We have all seen it before. A home team gets a big win and the fans, who are most often students, storm the court.
Why is this? Does it show a surplus of fanhood to be out on the court/field rather than cheering from your seat? Is it so we can be the first to congratulate an athlete on the victory? Or is it simply that it is the closest most of us will ever get to playing in a game like that? I’m not sure of the answer, but I am sure that it needs to stop.
Let me set the stage for the latest court-storming and how it went incredibly wrong.
In a highly contested men’s basketball victory for the Utah Valley University Wolverines, the post-game celebration quickly turned into an ugly brawl with the New Mexico State Aggies on Thursday after fans rushed the court in a 66-61 overtime win.
It was a big win for UVU and put them in first place in the WAC, ahead of New Mexico State. This prompted students to rush the court in celebration. But as the buzzer sounded, a New Mexico State player was seen chucking the basketball at a UVU player.
The Aggies’ K.C. Ross-Miller caused this whole debacle when he decided to hurl a basketball in the direction of Holton Hunsaker, striking him on the leg. This one action, along with the fans on the court, made for the perfect storm to incite an ugly little scrap.
Coaches immediately held the New Mexico State player back as the two players began chirping at each other, but with the mayhem of students on the court and a frustrated New Mexico State team, a fight broke out between players and fans, creating the scary environment in Orem.
And, as the great Ron Burgundy put it . . . that escalated quickly.
Students punched players and players punched students. Luckily, no serious injuries were reported, but it was still all so unnecessary.
I get that in this case, it was started by Ross-Miller, and without him chucking the ball none of this would’ve happened and the blame should be placed on him. However, dumb actions by athletes on the field of play should stay amongst the athletes.
I can almost promise that if there were no fans to escalate the situation, players would’ve puffed out their chests, acted tough, but would’ve been pulled apart before any punches were thrown.
College students are supposed to be self-indulgent, silly and occasionally stupid. And I understand that sports are supposed to be fun, so by all means have all the crazy fun you want . . . in the stands.
Embrace the fact that, for a short period of time, we can use the excuse “yeah, I did that, but it was back in college.” Just don’t do it at the cost of people potentially getting hurt while attending and celebrating at a sporting event.
I’m not a fun-hater, nor am I the court-storm police, but there is no need for fans to be literally on top of the sporting event, no matter how huge the win.