Since reporting on Murray State basketball games for the past year and a half, I’ve seen quite a few halftime shows, timeout sweepstakes and prize raffles to get fans pumped.
You can’t argue the fact that nothing fits better than a free T-shirt and nothing tastes better than free queso at Tumbleweed. Even if the shirt cannon shoots me an extra large when I wear a medium, I can’t help but feel at least a little excited.
But things have changed quite a bit since the good old free throw contest or luck-ridden half court shot to win some ridiculous amount of money or a new car. That’s just too typical. Murray State home games are bringing new halftime games to the court, and I might be skeptical of a few.
While some are funny, challenging and entertaining, others are just strange and questionable. I have compiled a list of the good, the bad and the ugly of recent halftime games introduced to the court this season. In some of these cases, I would honestly just prefer to shoot the basketball, miss and get a pat on the back for giving a good fan effort. While most fans would be more than excited to compete for free Racer gear, I would probably either be too embarrassed to participate, or maybe even a little scared.
An example of a good game is Inflatable Sumo Wrestling. No matter how dignified the ancient sport of Sumo Wrestling is, it has comedic value here in America. Admittedly, it’s hilarious to see over-inflated people squirm around on a mat.
Two fans are picked at random, put in inflatable fat suits and thrown into a ring with the goal of pushing the opponent out of the ring. Whoever gets pushed out of the ring the most by the time the buzzer goes off loses. When you fall, there’s no way of getting up, so you get to lay on the ground, flailing like a beached whale as the whole audience laughs at you. There’s no doubt this one is a crowd favorite.
Tissue Pulling is a bad game. Watching this game reaffirms that we are probably running out of ideas. It is exactly what it sounds like. A fan is chosen to pull tissues one by one out of a box. If they pull all the tissues out of the box before time is up, they get a free shirt. Tree huggers would double over at the sight of wasting so many tissues that could service runny noses everywhere. It is flu season. Pass those wasted tissues over here, please.
The Head Shaking Contest is one of the ugly games. I would have categorized this as bad, but the migraine possibly induced by this game gives it a prime spot in the ugly category. Three fans are chosen to have pedometers strapped to their faces and shake their heads as fast as they can. The fan with the most counts on their pedometer wins a free shirt. Sometimes the act of severe head shaking makes the contestants lose balance.
Seeing this in action is pretty brutal, and I want to take an Advil just watching it. At least the free shirt can keep you warm when you’re in a coma.
There are many other halftime games worth watching (and participating in), but these are just a few that caught my eye. The tradition of fan interaction will always stand strong, hopefully inspiring new ideas, whether they be good, bad or just downright weird.
Column by Carly Besser, Assistant Sports Editor.