A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 14, 2018
Indiana: Indiana Insanity (basketball)

"Indiana Insanityā€¯ is a name for the annual high school basketball tournament that is held in Indiana in February/March. The term “Indiana Insanity” has been cited in print since at least 1939, but has been only infrequently used.

February/March basketball has also been called “Hoosier Hoopla,” “Hoosier Hysteria,” “March Madness” and “Midwest Madness.”


9 November 1939. Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette, “Hoosier Hysteria Just Basketball,” pg. 18, col. 7:
KOKOMO, Ind., Nov. 8.—(AP)—The annual season of Indiana insanity or Hoosier hysteria (basketball to the 47 other states) can’t be far away.

9 November 1939, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), sec. 2, pg. 2, col. 4:
‘Indiana Insanity’ Not Far Away
KOKOMO, Ind., Nov. 8 (AP)—The annual season of Indiana insanity or Hoosier hysteria (basketball to the 47 other states) can’t be far away.

1 January 1941, Indianapolis (IN) News, “Meany Says He’s Baffled, But How About the Rest of Us?” by Tom Meany, pt. 2, pg. 2, col. 6:
I have heard much about the “Indiana Insanity,” as some of the cynics in the slick-paper magazines term your high school basketball, but you should get a load of “Manhattan Madness,” those quintuple-headers among scholastic teams which we stage on Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

4 March 1948, Lafayette (IN) Journal and Call, “Hoosier Fun,” pg. 6, col. 1:
The Hoosier state is now in the final throes of the season’s basketball ecstasies and gloom. Some call it a madness. It might be termed “Indiana Insanity” or “Hoosier Hilarity.” Mainly it’s just fun.

6 March 1958, Bremen (IN) Enquirer, “On The Side,” pg. 1, col. 1:
They used to call this “Hoosier Hysteria “ and “Hoosier Hoopla” and “Indiana Insanity.”

15 March 1962, Bremen (IN) Enquirer, “On The Side,” pg. 1, col. 1:
For many years, the early fever that comes just ahead of the equinoctial storms of Indiana has been called Hoosier Hysteria, or Indiana Insanity, or Hoosier Hoopla, or some such name.

9 October 1966, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Another Indiana Insanity” by Dennis Cline, IND. sec. 10, pg. 5, col. 1:
“Hoosier hysteria,” a colloquial label for the prep basketball season, will not strike for two months, but the Calumet region currently is in the midst of another type of Indiana “insanity”—“Football fever!”

16 February 1967, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Basketball Star to Be Sportsmanship Guest (Cazzie Russell—ed.), IND. sec. 2A, pg. 7, col. 6:
“Madness" to Begin
The dinner will signal the start of “Indiana Insanity”, with sectional tournaments scheduled that week.

5 March 1967, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Basketball Is Pure Hysteria in Hoosierland” by Jerry Shnay, sec. 10, pg. 5, col. 3:
Has Own Labels
This is what basketball is in Indiana. And it is even more than that.

It’s hundreds of Indiana sports writers having to write about “Hoosier hysteria” and “Indiana Insanity,” knowing well that they still are the most apt descriptions.

1 October 1967, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Basketball Frenzy Begins Annual Buildup,” sec. 10, pg. 7, col. 2:
Hoosier hysteria, Indiana insanity, midwest madness!

Call it what you will, but color it basketball.

6 March 1982, Muncie (IN) Evening Press, “Poets’ Corner,” pg. 4, col. 1:
‘Indiana Insanity’
By HARRY C. SNIDER
The Hoosier poet proudly sings
Of sycamores and birches;
But what about those metal rings
On schools and barns and churches!
No truer symbol can we show
We need no state-edge sign;
When tourists see those hoops, they know
They’ve crossed the Hoosier line! ...

Posted by Barry Popik
Other ExpressionsOther States • Wednesday, March 14, 2018 • Permalink