LAWRENCE, Kan. — Friday was the first ever Late Night in the Phog that was also in a pandemic at the University of Kansas. COVID-19 canceled last year’s tip off to KU basketball at Allen Fieldhouse.
Everybody was asked to wear masks. But unlike all of last season’s attendance caps, Friday night’s nearly-packed house ushered in a new season of Kansas basketball.
Nothing about the 2020 season was normal for KU. Unranked at one point they certainly missed the advantage of a densely packed Phog.
“It wasn’t the same because it wasn’t packed like years past. But still something was better than nothing,” Cade Stout, a KU sophomore said.
The pandemic also canceled the fan favorite Late Night in the Phog, so fans were more than happy to line up for hours to get inside Friday. For many of them it was their first chance to see KU basketball.
“It’s definitely cool to see all the students out here and like family and stuff seeing all the people who camped out. It’s super cool, it’s a totally different atmosphere for sure,” sophomore Paige Vogt said.
KU alumni Rob Riggle hosted the event bringing some of his comedy and Jayhawk enthusiasm. He opened the night hosting from the student section, saying it was the same seat he sat when he was a student.
The men’s and women’s teams performed skits and scrimmaged ahead of a concert capping the evening by a group that’s been around much longer than most students have been alive, RUN DMC.
“Some of my friends know “Tricky” and that’s it. So I might have to inform them a little bit they are not going to know,” Vogt said.
The last Late Night in the Phog performer, Snoop Dogg, caused controversy when he showered players with money guns and had aerial dancers on poles in 2019 at the traditional family-friendly event.