I don’t mean to disagree with my writing partner as everything he has said makes sense, except maybe for his lack of unbridled excitement about football. There we digress. I for one cannot wait for this season. If for nothing other than the simple fact that it has GOT to be better than last year. And if it isn’t well at least we will have plenty of Fire Anderson, Fire Edsall, Fire Loh posts ready to go.
But this year should be different, new coordinators, new schemes, and new talent. Heck we have a chance for some of these young guys to come in and make immediate impacts. Will we be bowl eligible? Probably not, but can we at least flirt with bowl eligibility, I say yes! Okay, that last statement isn’t quite fair as it only takes 6 wins to go to a bowl, so just about every D 1 school has that shot (I refuse to acknowledge the various acronyms that now divide the college landscape, what was wrong with the old way). But I do think we can reach 5 wins and at least keep the “we are getting better” mantra alive.
Keep in mind we HAVE to get better. If you think for one second another subpar season will result in Randy Edsall getting fired, you are CRAZY. To fire Edsall, Anderson would essentially be firing himself, so it isn’t happening. And if that isn’t reason enough, we don’t have the money to pay anyone not to work.
But the main reason I’m excited about Football is the tailgating. I have spent over 70 days of 2012 with my son in a Children’s Hospital. That is 1,680 some hours with a lot of time to think about things, and I am almost too embarrassed to say how many of those hours I spent thinking about tailgating. Tailgating is our only real link to the University. We will never be undergrads again, and most of my friends and especially me, don’t live anywhere near College Park. Take away tailgating and our college years are just a memory of something we did many years ago (pause to reflect on how old I am getting).
With tailgating though, those memories are still being made, and we aren’t remembering Maryland, we’re standing on its campus! It is a vital link in the alumni to college relationship. And that is why I am excited about Football. Basketball season is about basketball, but Football season is about our whole college experience. If any school presidents are reading this (I’m going to assume no on that), they are either 100% with me, or eyeing up that patch of grass for another multi-million dollar building to squeeze in.
The smart ones are fostering tailgating and embracing it for what it is. The dumb ones either don’t get it, or think it gives the school a bad name to have people drinking on campus 6 hours before the kickoff to a sporting event.
So far, Maryland has been smart. We are still given a 6 hour window (I sometimes wonder if I’d be alive or still married if that window was 7 hours!), we still have nice places to park, and we no longer have cops hassling us over the most trivial of issues (so he blew a .38, it isn’t like he has to perform open heart surgery in 2 hours). If that changes, then to me that marks the end of Football at Maryland. A bad coach, a 3 win season, all that we can survive. An administration that doesn’t see tailgating for what it is, we’ll that’s the death blow because having 7 blogs calling for various people’s heads isn’t a sign of a problem. It’s when no one cares enough to write anything, that we have to worry.
Besides, when is the last time anyone lost a tailgate?