By Matt Napolitano, Humor Columnist
Let's face it. The hit MTV show, "Jersey Shore" has had an incredible influence on society. The motto of "GTL" has made a generation of Americans sculpt their pythons, transform their skin into that of a Dorito and remember to use fabric softener. However, here at Hofstra, there are two star athletes bringing their own Staten Island touch to campus.
Juniors Candice Bellocchio and Nicole Capurso have brought a new breed of fan to the Mack for women's basketball games. In fact, it has impacted so much, a regular women's basketball crowd looks like a glowing neon orange vision.
At any Hofstra home game, the Staten Island influence is widespread. Whether it's the tanning bed coupons given at the front entrance with each ticket, or the concession stands serving sausage and peppers exclusively, the Italian lifestyle is abundant.
"I'm happy to see Long Island embrace Staten Island. It really is so cool to see the stands and feel like I'm playing back in high school again", said Bellocchio, who has had her fellow alumni from St. Peter's at every home game. The onslaught of Staten Islanders love having Hofstra welcome their hometown women, but they love how Hofstra has come to accommodate them as newfound fans.
"It's oh my gawd great how they brawt all of this Guido hard body stuff here. It makes me like the sport of hockey", said one ill-advised fan, as she won a complimentary Lucas Prata poster for rocking the largest poof in the arena. Competitions like this have taken the place of the usual Jet Blue shootouts and kid races. Among the new events is a bench press competition mid-court for the guys and the very popular "How Much Can You Spend on Daddy's Credit Card?" competition, sponsored by American Express.
"This pawty is f***in hot, every damn night," said a gentleman who referred to himself as "The Commotion." He joins the group of six-packed Oompa-Loompas, who replace the Hofstra cheerleaders, referring to themselves as "PBD". Translation: Pre-game, Basketball, More Drinking (I didn't want to correct them on the M. It would have been like telling a 6-year-old there is no Santa Claus).
"It's great to go out on the court and know everyone from the old neighborhood is right there, cheering you on," said Capurso. Beyond the Situation-like personas, there is that old worldly Italian charm. In fact, the media room was magically transformed into a San Gennaro Festival-like scene. "I love going in for interviews. Calzones, zeppoles, that's a post-game," said Bellocchio.
"The food's great. Members of the media go missing though, which is a little odd, and Max [Sass] woke up with a horse head in his bed, but overall it's still cool," said Capurso. Before you think it's only these two players acknowledging the benefits, Hofstra students are appreciating the impact of the borough. "Food, bad accents, more food, and a lot of orange. I feel like I'm home again," said senior Alex Santiago, a Staten Islander herself.
In fact, The Lion's Den is embracing its new mascots, K-Woww and Willie H, the pumpkin-tinted jungle cats. Students have also enjoyed the house music that blast during media breaks. Said one student, "Ya need a fist pump break in any sport. Baseball, go Yanks, soccer, Forza Azzurri, and jai alai. Whataya got against jai alai?" I stepped away from that gentleman, as I am frightened by jacked-up jack-o-lanterns.
With the regular season winding down for Hofstra women's hoops, I asked Capurso and Bellocchio if they can bring the Staten Island spirit down to Maryland for the CAA Tournament. They answered verbatim. "As long as Maryland has tanning beds, hair spray, and Deadmau5 music playing."