Saturday, February 19, 2011


This week's Isthmus includes Jason Joyce's misguided essay, There's no reason to rush the court! in which he argues the Badger fans should not have rushed the floor when the Badgers knocked off #1 and undefeated Ohio State at the Kohl Center last weekend.

He marshals his facts well: Under Bo Ryan, the Badgers have nine-million and forty-two wins versus two losses at the Kohl Center (OK, actually 149-11). And when the number 13-ish team in the country hosts the #1 and wins, it's not really an upset.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Wrong.

The key number here was "1962" which was the last year that the basketball Badgers beat the #1 team in the collegiate land. That was also Ohio State and it featured superstar Jerry Lucas and Bob Knight - as a player. The Badgers honored the coach of that UW team, John Erickson, by naming him honorary captain. (I was noodling around 'gee, how old is this guy? Or how young was he when coached the Badgers? Wikipedia doesn't say, so it remains a mystery.)

Or maybe the UW students rushed the floor because they were so excited to finally witness a close game! (Only two other home games were competitive late into the second half - Purdue and Minnesota).

One of my favorite rush-the-floor memories involved a loss, oddly enough. January 31, 2007, Indiana beat Wisconsin in Bloomington and the Hoosier fans rushed the court. That spoke volumes about how far Dick Bennett and Bo Ryan have brought this program. It was also one of the last few positive moments in the short-lived Kelvin Sampson Era at IU. One year later, Sampson was toast and IU hasn't recovered yet.

But to get back to the beginning, what is painfully obvious is that Jason Joyce simply hasn't suffered enough as a Badger basketball fan. He probably thinks they are just supposed to win. No, Badger hoops history includes a yawning chasm of consistent suckitude rarely matched in any endeavor, sporting or otherwise. The gap stretched from roughly the day the Badgers beat OSU in 1962 until the 1988-89 team with Danny Jones and Trent Jackson under Steve Yoder made the NIT! And we were delirious.

So yeah, rush the floor when you beat #1.

And besides, it's fun to watch.


  1. Having been in the student section during the 1993 UW vs. Michigan football game where students were crushed and pulseless non-breathers were on the field...I cringe at rushing. I was swept away without wanting to be swept away. To this day, it gives me chills when I see any rushing of fields and courts. You get almost trampled may see this rushing in a different light. Obviously, different circumstances but I am agreement with Joyce.

  2. I was at that game, but not in the student sections. It was clear that something was happening, but it wasn't clear what it was until we got back to the car and turned on the radio.

    I can understand the feelings of anyone who went thru that day, but that was the exception. Joyce's column and my post addressed when a program gets too big-time for its fans to rush the playing surface.