Big Ten Kickoff Party

Posted by Pat Donohue | July 06, 2014


On Thursday, June 26, 2014, the Big Ten Network threw an exclusive Big Ten Kickoff Party at Cipriani on the east side to welcome Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten and to celebrate the B10 expansion to the east coast. Frequent MSUACGNY club volunteers were chosen and attended this festive event, with catered food and drink, held on a large football field carpet with yard line markers, a goalpost, and a few rows of stadium aluminum bench seats.

BTN lead studio host Dave Revsine was the night’s emcee. After a short introduction video, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney and BTN President Mark Silverman addressed the large crowd of alumni and friends of the B10.

Introduced to the cheering crowd were BTN studio analysts Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffin, Glen Mason, and Shon Morris as well as the head football and basketball coaches for Maryland and Rutgers, former B10 standout athletes and coaches (Gene Keady of Purdue), NBA great (Jerry Lucas of Ohio State and NBA Champion with the 1973 NY Knicks) and NFL great (Franco Harris of Penn State who won 4 Super Bowl Championships with the Pittsburgh Steelers with former MSU coach George Perles – not present), 5 Heisman Trophy winners and our very own Sparty, Mateen Cleaves (2000 National NCAA Champion) and Plaxico Burress (MSU great and Super Bowl XLII Champion with the NY Giants). A $15,000 check from the Big Ten Network to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation for “Team LeGrande” was presented to Eric LeGrand, a retired Rutgers football player (and honorary retired NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneer) paralyzed from a spinal cord injury in an October 2010 game against Army.

Fans could take photos with the Heisman, Rose Bowl, and Big Ten football and basketball championship trophies and with the eleven Big Ten team mascots and three sets of cheerleaders for the three B10 schools without mascots. Some Spartans were fortunate enough to get pictures of themselves by the Heisman Trophy with some of the 5 Heisman Trophy winners (Johnny Rodgers – Nebraska 1972, Mike Rozier – Nebraska 1983, Eddie George – Ohio State 1995, Ron Dayne – Wisconsin 1999, and Eric Crouch – Nebraska 2001). Other lucky Spartans were able to have their pictures taken by the championship trophies with Mateen and/or Plaxico.

See photos from the event and of Spartans with Championship Trophies with our own and other all-stars.