Maybe I'm just being overly melancholy. Maybe it's the mythical male menopause (I turn 54 in few weeks.) But when the Terps announced they were moving to the Big Ten (Twelve, Fourteen, whatever) a piece of my heart died. I've been a Maryland fan since I was in single digits and my older sister went to UMd. I attended Lefty's basketball camp in 1971 and 1972 - and yes, he actually spent time with us kids, he wasn't just a figurehead. Later in life, I was a freshman and sophomore at Md., and returned there to do some graduate work. I remember where I was when I heard of Len Bias' death. I was crestfallen when the Terps blew a 22-point lead over Duke in the NCAA semis, and overjoyed when they won it all the following year. Most of my life I have treasured the ACC rivalries, even though I bitched about Duke and Carolina getting all the questionable calls at just the right moments. But this - THIS - is the worst. The Maryland administrators or whoever makes these decisions are solely to blame for this travesty. Money. That's what they saw. Never mind tradition. Never mind the rivalries. Money. That's the only thing they considered.
But maybe they saw the writing on the wall. In the next few years the ACC will look different. Louisville? Syracuse? Pittsburgh? Sigh. I still have a hard time thinking of Miami and Boston College as ACC teams. And Maryland's decision-makers aren't alone in their pursuit of the almighty greenback. This conference-jumping has gotten out of control. No more Texas-Texas A&M shootouts on the gridiron, for example. This mess has totally shaken my love of college basketball. Who will be our rivals now - Wisconsin and Minnesota? How long will that take to adjust to? If ever. Sure, I'll still bleed red, white, black and gold. But there won't be the 2 Evil Empire teams to make a Terps vistory that much more delicious. I can't remember feeling this disenchanted since the Colts traded Johnny U to San Diego. I'll get over it, but it's gonna take a long time.
So that's my rant. Not really artistic or insightful, but somewhat cathartic. Thank God Opening Day's just around the corner. I could use a little Magic right about now.
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