When USF freshman John Mace arrived in college, he wanted to play lacrosse, get himself situated and have fun.
He didn’t expect to find himself on national television.
But that was the case when on a mid-September Saturday night, Mace walked into his dorm room at Fontana Hall, only to see lights, cameras, dog bones and flyers with his face plastered on them proclaiming, “Don’t date this player.”
“At first I was overwhelmed,” Mace said. “I pulled up in the parking lot and saw all my clothes on the basketball court. I go upstairs to my room, and I see all these flyers with my face on them. I didn’t expect someone to waste all their time and effort on me. Within minutes, someone pulled me aside and told me to sign a release form. That person was from MTV.”
MTV was filming a new TV show called FM Nation in Tampa. FM Nation follows two or three groups of teenagers who go about their normal lives on a simple Saturday night. USF freshmen Stephanie Adams, Ashley Wierzbicki and Jenny Lukshaw were chosen to film an episode for the show after a casting call in early September. They were called back, and the producers liked what they had to offer.
“We had to have a good idea in order for us to get picked,” Lukshaw said. “MTV wanted us to do something out of the ordinary to keep the audience interested. So, we chose to get filmed getting revenge on Mace.
“Earlier in the year, Mace tried to get with us. However, when that didn’t work, he started talking smack about us. We wanted to make it clear that we wanted to get back at him.”
The three ladies took his mattresses out, threw his clothes out the window, made flyers, hung up fake snakes and put cobwebs in his room.
Afterwards, they celebrated by going out to Ybor City and rewarding themselves with tattoos.
“It was a spur of the moment thing,” Wierzbicki said. “We all wanted to celebrate after getting revenge on Mace, and what better way to do so than getting tattoos? We all always wanted one.”
However, after filming, Mace saw the night a whole different way.
“I thought it was pretty funny that they went through all this trouble to make me look like an idiot,” Mace said. “I can take care of that myself. I wasn’t really bothered by what they did, it just surprised that MTV had to help them do their dirty work. It was pretty childish and ineffective. The last way to do me over is to put me on MTV, especially for reasons like their’s.”
According to Luksza, the revenge was well-earned.
“I thought it was immature that he had to make up lies about us,” Luksza said. “I think it was pretty sad that he had to lie about us to make himself look better to other guys. We wanted to put him on national television to reveal the ‘true Mace.’ Hopefully, we accomplished that.”
The episode of the USF students on FM Nation runs Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. on MTV.
Contact Thomas Carrigan at firstname.lastname@example.org