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Time-lapse of The Big House

The Oklahoman's Sarah Phipps created a time lapse of a day in The Big House at Oklahoma City's State Fair Park during the state basketball tournament.
Oklahoman Modified: March 11, 2013 at 4:27 pm •  Published: March 11, 2013

One of the beauties of the Big House is that it isn’t just about the teams.

Sure, the players’ memories from state tournament games inside State Fair Arena will live with them forever.

But the fan experience has come to be a special event as well, with some long-standing traditions that seem to grow every year.

Each student section gets its wildest and craziest on the front row, and some of the most entertaining
Usually around halftime of one game, fans for the next game begin to huddle at the rope next to the limited area for floor seating. And once the rope is moved, fans rush through like the bulls of Pamplona are behind them.

The risers for the floor seats have chairs on them, but they’re generally only used at halftime. It’s standing-room-only in every sense of the phrase.

The home-team seating is best for the crazies.

That side of the bleachers allows you to have your fans sitting directly behind your bench, sharing in the excitement, or pumping you up when things go bad.

Your fans are also behind the opponent’s bench, sharing something a little less friendly.

And the home team’s fans are behind the scorer’s table as well, directly in the official’s line of sight when he’s signaling a foul call to the scorekeeper — which only comes in handy on calls they view unfavorably.

Regardless of which side of the court you’re on, the best referee mockery you’ll hear comes from the floor seats of the Big House.

“Call it on both ends,” is the generic stand-by of Big House visitors, but many go off the script and add their own creativity. Sanity is not mandatory.

After a couple hours of non-stop screaming in support of your team — and the celebratory announcement that “It’s championship Saturday and you have... made it to the Big House!” and all the other moments that State Fair Arena visitors have come to know as routine — the game ends. Happy or sad, you exit to your left so the next fanatic group can burst through from the right to select their seats.

And the process starts all over again.

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by Scott Wright
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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