Friday, November 09, 2007

M*A*S*H

Maryland's luck isn't getting any better on the injury front. The roster is starting to resemble a hospital inpatient list, thankfully without a maudlin and sanctimonious Alan Alda. Ralph Friedgen must feel like the hapless officer who keeps seeing his men get picked off one by one. The latest news from College Park is that both Bruce Campbell and Scott Burley will not play tomorrow. Walk on Paul Pinegar will see time in their place. Erin Henderson injured his back on a scary looking tackle against North Carolina and the leading tackler is doubtful against Boston College. Receiver Danny Oquendo will also miss the game after injuring his knee during practice this week. Adrian Cannon saw time against the Tarheels last week and will probably get more snaps because of this injury.

There is an air of defeat around the football team now and sadly they appear to just be playing out the string. It isn't likely to be a happy senior day tomorrow against BC even though this group gets to go out on a prime time broadcast. With all the injuries this team is really almost like a JV squad at this point. Let's hope that they can cobble together a win or two and possibly get to 0.500 overall.

Good article in the Washington Times by Patrick Stevens about how Maryland has no traditional rival in football. Every other team has rivalries that surpass Maryland as the main source of hatred. The games against Virginia always have a certain gravity because the loser is usually destined for a poor season. The Terps had a good few years with NC State recently but that fizzled as well.I'm sure the ACC would like to make BC a natural rival with Maryland for geographic reasons but I don't see that ever happening. In basketball things are a little different because there is always the Duke game, which in a moment a truth most Blue Devil fans will say has become a big game, but even then Maryland is still the bridesmaid. Virginia is more like an annoying little brother who can beat you from time to time but really isn't on your level of skill or maturity. Since the national title Maryland is still in the level of schools that everyone else wants to beat, regardless of the recent NIT seasons. See the recent euphoria by Butler and Miami at wins over Maryland last year. Virginia fans were ecstatic to beat Maryland for the first time in 3 years last season. To me I don't have an issue with the fact that Maryland lacks that one primary rival. Even though the recent expansion diluted the strength of the conference and destroyed some of its identity the ACC isn't some cobbled together mess like the Big East . The natural rivalries, spawned 50 years ago and nurtured ever since by an unbroken chain of coaches and players, are enough for me. Maryland fans can look back on some of the greatest basketball games in history between NC State and Lefty's teams. They can take satisfaction in being the first team to hand Dean Smith a loss in his own arena, of ending Duke's unchallenged dominion over Cameron and the ACC, of winning league titles in the most unlikely of seasons on their rivals home turf, heralding the end of the Florida State lordship over the football crown. Those things are enough for me without the need for a fanatical emphasis on one opponent. If it wasn't for Maryland and Clemson the ACC doesn't exist and it is enough that Tobacco Road has to live with that fact.

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