It is almost upon us – the Patriot Center, the Green Machine, the T-shirt gun, the cheerleaders and of course, the teams.

Stephen Kline/Broadside

Mason Nation is more than ready for basketball, but before tip-off on Nov. 9, the glowing embers of Patriot Pride need to roar into a full fire storm.

For 14 years, Mason has been partaking in a tradition that ignites our Basketball season spirit Mason Madness.

On Oct. 14 at 9:30 p.m., students and local Mason fans will get a good look at the sports programs that have been kept under wraps since March.

With featured performances from independent artists and Mason clubs such as UrbanKnowlogy, the Green Machine and The Masonettes, the event is always a huge hit.

Originally held in the RAC gym, Mason Madness was a glorified high school pep rally with pull out bleachers in a tiny gymnasium.

“Hard to believe that is where the varsity teams played when you look at the Patriot Center today,” said  writer for Creative Services, Buzz McClain. “But it worked, and as you can see, the crowds at the games have grown and the basketball program has developed to what it is now.”

Other sports teams have also performed in years past but have since stopped.

The crossdressing dancing and singing routines from the wrestling team are some of the most missed.

You can actually see parts of these routines and others in a Mason Madness history video montage.

“Over the years the Madness rally got more and more ambitious, but no traditions materialized until the emergence of Doc Nix and his high-energy routines. Everyone looks forward to what the dancers and musicians will come up with next,” McClain said.

Mason’s precious mascot was not always the Patriot.

Mason was home to several strange and bizarre mascots, including green fuzzy monsters and something resembling an aardvark.

It was only in 1995, in a basketball game against Ohio State University that the Patriot made its premiere.

At the tail end of the montage, you will catch a glimpse of Doc Nix and the Green Machine’s rendition of LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem from last year’s event.

Each year, the pep band comes out with new songs to play for home games and blows the crowd away every time.

Mason Madness is the first chance when freshman get to experience the musical moxie, spirit and swag of the Green Machine.

It is a night that should not be missed.

Over the years, activities and games have been in place for students to get involved with the festivities aside from singing the fight song and cheering on the teams.

This year, one lucky student will get to take a half-court shot worth $10,000.

Then, after all the performances and activities, the heart of the celebration comes out with the  introduction of the current men’s and women’s basketball teams.

The teams then reveal the fruits of their off-season labors with a green and gold scrimmage game for the fans, students and their families.

Mason Madness is always held during Parent’s Weekend. This coordination helps to expand the ranks of the Mason nation and take our Patriot Pride back home, wherever that may be.

However, the early date of Parent’s Weekend tends to leave a bit of a spirit-dry spell for students as they anxiously wait for that first home game.

“I am hoping the spirit generated by the Madness mayhem in October will carry over to the first home game in November.

That’s a long gap that they may want to consider closing a bit in the future,” McClain said.

If you do not think you can make it one more month until that first home game, come out to Mason Madness, get your prescribed dose of Patriot Pride and be part of one the best Mason traditions.