Tablet Sports

Strobe lights at TCU kickoff? Maybe the latest stunt by college fans

Flaming couches. Flying tortillas. Vanishing goalposts.

Now, strobe lights at kickoff?

An unofficial TCU Student Section account tweeted this on Wednesday to its nearly 5,000 followers: “Alright Frogs, opening kickoff this weekend turn on your phones and use the strobe light.”

The call to action went viral among TCU fans, gaining 68 retweets and nearly as many Favorites. Strobe light phone apps were suggested, and a hashtag, #StrobeTheCarter was created.

But if the plan works — if a few thousand or so fans flash LED lights in unison amid what’s expected to be a sea of black shirts — it wouldn’t be the first time college football fans got a little crazy on a Saturday night.

Last month, Ole Miss fans not only stormed the field after a win over Alabama, they marched the goalposts right out of the stadium.

The posts vanished, swallowed up by the postgame fervor on campus, and then popped back up in pieces throughout the weekend.

Earlier that day, a line of stadium security guards guarded the TCU student section as the Horned Frogs finished an upset of Oklahoma.

After stopping a few early field rushers, they gave way and let the rest climb over the railing to the field.

Texas Tech fans, meanwhile, haven’t had much to rush the field over this year, but they’re still tossing tortillas. For years, the Red Raiders’ student section has flung a flurry of tortillas into the air at kickoff.

“You never believe it until it happens,” Oklahoma defensive end Geneo Grissom said at Big 12 Media Days in July.

“Then the first tortilla hits you and it’s like, all right, it’s real. It really happens.”

Grissom laughed off his first experience in Lubbock. But two former Oklahoma players — Trent Ratterree and Eric Mensik — made claims to The Oklahoman in 2012 that Tech fans threw a variety of items during the 2007 game, including batteries, coins and hot dogs.

The most notorious Big 12 fan incident this year belongs to West Virginia. The Mountaineers beat Baylor on Oct. 18, setting off a string of couch burnings and other precarious incidents.

The school police department eventually declared the situation a riot scene, and WVU President E. Gordon Gee issued an 830-word letter to the whole university. His final line: It’s time to take our university back.

West Virginia’s student government made an anti-couch burning PSA video in 2012.

Fans at other conference schools find ways to get rambunctious, too, but mostly those not involving the incineration of furniture.

Texas and Oklahoma feature the league’s biggest stadiums. Darrell K Royal Stadium caps out at around 100,000 people, while Oklahoma squeezes around 85,000 fans into Gaylord-Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

Both stadiums have stands that rise up from close to the field, on all four sides. For Iowa State defensive end Cory Morrissey, the experience at Texas in 2012 was nearly overwhelming.

“I walked out there feeling like a gladiator, getting yelled at, like I was about to get destroyed by some tigers or something,” Morrissey said in July.

West Virginia punter Nick O’Toole appreciated the exuberance of fans at Oklahoma and Baylor, even if they weren’t as appreciative of him.

O’Toole, who sports a Rollie Fingers-level handlebar mustache, punts sparingly for the high-scoring Mountaineers. The result is that he usually hears an assortment of taunts, as he watches from the sideline most of the game.

“Some 12-year-old kid [at Oklahoma] was asking where was my van at,” O’Toole said. “Baylor was really fun, too. I was doing the kickoffs, too, and the chants were like ‘Ole, Ole, Ole,’ but ‘O’Toole, O’Toole, O’Toole.’ I thought that was just classic.”

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