November 19, 2003

Cornell Reopens 'Red Zone'

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The University of Florida has the Rowdy Reptiles, the University of Colorado at Boulder has the Marsh-mellow Pit, Duke has the Cameron Crazies. Every school seems to have a way to show its basketball spirit and now so does Cornell. With the basketball season on the horizon, Cornell will hope to make a move to the upper echelon of the Ancient Eight.

“We have a core group of six guys who should be able to lead our team to victory,” said head coach Steve Donahue, “Our goal undoubtedly is the Big Dance. If we make the NCAA tournament this year, the season will have been a success.”

With 12 home games scheduled for this season, the Red is looking to do anything it can to create a home-court advantage — hence the rebirth of the Red Zone.

“We are trying to create a student section that is excited about Cornell and the fact that by more than one poll we are picked to win the Ivy League,” said Red Zone spokesperson Dave Krauter.

To be a part of the Red Zone, all one needs is a student ID. Tickets are distributed on certain nights at the Northstar Dining Hall in Appel Commons, as well as other select locations on campus.

The benefits of the Red Zone are more than simply sitting in a student-only section. This Sunday, the Red Zone will make its return to Newman Arena in time for the men’s basketball team’s season-opener against highly-touted Georgia Tech. Simply for coming to the game, students will receive a free t-shirt. In addition, all students who attend the game will be automatically entered in a drawing for prizes that include two round-trip airline tickets to anywhere in the country, as well as a ticket to the Dec. 6 hockey game against Harvard.

Despite a disappointing 9-18 (4-10 Ivy) record last season, the Red appears to be much stronger than any time in the recent past.

As an added bonus, Wings Over Ithaca will give away free wings to every student in the Red Zone if Cornell scores 75 points or more against the Yellow Jackets.

“What we want is a hostile environment that opponents find intimidating.” said Krauter. “With such a rowdy crowd, the sky is the limit for the basketball team.”

“The Red Zone is an awesome idea,” said John Gilbert ’06. “All the basketball team needs is fan support.”

Archived article by Rick Griffith