Dear fellow Terp fan…put the gun down

It’s not overly surprising that, in the wake of what by most accounts is the worst loss of the Ralph Friedgen era, Terp fans are a little agitated. And I’m talking like rifle-to-the-belltower agitated.  Because when you get us worked up, we really know how to pitch a bloody, murderous fit. 

Even as we speak, message board posters are hurling their own waste at each other in a horrifying breakdown of social boundaries. They’re howling for Friedgen’s head, demanding next week’s QB starter be Josh “Maybe if I change my name to ‘Quarterback Draw’ it would clear up any lingering uncertainty” Portis, and generally using any and all disparagements available to damn the lives and families of players, coaches, and each other.

A grisly display to be sure.  Go ahead and weep if you wish…after all, if it doesn’t affect you, you’re not human. But as for me, I want to help. So come in off that ledge, Terp fans.  We both know you don’t want it to end this way. I’ll make us some hot chocolate and we can talk this over.  Okay?  Okay.

Yes, the Middle Tennessee loss was horrible. Horrible. It could be a harbinger of bad things. But on the other hand, remember that these are the Maryland Terrapins you’re rooting for. Remember why they’re so maddening in the first place. They lose the easy ones, but once everyone counts them out, they can do some good things. See Boston College last year. Remember in 2004, when the Terps beat Florida State for the first time in like 200 years, thanks to some unlikely QB heroism from Joel Statham (he was just biding his time). The ultimate example, of course, is the now-famous Valentine’s Day Massacre when the 2001 Terp basketball team lost at home to a lowly Seminole squad. Of course, we now know that helped motivate the team to its first-ever Final Four.

In short, this is what Maryland teams do…they believe their own hype, they get sloppy and underachieve, they lose a bad one, they get written off, they pull some big upset, they come together as a team, and they end up all right. As of late, they seem to be digging themselves too deep of a hole to come out of (especially in hoops), but that’s another issue for another day. Stay with me…take your eyes off the window.

For right now, it may be helpful to remember that the Terps are probably better than the MTSU loss, and their next opponent, #23 Cal, is probably not as good as last Saturday’s 66-3 drubbing of Washington State might indicate. Might an upset be in the works? I have no idea (and I’m not about to predict it). This team has A LOT of work to do. But I think the chances are just as good that the loss serves as a helpful lesson than as the death knell of the 2008 season. So, apoplectic Terp fans, please stop hurling your feces at the computer.  Trust me…you’re only crapping on yourself. Go Terps.


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September 2008
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