Middle school, court storming, and the Grumpy Old Man

Me in middle schoolAs I remember it, our middle school basketball team was pretty good. When I was in sixth grade (or possibly seventh, but I’m pretty sure it was sixth), one of our teams played for a championship. I assume it’s the city championship. And I’m pretty sure it was the prep team, not our Varsity team, but those details don’t really matter all that much in the grand scheme of things, honestly.

I went to the game. I think I arrived late. I wore my white Plaza Park polo-type shirt (the very one I’m wearing in this official sixth grade picture, by the way), and sat in a seat that wasn’t very close to the student section.

The Plaza Park Pacers dominated the game and it was apparent that we were going to win the championship. After the final buzzer sounded, several people from the front rows of the student section rushed onto the court in celebration. I, however, did not participate. Looking back, I wish I had.

Until last year’s Illinois game, that was the only time I’d witnessed a student section storm the court. I’ve been to a lot of college basketball games over the years. I’ve even been to a good amount of high school games. I don’t remember having an opportunity to storm the court. In reality, it’s a pretty rare event.

There’s been a lot made about what happened in Assembly Hall a couple of nights ago after the Hoosiers upset an undefeated Wisconsin Badgers team. Fans stormed the court.

And people went nuts.

There was a time that I would have gone nuts about this. In fact, I did so on this very post several years ago. But as I was listening to all these Indiana fans call into the local sports shows complain about how a third-ranked Wisconsin team wasn’t worthy of a court-storming, I realized how much these guys merely sounded like Dana Carvey’s Grumpy Old Man.

While no one actually said this, this is how I heard it: “We never stormed the court. We sat on down and clapped politely like it was golf. And if we did think about storming the court, we’d be forced to walk home across hot coals, uphill, both ways, in the snowy rain tornado storm. That’s the way it was. And we liked it! Flobble-dee-flee!

Thinking back to how I missed out on storming the court in middle school, listening to Grumpy Old IU Fans call in made me realize that I would’ve totally stormed the court Tuesday night if I was a student at IU. I know this is a fundamental change for me, but I’d much rather err on the side of having fun and making a memory than sounding like Grumpy Old IU Fan later in life. After all, it behooves us to live!

Grumpy Old IU Fans weren’t the only people bothered by the court-storming, though.

Storm the Court Poll

I get it. KY fans say they think it’s beneath them to storm the court when their “40-0” team wins. They can puff out their chests and talk about how that makes them elite. They’re better than anyone else. After all, they’re “everyone’s Super Bowl” (I’ll have to address this phrase some other time). But there’s another reason they won’t storm the court…

While BCS conferences typically leave it to host schools to manage postgame celebrations, the Southeastern Conference fines its members when fans storm the court. The fines range from $5,000 for the first offense, $25,000 for the second and $50,000 for a third.
AP: March 1, 2013
(emphasis mine)

That’s right. The SEC has banned storming the court. Maybe this practice is beneath them. But then again, maybe they just aren’t allowed to do it. Or maybe KY is so bent out of shape because they’re still embarrassed about this one time they rushed the field of play.

I can see how this would be a sore spot in their storied athletics department. KY fan doesn’t like it? Good. All the more reason for me to fully support IU fans storming the court. I just ask that they keep two things in mind as they’re getting ready to run onto the hardwood:

  1. If you’re gonna rush the court, rush onto the court. Don’t halfway it. Don’t wonder if you should or shouldn’t. Don’t ask about someone’s made up rules about when it’s acceptable. Just. do. it.
  2. Please don’t ever rush the court for Northwestern. I’m all for having fun and making memories and all that, but a line has to be drawn somewhere.

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Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"