By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) I just don’t get it is all. And I contemplate my not-getting-it-ness (or is it not-getting-it-itude?) every time I see it happen.
After a wild week in what’s been a wilder NCAA basketball season—a week that saw an incredible win by Illinois over then-top-ranked Indiana as time expired, a wild Wisconsin victory in overtime against Michigan, and a five-overtime marathon win for Notre Dame over Louisville—I saw it happen multiple times. Fans rushing the court.
I’ve never understood the allure of running onto a basketball court to then merely jump up and down and scream. Isn’t that essentially what is done in the stands during and after positive results? What is so special about doing it a few feet away in a different location?
Yes, I am aware that I am attempting to crawl into the minds of college kids and put logic against youthful impulse. Believe it or not, despite my crustiness, I was once full of such vigor and did illogical things as a student of higher learning. Lucky my college career was just prior to the camera phone age. But even as dumb and not sober as I was then, I never had the urge to run on a basketball court.
By now several people reading this are yelling at their computers something to the effect of “Why do you want to band court-rushing? Why do you hate fun?” because whenever I say something that isn’t totally positive about something that makes someone feel good, the response is reflexively to chide me for taking away someone’s toys, and it’s not long before Godwin’s law takes effect. So to reiterate for the feces-throwers, I am not demanding a ban on rushing the court. It just seems painfully pointless to me.
“But it’s college kids having fun.” Shall we walk down the merry lane of things that college students consider fun? Date rape. Butt-chugging. Pitbull. Having your wheelchair pushed into a sea of idiots. All just college kids having fun. And that excuse is lame anyway because, if allowed to, fans at pro games would run on the court or field. I absolutely guarantee it. Yet why does security at pro games make sure that doesn’t happen? Perhaps because it’s really dangerous when you think about it. I very much dread a situation where a fan, player, or coach is severely injured—if not killed—and then everyone cries, “Why were we allowing these rushings of the court in the first place? Why didn’t we listen to Baffoe? He’s always so rational and handsome.”
“But it’s an experience they’ll remember forever.” On my deathbed, if I were taking stock of my life and one of the more special memories was running onto a basketball court in college after a win, I’d light myself on fire. Who in the hell considers that a watershed moment in life? Plus, it’s not original or creative or even spontaneous anymore. It’s played out. I certainly wouldn’t want such a thing as a mark on my personal timeline.
“But you get to be near the players.” Ah, yes, that creepiness of wanting to be near if not even touch an athlete. Helps foster that culture of “we did it” fans. Going to ask the players for a retweet after the game, too?
Look, if running onto a court or field to scream and jump around with other people doing the same thing even though you were doing much the same in the stands to begin with is what gets your ya-ya’s out, go nuts, I guess. But that bewildered feeling of “What do I do now?” that you get once the crowd starts to disperse? That’s the feeling a lot of people have watching you run out there in the first place.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget , but please don’t follow him in real life. He grew up in Chicago’s Beverly To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.