Column: What to expect, how to act in playoffs
Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 03:02
A few weeks back I wrote a column essentially ripping people that took intramural basketball at Oregon State too seriously. Since then, people’s behavior has seemingly improved — if only slightly. There were still be some fights and technical fouls, but overall the sportsmanship was marginally better.
Still, with IM playoffs right around the corner, I think it’s necessary I remind everybody what to expect and how they should conduct themselves in what are notoriously rowdy games.
Similar to the last column, this is advice for how to act whether you’re on the court or in the stands.
1. Be ready for an entirely different level of intensity
Remember how fun high school basketball games were? If you went to a bigger school and either played in or attended home games, you know how fun they can be. The student section at basketball games was the best of any sport. The fans are mere feet from the action and can do any amount of heckling. Love it or hate it, there were always the “You got swatted” and “air ball” chants. I especially loved when the student section would single out one player in particular and make his life miserable.
Believe it or not, IM games are pretty similar. You know the bench on the near sideline of Court one at Dixon? That thing is going to be packed and overflowing into the hallways with spectators. Greek Life, especially, goes all out to support their house teams when they go far in the playoffs. Greek Life almost always has some of the best teams and their fan base makes IMs 10 times better. Some might say it’s stupid or childish, but it’s really a fun atmosphere if you just embrace it for what it is.
2. Don’t go overboard
While the atmosphere will be as electric as an IM atmosphere can get, remember that it is just that — intramural basketball. With a lot of people generally present, the games feel important. But please understand that it’s still an IM game and not the state finals. The glory days of high school are long gone. No one’s going to impress head coach Craig Robinson enough to get a walk-on spot — well maybe you will, after OSU’s awful 13-15 season. But seriously, unless you’re playing a sport at OSU, your days as an ‘athlete’ are pretty much over.
You know the guy that’s obsessed with his high school accomplishments and makes a point to belligerently tell you about this one time in some high school game no one cares about at a party? Those are usually the guys that end up getting thrown out of IM playoff games for fighting or some other form of testosterone explosion. Calm down. Is hitting that player or spitting in a referee’s face really worth it? Don’t be that guy. Please.
3. Behave as fans
This mostly applies to Greek Life because they have by far the most fans presents at games — but this applies to everyone. IMs are far more fun when there are fans rooting for their team and heckling the opposition. All of the digs at players for their play, attire or behavior are more than acceptable — in fact, it’s encouraged. Just remember what I said for number two. Don’t go overboard with it. Don’t scream unjustified obscenities and don’t attack players in unnecessary ways. You know what I’m talking about. We’ve all yelled something at an OSU football or basketball game that was probably questionable at best.
This goes for comments toward the referees as well. Remember, they are our peers and they’re doing their best. They have no rooting interest and aren’t rigging things like some will accuse them of. The “get off your knees ref, you’re blowing the game!” jab is unoriginal and stupid. Don’t yell those kinds of things at the innocent refs. No one thinks your funny and no one wants to be berated for no reason.
But I like what I’ve seen in the last two weeks, keep up the good work. Good luck in playoffs and may the best team win.
Andrew Kilstrom, sports editor