With the 2010 Military Bowl matchup at RFK Stadium between Maryland and East Carolina concrete, the Terps have an obvious hometown advantage. But Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen is pleading with the team's fan base to show up.
The ACC Coach of the Year led a resurgence of sorts in College Park. The Terps finished the season 8-4 after an abysmal 2-10 campaign last season. Maryland fans believed that the Terps earned a place at a better bowl and some even say that they will protest by not showing up to a game that is literally in their backyard.
East Carolina, on the other hand, plans to see RFK "awash with purrple." The Pirates ended the season 6-6, but have already sold out their team-sponsored hotel in Washington and team officials expect the 10,000 ticket allotment to sell out. To put that into perspective, bowl officials anticipate a crowd of 30,000 fans at RFK, which includes 5,000 tickets for the military and about 2,500 tickets for District kids.
Friedgen urged fans at a recent media event to show up and support a team that is obviously improving.
"We have a chance to send a message to these people who turned us down that we do support a bowl," Friedgen said. "This is right in our back yard. East Carolina is going to show up. If we really care about our football program, our fans need to show up also."
Maryland fans not showing up is not a protest, but a let down to the players who worked so hard to improve. Hell, Terps fans don't even need to drive! The Military Bowl is not the Orange Bowl (where the Terps played in 2001), but fans can take the Green and Orange lines to get there.