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Buzz in Fairfax Continues.....

George Mason Basketball: Buzz in Fairfax Continues.....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Buzz in Fairfax Continues.....

After the annual beat down of a local DII or DIII team in the Patriots pre-season exhibition game, it is was evident how the buzz from last March is still flowing through Fairfax. More people attended that exhibition game then half of the regular season games last year at the Patriot Center. For the first time in my four years at Mason the bookstore is actually carrying worthwhile basketball apparell, including jerseys, commemorative basketballs, banners, and even a gameday shirt for the Wichita St. vs. GMU home opener. Simply amazing. I always thought that a way to build a stronger fan base at Mason was to promote from the selling of Mason athletic apparell. But thats for another post. The school has also made a huge marketing effort to sell more tickets for this year including buying ad space in the Washington Post and local radio stations. Even the pep band has been revamped with a new director, have you seen this guy? He reminds me of Cheech Marin with worse facial hair. As long as the band plays "Livin' on a Prayer" the guy is ok in my book, or blog I guess.

Aside from the schools increased marketing, the Patriots are still being recognized on a national level. They are ranked #7 in the Mid-Major Top 25 poll which is voted on by head coaches of top mid-major schools, including our very own Coach L. Also the Patriots did receive 1 vote in the national AP pre-season poll and 6 votes in the ESPN/USA Today poll. Andy Katz, a college basketball writer/analyst for ESPN, was at this past weeks exhibition game. Let me just put this in perspective for you; Andy Katz being in attendance for the GMU vs. Marymount game is amazing because in past years Katz at a mid-major school before the season begins was something that rarely happened. Sure he visits Gonzaga but any team that has a player taken in top 5 of the NBA draft is no longer a mid-major in my eyes. Previously Andy Katz or someone like Dick Vitale coming to Fairfax would have been the equivalent of Jessica Simpson performing a strip tease at your 16th birthday party. It just didn't happen. Has Mason's run last March actually changed the way these analysts view all the teams in NCAA basketball? Yes, and this is just the beginning. You can already see a decline in news about the beloved ACC and Big East "power" conferences that annually receive about two or three bids too many just because of what conference they play in. Mid-majors have been becoming more major and less mid each March, the Patriots just highlighted it.

And what is the deal with this whole "Gold Rush" campaign that is coming on. Don't get me wrong I love the schools effort for the constant promoting but the Patriots became American's sweethearts last March wearing green jerseys not gold ones. Maybe I'm just a superstitious person, well actually I'm very superstitious. If it were up to me I'd have the team wear green jerseys for every home game. The crowd should be wearing green as well, especially against Wichita State. Remember the bracketbuster game last year; every single fan in that Kansas stadium was wearing gold. I don't want these Shockers feeling at home when they come to Fairfax. They will already be coming to the Patriot Center with enough rage from losing to us twice last year. But if they couldn't beat us with Paul Miller last season, no way they beat us without him this year. The Shockers will make it game because of Kyle Wilson, but the buzzing Patriots will be eager to show that last season was no fluke and that spells diaster for the Shockers.


Blogger Todd Watts said...

enjoying the blog man. Keep it up. Go Mason

10:05 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Well the pep band guy isn't quite what VCU use to have but he looks okay. Noe if Gunston can look like he's not in a coma we'll be ready. I wish they would do gameday t-shirts for all of the big home games.

9:53 PM  
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