Coming to theaters this winter: another movie that inspires everyone to go buy a basketball hoop.
If George Mason keeps the slipper on, then soon Glory Road 2: The Patriot Act will begin production and be out just in time for Christmas.
Everyone knows other stories in the history of sports. From the USA hockey team’s victory over Russia (Miracle) to the Red Sox winning seven straight to win the World Series (Fever Pitch, sort of) people know those teams, have household names associated with those teams and have been discussed, dissected and analyzed from here to Fairfax, Va., until the founding fathers come home.
No other run has touched more people throughout the nation like the two-week heart-squeezing, someone-pinch-me sleepwalk George Mason is going through.
Web sites, papers, magazines and television shows all have Patriot fever. Everyone wants to see a true underdog succeed.
It’s true, LSU did about the same thing 20 years ago. Villanova did basically the same thing just a year earlier in 1985, but what makes George Mason’s story much more compelling is the team itself.
The team has all those clichÃ©s Hollywood loves to exploit, such as the determined yet seasoned coach who knows how to evaluate a team like a movie critic (Gene Hackman would be perfect here). It has athletic players willing to do anything, not letting any team take them lightly (Nick Cannon is made for this role). Oh yeah, and name just one of their starters.
Ask North Carolina, Michigan State and Connecticut, three of the four teams the Patriots beat to make it to the Final Four, all of which were recent national champions.
Who saw this coming? The same people who saw War of the Worlds.
Sure, there may have been one guy, some schmuck living on campus at that commuter school (sound familiar?) in Virginia who filled out a bracket just for kicks with George Mason edging a close one against Gonzaga or someone else just as ridiculous.
Well, that schmuck actually looks like a certified genius, because nothing else makes sense.
The experts, even if they had the sports almanac from Back to the Future II, couldn’t have foreseen this. Dick Vitale and his ever-moving hands picked Connecticut. Ditto Digger Phelps.
Now, while plenty at USF have become George Mason bandwagon fans because of the comparisons and the “if they can do it then we can do it” attitudes, the Patriots, despite the outcome Saturday at Indianapolis, will reap the benefits of making it into April.
Recruits will actually consider George Mason. The school could realistically jump conferences. Look at Villanova’s remarkable run and then upset over Georgetown for the crown. All the makings of every upset ever spoken of and it put the team on the map.
Villanova is now a perennial powerhouse after going through two No. 2 seeds and No. 1 seed. Same for Arizona after it went through a No.1, 2 and 3 seed to win the championship in 1997.
So is this just another bracket buster, or a blockbuster waiting to happen?
For now, people are behind a school with an enrollment smaller than the projected attendance numbers for Glitter 2, starring the next American Idol.
Think of Hoosiers, when you name teams such as Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wichita State, Bradley and Northwestern State, which the average fan never knew existed before March 17 rolled around.
Tune in Saturday before Disney ruins it with a movie.