Going in reverse order…
5) Lil B, the Basedgod: Ok, so we’ve yet to see a photo of him wearing the black-and-gold, but Berkeley, California rapper Brandon McCartney, aka Lil B, makes our list with a good bit of bonus points for instilling enough “swag” in this year’s team to cary them to the Final 4.
I’ll admit, I’m 31 year old white dad who lives in an english tutor and mostly listens to Mason Jennings, so it took me about an entire season to figure out exactly what senior guard and “master chef” Ed Nixon was doing every time his name was announced during this season’s starting lineup introductions…he was “cooking”. And weeks later, unofficial assistant coach Lil B had VCU cooking all the way to the Final 4, eventually seeing them pay tribute to the original in the locker room celebration below.
4) Drake gets geared up: Actor and recording artist Aubrey Drake Graham, or just Drake for short, became a member of the Ram Nation this March (who knows, perhaps even earlier), and repped the Runnin’ Rams with this handsome hoodie.
Girls love a man who has sold a few million albums AND can act and sing, but I gotta imagine they love one even more who’s down with Joey Rodriguez, Bradford Burgess, and Jamie Skeen. We appreciate Drake’s support, and think he’d be a welcomed addition to next year’s Homecoming lineup (Star Spangled Banner UPGRADE!).
3) Leo loves Larry Sanders: We may be digging this one out of the vault — as in two years ago — but seeing one of the world’s most famous celebs, Leonardo DiCaprio, in a VCU cap NOT ONLY while cruising his bike around Los Angeles, but courtside at a Lakers game (photos of him in the airport as well), is pretty damn cool.
Truth be told, we couldn’t tell you how much the Titanic star knows about the Broad St. Bullies, but fact remains he got ahold of the colors and gave them the red carpet treatment.
Now if we could just get him to hit the donate button on the front of Ram Nation, i might be able to quite my day job.
2) Chris Brown boards the Swag Express: Somewhat of a local (originally from Tappahannock, VA), you’ve most likely had at least one run in with R&B star and platinum selling recording artist Chris Brown in a local establishment.
He’s been spotted all over the downtown area, including a chance run in I had with Brown — er, well, I didn’t exactly run into him, but we were apparently in Need Supply Company at the same time once (or so I was told by the people after he left…I am that white, I had no idea). Either way, this guy is big time. And best yet, not only does he root for the Rams, but has apparently balled like one, hooping it up in Cary St. gym from time to time (Youtube it, the videos are all over the place).
In an attempt to steal our Twitter play-by-play coverage of VCU basketball games, Brown got in to the action on his own Twitter account (with some 2,345,000 more followers than us). Chris, if you’re reading this, no need to compete. Listen, we can play on the same team, even get you a press pass (Scott Day, if you’re reading this, add Chris Brown to the Ram Nation list). You would be a great addition to the Ram Nation staff.
1) George Lopez shines the bright lights on Joey Rodriguez, VCU: This whole March seemed like one long, awesome, borderline drug induced day dream to me, each moment better than the next. Getting an at-large bid to the Big Dance when the talking heads at ESPN had written us off was thrilling. Flying to Dayton to watch the Rams lock down on USC and officially break into the field of 64 made me swell with pride. Then having the black-and-gold reel off 4-straight wins over power conference teams, each more thrilling than the previous, was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen.
That little stretch sent me to Houston for the Final 4…all free, courtesy of Buick (what!?! I still can’t believe that happened). Once there, I just couldn’t believe I was standing in a football stadium with roughly 76,000 other people about to watch VCU play in front of the largest live audience ever to take in a college hoops game…RIDICULOUS.
As surreal as this all seemed, watching Joey Rodriguez on Late Night TV trumped them all. I mean, just two years ago we had almost lost our point guard to the mighty Rollins College. As Anthony Grant packed his bags for Tuscaloosa, Joey headed home to Florida, where he — for a brief glimpse in time — was to be the next starting point guard of a Division II basketball team. Fast forward to midnight, April 7th, 2011, and I’m watching J-O-E-Y himself chit chatting in Hollywood on national TV.
Lopez said he saw the senior point guard play, and as he put it, “tear Kansas a new a**hole”, and just had to have him on his show. KABLOOEY!!!!!! My mind completely annihilated, I had seen it all.
A great moment in VCU history, and perhaps one of the most improbable things I could have ever imagined. A round of applause to George Lopez for that one, our new favorite VCU celebrity fan.
And did I mention Shaka and Joey were both recently invited to the White House? It’s a great time to be a VCU Ram.