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Maximum capacity

Tonight’s the night.

Anticipation will be swelling like a bee sting in the Sun Dome. The television crews will be out in full force, filming the game like a documentary.

The place will be chock full of people wearing luscious green and bright gold shirts, hats, foam fingers, horns, face paint and, of course, holding a beer cup.


Attendance has been down this season. Many times already it has been brought to everyone’s attention that the seats are empty. A bright green wave of plastic chairs that goes on and on for rows and rows crashes endlessly on our home turf. It’s an eyesore.

So what’s the deal?

It’s time to ante up, time to pay those dues. No more questions, no more excuses. People need to get in those seats.

Think of the many things that will be happening there tonight; of the cameras and of the future NBA ballers. One player that is a certain lock to be in the NBA is 6-foot-7, 250-pound Cincinnati senior forward Jason Maxiell.

The guy is a beast. More than a beast; a Beowulf, for all you mythology buffs out there.

Maxiell is averaging 15.6 points a game, leading the team in points with 281 and leading C-USA with 58 blocked shots.

This colossus of a player will make any basketball scout present tonight do a spit take.

But there are other and better reasons to go tonight — namely the national spotlight.

ESPN2 will broadcast the game in its entirety with the expressed, written consent of the NCAA. Yeah, it sounds lame that way, but any face could grace the four seconds between the Sportscenter promo and a commercial telling you where to buy the 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story DVD.

Here’s a good reason: While the game against the No. 20 Bearcats will be on the Deuce in primetime, there’s nothing else worthwhile to watch.

Survivor needs to die, Joey is pathetic and Friends is over for anyone who missed it, and on ESPN there will be a new episode of that magnificent show, Tilt.

What a joke. For all you Reservoir Dogs fans, Michael Madsen has never been in anything else good. Not even Bump Bailey in The Natural is worth bragging about.

And, finally, there is one very large reason you should go to the game. Many large reasons, actually. The players, whose average height is six and a half feet and only one of who is under six feet tall (sorry, Brian), are those extremely large reasons. They have to be that big. They look scary to the vertically challenged. Then again, looking straight up at them, you can ask them to do two things for you.

Either you can ask 6-foot-9 Terrence Leather if rain is on the way, or you can ask him to get the crowd pumped for those all over the country who are channel surfing.

And Terrence, as for apologizing after Saturday’s 62-50 loss to Houston, there’s none necessary. You’ve done more than your fair share and then some.

Keep it coming.

But these players need help from the fans. They need that sixth man more than printing it on a lame T-shirt. They need yelling, the waving, the some kind of distraction to the opponents.

Leather and company can’t do it by themselves, and they owe nothing else to us. They’ve anted up, paid their dues.

Now it’s your turn.