I got home in time today to see No. 5 Duke eat it against Boston College in hoops today. While I personally love when the Dookies lose, I couldn't help but notice the piss-poor event that took place at the end of regulation. The Eagle fans, completely thrilled with the idea of beating the Devils for the first time since I was born, meandered onto the court.
What the hell was that, BC?
Folks, storming the court is an ART FORM. You can't just go out there, throw caution to the wind, and expect to be on the end of your school's segment on SportsCenter! In my never-ending mission to make the world a better place, I've decided to list some handy tips and tricks to make your next court-storming a success.
See the picture accompanying this article? That was taken in the 2006 season, when my beloved Seminoles beat Duke. (Disclosure: Again, I LOVE when Duke loses.) What you don't realize is that somewhere, toward the center of that sea of Seminoles, is yours truly. That brings us to...
Rule No. 1: Be a leader, not a follower.
FSU's student section is called The 'Nole Zone, and is close to the court so all the diaper dandies can hear us armchair 2-guards let them know what we think. If you have a similar section in your gym, note that this makes for a great place to be one of the first onto the court!
Don't wait for everyone else to get out there. Be a good fan, and lead the charge like Leonidas into the Battle of Thermopylae (the plot of that 300 movie, for you social science majors out there.)
Rule No. 2: Show your love
Usually, you can find the guys who just did all the heavy lifting in the center of the madness. The players are just as excited about the win as you are, and they should know you are proud of them. Here's an exchange I had with a player after the 'Noles beat defending champs UF during the '06-'07 season (jeez, the '06 season was a good one).
Me: "YOU DID IT!"
Player: "AH! WOO! I KNOW! WOO!"
Me: "YEAH BABY! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!"
Player: "OH MAN! WOOOOOOOOO!"
Now, this may not seem like much to the average eye, but look closer, there's a underlying gratitude there that you may have missed. Let's look again.
Me: "I'm so proud of your athletic achievement, tall guy!"
Player: "Thank you for your support, kid I don't know! I truly appreciate it!"
Me: "You guys were supposed to be dominated! I truly can't believe this!"
Player: "I know and agree completely, but let's ignore that fact and yell some more!"
See how easy that was?
Rule No. 3: Remember why you're there
This isn't about you. This is about the crowd getting to live the dream on the hardwood. At best, we're weekend warriors, playing horrible games at the rec and waxing poetic about that one game in HS when you "totally made that three over Eddy Curry."
This is time to celebrate! Hug that classmate of a different race, test your lungs and scream with your best girlfriend who you totally have a crush on, but she only wants to be friends, but you don't take the hint and do that whole awkward "protector older brother" deal. You know what I'm talking about, you creeper.
While rushing the court will never take the place of hitting the game-winner, or even being on the bench when someone else hits the game-winner, doing it provides an experience like no other. Plus, you have something else to brag about to those douchebags who still live at home, and who doesn't love that?