them may know your parents. Proceed with caution.
- If your parents are coming up for the game, you can only avoid them for so long. Embrace the awkward interaction or abandon everything.
- A $7.50 Lyft with 6 people in the car >>>>> waiting 30 minutes for the shuttle. You live in the 21st century, so take advantage of it. Plus there’s always that group of Barstool-article-commenters on the shuttle that starts chanting about boobs or something. It’s hard to tell what they’re chanting due to consumption levels, and I don’t mean tuberculosis. It’s just not that enjoyable.
- Don’t be that guy begging for a last minute ticket. I promise you every ticket is being used. You should’ve figured that out a week ago.
4. The Game/After The Game
Oh yeah, there’s a game. Be loud. Get excited for a team likely (hopefully?) going to the tournament with the best years ahead of them and maybe hold off on that last $6 beer to save for season tickets next year.
Sidenote: I’ve been to a couple Kansas games this year, and I didn’t realize how much I took for granted that you can just buy a beer at the Bradley Center. So beautiful.
Get to Cobeen after the game, treat yourself to a good helping of chicken nuggets and mac n’ cheese, then take a nap. You’ve had a long day. You deserve it. But get ready for Water/3rd Street afterwards, because it’s going to be all recent grads yelling about how it seemed like so long ago that they got kicked out of McGillycuddy’s when it was really just last April. Or possibly last night.
Here to grace your presence one more time is the only playlist that you’ll need for a Marquette Gameday. Get hyped.
SPECIAL BONUS FESTIVITIES: There’s Another Women’s Game On Sunday
If you enjoy attending the game on Friday, may I suggest rolling out of bed at 12:30 on Sunday afternoon and making your way back to the McGuire Center to watch the women take on Creighton? That game is going to be broadcast on Fox Sports Wisconsin, and it’s actually pretty important for the Golden Eagles. Marquette is currently tied for first in the Big East and Creighton is currently tied for third. It will definitely be the most important sporting event of the day.