I used to share in the occasional crankiness of cranky folks who insisted that post-game court-storming was a sacred ritual to be reserved for only the biggest, manliest, most impressive wins.
But then I remembered that the one time I stormed the court (as a student at Delaware), it was fun. And that having fun is the point of sports fandom. And that there isn’t a grand ledger in the sky tallying exactly how many people have stormed the court at how many inappropriate times. And that an “act like you’ve been there before” attitude from fans could also lead to bored Atlanta Braves supporters skipping playoff games, or bored Maryland basketball fans skipping, say, mid-week N.C. State games. And that anyone who actually argues that a program’s goals and expectations are affected or altered or increased or decreased based on students running out of the bleachers to have 120 seconds of post-game fun is a stark raving lunatic who probably shouldn’t have access to a keyboard.
And yet, time and again, fans rush the court to have fun, and cranky people get cranky. It happened again on Wednesday night, when the Terps beat No. 14 N.C. State, their first win over a ranked team in Mark Turgeon’s tenure. Some examples.
Well then. If ever there was anything to convince me that students were absolutely justified in running onto the court, or singing Christmas carols in the Comcast Center restrooms, or making banana and ketchup and cream cheese smoothies, it’s that collection of words.
Lighten up, Franci. Criticize college students for not going to games, if you’d like. But don’t criticize them for showing up and having a good time.
Or, just look at what Mateen Cleaves — a guy who knows a little something about building a successful college basketball program — had to say.
(Note: Patrick Stevens pointed out that “Maryland went 2 years, 10 months, 13 days between beating a ranked teams. Longest such stretch since 2/23/65 to 1/9/71.” Even more reason to run around and hug someone.)
(Image via @CoachLangley)