The Last Thing the Internet Needs Now

Civil Disobedience For the Good of OU Basketball
February 19, 2008, 12:42 pm
Filed under: Sports | Tags: , , ,

Oh man this is all kinds of awesome, at least if its for real (you never know with these message boards). If its a guy trying to stir up stuff, I’d still say its a pretty good idea that I wish could come to fruition.

This post in the thread sums up some of the issues that some fans have encountered at the Lloyd Noble Mausoleum Center this season (that I also posted about here, in November)

My little brother has been stopped 3 times in the last 3 games trying to go down there, the last 2 I’ve witnessed. I walked down there and asked the yellow-shirted guy what was going on (nicely though) and I was basically told to mind my own business, he knew the policies.

… Why go to a game when you know SOMETHING will end up ruining the night. For alot of people right now, its just too much of a pain in the butt to go to an OU game. I thought this was a BS excuse until I witnessed some of the things I’ve seen this year. It seems that no one is on the same page regarding the LNC policies. You literally get a different view/argument/attitude fro every yello and blue shirted person there.

Sorry for the rant, but I am extremely frustrated with everything right now. We’ve got an exciting young team, an exciting young coach, and with the way things are going this should have been a really great year to watch a team grow (as they have). Unfortunately, I’ve spent just as much time watching people be harrassed as I have watching the games. Its not a rare occurence, its EVERY SINGLE GAME that something like this happens. I chuckle when people wonder whats wrong with attendance….. it wouldnt hurt to make things fan friendly.

I also got the evil eye from yellowtopped event staff this season too, and I’m sorry, those empty seats in the lower bowl are an abomination and should be an abomination to anyone who cares about OU basketball, and they can’t be real thrilling to Coach Jeff Capel (a guy who played his college ball in front of the rabid, nerdy Cameron Crazies at Duke) or the team either.

On occasion, they do allow fans from the upper level to move down to the lower level after the first media timeout in the first half (roughly five minutes into the game), but this does NOT happen for every game. I wonder if it SHOULD at the very least to help boost the atmosphere.

Mind you, Oklahoma is never going to be Duke in terms of college basketball, but I am disheartened and discouraged by the appearance that some powerful figures — never mind the cadre of fans that think Oklahoma *only* plays football and nothing else — approach OU basketball in terms of “oh, it’s there” but seem to do nothing to nurture it or try to help attract/build a fanbase.

Why is a revenue sport being promoted on the OU campus the same way they promote the non-revenue sports like wrestling and volleyball and gymnastics — with cheesy little vinyl signs on skinny metal sticks put up along Jenkins, Elm, Lindsey and Boyd? And this is to say nothing of the media coverage of basketball, which by comparison to the breathless, repetitious and all-out coverage of football, is a whisper (this from both the broadcast media and the print media The Oklahoman).

Oh sure, the games are technically “sold out” because the TICKETS are sold, but it would be nice to see butts in those prime seats week in and week out. I hate this “tickets sold” versus “butts in seats” dichotomy in determining attendance at sporting events, but if the owners (if a pro team) or administrators (if a college team) have made their money, well okay then but don’t try to tell me it was a screaming SRO crowd — that’s puredy bullshite if there ever was any. If I wind up watching an OU game at home on television, to see the prime EMPTY seats behind the scorers’ table is sickening — especially if some announcer announces that a “sold out” crowd is on hand to watch the game!! Television wise, everybody from Bob Carpenter (Sooner Sports Network/ESPNPlus) to Ron Franklin (ESPN, calls many a Big 12 game, both football and hoops) I’ve seen do this. Come on guys, don’t yank my chain. Last time I checked, the last thing I saw that was red, plastic and sort of looked like a person was a Rock’m Sock’m Robot.

Some of the yellowshirts are polite, some not, and all of them are doing their jobs (such as it is) and its probably thankless … but as long as Oklahoma men’s basketball is in a rebuilding/retooling mode — and will be for the next season or two still (thanks a lot Kelvin Sampson), would it just kill OU to try something radically different? Do they really have anything to lose? I really do fear that one thing that OU *could* lose if things remain status quo is Coach Capel, something I really do not want to see happen especially if its in the not-too-distant future — say within two or three years — because it will keep Oklahoma locked in “rebuilding” mode as it transitions to yet another new coach in such event.

Would the students show up more if the student seating were in a more prominent place (read: the first five or six rows in the center 2 sections on the side that FACES the TV cameras — OR, better yet, CHANGE THE CONFIGURATION OF THE COURT so that the side that faces the TV cameras is the one in which the benches and the scorer’s table are BEHIND the camera — this is how Cameron Indoor Stadium is set up, for example — and move the student seating to the first five or six rows of the center two sections on THAT side), giving LNC EVEN MORE of a home court atmosphere that’s HOSTILE (within reason — unless they’re Texas or OSU) to the visiting team?

Maybe this is just me but having empty seats, or what seats are occupied down there occupied either by Grandma and Grandpa or Stiff Collared Business Tycoon And You Are SOOOO Beneath Him who just sit in those great seats and golf-clap … I dunno, that atmosphere gives me many negative vibes. Imagine what national observers must think of this. And yet, in a way miraculously, earlier in this decade, OU held one of the longest home-court win streaks in all of college basketball — a streak that, if memory serves, ended during the 2003-2004 season, and OU still wins a big preponderance of its games at home — maybe in spite of the “home court advantage.”


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