Well, here we are at the end of Maryland week. Boy, it sure is quiet around here, huh?
This is just a reminder that Maryland plays football in the Big Ten conference, just in case you forget. Whereas many people collaborated on the Rutgers hate piece, this one’s been left to me, an Illinois fan. This is because while Rutgers responded to the initial cultural resistance with a combination of shouting, setting their athletic department on fire and being hilariously incompetent, Maryland has, over the past year or so, been trying to simply do this:
From the Randy Edsall/Interim Mike Locksley tire fire emerged a sensible hire in DJ Durkin, a man with pretty good credentials...and no notable qualities. He’s kind of just a dude. He’s already coached a whole season. Can any non-Maryland fans describe him without describing his physical appearance? A quietly competent initial campaign against a surprisingly soft schedule led to a bowl defeat at the hands of the Boston College Eagles and Steve “Halfback Dive” Addazio while somehow giving up 36 points. Perry Hills became adequate enough to not be funny. Nothing particularly lulzworthy or great involved Maryland last year. On a few occasions, they even donned uniforms that weren’t a seizure waiting to happen.
So, what can be said about the Maryland Terrapins in 2017? A team that might be able to quietly put together a 5-win campaign against a tougher schedule than last year doesn’t really give me any reason to care. The apathy’s not mine alone. That header image is from a night game at home wherein Maryland defeated the defending Big Ten champions.
Everybody knows about Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary to defeat the mighty Miami Hurricanes in 1984. Did you know that, that same season, Maryland overcame a 31-0 halftime deficit against the same Miami team? No, you probably didn’t. Nor do you think of Maryland football as having major rivals despite having been part of the ACC for 62 years. Sure, you could say West Virginia, but in 2015 they lost 45-6 to cap off a run of losing 9 of 10 to their supposed rival. Sure, Penn State was annoyed at Maryland after the latter’s captains refused to shake hands in 2014, and Rutgers thinks Maryland’s a rival due to their shared interest in BTN revenue, but really, they’re kind of forgotten here. You wouldn’t think about them as part of Big Ten Football unless it were brought up to you.
Maryland Football is to the Big Ten what the Eastern Shore is to Maryland.
Hey, even in basketball, they’ve managed to become forgettable. The routine of their failing to live up to high expectations is now familiar. Melo Trimble never really got better like he was supposed to, so it was easy to forget he was still playing this year. Their rivalries with their former ACC brethren are best remembered for the fans’ contributions, not for what actually happened on the court. For instance, the Terps are 63-110 in their legendary rivalry with the despicable Duke Blue Devils, a winning percentage comparable to Illinois football’s 30-67-4 record against Ohio State. When a Maryland fan brings up the 2002 national title, your first response isn’t “oh, that’s right, I knew about that,” it’s “wait...hold on (execute a Google search)...huh, would you look at that?”
So, they’ve brought nothing memorable in football or basketball. But does that mean they’ve brought nothing?
For one thing, they’ve infected our wholesome conference with lacrosse. Surely this rankles Northwestern, as the spread of lacrosse shows that they’re not the only intersection of the Big Ten and extremely privileged trust fund children. However, the Midwest already has a game where you use sticks to fling stuff into a goal. It’s called hockey, and surely you in the D.C. area have heard of it? It’s that sport in which you keep losing despite having Alex Ovechkin.
Furthermore, thanks to your stupid variety of grass hockey, the Big Ten now has a friend with benefits in Johns Hopkins University. This is a family values conference, and now we have a side piece? For shame.
I would also like to point out that the Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse team has a member named Shackleford Stanwick. Thanks, Maryland.
You know what’s another sport we like in the Midwest? Wrestling. Ask Perry Hills about it, since your team hasn’t sent a single wrestler to the NCAA championships since joining the Big Ten. Hey, I wouldn’t normally bring it up, but the broadcasts of the Maryland games I sometimes had to flip through to get to college football games couldn’t stop mentioning Perry Hills.
In conclusion, the next time you receive a truckload of that famous Maryland crab from Louisiana, send the trucks back with your whole athletic department in them. They’ll go back to Louisiana and unload the goods, which will presumably be deposited into the Gulf of Mexico like all other toxic substances drained from America’s heartland.