I can't help it - I love the beavers.
Found in my e-mail today was this story from the D.C. Sports Bog and Dan Steinberg.
It looks like the Cinderellas are sticking together in a fine mid-major alliance as Bemidji State is getting a helping hand in the way of a rental pep band.
From who though?
They're getting some help from the local Patriots.
Yes, the George Mason University Patriots.
As Steinberg finds out, it turns out that pride in the beaver runs wild all over the country, especially in Washington, D.C. where George Mason's "Green Machine" pep band resides.
The wacky truth, though, is that Mason's pep band was chosen neither for the school's underdog connotations nor for its Green Machine name and blingy-greened-out accessories. The Mason kids were chosen because the Red Line Swingers--who usually represent the Beavers--had other commitments and were unable to make the trip, and because the school was scrambling to find a band, and because Caps employee and Bemidji Super Fan Rachel Becker had an in with Mason.
It's all about who you know, obviously, and with the Capitals having a Bemidji alum working for them, it seems like too much of an inside job to be true, but there it is.
It also works out pretty well that the "Green Machine" won't have to alter their wardrobe to support the green and white clad team from Bemidji, although hiding the yellow might come in handy lest they be confused for being the band from the University of Vermont.
Then again, I'm doubting very highly that the band leader for UVM's band looks as cool as Doc Nix of George Mason does:
(photo: John McDonnell - The Washington Post)
If I had a suit like that I don't know that I would ever take it off. Then again, there's no way that I'd look as bad-ass as Doc Nix does either.
Such is life.
I get it that Beaver Fever is running wild now, especially in D.C. Even in the political hell that is Washington they love an underdog story, but having some well-placed alumni can do a lot for a school looking to bring some of the flavors from home and it's paid off well for Bemidji on the national scene and in D.C. itself now.
Bemidji State isn't the only princess looking for the glass slipper in Washington, however.
I know there are plenty of Miami University fans are feeling like the red-headed stepchild here and I honestly feel bad for them because not only is Miami the other #4 seed that upset their way to D.C. but now they have to face off against the biggest Cinderella in the tournament and become the instant villain because of it.
That's not fair at all and it definitely sucks to be Miami in this case. The last two years Miami's been the team with the lofty goals and fell one round short of the Frozen Four with much more talented teams, bowing out to Boston College in the regional finals each time.
The look on the face fits pretty well given the lack of Cinderella attention for Miami.
This season the expectations fell off a bit with former power scoring stud Ryan Jones playing for the Predators and goaltender Jeff Zatkoff signed away in the Los Angeles Kings system. Miami has gotten their comeuppances and truly earned their way into Washington knocking off the top two seeds in their region.
Miami has to feel that their uppances have finally come after getting stung by the Eagles two years in a row and that now is their time to take advantage of the "golden road" to the finals set before of them. After all, one would like to think that facing off with Bemidji State instead of either Notre Dame or Cornell would have to be a bonus.
One way or another, Cinderella is getting a shot at the National Championship. The only question here is whether or not Cinderella is going to be happy-go-lucky full of warm-fuzzies or really, really pissed off and out for their deserved recognition.