And next season, the Albany Patroons are acquiring a ready-built dance team – er, hype squad.
Let me explain.
In the Patroons’ first iteration (1982-1993), the team had a set of dedicated dancers who would perform choreographed routines during breaks in the basketball action. During those times, the dance squad was known as the Patties (probably not the best idea to name your female dance team after a colloquial term for hamburger meat), and then later on they were known as the Patroons Patrolle (not the greatest name either, but at that time they were using a costumed alligator for a mascot, so there you go).
In the Patroons’ second iteration (2005-2009), the dance squad was known as the Emeralds, and I can tell you from visual experience that the Emeralds were the classiest dance team in the CBA. Good choreography, great dance moves, all the above.
Currently the Patroons are in their third iteration, and although there were some attempts to start a dance squad, it never really took flight.
But since the Arena Football League’s Albany Empire (and the league itself) have bit the dust, the Empire’s dance team have joined up with the Patroons, and will be the new Emeralds dance squad for the 2019-20 TBL season. And now we have a hype squad.
The Albany Emeralds Hype Squad will rebrand and expand to complement the Albany Patroons’ 2020 season.
Two cool things about this.
First off, I’m down with a co-ed team. The Patroons are totally inclusive, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, so long as you can play and score. And it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, as long as you support Albany’s best pro sports team, you’re welcome to be part of the hype squad.
The other thing that’s cool about this – this isn’t the first time that a part of one organization has moved to another team. I am reminded that Rowdy the River Rat, the Albany River Rats’ team mascot, moved over to the Tri-City ValleyCats for a time when the River Rats rebranded themselves as the Albany Devils. So it’s a nice tie to the community.
Again … it’s nice to have a hype squad.
And tryouts for the hype squad begin on December 15, so if you have the skills and the talent and the dance ability and the energy … maybe the hype squad is something for you as well.
Trust me, if I wasn’t already excited for the Patroons to repeat as TBL champions this season …
This is an additional treat in and of itself.