YouTube phenomenon and Marquette head basketball coach Buzz Williams nearly brought on a full-fledged riot at West Virginia Coliseum on February 24th after pantomiming a ballroom dance to John Denver on WVU’s home court. The action greatly angered the West Virginia student section, who gave Williams a piece of their mind during an ESPN interview conducted shortly after.
Here, the power of a college fan-base was unfolded. They are without a doubt comparable to the three-headed monster, as seen when numerous security guards struggled to hold WVU students back from physically approaching the head coach.
The dance came after Marquette beat West Virginia 61-60 and greatly hampered the Mountaineers’ shot at the NCAA tournament. Already a YouTube sensation, Williams, who danced “Walk it out” two years ago on the court, offered a sarcastic apology for the event.
He stated that he liked John Denver’s rendition of the song “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” and was so amped after the game that it was just natural. Later that night he offered a more extensive apology but still, West Virginia students and fans of all ages are not very fond of Williams.
YouTube users have taken pleasure in watching the coach glide across Mountaineer mid-court, but while doing so, ask whether the move was professional or a display of poor sportsmanship. Should a college coach blatantly poke fun at a song that is so dear to the hearts of the home team’s fans? Then, should he deny its impact?
From an outsider’s standpoint, this move is irresponsible and a lack of judgment. Sure, you may be excited after a huge win for your program, but that should not result in you sarcastically grooving to the other team’s alma matter-like song. Show some dignity and respect for the opposing program, shake the other coach’s hand and head into the lockerroom to begin your celebration. This move, Coach Williams, is just unnecessary.
Clearly, I am not the only one to think so lowly of the move, as students were clearly frustrated beyond belief as Williams approached his ESPN interviewers. Footage highlights security guards struggling to hold back angered students while showing some blatantly yelling profanity at the man. Like it was nothing, the coach continued the interview and stormed off in excitement.
A college student section is no force to be reckoned with. To anger them is to “awaken the beast.” The Mountaineers displayed this and showed their frustration. As rowdy as they may be, they promote sportsmanship and respect. This goes a long way for the sport, which can take pride in the fact that the fans uphold forms of morals and values. Buzz Williams, in his “two-step,” stabbed at the heart of these morals.
Just as the Monmouth Mob has had an increase in followers and dedication this season, (as pointed out in a recent Outlook article on the matter), other student sections take pride in their program and team. And as sometimes learned in a worst-case scenario, they will stop at nothing to show their perspective. As a head coach, Williams should have known the repercussions of his actions before making a mockery of himself and eliciting fury.
Maybe he really shows no remorse, as he has already “walked it out” on the sidelines in a game two years ago. Following an emphatic dunk by one of his players, he threw his arms up in the air and awkwardly stampeded down his own sideline. From that point on, he was an internet icon, but again, an example of an untamed, demeaning figure.
Clearly this Marquette coach, who is leading his tenth-ranked squad to a fantastic season, is keen with on-the-court issues, but needs a little reality check with sportsmanship. You may be overly- excited about a win, but it’s different when you degrade others while showing that excitement.
Maybe Williams, in need of this reality check, should have his squad take a stroll up to the MAC to take on the Hawks. Here, I can almost guarantee, you will find a student section riled up enough to set the man straight.
Whether your squad is ranked #10 or not, a few New Jersey basketball fans will definitely set you straight. We can guarantee you will not see Buzz stroll around at midcourt at the MAC dancing to the pep band…because if so he might find a sea of fans in blue and white, who want to throw in their two cents.