by Nick Alberico (@)
Meet Dwayne Bacon, the 6’7” athletic dynamo from Lakeland that became FSU’s first 5-star recruit since Micheal Snaer inexplicably committed to the school back in 2009. A McDonald’s All-American and the 2015 All-American Dunk Competition champion, Bacon led Oak Hill Academy to an unblemished 45-0 record his senior year with a mix of physical dominance, shooting prowess, and swagger. Bacon is the biggest thing to happen to FSU hoops since $1 Hot Dog Day was introduced a few years ago, and is clearly a man–and a name–to be celebrated.
Despite never having the opportunity to see him play in person, Mr. Bacon has the distinct honor of being my favorite player on the team. The freshmen brings a certain confidence and poise this year’s squad needs if it wants to go back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since FSU won the ACC Tournament in 2012.
I’ve always been disappointed with the backburner approach the student body has taken toward the basketball program. While Doak Campbell Stadium has its charms, the Civic Center is a much better venue, all things considered. Air conditioning, comfy leather seats, and proximity to the players and coaches really establish an intense and exciting atmosphere. A football game will monopolize your entire Saturday, demanding hours of logistics planning on when to start drinking and where to park. Basketball games are often late-night on weekdays, when nothing else was going on anyway. (Who studies anymore?)
That being said, the basketball atmosphere has always lacked one thing the football program has had: superfans. The Garnet and Gold Guys, or something to that effect, are two young men who dress in glitter body paint and attend every home game, cheering on the Seminoles and taking photos with fans looking to be seen with the iconic pair. FSU hoops, on the other hand, has a guy who bangs on a drum and is technically part of the band, excluding him from superfan contention.
This season, I, along with my friend Dylan, aim to be the superfans the basketball program needs. We would need a shtick, a gimmick, something to set us apart from the rest of the spectators. We needed a gag someone would see us doing and say “how outrageous!” or even better, “I wish I had thought of that.”
Naturally, with freshman Dwayne Bacon looking to become the face of a new era at FSU, we would join him, and it was agreed that we would wear bacon-strip costumes. Creative, perhaps not. Outrageous? Absolutely.
The costumes were purchased; the plans were laid. I had been waiting long enough to be famous. I was ready. But was Florida State ready for the Bacon Boys?