Swept up in the storm: Oklahoman writers' experiences storming the field

The Oklahoman writers recount their experiences storming the field — find out who joined in and who stayed out of the fray.
From Staff Reports Published: December 2, 2011
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Oklahoman writers recount their experiences storming the field, or the court, or not making it at all.

Mike Baldwin: Dancing on the infield at Royals Stadium

The Kansas City Royals caught a huge break in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series, the worst umpire call in Major League history. The Royals took advantage with clutch ninth-inning hits, then romped 11-0 in Game 7.

Thanks to my friend Jeff Petersen, I had a Game 7 ticket in the leftfield bleachers. With the outcome determined by the fifth inning, a guy in his late 20s had ample time to scheme a way onto the field.

I waited near the third-base dugout for a couple of ushers to grab two other fence jumpers then leaped down onto the field with no resistance.

After grabbing a handful of dirt from the mound, I stared at it and realized it wasn't a souvenir. Besides, I had no way to transport dirt back to Oklahoma City.

The must-have souvenir was a copy of the following day's Kansas City Star. Too bad none of the photos showed me dancing on the field.

Travis Haney: Goal-post plan foiled by a kicker

We weren't even in town for a football game.

My best friend and I had driven from Knoxville, where we were seniors in college, to Durham to see our first Duke basketball game. The Devils were opening the season that night against Army, Coach K's alma mater.

That's a story for another time, but we happened to notice that, hey, the Duke-North Carolina football game is at Duke this year. We hit that game as a pregame.

Let's just say that nine-miles-apart rivalry doesn't really carry over to the football field. Both teams were 2-9 and winless in seven conference games.

Funny thing was, when misery was expected, a great game broke out. Duke scored with 53 seconds left — a friend of mine from my hometown in Georgia making the extra point — to go ahead 21-20.

That was when we decided this was it. We were ready to hop over the brick wall and, even if it was just four or five of us, we were going to take down the goalposts. We didn't know how that was done, exactly, but we were going to do it.

We'd seen it happen on the road to Tennessee a few times. We wanted to be part of this.

It was Duke football. They'd be proud of us if we did this, right? Security was minimal. The risk was minimal. And, well, no one knew us in Raleigh-Durham.

Perfect. Until …

The Heels had a chance to kick a long field goal. Dan Orner was some dude I'd never heard of, replacing Jeff Reed that year at UNC. We thought, “No way.” But we watched the ball sail through the uprights — the ones we were planning on tearing down — right in front of us.

Ugh.

At least we had Cameron that night?

I've never even been remotely that close to rushing the field or tearing down goalposts, which is at the same time both relieving and regrettable.

John Helsley: Watching my back in amid ‘quack attack'

I'd gone down to the field for the final minutes of Oklahoma's game at Oregon in 2006 — yeah, that OU-Oregon game — not to storm the field but to get a jump on the march to the postgame press conference of what figured to be a Sooner victory.

Going down early is pretty standard procedure for reporters.

Getting trampled is not.

Of course, the game went sideways for OU, in more ways than one.

The onside kick. Garrett Hartley's blocked field goal.

Ducks win.

Humanity insanity.

From every angle, folks wearing green or gold — men, women, children — ran at breakneck speed, literally, across the field at Autzen Stadium.

The sound of trampling feet and the breeze created by racing passersby created a more than uneasy feeling.

Quickly, I worked my way to an end zone wall and backed myself against it, at least eliminating 180 degrees of blindside danger.

And I stood and watched. And thought, “What fun.”

For them.

Gina Mizell: A James Harden-inspired court-storming

I had two opportunities to storm the field my sophomore year at Arizona State in 2007, when the Sun Devils beat California and Arizona.


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