Big 12 Sports Articles

Court Storming: A college basketball pastime that should not be revoked

NCAA Basketball: West Virginia at Texas Tech

With every court storm comes the men wearing tighty whities.

It is a tragedy when a student goes four years without the experience of storming the stage of an athletic event after a school’s team accomplishes something amazing. Every fan needs to experience this at some point in their life. For 10 minutes, the players on your favorite team are a part of your family. The entire student section floods onto the playing surface and jubilee occurs.

That is, until someone gets frightened. This time, it was Wesley Harris of the West Virginia men’s basketball team after Texas Tech fans stormed the court for snapping the Mountaineers 15-game winning streak. If you haven’t heard yet, Harris was publicly reprimanded by Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby for punching a fan. I’ve got my opinion on the reprimand, and the $25,000 fine levied on Texas Tech, but that’s for another day (Don’t you just salivate at the foreshadowing?).

Because of the altercation that happened during the court storming, some people have their panties in a wad on whether it should be allowed or not. I have a name for these high-and-mighty snobs: Pre-med DIKs.

One of my favorite movies is Van Wilder. In one scene, Wilder is talking to the girlfriend for the antagonist, pre-med student Richard Bagg. Wilder says, “You can tell a lot about a person from the kind of drawers they wear.” This comes after implying that Bagg wears tighty whities because he takes life too seriously. In a later scene, Bagg is shown pulling up tighty whities after having sex with his girlfriend. Bagg also just so happens to be the president of his fraternity, Delta Iota Kappa (DIK). In the movie, Bagg’s entire goal becomes to kick the fun-loving Wilder out of college. Thus, anyone who tries to place a damper on the fun of the party becomes a “pre-med DIK”. It’s the best way to describe someone against court-storming. These are the same people who think fans shouldn’t get out of their seats, heckle or wear interesting choices to display in the arena. In fact, they probably want all students to wear khaki pants with sweater vests and celebrate with a golf clap. Get out of here. This is basketball. It’s a physical contact sport filled with tons of passion and wild emotions. That’s why it’s a lovely game to watch. Sometimes, our emotions get the best of us. That’s what happened with Wesley Harris on Saturday.

Texas Tech should not be fined. In fact, they’ve actually got an excellent set-up for security. In addition to the already tight security there, a student organization named the “Saddle Tramps” makes a circle around the visiting team’s parent’s just behind the visitor’s bench to protect those folks from any potential court-storming..

Here’s where things probably were misunderstood: Texas Tech had a top-10 ranking. It’s something they haven’t had for a super long time. In fact, the last time they were ranked this high was before most of their current students were even born. Most probably didn’t expect a top-10 team to storm the court. Our owner and founder, Pete Mundo, has written about this. Yes, it is kind of lame for a top-10 team to storm the court, but we’re not talking about Kansas here. The farthest Texas Tech basketball has ever made it into the NCAA Tournament before is the Sweet 16. When someone says “act like you’ve been there before”, Tech fans don’t know what you are talking about. They never have been there before. It’s a fan base known for storming the field and the court. In 2008, after Michael Crabtree scored the touchdown to give Tech a 39-33 victory over Texas, the fans stormed the field three times. There was one second remaining and Tech was forced to kick off from the 9 ½ yard line.

One year after Brittney Griner punched Jordan Barncastle, No.1 Baylor returned to what was then the United Spirit Arena and they were upset. Tech fans stormed the court for a Lady Raiders game. Tell me another fan base that storms the court for a women’s basketball game.

They’ve stormed the court when upsetting Kansas multiple times. They’ve stormed the court after beating Washington in 2009. They stormed the field after beating Missouri in football in 2010. They stormed the field after beating a Geno Smith-led West Virginia team in 2012 that walked into Jones AT&T Stadium unbeaten. Texas Tech is a university known for storming the court, and when you enter the City of Lubbock on a 15-game winning streak, and the No.2 RPI ranking in the nation, you better know that Tech fans are going to storm the court if the Red Raiders pull off the victory over you.

Every fan base needs to storm a field or a court at some time in their life. It’s a part of the student experience. It’s what makes college basketball great. Don’t believe me? Go to YouTube. Hell, there’s even a video of North Carolina storming the court. Yes. The same North Carolina that Michael Jordan played at. The same program that is expected to win National Championships. Most of the athletes love it. Many of the coaches do too. Guess who else loves it: recruits. Nothing says “fun-filled atmosphere” like a bunch of fans rushing the court.

Sports is supposed to be an escape from reality. Storming the playing surface is a part of that escape. It gives people hope. It brings people to life. It’s a shining moment in the lives of many. There’s enough seriousness in the world outside of it. If you don’t like it, there are plenty of serious people in politics. Go follow them.

Don’t be a pre-med DIK. Get rid of your tighty whities. Join the party. Have fun. Experience life.

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