John Brown University is a small school in Arkansas with fewer than 2,000 undergraduates. Athletically, its teams compete in the NAIA. Even though their men’s basketball team is coming off a strong 22-9 campaign and is off to a 2-0 start this year, this isn’t the team – or school, period – we’d expect to write about normally. But the following, which happened after JBU’s first points in its 101-58 blowout of Hilsdale Freewill Baptist yesterday, is anything but normal:
Well, “anything but normal” at most places, we should say. At John Brown, it happens after the Golden Eagles’ first home basket every season. The bad news: it’s a technical foul. The good news: watch that above video again. How can you not like that? We were all set to feel bad for the people charged with cleaning up the mess…and then the students who threw it helped pick it up themselves! Plus, it doesn’t seem like John Brown’s coach, Clark Sheehy, minds:
“This is my fifth year coaching at John Brown, and the tradition has gotten bigger and bigger each season. What our players look forward to and what I look forward to is a lot of energy and excitement from the fans. It’s just a fun, fun night. I think it’s one of the greatest traditions in college sports.”
A fun, fun night as long as you win 101-58, anyway. Of course, it’s apparently even a fun night for the opponent getting blown out. Hillsdale coach Eric Wright:
“I guess we’re the sacrificial lamb, but I don’t mind it because it creates a tradition for us to be part of a game like that. I even use it as a recruiting tool. We play in a historic game. The kids will go look it up on YouTube and they’re just like, ‘wow.’ They know what’s coming.”
Sort of amazing that he welcomes the “sacrificial lamb” title so openly, but he’s smart to use it as a recruiting tool (he apparently volunteers Hillsdale to play in this game every year), even if it celebrates his team getting scored upon. The immediate covering of a basketball court in toilet paper is a far greater spectacle than it sounds, and watching it play out, we got more than a little jealous of a school that before today, we’d never heard a word about.