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Here is a little light afternoon reading before Iowa State’s early Monday evening tip (6 o’clock on ESPNU) in Morgantown, W.V.
Everyone can learn…
Obviously, the Marcus Smart/lame Texas Tech fan confrontation that went down late Saturday night has been one of the most discussed sports topics in America over the last 40 hours. That has rightfully been the case too. After all, it is never, ever, acceptable for a player (at any level) to put his hands on a fan, regardless of how big of an idiot that guy or gal is.
As they teach you in journalism school, I’ve tried to relate this national story to Iowa State over the past day. Luckily, nothing like this has ever gone down in Ames and God willing, it won’t ever.
I have however thought a lot about the downward spiral in sportsmanship that specifically college basketball has seen over the last 20 years or so. In my mind, this is undeniable.
Most of the time, negative comments and nasty chants are aimed toward distracting a certain individual in hopes of the home crowd helping its team win the game. I get that. While it doesn’t happen that often in my opinion, that “line” does get crossed though. This has happened in Ames. After all, it happens everywhere. That doesn’t make it right though.
Unfortunately, Smart’s incident on Saturday probably won’t change that either. Once Smart comes back and plays a few games after his suspension, most people will move on. While the ugly situation won’t ever be forgotten, I don’t see rabid fans changing their ways because Oklahoma State’s point guard shoved a guy who reportedly called him a “piece of crap."
Marcus Smart will learn from this though (one hopes). That Texas Tech fan should too (again, one hopes). My guess is that both Oklahoma State and Texas Tech’s fan bases will think twice before going too far for the rest of the season.
Wouldn’t it be great if every fan base in America did this though?
“Air ball. Air ball.”
“Left, right, left, right, SIT DOWN.”
Those are fair game and perfectly fine. After all, this is big boy basketball we are talking about here. But here’s an example as to where positive cheering created an incredible moment.
On Saturday night, Sports Center featured Iowa State fans changing, “MELVIN EJIM,” after No. 3 scored a Big 12 record 48 points in Saturday’s victory over TCU. To anyone who was in Hilton that day, how cool did it sound?
It. Was. Awesome.
Instead of crossing that line with the opposition (does a classless chant toward Michigan’s Mitch McGary ring a bell?), how about using that energy to build up your guys.
And don’t get me wrong here. Fans are always going to be fans. Student sections are always going to get nutty. But be clever and creative while doing so – not nasty. There is a difference.
Meanwhile, cheers to enjoying tonight’s game.