In the middle of midterms, Eagles players and fans united for the annual Eagle Mania late night rally. From all corners of campus, PCC students, staff, and faculty pulled together in a wave of blue and white T-shirts to demonstrate their Eagle pride and meet the Eagles players, lighting up the arena with a storm of excitement.
Friday night at 10:30 p.m., the Sports Center arena opened to a flood of fans as they rushed to find the perfect spot to view Eagle Mania. Event staff, armed with thunder clappers, helped prepare the crowd for the event by answering questions and providing directions while the Blue Crew energized the crowd with tumble routines and cheers.
As 11 p.m. neared, when the crowd counted down and darkness filled the room, an electric spirit was building among fans. When the floor exploded into its own electrifying presentation, the arena shook with applause and shouts of approval. “Always an Eagle” was proudly displayed across the court as the floor show gave way to a drum line which lit up the still-darkened room with glowing drumsticks.
When the lights came up, the show didn’t stop. Confetti rained, T-shirts flew, light-up cotton candy flashed, and crowds roared as the Blue Crew, in their first official introduction to the student body, circled the court with large Eagles flags and led the crowd in cheers of “I believe that we will win” and “Go Big Blue.” Throughout the night, from team introductions through a cloud of fog to student-involved games and team scrimmages, the Eagles spirit took hold in a monumental manner. But long before Friday’s late-night events, Eagle pride was already building.
Preparation for Eagle Mania usually begins in January, about 10 months before the event takes place! Teams from many departments pitch in to develop a unique Eagle Mania each year. Advertising Services’ video team works on the floorshow while the digital media team creates many of the graphics. Student Activities coordinates the event while Scene Shop brings special effects. The Eagles Athletics department pitches in with much of their personnel to coordinate teams’ movements and roles in the event. As the event gets nearer, nearly 200 students take on roles that help create a successful event and promote a unified spirit.
Two hours before the main event kicks off, rehearsals provide the opportunity to ensure things run as smoothly as possible. Teams come together along the arena track to preview the floor show. Technical aspects such as video, audio, and fog cannons are pretested; music is practiced; and final instructions for entering the court are delivered. Everything is practiced with as much energy and excitement as should be expected in the main event from the countdown to the floor show to the playing of the national anthem.
The amount of effort and work applied to Eagle Mania shows how many people realize the importance of having such an event. Rachel Moses, Student Activities Coordinator, said, “It’s a unifying event that helps our fans get excited about supporting the teams, and gives the teams an opportunity to show appreciation to fans. We started using the phrase ‘Always an Eagle’ last year for the Eagles’ 40th anniversary. We wanted to create a legacy of school spirit that reminded both current students and alumni that they’ll always be part of our Eagles family.”
As the Eagles family joined together Friday, each team bore their individual uniforms from sports teams to concessions to fans. Each person had a role to play in their individual team, but when those teams united forces in a celebration of Eagle pride, they presented a unified front—a message to resonate with all. We are part of one team. We are all, now and forever, Eagles.