The man with the Jim Boeheim masks

Sometime in the first half of Thursday’s Verizon Center nightcap, the CBS broadcast showed this fellow in a Jim Boeheim mask making distracting motions with his arms while Indiana shot free throws. I figured that meant he was sitting behind the basket. I was wrong. He was sitting behind the Syracuse bench.

I also figured he had just one Boeheim mask. I was wrong, again. He brought two to the game — one happy Boeheim, one angry Boeheim — and left several more at home, including a vintage, old-school Boeheim-with-thick-glasses mask.

“I’m a diehard Syracuse fan,” explained John Groat, 44. “I bleed orange. You can’t get a lot more Syracuse than me.”

Groat is an alum, a season-ticket holder and a Syracuse resident who drove down for the games. He said the masks, which he makes himself and regularly brings to home games, are “supposed to cheer ‘em on.”

He uses the angry Boeheim when he’s mad at the refs, when the other team does something good, or when he’s trying to annoy. He uses the happy one when Syracuse does something good.

“I hope this is the mask I put on at the end of the game,” he said, with happy mask on his head. It was.

Also, note the Maryland fan wearing gold behind Groat. He wanted to talk about Patrick Stevens. Cult hero, that guy.

Also, this sign.

Also, this D.C. professional, who received a FedEx shipment of Indiana stripey pants at the office on Thursday, and had no choice but to wear his dress shirt tucked into athletic warm-up pants.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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