Friday, October 19, 2007

Rushing the Field

Last year, Rutgers fans rushed the field following their win over #3 Louisville and ESPN played the scene many, many times with gushing enthusiasm. Last night, Rutgers defeated #2 South Florida and the ESPN announcer described it as "a great scene." So, why is it that when Rutgers fans rush the field at Rutgers Stadium it is a great scene but when Mountaineer fans rushed the field after defeating #3 Virginia Tech, it was played as a bunch of hoodlums taking the field?

I'm positive that this isn't the first time I've brought this topic up but it's one that continues to irk me. 95% of the time when fans rush the field ESPN eats it up and talks about what a great moment it is for that school. Later, however, the will devote entire shows to the "epidemic" of fans rushing the field and talk about what a danger it is to the athletes and to the fans. ESPN is with this topic, as with many, completely hypocritical. If they wanted to take a real stand on fans rushing the field, they would refuse to show the scene and cut away like they do when a fan interrupts a game. By showing fans on the field, they promote it and then use that promotion to give their talking heads on shows like "The Sports Reporters" something to condemn. It's ridiculous.

My feeling on rushing the field is pretty simple...for a school that isn't big time to beat a top-ranked opponent, I can understand rushing the field. Kentucky beating LSU is a rush the field moment. Rutgers beating Louisville last year is a rush the field moment. However, for schools like USC, Florida, LSU, etc., I don't ever see a win that would call for rushing the field. And I don't see any rush the field moments in WVU's near future. And there shouldn't be. If you truly are an upper-tier program, there's no need to rush the field like you haven't been there before.

I don't like people rushing the field. But it's a good moment when it happens at the right time. What I don't like more is ESPN's approval followed by condemnation. Once again, the World Wide Leader publicizes an issue just to give their people a story to talk about. But, then again, that seems to be what ESPN is best at these days.

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