September 05, 2011
Maryland gave America's beleaguered traditionalists fair warning last month, rolling a line of 32 new uniform combinations that featured, among other oddities, a white helmet marked up to imitate the distinctive shell of the diamondback terrapin that gives the team its mascot. And still, somehow, the Terps managed to come out for Monday night's season opener against Miami in something even weirder for their rare turn in the national spotlight.
The helmet and shoulder designs are meant to mimic the Maryland state flag, with black and yellow stripes to honor the founders of the original colony, the Lords Baltimore, opposite a white and red cross to honor the Crossland family, which produced the mother of the first Lord Baltimore, John Calvert.
And you know what? Screw it: I like 'em. That's right. The new look is original, it's extremely specific to Maryland, it has Twitter in an absolute uproar, it's probably for one night only on national television and I dig it.
Judging from their play in the first half, Maryland's players dig it, too: As I write, they've already outgained the attrition-ravaged Hurricanes by 127 total yards (322 to 195) through two quarters and lead 20-14 after returning a 'Cane fumble for a touchdown just before the half. Hey, when you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you play good.
UPDATE, 10:39 p.m. ET. It's official: Maryland hangs on to win, 32-24, after a back-and-forth second half featuring four lead changes. The flag hats are now 1-0. How can you argue with that?
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.
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