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Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Rush to rush

By Rick Reilly
ESPN The Magazine

Ohio State fans violated many of Rick Reilly's rules for rushing the court after their win over Illinois.

Listen, you Froyo freaks, you face-painters, you hoopheads of higher learning: Before you rush the court, storm the court, wreck the court … rush your butts back to your seats while I explain something.

You're doing it WAY too much.

This isn't karaoke Tuesdays. It's not a scheduled event. True rushing the court happens to a school once every 20 years or so. It should be, "Oh, there's Professor Krumpke. Let's have him tell us about the time he rushed the court." It's like walking down the aisle: If you do it more than twice in your life, you're doing it wrong.

It's spontaneous, like a flash flood. It's unpredictable, like Publishers Clearing House showing up at your front door. It's as unstoppable as a sneeze and just as unplanned. It carries you away like a tornado. You suddenly find yourself on top of the rim and have no idea how you got there.

You people are treating it like it's your weekly Spanish lab. Or poker night. You can't e-mail about it ahead of time. It'd be like penciling into your calendar "Make out with Halle Berry tonight after winning Oscar." And it can't be something to do just to get on TV. You wanna be on TV, go bother Matt Lauer.

I'm talking to you, Indiana. You rushed the court this season after beating Minnesota. Minnesota? Really? How is beating Minnesota cause for unrestrainable joy? It's like pantsing the chess club.

The win clinched your spot in the tournament? Big deal. Sixty-five teams make it. It's like making the white pages. Cheer from your seat.

I'm talking to you, South Carolina. You RTC'd after beating Kentucky both this season and in 2005. It's supposed to be "Hats in the air! War's over!" Not "I really want a picture next to John Wall!"

I'm talking to you, Illinois. You RTC'd when you beat No. 5 Michigan State this year. Even Illinois legend Dee Brown was cringing. He tweeted: "No no no no! … We are Illinois! Winning should be normal."

Sorry, Dee. Illinois has a new motto: "We are Illinois! We really like to pregame!"

I'm definitely talking to you, Wake Forest. You RTC'd when you beat North Carolina last season. They were third in the nation. You were fourth. What's going to make you storm the floor next? New nets?

This has got to stop. Therefore, here are the Ironclad and Unbreakable Rushing-the-Court Rules. From now on, you can NOT rush the court if …

I don't want to hear "It was a signature win!" I'm not signing off on it. I don't want to hear "It was the first time we've beaten a top-10 RPI team in six seasons." If it's a stat your mother wouldn't know, forget it. Nor will I stand for "It clinched our spot in the NCAA tournament." Big deal. Sixty-five teams make it. It's like making the white pages. Cheer from your seat.

Now we understand here at the Court of Court Rushing that there are occasionally unusual circumstances. Therefore, here are the Official Amendments to the Ironclad and Unbendable Rushing-the-Court Rules. You can rush the court if:

Finally, if you are in compliance with the Ironclad and Unbreakable Rules, make sure at least three of you hoist the center. Otherwise you'll drop him, causing him to rip a rotator cuff and, consequently, miss the rest of the year. Then people will egg your dorm room until you graduate, which will be never because every professor will hate you, too.

Now get out there and remain seated!

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