I went to a different college, but I grew up in Bethesda, Md., and no matter what, we were all University of Maryland Terrapin football fans. There are many great traditions.
Below are my top 10:
1) Get Your Keys Out
Why would you need to get your keys out, you ask? The University of MD students actually jingle their keys to keep the noise down on important offensive plays for the Terrapin football team. (Cheering can be too distracting!)
2) The Cannon
Well, of course, every team should have one of these! When the Terrapins are home, a small cannon is fired off each time the team scores.
3) Move Those Chains
This is a way the fans can feel like part of the crew on the sidelines. When their team makes a first down, they "kindly" remind the sideline chain crew what they need to do. The crowd voices a loud "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh", and then follows it by three "Move those chains!" while they all give the first-down signal.
4) Line Terp Alley
This is the Walk of Fame, so to speak, that the team takes from the top of the field house to the stadium to prepare for its game.
5) Fight Song
All teams should have a song. It's a tradition! The Maryland fight song is a great way to get fans and players though a tough game. With "Push up the score, keep fighting for more," and "Fight, fight, fight for Maryland, honor now her name again," this is a great way to celebrate a game.
6) Wearing the School Colors
I have always loved this tradition. It's simple, prideful and makes the ultimate statement. And what's great about the University of Maryland's colors is that they are the same as the state flag: Yellow, black, red and white.
What is Testudo? If you rub this statue of a turtle on its nose, it's supposed to bring you good luck. Students do this on gamedays, as well as when they take exams. Students have been known to even leave Testudo offerings, such as beer or poems.
8) The Spirit Squad
The Spirit Squad is the cheerleaders, made up of male and females, that traditionally cheer for all home games. The Spirit Squad gives fans more reasons to be excited for their team. Go Terps!
9) Tailgate After-party
This was something we did with our family as kids, which was our own tradition. Since we were young, my parents took us to the games, and afterward, when we got home, we'd have our own tailgate, depending on the time of day. There was usually a BBQ, football games in the backyard, and lots of screaming, depending on whether the Terps won or lost.
What does this have to do with football? Not a lot. But a friend whose daughter attends now says that she has friends on the team, and she always goes and sits with the statue, which also includes Kermit. She says a little prayer before each game, whether it's at home or away. Maybe she will start a new tradition for students, players and fans.
Jim Henson graduated from the University of Maryland in 1960.
Most of the family has moved out of the Maryland area, but we still check scores and keep track of our hometown college team.
- Sports & Recreation