In the bowl game box of chocolates, there are many delicious flavors: ones with peanut butter in the middle, ones that are just plain and simple chocolate, and ones with the perfect combination of caramel and nuts that everyone is hoping for.
This evening, Maryland was given the mangled, melted chocolate, filled with that fruity gooey substance that may have been grown at the bottom of that California lake with the new life form, along with the substance that helped that bacteria grow: “arsenic sauceee”.
Yes. Although all week, band members and football players alike have gotten their hopes up for a sunny Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, tonight it was announced that the Terps will instead be playing in D.C.’s Military Bowl, just 10 miles from campus.
As some of you know, I’m a tour guide on campus. As a tour guide, I learn a lot of cool facts. For instance: Maryland has 30 miles of sidewalk throughout campus. The first ESPN college football game was filmed in Byrd Stadium in 1979. If you go to the top bleachers of Byrd Stadium and look out, you can see the Washington Monument.
Our #3 ACC football team, ACC Coach of the Year and ACC Rookie of the Year can see their bowl destination from their stadium bleachers.
It’s one thing having your goal in sight. It’s another when your reward is a $4 Metro ride away.
The bowl-choosers’/chocolate-distributors’ excuse? That Maryland fans aren’t loyal enough, won’t travel well. Apparently the fullest our stadium got this year was to 75% capacity.
Now here’s the part where I rant about the band. The band has had 100% attendance at every home football game, the first away game, and even over 50 of us went to the UVA away game. The football players have of course been at every game, and earned themselves a good spot this year.
But this always seems to happen to marching bands. Administrators make it difficult to include the arts in a high school schedule. (Music programs are the first ones cut, anyway.) You’ll see a high school band get a parking lot to practice on instead of an actual field with grass. Our university won’t pay for us to stay overnight in a hotel room when we do go to away games. Even though we’re partly funded by the Athletic Department, we still have to pay for all of our required Under Armour uniforms, which I’m sure none of the teams have to do. (Another tour guide fact: Kevin Plank, creator of Under Armour, is a Maryland Alum.) Even our School of Music doesn’t consider marching band to be an official music ensemble–although it’s the largest and most public on campus–and does not allow marching band members equal access to practice rooms.
So here’s my plea: reward the band members for once. Reward the football team for once. I should be scrounging for bathing suits for the Orlando Champs Sports Bowl right now instead of wondering if Washington will get its second Snowpocalypse this Dec. 29. Maryland fans may not have stepped it up (and they probably won’t still for this DC game) but the people who are dedicated did. We were all hoping to be get a Mickey Mouse-shaped chocolate this year.