by Chris Boline
In sports, there are a handful of very sacred things: fight songs, mascot dance-offs, dollar beers and of course, rushing the field.
Nevada’s win over UNLV on Saturday was just the latest example in the Wolf Pack’s history of fans running onto the field. In the words of legendary New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor, fans rushed the Sam Boyd Stadium turf “like a pack of crazed dogs” and to win the Fremont Cannon back, it was well deserved. However, in recent years, Nevada fans have a somewhat checkered history of “over-storming” the field or court and this is deeply troubling to this columnist. The old phrase “act like you have been there” comes to mind when thinking of rushing the court and even though it is a special occasion, they are that much more significant when they happen when the stakes are at their highest.
So here are my rules for when and when not to storm the field:
1) Beating your rival (UNLV)
At first, I was on the fence about Pack fans running on the field after the victory, but winning the cannon back combined with students making a human “N” at the UNLV 50-yard line is pretty close to priceless. This occasion is amplified if the game is close, but if it is a blowout then you can just have the scoreboard be enough embarrassment for the other team.
2) Beating a ranked team at home
This is basically in a tie with beating your rival at home. Obviously being a huge underdog and beating an upsetting a superior team is basically the central crux for storming the field and is a no-brainer for future games. However, this should not be confused with beating a team with a winning record when you have a losing one, unless it goes along with rule one or three.
3) Breaking a LONG losing streak
When I say LONG losing streak, I’m talking about a streak that is just demoralizing a fan base and has spanned for more than one season and extended into the next. These should be used sparingly for obvious reasons
The following are times when you should NOT storm the field/court:
4) DO NOT storm on a team with a losing record
No matter how crazy the game was, there is no excuse for storming the field on a team with a losing record. The Wyoming game from two years ago is the perfect example of when storming the field goes wrong. While Nevada came back to get the win, half of the fans stormed the field while another stayed in the stands to create an awkward and awful “Twilight Zone” storming situation.
5) DO NOT run the court against small school teams
I don’t care if this team won the national championship at whatever level they play at; there is no reason for fans of a Division I team to take the field on a victory over them. Even if Deonte Burton did make a great buzzer-beater, we just ended up looking like fools storming against a smaller school.
Also, if you are on the other side of getting stormed on, then just remember to be respectful to the opposing fans; there is always next year to make it that much more special.
Chris Boline can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @CDBoline.