Welcome to MasonHoops.com

Jump in to the discussion! Sign up is easy, we want to hear what you have to say!

Sign Up

Your Mason Story

Discussion in 'George Mason Basketball' started by patriot2000, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. patriot2000

    patriot2000 Starter

    Likes Received:
    847
    Trophy Points:
    1,320
    Location:
    Delaware
    I'm bored with this season, and the negativity surrounding it (including all that I have contributed to that negativity). Way back when we were on CAAZone, and this was a really fun community that was (a) way bigger and (b) we fought with other people instead of ourselves, someone created a post asking for people's "Mason Basketball Origin Stories." I'd like to hear from all of you that are still around from those days, and those of you who have joined us since then. Why are you a Mason basketball fan?? I'll get it started.

    I became a Mason fan in 1995 because I decided to attend Mason. I was born in Brooklyn, and grew up in Delaware, and had never heard of George Mason. Right at the time I was applying to schools and deciding to become a Music Educator, I met one of the most prominent music professors at Mason (who, by the way, wrote the music for "Hail to George Mason (lyrics were added years later)") and was recruited by the Music school. I toured the campus at his request and decided it was the best fit for me.

    I was a very casual college basketball fan (filled out brackets every year, enjoyed the sport, played a little, but not into it yet). I found out Basketball was the most prominent sport at Mason and tried to get into it a little during that season (1995-1996) but had literally no ability to watch Mason on TV in the Philly market and certainly didn't drive to games on campus. I remember being excited that the basketball coach was an NBA guy! He must be really great and the school must be serious about this investment!! They actually sold Westhead and his high-scoring form of basketball to incoming freshman.

    After arriving on campus, I was asked to play in the Pep Band which was not good at all compared to the Green Machine. It was run by a student volunteer and extremely casual. Somehow they convinced the AD to pay us and we got $40 a game to play drunk for the 300 fans. I did this for most games. I found the team's ability to score a ton, and then allow the opponent to score even more, fascinating. Langley was something and Dorsett looked like he was going to be a great player. I don't remember ever seeing them win. I got in trouble for heckling our team more than the opponent. I didn't get it yet and was pretty douchy.

    Larranaga took over next year and I remember the culture changing IMMEDIATELY. I started actually watching the games and not being a douche, and thought the team showed a hell of a lot of promise. I also realized I REALLY liked this sport I hadn't really followed in the past. In fact, I liked it better than the NBA games I had grown up with.

    Magically, one freaking year later, I was travelling with the team to the NCAA tournament to get our asses kicked. We weren't upset at all. It was unreal that we were there that soon after the Westhead disaster. George Evans was God.

    I graduated, stayed in the area, and became truly passionate about the team. I think I cried when Evans dropped that pass in March of 2001. I remember I had to work late and was standing on a desk in a classroom watching the game with a bunch of people who did not understand why I cared. I fell off and hurt my ankle when we lost. Would have done the same if we had won.

    I got season tickets at some point in those next few years, kept those tix until 2011 when I moved back to Delaware, traveled to away games when I could, etc. I lived about an hour from campus the entire time I had season tickets and it never even crossed my mind not to drive up for every game. I did miss two because of snow storms. Realized college basketball was my favorite sport, or at least tied with my childhood love of baseball. Now, I'm not sure which is more important to me, but it's close.

    Discovered the boards the season of, or the season before, the final four. The only game I made it to during that run (because of work obligations) was the Connecticut game. Holy shit, what an experience. Through the boards, I found out about Insiders and joined, which was so awesome until Coach L left. People that weren't around or connected to the program from 2000 - 2011 (especially 2005-2011) really have no idea what you missed. I am sorry for you that you weren't a part of it. I legitimately still miss it, 7 or 8 years since the last time I went to an Insiders event.

    My son was born on the night of Midnight Madness in 2008. He came to his first game the next season and has been to a lot of them. We make it back to at least one a year, which is getting way too hard with his sports schedule but we still try very hard to make it happen. This year it was JMU. It was really fun for us. We also get to a Mason game in Philly most years. My favorite was the Palestra, obviously. We miss seeing them at Delaware and wish we would schedule them again. Easy drive for Mason fans, friendly arena.

    And now, well, you know the rest...
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
    MasonFanatic and Walter like this.
  2. CHRISTOPHER JAMES JOLLAY

    CHRISTOPHER JAMES JOLLAY All-American

    Likes Received:
    2,313
    Trophy Points:
    4,840
    My dad said I could have my car if I stayed in Virginia, so I picked Mason over schools like Marquette and NC State.

    I was a basketball guy so I started supporting the team.

    Then a bunch of stuff happened.

    Now 30 years later here I am.

    And that's my Mason story. If I could do it all over I would have probably gone somewhere else but I have a feeling wherever I went I would have still ended up raping ACW and buying a polar bear costume eventually.
  3. Patriotsince81

    Patriotsince81 All-American

    Likes Received:
    1,842
    Trophy Points:
    4,840
    Reader's Digest Version. Saw my first game in 1973 when I was in intermediate school. Crowds used to be in the teens/hundreds, kind of like now. ;) I've been following them ever since. Seen them all, the great, the good, the bad, and the pathetic. Been a season ticket holder for who knows how long. Can't wait for us to be at least good again although I'm not sure that is in the foreseeable future.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
    patriot2000 and MasonFanatic like this.
  4. Maestro

    Maestro Four-star Recruit

    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Location:
    Fairfax County
    Friend’s brother went to GMU. In 1989, he invited us to the JMU-GMU game to sit with his group in what they called “Chemist’s Corner” (a nickname they gave Kenny Sanders for some reason). Students in the section where Green Machine now sits held up a “Lefty Sells Crack” banner & Dreisell went into the stands to get the sign. They hooked me that night (I went to Marymount in Arlington). Started taking my kid to games in the late Hewitt era, and we became STHs 3 years ago.
    patriot2000 and MasonFanatic like this.
  5. mkaufman1

    mkaufman1 Moderator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    2,607
    Trophy Points:
    7,840
    Went to mason in 2003, worked as an usher for 4 years on campus so I watched most home games. By my extra 1/2 senior year I was attending every home game and attended probably 90-95 percent of home games from 2007-2017 whether it was in the student section or wherever I bought my season tickets. Joined caazone but wasn’t super active until my season ticket years.

    Bought my season tickets and became a donor in 2012-2013 and started making various connections at games and here on the boards. My first few years were in section 108 with fine folks like @GMUSig03 and @GMUSSTN and my later years were in 115 with folks like @sleeperpick @tblack33 and @MasonGradSquared

    My junior year was the final four and it was the absolute best 2 weeks I had of college. I was hooked prior to the final four with all the games I worked or attended but that experience solidified my love for mason basketball. I camped out, was on TV a ton of times, and for 2 weeks EVERYONE knew what George Mason University was. I still have my “We Believe” shirt from that time and I wear it only for special games. Mostly Friday A-10 tournament games that Mason ends up losing lol.

    Also the fact that I didn’t see mason lose often or more than once a year for the first 10 years of my mason fanhood was awesome. I am tired of losing and I want nothing more than to be watching Mason in March again. I'm tired of talking about 2006, and 2011 was my favorite team ever that Mason put on the court. I take losing very hard. I still shudder at the words "Richmond Coliseum, Eric Maynor, Fairfield, Taylor Battle, Food poisoning..."

    I've seen the team in NYC (Manhattan, Fordham, Brooklyn), Philly (St Joes), DC (BB&Ts, East Regionals) Norfolk (ODU), Richmond Coliseum (shudder) and if at some point they make the NCAAs, wherever that may be.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
  6. JDK

    JDK Specialist

    Likes Received:
    62
    Trophy Points:
    203
    Attended Mason 2006-2010. Saw them raise the Final 4 banner my freshman year. Joined the Patriot Platoon and was in the Platoon all 4 years.

    I would buy yellow and green facepaint from the Johnson Center bookstore for every game. I was in the front row with Chris Brooks, Jon Byrum, Sean Gagnon and others. Doc Nix and the Green Machine made for a memorable atmosphere. Eric Maynor killed us that year.

    Memorable road trips included Old Dominion, James Madison where I witnessed Dre Smith go 10 for 10 from 3 point land, Towson, and of course the hated VCU.

    I have fond memories of bouncing around Richmond with Chris Brooks and eating at Bottoms Up Pizza and yelling at VCU fans.

    I remember taking the DC Metro from Vienna up to College Park Maryland to watch a young Mason recruit by the name of Andre Cornelius play in the 2008 Capitol Classic. I also remember going into DC to follow the Kenner League. That was back in the days when I followed the recruiting. Now I don't.

    The 2009 season saw us go on the road to Penn State. We took a bus of Patriot Platoon (They should never have changed the name) to Penn State to lose in a heartbreaker in the 2009 NIT 1st round. We should have fouled Battle. That game still burns at me.

    (sidebar: We even supported volleyball(another bus trip to Penn State) and men's soccer. I was at the original WingStock.)

    2010 I graduated and headed back to NJ. I still followed the team.

    2011 I flew out to Cleveland for Mason vs Villanova. That win and the excitement was incredible. I enjoyed getting to know Caputo a little more. Hanging out with the Green Machine was fun. I miss that team deeply. Mike Morrison remains one of my sports heroes.

    The period between 2010-2014 I remember I would take Amtrak down for homecoming.

    2014-2016 I was a Mason season ticket holder while I was in the area from July 2014 to January 2016. The Hewitt era was what it was and this time was arguably when fan support started to erode.

    Last game I saw at Eaglebank was the blown lead to Duquesne in Homecoming 2019.

    In short? I love this team. I wear Mason gear of some sort on a regular basis. My desire for us to win and return to where we were in 2011 burns away inside of me. I watch the games on my laptop and it bothers me when we lose.

    It pains me what we once were and what we are now.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
  7. jessej

    jessej Sixth Man

    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    405
    I am a college basketball fan

    10 year partial STH at Georgetown
    former GWU STH - now down to 5 games/season
    4 -10 GMU games per year over the last 10 years

    go to 3 or 4 Howard games per year (and i suggest that all of you visit if you have never been to an HBCU game)
    usually spend 2 weekends per season in Philly - i grew up at the end of the Philly burbs and am Penn Class of 82
    1 weekend of Big 5 ball and 1 weekend of Penn Bball

    Partial STH of Washington Mystics and Wizards
    and go to NYC 2-3 times in NYC for the pre league tournaments
    as well as Big East Tournament for the last 8 years - except for one year at Pac-12 Tourney in Vegas as I am Stanford 86 and 88 (although this year may be my last Big East tourney as i want to see some other tourneys and the seats i got from GT SUCKS as compared to other years

    equally i love music - so i go to check out the Band and i have financially contributed to them for the last 10 years

    i plan on the Friday session of the A-10 Tourney

    anyone roadtripping to Greensboro? - i need a ride

    Regardless of the team and what happens with the coaches - i plan on 4 - 8 GMU games next season depending upon who is on the schedule
    patriot2000 and MasonFanatic like this.
  8. mkaufman1

    mkaufman1 Moderator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    2,607
    Trophy Points:
    7,840
    I hope folks from the athletics department read this thread and see the passion that is behind all of us. We may not always agree, we may not always get along but at the end of the day we all really have passion for this program and for it to be successful.
  9. The Great PATSby

    The Great PATSby Starter

    Likes Received:
    1,298
    Trophy Points:
    1,340
    Was originally going to go to TCU. Dad and mom tried their hardest to convince me out of it. Said if I go to school in state, the money I had left over in my college fund was mine after graduation. I was sold. Best decision I ever made.

    Enrolled at Mason Fall 04. Sophomore year was the Final Four Run. Was part of the Jai’s Guys Crew. Attended all 5 Tournament games. During college, traveled to @Hofstra, @Drexel, @JMU, @WM, @Hampton, @Towson, @ODU and All the BB&T classics and every CAA tournament.

    Have been a season ticket holder since I graduated. Can’t tell you how many times my kids have done nap time in EBA as infants.
  10. GSII

    GSII Hall of Famer

    Likes Received:
    2,545
    Trophy Points:
    7,840
    In 1995 we walked to the Patriot Center from Presidents Park. Might of been exam week or towards the end of exams. We were playing Ohio State. Walked in the sleeting rain. We only lost by a few points. During the start of my first year, I heard about Westhead and what a big name coach we had. He was terrible and our program was headed for the show COPS. Long story short, after President Johnson retired and Merten was hired, I began working for Merten as his private assassin. We rode to Richmond alot as he was begging for money to fund all the buildings you see now. He shared how Digger Phelps called with a great recommendation, Jim Larranaga. He left out all the Cuban stuff though. I got to meet Coach L and take him around campus to fraternities and sororities as he tried to drum up support. Me and a buddy also started thinking how Midnight Madness needed a makeover. So we went to Tom Oconnor with our plan in the summer of 97 or 98??. We brought in Chuck Booms and some bands. We worked to convince Tom about a beer garden, but he derailed it behind our backs. Kinda douchey. However, the turnout was great and the next few years we were able to watch it grow into what is now a pretty cool event. Also met some great guys along the way (RIP Cam). Threw a helluva party at homecomings aka FSC, aka beer pong in the ryder truck with Merten........aka we had our own section in the Pat Dome. Dr. Gunnie, PDGL, to name a few have been here since first day of this site.

    As I began my professional career I looked like I was always busy working. Little did they know I was talking shit to ODU or JMU fans.
    patriot2000 likes this.
  11. PoorManProfit

    PoorManProfit All-Conference

    Likes Received:
    460
    Trophy Points:
    2,810
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Nice. The PMP was there. It was early December ‘95, actually. Eddie George won the Heisman that night. Not a great Ohio St. squad and G Mas lost by 5,I believe, although didn’t seem like they ever had a chance to win.
    patriot2000 likes this.
  12. p8triotfan4life

    p8triotfan4life Starter

    Likes Received:
    626
    Trophy Points:
    1,320
    I was raised in Fairfax, went to WT Woodson High School. My college decision was kinda easy. I was destined to attend WVU (had already submitted my deposit), until the opportunity of attending GMU was too good to pass up. Grew up going to Mason games as a kid. For the sake of this post, I will omit my annual treks to Richmond for the CAA tournament, because those days were by far and away, the best days. My Freshman year was Coach L's first year (1997) , and kept up with the team by reading articles in The Broadside. Fast forward to my sophomore year (1998), I was a die hard fan. During the old days, a small twin engine plane flew around Patriot Circle with a banner that read, Congratulations, George Mason CAA Mens Basketball Champs. I remember departing the Johnson Center at 9pm the night before we played Cincy in Boston for the First Round tournament game. We got to Boston at 5:45 am, got drunk before noon, road the T train for free that day heading to the game. We headed back to Fairfax (as a passenger) right after Kenyon Martin and the rest of the Cincy Bearcats stomped all over us. I remember tailgating for FREE, almost every game sometimes. Fast forward to 2001, I remember watching the Mason/Maryland game (Boise, ID) at Tino's Sports Bar in Fairfax because Dr. Gunnie and the FSC had a watch party event sponsored there.....in 2005, I made the trek to Winston, Salem, NC to watch us upset preseason-top 25 Wake Forest. I got really drunk, and I heckled the tie-die Nation the entire game while TOC sat there and oversaw the special team that I knew we had that season. The night before the Sweet 16, there was an Alumni Party at Fat Tuesday's. Alan Merten hooked me up with second row tix to the sweet 16 for face value. I watched the Elite 8 game from Row N (upper -nose bleeds) against UCONN. I took the bus to the Final Four, and stayed at a raunchy Motel 6 in Indy with Fro and many other die-hard fans. We partied all night long in Indy and ran into Gonzaga Coach Mark Few at a SteakNShake at 3am. Instead of waiting 2 more days, I rented the last rental car in the Indy area, and got back on the road home (hungover as hell) at 7am the next day. In 2011, I watched the Villanova game at Brion's Grill. About a month later, I'll readily admit I sat in Brion's Grill and was distraught, because I knew the day Coach L left, the program would never be the same. I was right. Here we are 10 years later. No other memories to think of other than my wedding day, and birth of my daughter. Those were probably the best days to me, though.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2020
    jessej and patriot2000 like this.
  13. psyclone

    psyclone All-American

    Likes Received:
    1,140
    Trophy Points:
    4,840
    While we did come close against WF that year, it was a "quality" loss in overtime.
    https://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/recap?gameId=253150154

    If only getting "really drunk" could turn all our losses into wins!

    P.S. Might I suggest including a bit of white space?
    DJ3 and patriot2000 like this.
  14. GreenLantern

    GreenLantern Hall of Famer

    Likes Received:
    1,198
    Trophy Points:
    7,840
    Was the first in my family ever to attend college and followed my love of music and the fact that my voice teacher was a vocal instructor at Mason. Started in the fall of 84 and studied music from then until I graduated in January of 1990. Was able to tour Mexico and England with the GMU Chamber choir (known then as the Gloriana Singers). Performed at the Kennedy center and was part of the 25th anniversary concert of JFK's death. Became a fan during the Carlos Yates seasons and have been following the team through good and bad times since.
    patriot2000 likes this.
  15. Mason32

    Mason32 Sixth Man

    Likes Received:
    203
    Trophy Points:
    420
    Still not understanding why the 90s era attendee's chose Mason over clearly more fun options lol
  16. Five Two

    Five Two All-American

    Likes Received:
    1,769
    Trophy Points:
    4,840
    Grew up outside of Binghamton, NY. My father was a high school coach in the area and one of his players ended up on the golf team at Mason (he then went on as a caddie on the Tour for a few years. What a lost opportunity by the school for never engaging with him while on Tour, but thats a thread for another day). Thats how I heard about the school. Arrived on campus in the fall of '92. I was/am a college hoops nerd and would be one of a few students at every home game. Man, we were terrible but at least the games were high scoring when Paul Ball arrived my soph year. The team's '92-93 freshmen class lived in Commonwealth Hall a few floors above me. That made for some interesting adventures.

    In 1994 Mason was the host school for the 1st and 2nd round of the NCAAs at US Air Arena. In a great marketing move, they took the floor from the Patriot Center and used it at US Air Arena. All my friends from back in the 607 thought the games were in Fairfax.

    I remember we beat JMU on a Saturday (forget the year) and having to head over to the library for a study group (who schedules a study group on a Saturday afternoon?!?!?). I remember being pissed that there were more people in the library than there were in the arena, and that none of these folks in the library realized there was a game that day. Better yet, probably didnt realize we had a team.

    In the early 2000s a few of us would take road trips to VCU, JMU, W&M, etc. I missed the trip to VCU where the guys rented a limo.
    In the spring of 2004 we went to Blair HS in Silver Spring one night to watch Folarin Campbell and his Springbrook team play Blair. We were all there in green and gold. Not sure I've been to a high school game since.

    I went with BossP up to UMBC once. He was very passionate that game and in their small gym, everyone could hear him yelling all kinds of stuff.

    Back before the internet, Mason had a hotline you could call and get score updates. We'd be playing pick up ball at an elementary school on nights when they were on the road and we'd call the hotline around 9:15pm-ish to get the final score.

    I went to Indy and missed my daughter's 2nd birthday party because of it. Totally worth it. She doesnt remember that I wasnt there.

    I've not missed too many home games in my 30 years of fandom.
  17. patriot2000

    patriot2000 Starter

    Likes Received:
    847
    Trophy Points:
    1,320
    Location:
    Delaware
    In my case, the music school did turn out to be the right fit for me. Also, for a musician who preferred a suburban campus, the proximity and easy access to DC and all it has to offer in the Arts (while still being on a secluded suburban campus) was well worth it.

    Also, while I get the kind of fun you're talking about and certainly heard those complaints while I was there, I had a TON of fun at Mason. Not just in DC but on the campus itself. I think, at least from 96-00 when I was there, Mason was definitely the kind of place where you got out of it what you put into it. The fun definitely didn't find you but we all managed to find it.
  18. GMUgemini

    GMUgemini Hall of Famer

    Likes Received:
    4,660
    Trophy Points:
    12,840
    Economics?

    Hell, I’m from Miami and wanted a little bit more quiet to actually study (had no problem partying in winter and summer) and some of the professors drew me up to Fairfax (Alan Cheuse and Robert Bausch specifically). I’m and early 2000s student.
  19. CHRISTOPHER JAMES JOLLAY

    CHRISTOPHER JAMES JOLLAY All-American

    Likes Received:
    2,313
    Trophy Points:
    4,840
    I remember when I showed up for a campus tour I was wearing a starter Green Bay Packers jacket. Some girl asked me if I played football for Mason.

    It was then that I knew that a lot of the minkies here were flat out dumb, and that Mason would be an excellent place to matriaculamalate for 5-7 years.
  20. tblack33

    tblack33 Starter

    Likes Received:
    1,316
    Trophy Points:
    1,340
    Freshman during the 2010-2011 season, got hooked on the Sherrod Valentine’s Day massacre. That was probably the most fun season I’ve had with the longest winning streak in the country and the snowstorms that turned game days into 4 day benders. Have always been a big college basketball fan but didn’t follow mid major hoops at all until my freshman year. Now it’s pretty much all I follow which really kills me come bracket time. Watched the Villanova game hammered drunk in the fraternity house and sprayed beer all over Braddock road in celebration. Survived the dark days of Hewitt as a student, always frustrated by the amount of talent we had that ultimately got us nowhere.

    Got season tickets after I graduated and we fired Hewitt and have kept them through deployments and moves that brought me away from the DC area for years at a time. Gave them to friends while overseas and expanded our seats from 2 people to 6 at one point.

    I’ve made trips to the gulf coast classic, Philly, Richmond (ew) and a few more and met a lot of good people in the gold room. Will be taking a hard look after next season to make a decision if I’ll keep the seats beyond next season based on how we do/ if we don’t do well and don’t make a coaching change.
    patriot2000 likes this.

Share This Page