Friday, February 20, 2009

Mason Nation

Alright I've got a confession to make. I've become attached to the George Mason basketball team this season, not because I admire the way they play, but solely because of a radio ad. See, my sports space is pretty much filled these days having to add Northern Virginia and Montgomery County high schools to my breadth of knowledge relating to athletics.

But I drive around a lot and often talk radio keeps me sane. But inevitably talk radio means commercials and there is the George Mason ad that has an irresistably addictive jingle. "We're the Mason Nation, We're a Hoops Sensation" it goes. So I've been paying attention to Mason box scores, monitoring the situation from afar. They're fighting for first place in the CAA, one game behind VCU. To be honest the team isn't particularly impressive, with no star. No one averages more than 11.8 points per game.

But this jingle, it's awesome. So corny, you just want to hear it over and over again. And now, in the department of all that's funny, weird, cool, and awkward at the same time, I bring you another chapter in the now burgeoning history books of George Mason:
Spend time with George Mason University senior Ryan Allen and it's clear why he's a Big Man on Campus. He wears size 12 pumps.

Allen is now -- as of halftime at Saturday's sold-out basketball game against Northeastern at the Patriot Center -- the school's homecoming queen. He received more votes than the two women who vied for the crown.

Allen, who is gay and performs as a popular drag queen at local clubs, assumed the title of Ms. Mason. He was wearing a green-and-gold bow, sewn for him by the theater department costume's shop, that was visible even from the cheap seats, a sequined top, a black skirt and heels. Ricky Malebranche, a junior from Woodbridge, was named Mr. Mason. ...

Many see it as an expression of inclusiveness at a place where about one-third of the 30,000 students are minority. But others say it is an embarrassment at an inopportune time when Mason is trying to revamp its image from commuter school to distinguished institution of higher learning.

Officially, the university is "very comfortable with it. We're fine," spokesman Daniel Walsch said.

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