Magic in the Air: MSG, Every Sports Fan’s Dream

Dylan Anderman, Sports Editor

Walking south on Seventh Avenue after seeing the livelihood of Times Square, the New York experience begins to settle in. From J-walking to 99-cent Pizza shops on every other corner, New York isn’t quite like any other city. Cutting over to Eighth Ave and arriving upon 33rd Street your breath disappears. To your left, the Empire State Building, to your right are elegant skyscrapers and the Pennsylvania station surrounded by beautiful architecture, then right in front of you — the infamous Madison Square Garden (MSG). The stadium every young sports fan dreams of visiting and a place with such rich history, that it stands shining in between exquisite settings. 


Heading through security and going up the escalator you feel the vibrations from the fans and the music. People chanting for their team and a sold out crowd waiting for the action to begin. Walking around the concourse there are historic banners celebrating players and team accomplishments. Different people, from different places, come together to embrace the magical atmosphere that MSG provides.  


The smell of unique food and taste of the beers on tap, your mind falls into a trance from the reality surrounding you. The price of 20-dollar beers and 15-dollar food doesn’t even cross your mind. When you find your section and sit in your seat, chills rush up and down your body. The Garden was real, the fantasy of attending a game at MSG finally coming true. 


From the moment the game tips off to each thrilling play, the crowd roars and yells with excitement. Your body feels numb, even if your team isn’t playing, observing the athletic performance in front of you generates undeniable emotion for the game. Your senses are drawn to the environment, creating a dopamine thrill. The hope that the experience will never end crawls into your thoughts. 


College athletes were at the forefront, experiencing the thrill of playing in the games. As young as 18-23 years-old playing for their school in front of thousands of people at the historical stadium. “Friday night, Madison Square Garden… it doesn’t get much better than that,” Shaka Smart, head coach for Marquette, expressed after their thrilling semifinal game against UConn. 


Athletes dream of the atmosphere that the Garden is known for and a win at the stadium makes it that much better. “Energy is energy and feeding off the energy [at this stadium] gets us going. Nothing gets better than this. If you can’t get up for a game like this then I don’t know if you really like basketball, commented Tyler Kolek, Marquette guard.  University of Marquette players experienced the dream over the Big East Tournament weekend, finishing off the weekend by winning the entire tournament and creating lasting memories. 


When the game ends you sit there in disbelief. Upset, happy, drunk, and astonished fans surround the arena and make their way to the exit. One team celebrates and the other cries, MSG enhances the emotion of all. Regardless, no matter the outcome, the feeling of attending a game at the Garden will never be replicated. 


While you step out of MSG, take a deep breath and try to comprehend what you witnessed, the bright lights and the honking cars send you back to reality. Heading home, the memories play in your head over and over. As you walk back through the vibrant city, a stubborn smile never leaves your face and at the end of the night, you feel the accomplishment of a dream that just became a reality.