The sights and sounds of fans storming the court
In Monday’s Big 12 Coaches Call, the league’s coaches gave their thoughts on fans storming the court.
You can read about that in the paper or online.
But all the talk made me think about the two court storms I’ve sat through in the last two years.
Here’s the good: They allow fans to celebrate even closer with their team. They are incredible memories. They are incredible things to watch. They are great for intro videos. They’re an added touch to the already exuberant victory.
Here’s the bad: They often leave people injured, although you don’t really hear about them unless they’re semi-famous. They cause constant arguments on Twitter and Facebook about what’s an acceptable court rush. They catch people off guard, leaving them almost trampled.
The most recent court rush I saw was when Oklahoma beat then-No. 5 Kansas. Fans slowly trickled onto the court but it was sheer jubilation. Heck, even members of the football team were excited for it and joined in. Junior defensive back Aaron Colvin tweeted about how he made it out injury free — in case any Oklahoma football fans were worried.
Overall, it was a tame court storm. Even the players said they were surprised when the fans finally started coming onto the court because it was delayed.
The first court storm I saw, which is also the first court storm I’ve ever witnessed live, was when I was sports editor at my college newspaper just last year when Indiana played then-No. 1 Kentucky. I was there to calm the fury of Twitter if IU upset so my reporters could write. I sat back in the press conference room for a majority of the game watching it on TV and occasionally walking out and standing on the baseline of the court to watch. The emotion was intense and with a couple of minutes remaining, I realized that IU could potentially upset so I grabbed my camera and headed out to the court. I stood in the south bleachers on the stairs because there was no extra room.
What happened after Indiana guard Christian Watford hit a buzzer-beating three to upset was an absolute explosion of emotion.
During the court rush, most people are running toward the court or sitting in the stands watching as people below them try to get to the court. I moved to the court and watched as some of the 17,000+ fans in Assembly Hall tried to make their way onto Branch McCraken Court — and then I wrote about it:
The final shot arced toward the basket, and time stopped.
As he watched the ball, junior forward Christian Watford kept his right hand in the air.
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