Is Central Jersey real? Rutgers gear takes on eternal question
Rutgers has embraced a nearly eternal New Jersey debate with a basketball promotion asking "Does Central Jersey exist?"
In a kickoff event, the men's team offered fans a chance to choose hats last Friday, showing their allegiance to either North Jersey, South Jersey or the at-times disputed Central Jersey.
Mike Greengarten, Rutgers Athletics Director of Marketing and Fan Experience, said out of about 700 caps, those labeled 'Central' were snapped up in a matter of minutes.
The debate went beyond the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC) in Piscataway, as some celeb R.U. alums chimed in on Twitter. NFL pro Mohamed Sanu, wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons, played high school ball in South Brunswick and declared he is Team Central:
Meanwhile, NFL cornerback Logan Ryan of the Tennessee Titans, who went to Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees, said there's only North and South:
Burlington County native Olympic soccer star Carli Lloyd also cast her vote for Team South:
And New York Mets slugger and proud Toms River resident Todd Frazier admitted he's on the line between Central and South Jersey.
The Scarlet Knights are no stranger to NJ controversy, as the team ran a similar campaign last winter, drawing battle lines in the pork roll versus taylor ham debate.
Greengarten said phase 2 of this winter's campaign is coming with 'Central Jersey Awareness Night' for both basketball teams. At the Feb. 14 women's game and Feb. 24 men's home games, a thousand promotional shirts will be split between 'Central Jersey exists' and 'Central Jersey does not exist.'
He said they hope to draw a couple more famous Jersey guys into the mix, with extra social media shoutouts to Stephen Colbert. The Late Show host (and Montclair resident) took on the Central Jersey debate last summer with an assist from Jon Stewart.