Court storming! Page views! Comments! Anger! Am I doing this right, Sean? (Ed. Note: Nailing it)
Anyway, hear me out before you spit your vitriol into the comments. I probably deserve it, but I want to at least make the case. Also, obviously SU has to win on Saturday or all of this is pretty moot.
Sometimes I consider myself a traditionalist with court stormings. I don't think teams that were favored to win should rush the court (Hi 2005 BC and 2013 Georgetown, you pieces of garbage!). I don't think top teams should celebrate by running on the court, because they should act like they've been there before ... because they have.
Then again, I think there are too many rules for how to be a "good fan." This is especially true when we're trying to tell a bunch of liquored up 18-22 year olds how to behave when they're excited. Life is too short, and life after college is way too dull and boring to not have a little fun when you can.
I rushed the field once at Syracuse. It was fall 2004 (my freshman year), and the Orange just beat Pitt in overtime on senior day. I don't know for sure, but we were probably favored. Neither team was very good that year, but it was a wild game, which ended in an overtime stand by the defense. I didn't think things through. I just followed the mass of students pouring onto the field in what was probably a very pathetic celebration in comparison to most examples of rushing the field.
I don't regret it for one second. I had an absolute blast. The players seemed to have an absolute blast. I gave Diamond Ferri a Diamond High Five.
The next three years of football gave me a wonderful 7-28 record with nowhere near a bowl appearance. That awful field rushing was probably my happiest moment as a student football fan.
Which brings me to my point (finally). Saturday's game against Duke is the biggest game of the year for the Orange. We usually have to leave room for conference tournament rematches with rivals (Hi Georgetown!) or NCAA tournament greatness. But obviously we know that's all out.
You can argue the game at Cameron will be more important. You can argue the game against UVA would be a bigger upset. I won't argue those things though, because Duke is now our biggest active rival, and this is the game against them that our fans can truly enjoy the most ... in person.
Fans have talked a lot about how the current players are getting screwed over by the postseason ban, Rakeem Christmas especially. The best thing left for them at this point is to treat this game like their national championship.
And if they win, they get to have one moment of greatness.
I'm not even saying I wish Syracuse fans would rush the court if the Orange pull the upset. But I'm definitely saying I wouldn't begrudge them for it. How great would it be to see Rakeem Christmas in a sea of Orange students jumping up and down one last time? How rewarding would it be for guys like Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije, who've played so well most of the year but will get nothing in the end?
This could be their moment. And it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to let them celebrate with a bunch of raving maniacs on the court one time.