As basketball season slowly creeps back up on Texas Tech, it is, in a way, hard to look forward to it considering the success of the team last season. My co-workers, basketball fans and I can all agree that last season was definitely one to remember.
Although the games and wins throughout the season were exciting, the season reached its peak the night the team won the national semifinal game against Michigan State at the Final Four game to earn a spot in the national championship.
I remember earlier that day we received a text from our editor saying that we’d need to be on campus within 10 minutes of the game ending in order to go cover the fans’ reactions around campus. Sitting on my couch watching the game, I had no idea what would be in store later that night.
Once we won the game, I rushed across town to campus and was told to go to the bell tower to try and get peoples’ reactions as they waited to ring the victory bells. While moving down the street, I bumped into my editor who told me Broadway Street was “going crazy,” so obviously, I had to go see for myself.
When I arrived on Broadway, there were only a few people overcrowding the streets due to the bars being full. However, the later it got, and the more fans found out we won, the more people showed up.
It started out being semi-normal, just a bunch of intoxicated people filling the streets and sharing their excitement with one another, but as more and more people showed up, chaos ensued.
While I was further down Broadway trying to find someone sober to interview and get their reaction, my friend and fellow columnist Marcus told me a car had just been flipped. The journalist in me took over, and I ran in the opposite direction of the crowd toward the eye of the storm. Once I got to the center of the crowd and saw the chaos, I knew it could only go downhill from there.
Shortly after the car was flipped, someone somehow got a hold of an old couch and brought it to the center of the crowd once again and set it on fire, throwing a couple of Lime Scooters into the mix with it. Another car was destroyed, and a few light poles were punched out, one of which I caught on video.
With plastic flying everywhere and smoke filling the atmosphere, I knew it was time to leave Broadway. I’m glad that I left when I did, because right after I did, the SWAT team showed up and that’s when the chaos finally died down.
Although the night itself was very chaotic and crazy, it goes to show that Texas Tech fans will always find a reason to celebrate, even if it ends in destruction of property. While I have never really understood the hype around sports as a whole, seeing everyone going crazy definitely added to my excitement level.
The night was not only exciting and crazy, but it was also historic. On one hand, this is the farthest the men’s basketball team has ever gone in their season, making it a huge deal for the athletes, coaches and fans alike.
However, it was also historic in the sense that no other student body and fan base has celebrated this hard for a Texas Tech victory, making it an unforgettable experience and season as a whole.
If the team is lucky enough to make it as far again this season, let’s hope the students and fans can celebrate in a calmer way and avoid adding another Lime casualty to the list.