Posts Tagged ‘Byrd Stadium

23
Sep
09

Terp Football Fans: Should I show up to boo, or just burn my ticket?

terpsfanboo

I’m glad someone woke up John Feinstein. He must have finally finished his latest tell-all book about the William and Mary soccer team.  Let me guess: it’s a place where sports still mean something.

Just a couple weeks after making some waves by claiming rightly that ACC football is irrelevant on the national stage, yesterday Feinstein noted the growing swarms of Boo Birds at Maryland and Redskin games. More fans seem to be eating their “Boo Berries,” if you get my drift.  They’ve got a case of the “Boos.”  Their teams “make them sick” to the point where they want to “lash out like Huns after a break-in at the meadery.”  If you take my meaning.  Because mead is an intoxicant.

Sometimes I hear a little too much talk radio in Feinstein’s columns, but he’s right. Terp fans are angry over what could be a dreadful season. And I’m not talking about the overreactionist “OMG SOMEONE NEEDS TO THROW ACID IN DEBIE YOWS FACE” contingent. A lot of the rank-and-file fans seem to be getting fed up, too, and they’re fighting back with their mouths and, more ominously, their wallets. Another Post story today notes that attendance is down at Byrd by nearly every measure: last Saturday’s MTSU game had the smallest crowd since 2002. Season ticket sales are declining. And that’s even before we bring up the luxury boxes.  These people, they just don’t know true poshness when they see it.  That’s REAL particle board, people!  That stuff doesn’t grow on trees.

Does the economy play a factor?  Surely.  But would the attendance dip be as bad if the team wasn’t also dipping like a bag of Scoops at an AA meeting?  (zing.)  No. Look at Michigan, one of the hardest-hit states economically. The Big House is packed every time.  Byrd could be, too.  The team doesn’t have to win the ACC every year — just be competitive.  Don’t embarrass your fans.  Is that too much to ask?  For instance, what about that Murfreesboro vacation I was planning?  You think I can still show my face there?  And I heard they just got a Mattress Discounters.

Bottom line:  we wouldn’t be having any of these conversations if the team was winning.  In many ways, sports is an easy business. 

(Non-topical final note:  If you think the Lions don’t have Sunday’s game circled on their calendar, you haven’t been watching the Skins. Booo, Snyder!)

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26
Aug
09

Terrapins Rising Recap: Episode 7

Fridge[1]

The excitement is starting to build as Terrapins Rising moves from spring practices to summer training camp, meaning these episodes were filmed just weeks (or days) ago.  It’s a great time of year, baby!

In this very special episode, we see some amusing home footage from senior d-lineman Charlie Villanueva  Sam Cassell Jared Harrell. New players and coaches introduced themselves to the team, with the highlight being D-coordinator Don Brown’s observation that “I don’t have any hobbies, but I do like to get BEEEEEEEEP after a victory on Saturday.”   All right!   I also like to get beeeeeeep.

Another cool moment — maybe the coolest of the season — showed about 10 seconds of an actual pregame sideline, with the crowd chanting that “oh-oh-oh-OH-oh” song and the players about to lose their minds from the adrenaline. It was only 10 seconds. But I think I actually had to stand up off the couch, I got so pumped. That’s saying something.

But here’s where it went downhill.  The rest of the episode was bascially one big commercial. Now before you call me a communist or Hitler or whatever, let me say that I understand the promotional aspect of this program.  That’s the price CSN pays for its access.  I like Under Armour as much as the next guy.  I know we all gotta make this money. But I do think this episode got a little carried away.

First, some athletic department suit gives us a “tour” of the new luxury boxes, which we all know have been such a rousing success. I wonder if this little “tour” would have happened if the boxes were sold out.   This wasn’t even the worst part, though.  They spent a whole segment, or close to it, discussing Ralph Friedgen’s weight loss. And hey, the man lost 105 pounds. I take my hat off.  Seriously, that’s incredible.  But then he started talking about this great diet company he hooked up with, and how he can eat the food he wants, and how it fits with his lifestyle, and etc.  They even interviewed the diet company guy — wearing his gay diet company logo-emblazoned golf shirt, no less — who was all like “[Diet company name redacted] was just so happy that our delicious line of entrees were able to” blah blah blah.  What?  But the coup d’etat was 10 solid seconds of Ralph eating one of the diet company bars. Just sitting at his desk. Eating the bar and smiling with chocolate all in his teeth. That airtime could have contained something interesting. But no.  Had to get the pitch in.  Sure, Fridge!  No prob, we’ll do it for ya!  What angle should we film you at while you’re eating the bar?  Before you eat it all, can we do an interview with the remnants of the bar? That’d be an awesome get.

Bottom line:  at this time of year, I believe they should be trying to get us fans as pumped up as possible for the season.  Because in the end, isn’t that the best sales pitch of them all?  Word up.

(Photo credit:  Well, I took it, but the image was from Comcast SportsNet)

18
Jun
09

New Byrd luxury suites: Hope you like laminate particle board!

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Hey, great news! Perfectly timed with the current economic boom, the University of Maryland wants to give YOU a preview of the 64 new Byrd Stadium luxury suites set to open this season. Are you excited to take advantage of this exciting opportunity? I’ve got both my hands in the air.

Suites start at $275 “per guest per game.” What do you get for this money? Well, sir, according to the release, these suites provide you with “all the comforts of home.” Just take a look at that photo up there, eh? Take yourself a gander. Have you ever seen more homely homey digs? I know I haven’t. Each suite’s got, like, cabinets and shit. I think I see a sink. In addition, do I spy some papers on the counter there? For a small upcharge, they’ll scatter those papers on the floor for you. Now we’re talking homestyle. But wait, there’s more! Each suite also comes with in-seat food service. I hope that means they’ll bring me some of those famous dining hall/Comcast Center hamburgers that taste like toilet miasma. Here’s hoping. I could intensify the dining experience by taking the hamburger into my own private restroom area. Private restroom areas? Hell yeah, fool. Boom.

To be fair, $275 per person doesn’t seem like a terrible price for a luxury suite (Nats, Verizon, and FedEx don’t even post their prices online). But judging by that photo, and harkening back to my days on campus, it seems that the university isn’t overly interested in providing a whole lot of, shall we say, bells and whistles. Charging you for them, yes. Providing them for you, no. The release even says that the seats are “vital to the growth of the Maryland football program.” Oh, okay. So buy them because you want to help the team…not because they’re actually, you know, worth the cost. Duly noted. But I think I’ll stick with my nosebleeds, thank you so much.

(Photo credit: UMTerps.com)

19
Nov
08

It’s a Shell Games field trip!

This Saturday’s tilt against Florida State will be HUGE for the Terps.  A win puts them in the driver’s seat of their division. And if Wake also beats BC on Saturday, we’re in the ACC championship.

So yeah, lots riding on this. And what makes it even more exciting is that the Shell Games staff — all two of us — will be in attendance.  Tickets are purchased, spousal permission forms are signed, cameras and hip flasks are charged up, lunch money is taped to our jacket linings. 

To make Byrd Stadium extra intimidating (I guess), they’re encouraging fans to wear black:

This kind of works out for me, as I was planning to wear black anyway — with a predicted high of only 39 degrees, I’ll need it in order to absorb the sun’s precious rays.  On the other hand, I’m getting tired of these contrived stadium gimmicks.  Let’s all wear a certain color! Does it matter whether it’s the actual team color?  Shut up! Hey, let’s all wave dish towels over our heads!  Everyone bang thunder sticks!  Everyone learn the macarena! Everyone bring one red carnation wrapped in a banana leaf!  Everyone wear adult diapers! It’s like the Terp marketing team comes up with new gimmicks, campaigns, and jersey designs just so they have something to talk about at their weekly staff meetings.  But it’s a larger issue, too.  Every crowd is the same now.  Same gimmicks, same jumbotron, same cheers, same songs.  Everyone jingles their keys on third down, everyone hops around when their hoops team is on a run.  Et cetera.   Some times certain sports leagues are accused of being “copycat.”  I guess that now goes for many fan bases, too. Or at least PR staffs.  Hey, you guys want an intimidating environment for the other team?  Sell beer.

Anyway, it looks like tickets are still available for the game.  How is this not sold out?  I feel like there are a lot of Maryland fans out there who get up for the Duke game at Comcast Center and nothing else.  We’ve got a conference championship in the balance here!

I’m sure it will be rockin once kickoff rolls around, especially since it’s at 7:45. Someone’s going to break the campus police’s BAC record.  Let’s just hope it’s not me.  And let’s hope Terphed has some black he can wear so university marketing security doesn’t find him and extract him at the turnstiles.

14
Nov
08

The Audacity of Previews: A Maryland-North Carolina Analysis from President-Elect Barack Obama

Look.  We all know that this is pretty much a must-win game for Maryland. We all know they play well at home, and they play well…when the chips are down. As they are now. I think we can all…agree…on these three things.

Now.  The Tar Heels are nobody’s fool. The ACC is anybody’s conference and they know it. So it is natural that they would look at this game as a chance to…take some shots…at their opponent’s…weak areas. With Shaun Draughn and Ryan Houston, they now have a two-headed running attack, and coincidentally, the Terps have, at the same time, seen their run defense evaporate. Bad news for the hard-workin folks on the Maryland D-line, but undoubtedly. A good sign. For. The. North Carolina. Team.

Look.  I give all the credit in the world to Tar Heel head coach Butch Davis. He has built a solid program from the ground up by emphasizing local products. Those products are no longer being outsourced. So once again, all the credit in the world…to Coach Davis.

Now.  I just want to make one last point here briefly, if I may, and this is very important.  Look.  North Carolina has the momentum right now. Everyone is singing their praises, and they’re favored to win this game.  But Maryland, I feel, is hungrier.  And I think this is Maryland’s time. If you look at the numbers, if you look at history, you will see that. And make no mistake:  Those Byrd Stadium supporters can bring a lot of positive energy to the table.

When they started this campaign, there were question marks. And there are still. Question marks. But as I’ve said before, the Terrapins rise to meet adversity. History has taught us that. And I think…on Saturday…they will rise…once again.  Thank you. God bless you.  And may God bless the Terrapins of the University of Maryland.

Prediction: Maryland 27, North Carolina 24

06
Oct
08

maryland football cancels remaining road games in attempt to win acc

Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen announced this morning that the team is cancelling its remaining road games, and will only play at Byrd Stadium for the rest of the year.  The move comes in lieu of losses to big underdogs in both of their away games.  The team has two remaining away games at Virginia Tech and Boston College, and it’s become clear to the staff that they have no chance of winning on the road.

Friedgen stated that there has been trouble “getting through to [the players]” regarding travel plans.  The coach said that he actually yelled out to key players to get on the team bus before the UVA game, but they may not have heard him.  In a post-game press conference he stated, “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. I think, ‘What more could I have done?’ It’s a question of whether they hear you or whether they want to hear you.”  Friedgen went on to say that key players Da’Rel Scott, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Jeremy Navarre missed the game altogether.  “This wasn’t about X’s and O’s,” Friedgen said. “It was about who came to play and who didn’t.”

The logistical problems have led the Terps to cancel their remaining road games and focus on winning at Byrd Stadium, where they are 4-0 and have beaten two Top 25 teams. The move comes despite the fact that the Terps only had four road games in their twelve game schedule. Friedgen also cited concerns over the coaching staff’s propensity to throw players under the team bus following losses.

The friendly confines of Byrd Stadium.

The friendly confines of Byrd Stadium.




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