“Oh What a Night” – (Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons). Byrd Stadiun was-a-rockin’. Terps 32 – “It sucks to be – U” 24. Nice shirts by the way – Terp Students. I was lucky enough to attend Monday nights show from a dry vantage point. While my daughter experienced her first Terp game (as a student), down amongst the raucous student section in the rain. One classic comment from the younger generation, “What rain?” God bless her and the “student wedge”. It was one of those “Proud to be a Terp Night.” Of course, the Terps winning this entertaining athletic event, helped.
There actually was a football game played that night. Not just the unveiling of a new sports uniform. Contrary to the majority of reports by sports radio talk shows and news telecasts the following day. It was a darn good game that was played at Byrd Stadium. A lot of action. A lot of offense. Not much defense (unless you were the Terps scoring defense). No huddle, quick snaps, substitutions, illegal substitutions, to many kids on the field, not enough kids on the field……….I’m telling you…….one of the best football shows I’ve seen in quite some time. Best part about it? NO, it was not the new uniforms – the topic discussed Ad Nauseum by the media. The best part was………simply the moment. The Terps and fans in Byrd Stadium - Seizing the Moment.
New coach, new uniforms, new attitude! It worked. Yes, the ”caught cheating” Hurricanes were missing 4 starters and 4 other players due to “impermissible benefits”. So what? The University, the team deserved the penalty, if not a stiffer one. Bottom line – Terps won. If the NCAA really wanted to make a statement – the “U” would have been sanctioned all year. The Terps won. It wasn’t pretty at times. But other times, you were out of your seat screaming. i.e. the defensive team leader – Joe Vellano rumbling down the sideline just before half. That Vellano guy, he is a fiery one. Great to see his encouragement and passion on the field with his teamates. The Terps defense has no “stickers” ala Wujciak from last year and they are weak up the middle. But they play as a team and appear to have potential.
Offensively, it’s the sophmore #5 O’Brien show with #12 Dorsey and #17McCree in supporting roles. The line, the no huddle, the poise for a bunch of kids first game with that type of game plan was impressive. I gave you the numbers of the young stars, because as you noticed there were ”no names” on the jerseys. You go – Randy Edsall – it all worked Monday Night.
Ok, briefly – the uniforms. I liked them. Tough at first, remember I’m old school and a Terp alum. First impression, where’s my Red/White? After the first 5 minutes, “those are pretty cool. Maybe it was that first drive that made them that much cooler. Who cares? The Maryland State Flag was being prominently displayed over a national TV audience. Yeah, baby! I did not dig the whole “Fashion Show” deal the week before. What are football players doing in a fashion show? I may not dig the hundred combinations they may “shell” out. But those uniforms worked in my book, at least “live” they did. And for the astute small army of readers that follow this blog – how about a history lesson? What is that design on the Maryland Flag/ Maryland Terp helmets? Most people get the one design right – the Black and Gold - Arms of the Calvert family – associated with Lord Baltmore. Most people do not know the Red and White Arms are of the Crossland Family. So yes, I guess if you are not a Marylander, do not know State flags or just have nothing else to complain about, you may have a negative take on the new uni’s displayed. Get a life.
Byrd Stadium was electric. You could feel the emotion. It was/is the Twilight of a new era in college football at UMCP. Even through the rain, wind, humidity and chill in the air – Maryland faithful were out in force. Tailgating from the Comcast Center, to Parking Lot 4, to the far side of Parking Lot 1 and all through campus, just a great college atmosphere. The only crime committed – as I have stated before – is the limited seating for college students. The “small wedge” in the Northwest corner of the lower bowl. The section was packed 1-1/2 hours prior to game time. Those few thousand students fueled the fire throughout the stadium. Probably could have done without the ‘FU” interjection into “Rock n’ Roll Part 2″, but that’s another story. Other than that, there were times I wished I was 30 years younger and down there in the heat/wet of it.
UMCP faithful – the Terps have a new coach. Yes, he went for it on 4th and 8 – Fridge would have punted. Really, no matter what happens the rest of the year, this past Labor Day Monday night in College Park, MD a new era in Maryland football arrived. You GO TERPS!