I think we can teach America a lot, me and Mason Nation. I think we have done a good job, the last two Marches at the CAA Tournament and the last 14 months on Twitter, of proving that two bitterly opposed, dueling factions can find common ground, learn that the other is not as horrendously evil or insufferably, well, insufferable, come to mutually regret some of our past actions and peacefully co-exist. If only we could get the Republicans and Democrats to meet in Richmond, we might really do some good.
But I have my limits. I can’t root for Mason today against Villanova, and I would feel that way even if Hofstra legend Jay Wright—whose schtick is as legitimate as Jim Larranaga’s is manufactured—were not patrolling the sidelines for the Wildcats. I can’t do it, not for my new friends in Mason Nation and not for the good of the league. I can’t do it, even if it means more money in the pocket for Hofstra. Note to Jack Hayes: If Mason loses today, I’ll up my contribution to the Pride Club for next year to try and begin making up for the money Hofstra won’t get.
I never considered rooting for Mason this week, but any shred of possibility disappeared once Larranaga went into full-bore Media Bore mode. The guy can play to the cameras and knows how to kiss mainstream media ass and sure can coach up a basketball team, I give him that, but I see people who don’t know any better eating up the calls to ESPN College Gameday and Mason players “spontaneously” captured rooting for Old Dominion in the media room in Ohio and it makes my blood boil.
He’s not fooling me. I know the truth. The wounds from 2006, and other lessons subsequently learned, have cut too deep.
If Villanova wins I will not revel in the disappointment of my new friends, or laugh at them and try to minimize the accomplishments of their favorite team. I’m not a Mets fan, you know. No matter what happens today or the rest of the tournament, Mason had an INCREDIBLE season, one well-deserving of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. We will stand and tip our caps to our friends in Mason Nation, and to their favorite team.
But life is not a bad PG-13 sequel to a classic 1980s movie. The Tri-Lambs and the Alpha Betas will not join forces, not today. Go Jay, and c’mon Villanova, crush George Mason for the rest of us. For Hofstra. For humanity.