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Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Court-storming takes a turn for the dumb

By Eamonn Brennan

Last week, I wrote about Clemson's premature, unnecessary, and ultimately forgivable court-storm after their big win over North Carolina. Clemson was favored in the game; this was not an upset. But given the two schools' relationship and the way Clemson fans feel about finally breaking their 10-game losing streak to Carolina, I figured it was an offense against court-storming that we could probably overlook. It deserved a warning, not a ticket.

Because I like to think of myself as a nice dude who's down with those zany college kids (I'm only a couple years removed from college myself, so I shouldn't be that lame already), I wrote the following:

In the meantime, I think we can all come together on the following two points: 1). Court-storming is out of hand, and 2). There's really nothing wrong with this. Are college students rushing the court way too often for the gesture to mean anything? Sure. Does this matter in any real way? In other words, should we worry about the "cheapening" of a gesture based primarily on college students feeling momentary euphoric joy and choosing to express that joy in a communal manner? Absolutely not.

College kids will keep finding reasons to storm courts, and I'll keep writing about why the court-storming wasn't deserved, and the cycle will go on forever and  ever until I shake off this mortal coil. Which will be soon, because I am 76 years old.

I'd like to take this opportunity to immediately renounce every word you just read. Let me tell you why.

On Saturday, Michigan beat No. 15 UConn at the Crisler Arena. Despite this being an unusually down UConn team (11-6 with four other road losses), and despite the Wolverines having been ranked in the top 25 before the season started only to fall flat once everyone started, you know, playing basketball ... Michigan's fans stormed the court. This was egregious.

Then, Indiana fans decided to up the ante. Not satisfied with letting Michigan's students steal their thunder, Indiana's fans stormed the court after -- get this -- a home win over Minnesota. A home win over Minnesota! Minnesota! Who is not ranked! Who is not a particularly impressive opponent, presently or historically! Minnesota! MINNESOTA!

This might be the single worst court-storm in the history of storming the court. There has never been anything quite so bad.

Normally, this is where I'd reiterate what you read above. They're just college kids! They like to have fun! Don't be a buzzkill, Eamonn! No. Enough of that. These are college kids. They're adults. They need to take responsibility for their actions. Pretty soon they'll have to be balancing their checkbooks and shopping for groceries and going to work every day and joining the rest of us in the long inexorable march toward old age. They need to learn the world doesn't work this way. You can't ask your roommates to pick up your notes from work if you don't feel like going. You can't push your first hour of work back to 11:30 so you can party on weeknights. You can't eat pizza five days a week and not expect to die at the age of 35. The world has rules, kids. And one of those rules says that if you're Indiana, or Michigan, or really anywhere, you don't storm the court for home wins over Minnesota or UConn. You just don't. (Note: If you actually need a set of rules to spell this out for you, Storming The Floor is here to help.) You may not like these rules. You may think these rules are "bogus, bro." But guess what? They're the rules. In the real world, you live by them, or you fail at life. Bro.

So stop storming the court for dumb reasons. Enough is enough. Find better ways to express your communal pride. Don't you kids have parties?

Oh, and one more thing: Stop bringing those cardboard faces into the game with you. That joke got old really fast.