I'm proud to be a Terrapin supporter, and last night's 75-70 comeback win against Miami only made my passion stronger. View more here.
What's it like to always win? To be a top five team every year? To get all the blue chip recruits?
I imagine it would involve wearing some shade of blue, having a lame mascot like a devil or a heel with tar on it and more than likely part of your soul would have to be compromised.
I prefer Red, and mediocrity with a sprinkling of never say die. Being a Maryland fan means screaming at your TV for 35 minutes, then calling your brother to wax poetically about how you knew they were going to gut it out. Nothing makes sense in this world, some nights they're world beaters, other nights they miss free throws and forget to show up in the second half. Whatever the night brings, you know that for 40 minutes it's us against the world, screw the multiple national championships and all the prospects, all I want is effort and class. That's what being a Terp fan is all about.
Tuesday night in College Park was class personified.
Seeing Mark Turgeon, who only had seven scholarship players to start the season, sprinting down the court to jump for joy when Padgett hit the 'and one' to take the lead for good, was inspiring. Watching Mosley, the only senior on the team, step back and calmly hit a three to cut the Miami lead in half, I knew it was no-quit time. Ever since I started watching the Terps, in the early nineties, they were always the underdogs, Gary thrived in that situation. That may not be the coach that Turgeon becomes, but in his first year he's channeled the fire and back against the wall mentality that made me proud to be a Terrapin fan.
The prospect of a tournament bid is bleak, but it does exist. Now 6-7 in conference you would love to see Maryland finish at least 8-8, 9-7 would be incredible, but two tough games loom, UNC on the road and Virginia on senior night. If somehow the Terps can go 2-1 down the stretch and win a few games in the ACC tournament, we may get to see Turgeon and company dance, dance. More realistically we'll see the Terps at home in late March in the NIT, but don't count them out, Miami did and we all know how that turned out.
The future appears bright, Turgeon we're told does what Gary couldn't, he recruits. So as the years go by and Turgeon begins to make his mark on the program, there may come a time when wins are guaranteed and not earned. One day, we may be like the teams in blue, but even if we reach that peak we'll always have nights to remember like last night, a night when a team with seven scholarship players, who lost their point guard for the season, scratched, clawed and fought for the logo on their chest that reads MARYLAND.
United Entertain: I don't want to sound cynical here for this seo hero, but DC United finally gave the home fans something worth watching. Trust me I know, I watched the last home game against New England and almost went in to a coma, and if I had I no doubt would have had someone pull the plug, that un-inspired 1-0 loss left me wary of investing another night in front of the TV, but I was graciously rewarded. The 3-3 tie had everything a soccer fan could ask for. Right from the start there was something in the air, may be it was the storm that had just rolled through the DC area that broke the haze of humidity, whatever the case the next 90 minutes were anything, but routine.
A mere seven minutes in to the game, United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, charged out of his box to knock the ball away from a streaking Toronto FC attacker. Hamid slid full bore sending the attacker flipping through the air. The tackle resulted in a red-card, less than ten minutes in and Hamid's night was done, and more importantly, United was forced to play 80 plus minutes with ten men. (My buddy joked that Hamid wanted to rest up for his National team call up on Wednesday). It should also be noted that when the goalie gets a red card, you have to take a field player off and sub a goalie on for him. In this case it was midfielder Stephen King (Not that One) who had to leave the game after just seven minutes. I would hate to be that guy, adrenaline pumping, a nice sweat beginning and then boom, you're night is done.
The rest of the game featured something the MLS is known for, poor officiating and something the MLS is rarely known for, a lot of goals, six in total.
After allowing play to resume after a clear substitution by DC should have stopped play, the referee inexplicably let play continue while at the same time telling the substitute to come on.
For those that don't know, anytime you substitute a player, the action on the field stops, so basically substitutions and injuries are the only times a soccer game stops. Well for some un-explained reason, play did not stop and the result was catastrophe as United, half paying attention, saw Toronto take advantage and score a goal to tie the game at 2-2. As a player few matched Ben Olsen's intensity, and as a coach he's not far off from his field persona. Olsen blew a gasket and berated the refs for this injustice, the result, another red card. For those keeping score that's two red cards, and zero to a field player, that's pretty rare.
After conceding a third goal, DC looked to have squandered points again as they trailed 3-2. In a timely fashion Dwayne De Rosario, the Canadian Dynamo completed his hat-trick (First United hat trick since Luciano Emilio) after a well-placed penalty kick. De Ro was determined to salvage the game, and almost took the full three points narrowly missing on an attempt during injury time. De Ro, as he is affectionately called, has scored DC United's last six goals.
It was no doubt the most entertaining DC United home game in some time.
Futbol is back: Remember all those god awful mismatched preseason tours that we all witnessed during the past month? You know the ones were Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid and other come over to America to escape the European press and vacation by beating MLS teams to a bloody pulp? No? Come on, don't you remember when how they interrupted the flow of the MLS regular season, covered turf fields with actual grass, score lines like 7-0, 6-0, 5-0, a lopsided All-Star game, the US press convincing us that these teams actually cared or that these games actually mattered?
Well rejoice lovers of meaningful sporting events, because that pitiful display of soccer is behind us, for a year at least, and just this past weekend three major European leagues kicked off. See more about wix contest here.