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Fine dons dinosaur costume following career game

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Mason Fine is known to the press as a driven, focused individual. Following the North Texas win over Texas-El Paso, Fine gave the country a glimpse into his actual personality by donning a T-Rex costume for the post-game press conference.

“I’m not gonna lie, when I come up here, all y’all really get is my mentality: locked in and football,” Fine said. “You don’t really get to see me off the field a whole lot, when I’m hanging out with friends. So it’s really nice to bring out a little personal touch, a little bit more humor into it.”

Sitting beside junior defensive lineman Dion Novil and junior receiver Jaelon Darden, Fine answered every question the press threw at him inside an inflatable T-Rex costume and ended his session with a fistbump to Darden.

This wasn’t the first time that the T-Rex costume had been worn by Fine, however. According to the senior quarterback, he received the costume from his family in 2018 for Halloween and the idea to wear it was brought to his mind by his offensive coordinator, Bodie Reeder.

“Friday night, we’re having our team dinner,” Fine said. “Coach Reeder asked the QBs what’s our favorite costume we’ve ever worn. I told him I had a T-Rex costume in my closet right now and he’s like, ‘No way.’ Halloween is his favorite holiday so he was all giddy about, ‘Hey, maybe you should wear it to the press conference.’”

Reeder’s idea brought Fine more national coverage than the Peggs, Oklahoma native’s football performance did. Despite setting a personal record for single-game passing touchdowns (seven) and leading North Texas to double the Miners’ score on homecoming weekend, multiple news outlets picked up on Fine’s costume more than anything else. Outlets like Yahoo Sports, ESPN and Fansided included the Mean Green quarterback on their websites and social media.

Fine acknowledged the national attention and was glad his actions garnered some views.

“It’s nice to see it caught on so well,” Fine said. “It was all in good-natured fun, enjoying the game of football and enjoying my time here.”

Head coach Seth Littrell knew about the idea beforehand and didn’t shy away from giving his quarterback the opportunity to have a little fun.

“I knew going into it and I was proud of him,” Littrell said. “I didn’t know if he would do it or not. I kind of egged him on a little, probably.”

Littrell went on to talk about the high-stress situation that playing and coaching college football introduces and how doing little things like what Fine did can help bring it all back down to Earth.

“You gotta have fun,” Littrell said. “College football’s a year-round job almost, for coaches and players. You talk about the grind and if you forget to enjoy it, forget to get some laughs, it can be even more grinding. You don’t always get to see who he is off the field and I was glad to see him do it actually.”

With Darden and Novil beside him, the two were able to stay stoic and not react to the get-up. That’s because they saw him inside of it before the press conference even started.

“I just laughed,” Novil said. “I didn’t know he was gonna do it. I saw him walking down the hallway but didn’t know it was him at first. So yeah, that was pretty funny.”

During the game, Fine threw for 332 yards and seven touchdowns on a 61.5 completion percent. The Mean Green must win two of their last three games (at Louisiana Tech, at Rice and vs Alabama-Birmingham) in order to guarantee a bowl game. With three guaranteed games left in his collegiate career, Fine is feeling emotional, but he’s using those emotions to push him to be better.

“I’d be lying to you if I said I was more just kind of mellow about it,” Fine said. “Every day I wake up and go to practice, I know it’s like, ‘Man, I don’t have very many of these left.’ I do get emotional in a good way. It just makes me perform better in practice and be better prepared for Saturday. I’m not gonna waste a second.”

Featured Image: Senior quarterback Mason Fine wears a dinosaur costume during a post-game press conference on Nov. 2, 2019. Courtesy Eric Capper Twitter

Article Originally Published by Zachary Cottam on North Texas Daily

Source: North Texas Daily

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