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Rutgers Takes Manhattan

On a summer night in New York, the Scarlet Knights owned the bright lights and big city.

NCAA Football: Iowa at Rutgers Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

To many, yesterday was just a regular Tuesday night in New York City on the eve of the official beginning of summer. However, for Rutgers, it was a night that was owned by the Scarlet Knights in the city that never sleeps.

First off, it was “Rutgers Night” at Yankee Stadium for the game between the Angels of Anaheim and the New York Yankees. It was done in part to promote the Rutgers football game versus Maryland on November 4th. That day is actually a doubleheader, as the Rutgers wrestling team will take on Maryland as well, ahead of the football game. It’s been dubbed the “Big Ten Battle in the Bronx”

Head coach Chris Ash had a busy day promoting the game and the program. He joined the “Boomer and Carton” Show on WFAN in the morning. Later, he, several coaches and athletic personnel were at Yankee Stadium. Of course, the Scarlet Knight was in attendance for “Rutgers Night” as well.

The best part was Ash getting some valuable air time during the broadcast with Yankee announcers Michael Kay and Al Leiter.

Many fans have been critical of playing a home game this season away from High Point Solutions. As a season ticket holder, I do understand that frustration. I also work in the city five days a week, so the last thing I want to do on the weekend is head back in to Manhattan. However, there is no denying there is value to the university, the athletic department, and the football program by playing in Yankee Stadium. Getting this type of exposure in June is priceless. Having a business relationship with an iconic franchise like the Yankees is a good idea.

The university paying for the Rutgers sign in left field was one of the better marketing decisions that’s been made in some time, in my opinion. Every home game that there is action to left field, you see the Rutgers sign. Again, great exposure.

All of that would have been plenty on a random Tuesday night, but there was actually more to come.

The Rutgers Marching Band, specifically the drumline section, once again appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. This time it was to back up the band, Imagine Dragons.

The band has appeared on the Tonight Show before. They’ve played on the roof of 30 Rock with Bono, as well this past May to help celebrate a few things:

As our friend Zuzu joked, it has become quite the task to keep up with all of their television appearances.

Look at their full list of television appearances here, it is truly impressive.

If the football team can improve and take advantage of a winnable two game stretch in Big Ten play in October, the game versus Maryland at Yankee Stadium may have serious implications on the season. Even if they don’t, a win over Maryland anywhere is a victory worth celebrating. Let’s hope it comes true. As some Big Ten fans fail to understand the value that Rutgers brings the conference, appreciate the fact that our beloved school is getting more and more positive exposure in the most famous city in the world. Just imagine what it will be like once our major sports teams start winning. Sure, New York will always be a pro sports town first, but there is plenty of room for a successful power five college program too!