Maryland has long had the reputation of being a ruthless fan base. It's something we are known for and it is something we take pride in. For every fan that attends a game to actually cheer on and support the Terrapins there is also one who is attending merely to talk trash to their opponent; and he is way drunker and ten time as loud.
But that doesn't sit well with new Athletic Director Kevin Anderson. According to Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun, Anderson is looking to get rid of profanity and inappropriate behavior at Maryland home games.
"Sometimes, I guess I'm old school and old-fashioned. Some of the behavior I just don't understand," he said.
As a Maryland Alum and former member of the organized riot that is the Maryland student section, I can't help but giggle when I read that.
Kevin Anderson's first experience as Athletic Director at a Maryland football game was under the same circumstances as my first experience with Maryland football as a student. Both games were against the Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, and both were close games that went right down to the wire.
Before I began at the University I knew the type of reputation the fans at the school had. But I was still taken aback by the behavior of the fans at that first game. I'm not sure if it was just that they were juxtaposed with the Midshipmen who were the epitome of unity and organization, but whatever it was the ruthlessness of the fan base I found myself apart of still surprised me.
And I loved every minute of it.
But Kevin Anderson had a different opinion about what he saw there and the other home games since then. He wants to get rid of a number of things Maryland fans do that would be considered uncivil; the first and probably most unlikely being profanity.
"From time to time I have been known to use profanity. But I would like to think that … it's probably in the heat of battle."
And that is just not going to happen. The problem is that being a rowdy fan base is what Maryland fans are most proud of. Our major teams have had moderate success recently, but nothing to really celebrate. Our national identity is of the school with one of the most imposing fan bases. It's a label that the biggest fans at the University take pride in and seek to maintain.
To Maryland fans, this is the heat of the battle. There are a number of fans that attend the game in good spirit in sportsmanship, but there is also a section of students who spend their entire time coming up with their most creative insults for the other team. Like a pageant of sorts.
It should be noted that Anderson came to Maryland from Army and the Maryland fans are the furthest thing in the world from the type of order and civility you would find at a military institution.
You might be able to convince some of the students to give up swearing but there will always be that small group that throw insults as a sport. And like I said, they're always the loudest.