Under the covers (and talking soccer!) with the Maryland Terrapins
After all that bitter rivals Georgetown and Maryland have been through over the years, it has taken the sport of soccer to finally bring the two titanic internet forces of THE GLOBAL PHENOMENON and Testudo Times together. Tonight, your Fighting Futbol Hoyas of Georgetown take on the Evil Reptiles to the East in the NCAA Men's Soccer Final Four in scenic Hoover, Alabama, and as usual we're bringing you everything you need to know about Georgetown's next opponent. Be sure to check out our responses to their Qs in their "Behind Enemy Lines" feature, which I have conveniently placed on CH for your viewing convenience and pleasure. Let's do this.
Yay, soccer! Is Maryland's style of the beautiful game more of the fast-kicking, low scoring varietal or the slow-kicking, low scoring vintage?
At the end of the day, it's just good soccer. Maryland has a very strong defensive base led by center back London Woodberry and holding midfielder Dan Metzger, and Patrick Mullins, Jake Pace and Sunny Jane are all great attacking options. When Jane is on the field, they definitely play a faster-pace, but I would say they like to hold back, survey their options, and then pounce.
Do you sometimes envision the DMV area like three separate kingdoms in Game of Thrones? Can we agree that Virginia and specifically UVA is like those prissy Lannisters?
The UVA Cavaliers. via static6.businessinsider.com
YES. And that is precisely why we are breaking off to a new, more unified kingdom (not really but we can pretend).
What is your gut reaction to all this conference realignment stuff? Will the money train continue forever? Is it good for fans? Does that even matter? Will Maryland be able to compete for a Big Ten title? Are you ever going to get used to typing 'B1G' on your keyboard? (I realize that was 6 questions)
My gut reaction was to be quite upset about it, but as time went on (and I realized there was nothing I could do about it), my tune changed to more of this - on a micro level, it sucks, but on a larger scale, it's great. I want to keep playing the UNCs and the Dukes and crushing the Virginias every year because that's what I know, and a change from that will be very odd. But on the other hand, the athletic department is on the verge of financial collapse. I don't know if the money train will run forever, but at the moment the Big Ten is certainly more financially proficient and stable than the ACC, and it will especially help with the non-revenue sports that Maryland has excelled in (keep in mind we just recently cut seven of them).
It is most certainly not good for the fans, in terms of travel costs and "tradition", but it is also good for them in that I'm sure they would prefer the athletic department to continue to exist rather than to fold. But no, I don't exactly think that played a factor in the decision.
Maryland will certainly be able to compete for a basketball title in the Big Ten, which is what we really care about, and hey, Illinois made a Rose Bowl recently. Anything can happen.
And I guess my previous stylings answered your B1G question. Gross.
Speaking of which, what the hell happened with your athletic budget? I know we can read a host of articles from the likes of The Washington Post and SI but would love to hear the perspective of a UMD fan.
Debbie Yow spent a lot of money that Maryland didn't have, and when the football team tanked there was no recovery. It's always going to be more complicated than any of us could understand, but that's the gist of it that I got.
How much Under Armour gear do you own?
I have a Kevin Plank bobblehead under my pillow. It's not really comfortable, but it keeps the angry Blue Devil out of my dreams.
Really though, two jerseys and three shirts. Only one of which I got for free. Under Armour is the athletic department's sugar daddy, not the school's.
Let's talk some hoops. The Roddy Peters recruitment pitted us against one another for one of the DMV's best high school players. Do you think the move to the 'B1G' will help Maryland get kids from the DMV or is the lure of playing against the likes of Duke and UNC twice each year really attractive to locals?
I think the move ultimately hurts football recruiting more (where Maryland was starting to make inroads in Georgia and Florida), but we'll stick to basketball here. I think the lure of the program stays, no matter who they play. The loss of Duke and UNC hurts, but those schools are far enough away from the DMV that local athletes' families aren't traveling to see them there anyway. In terms of Carolinian athletes, the good ones are going to the Big Three there anyway. And it's not as if Maryland will no longer be playing marquee competition - Indiana, Michigan State and Ohio State will fill in just fine.
Where it may hurt is in Virginia recruiting, especially further South. Those kids might decide to stay in-state more, but those farther up north are closer to College Park anyway.
Clearly Turgeon and Hill have made inroads in recruiting and the Terps are headed in the right direction talent-wise. Are you fine with all of the off the court stuff surrounding Hill so long as he delivers talent on the bench?
Sports in general have an extremely light view of drunk driving, but it's not enough to lose a job over. He's a fantastic recruiter, and I haven't heard anything but rumors concerning his time at Kansas State.
How good is Alex Len and where do you see the Terps finishing this year in the ACC?
He's fantastic. He's a seven-footer who has soft hands and can move. He has an outside chance of being the No. 1 overall pick this season, and Maryland will sorely miss him. Until you watch him play, you really can't get a feel of how good he really is.
I think Maryland finishes second surprisingly enough, behind Duke. The team continues to get better.
What do you think of John Feinstein?
Fuck John Feinstein.
If that's not appropriate - John Feinstein is a very talented writer who has an extremely high opinion of himself and his own importance. This happens a lot, and it's unfortunate when it does.
(Casual Note: It's appropriate)
How do you feel about penalty kicks to end big soccer games? For me, it's a massive downer as a game that showcases brilliant skill can ultimately come down to whether a goalie guesses right as to which way to dive. Speaking of diving, do the Terps have a bunch of flopping dudes who just try to draw yellow or red cards? And speaking of yellow and red cards, why do the refs have to be so dramatic when dishing them out? Just throw a damn yellow or red flag and move on with the game! And speaking of the game, how random is "stoppage time?" Isn't this concept of a random amount of time being tacked on to a game completely ridiculous? Just add 5 minutes and get it over with. Feel free to chime in re any of the above.
It's terrible. At least in hockey, the goal is small enough that it's left to skill, not luck. I would prefer either another overtime period or for them to take penalty shots from the top of the box.
No flopping on the Terps - turtles can't roll over when they are on their back.
In defense of the refs, to be honest, if I was forced to run five-seven miles per game with the players and that was the only time anyone paid attention to me, I'd probably want to make the most of it as well.
The weirdest thing to me about stoppage time is that a lot of the clocks just stay at 90. If time isn't moving, DOES THE GAME REALLY HAPPEN?
You finally sit down in (insert trendy Mexican restaurant in College Park, MD). Are you ordering chips and salsa or chips with queso? Or both?
There is no trendy anything in College Park, we don't have the fancy allure of a Georgetown and all your cupcakery. But I get a burrito at Chipotle. Their chips are fine without queso or salsa!
Put the following in order of current DMV basketball supremacy: Georgetown, Maryland.
Current as in this year? Maryland. Over the past five years? Georgetown, easy.
What are your thoughts on the Georgetown-Maryland rivalry? Do you think/want the two schools should play each year? Are you fine with a Comcast-Verizon alternating home and home series or do you think finding a neutral site is the only way a series would work?
Maryland needs to play Georgetown every year, especially with this Big Ten move. The Terps have no natural rivals in their new conference, so they need to have one of those games every year, in a non-conference setting. Georgetown is the only power program in the area, and I think it would be great for both programs.
I'm fine with alternating or neutral. Whatever makes it happen. I prefer alternating, but I just want it to happen.
Final score prediction for this big Final Four Futbol showdown?