February 19, 2014
While SMU basketball players run through pregame drills at Moody Coliseum and listen to last words of wisdom from Coach Larry Brown, a devoted Mustang fan gets ready for the game at his residence hall on campus. SMU senior Ramon Trespalacios showers and combs his hair.
Then he puts on his red lobster costume and heads to the game.
So why does the SMU student body president suit up as a lobster to support the Mustangs, a team named after the fleet-footed horses that once roamed the prairies?
It all started with a theme party. Trespalacios bought the lobster suit to fit a nautical theme party. When the party theme changed to a Cinco de Mayo party, Trespalacios wore his lobster costume anyway.
The Cuernavaca, Mexico, native collects costumes like some students collect ticket stubs. He wore a Chewbacca costume on a Star Wars-themed Homecoming float last fall and owns two Santa suits. After wearing a Santa suit to a basketball game last December, Trespalacios decided to keep the costume thing going.
"I have elephant, chicken, kangaroo and dinosaur costumes," he said. "But the lobster is my only red costume. Wearing it to basketball games makes the players laugh, and the other SMU fans at the games love it."
No one was more surprised than Trespalacios when his lobster-clad image began showing up on Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, Fox Sports 1, Sports Illustrated and NCAA's March Madness.com.
Trespalacios attends as many SMU athletic events as he can – football, soccer, swimming – but he reserves his lobster suit for basketball. When he is not attending games, or running the 55-member SMU Student Senate, the scholarship student is finishing requirements for his three majors: Management science, marketing and mathematics. He'll graduate from SMU in May 2014 and plans to return to SMU in the fall to earn a Master's degree in operations research.
So, what will he do with his lobster suit after he graduates?
"I may pass it down to someone else," he says. "It's really about the team, and the whole SMU community."
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