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What in Tar Nation?

I do have a small request.

The other night, I happened to see a bit of the George Mason/VCU game on ESPN, and more power to the Sports Leader for broadcasting it (a) on something other than ESPN U, and (b) in a primetime slot. Seriously, good on them.

But at both ends of the floor on the GMU court, in big letters, was written "Mason Nation." You might recall a few years back that "X Nation" gained some popularity as the Red Sox finally reversed their curse. And honestly, I have no issue with the idea of Red Sox Nation, given how many fans of the BoSox live in other places than Boston. Ditto for Yankees and Cubs. Being myself a member of Cubs Nation, Nation is no exaggeration.

But lately, nation is used to describe the fan base of every team at every level. Did I say "used"? I mean to say overused and abused. Unless we're comparing them to small Caribbean islands, I'm afraid there is no Mason Nation. Nor would it even occur to me to talk about Hawkeye Nation, Bear Nation, Syracuse Nation, Bull Nation, etc.

And actually, given how loosely the term is used now, I'll be stopping with the Cubs Nation after this post. I'm pretty sick of seeing it. Almost as sick as I am of hearing the Dallas Cowboys referred to as "America's Team" 30 years now after the nickname was accurate and/or relevant.

So yeah, you can fill a small arena. This does not you a nation make. Quit it.


I am sad to say that my alma mater has adopted "The foundation for the Gator Nation" as their slogan. No, not just for the athletic programs; for the whole darn thing.

The X Nation stuff started before the "Red Sox Nation" talk of a few years ago. I couldn't say for sure who started this ridiculousness, but I know that Jim Rome has referred to Raider fans as "Raider Nation" since at least 2000. I say we blame Jim Rome...or Red Sox fans. Either one is fine with me.

So, when do we launch Rhetoric Nation?

You're right, Jim. I don't listen to Rome much, but I do recall hearing that out of him pre-RedSoxNation days...

That would totally save the usage for me. If I went to a panel at CCCC, and they referred to Rhetoric Nation rather than "the discipline" or "the field," I'm not sure I could be happier.

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