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A Baltimore Sports Bounty of Thanks

I got to thinking tonight about Thanksgiving, naturally enough, and about what Baltimore sports fans have to be thankful for circa late-2012.

If there’s been a better year than this I can’t say I lived it.

To see the Orioles break their epic string of losing seasons, and make the playoffs in doing so, ranks as the greatest Bmore sports moment I’ve ever witnessed. I recall the ’96-’97 playoff teams and the Ravens Super Bowl win but, for me, they don’t compare. I think you’d have to go back to the glory days of the Colts or the O’s championship seasons to match what we saw this year and, well, I don’t have those memories. I wasn’t around.

However you rank it, though, this has been a hell of a year. The O’s did what they did, the Ravens are winning. The only black mark is Maryland‘s move to the Big Ten Fourteen. Which, while it makes financial sense, is nothing more than a reminder that times have changed. The currency of tradition trades at a depressingly low rate.

But then again that, too, is something for which we should be thankful. The braintrust at Maryland showed those of us who prize legacy, history, and steadfastness in the face of difficulty how not to act.

You can always take the money. And maybe sometimes that’s right. Maybe it’s right for Maryland. I’m fairly sure, though, that Wallace Loh et al didn’t care much for anything but the bottom line when making this decision. The fact that the negotiations took place behind closed doors and under non-disclosure agreements pretty much says it all. Take from that what you will. I prefer a more nuanced approach.

But let’s put all that aside. Thanksgiving is a great holiday because it’s a chance to take stock and focus on what’s right. Here’s a toast to all of you in hopes that you get a chance to do that, and that in doing so you find something to love.

2 comments to A Baltimore Sports Bounty of Thanks

  • PW

    The Maryland move was the right thing to do. The ACC tradition is nice and all, but it’s dying. Going forward ACC basketball will not be the conference we are used to seeing. MD would only get one game against Duke and UNC, while most likely gaining a “rivalry” match up with Pitt. In terms of football, the only worthwhile team, FSU, is going to be leaving shortly for greener pastures.

    As far as the financials go, it wasn’t a greedy money grab. Instead, it was a necessary move for sustainability. MD athletics could not survive as they are today in the ACC. More programs would be cut, and more scholarships lost. The AD put it perfectly, “I never want to have to tell a kid that they cannot play a sport here anymore.” Yes, this move was about money, but it was not made out of greed. You can complain about traditions, but I will gladly sacrifice a few traditions if it means maintaining all of the current programs and possibly bringing back the ones that have been cut previously.

    And all this is purely sports. There is a tremendous academic advantage MD gains as a result of this move. The Big Ten is one of the few conferences that has a very strong academic connection as well as athletic one. Now, I’m not deluded enough to think that this was a major factor in the decision, but it definitely is a positive result.

    As far as I’m concerned the only black mark is still to come, the Ravens stumbling down the stretch and losing in the Wild Card round. Their play is not inciting confidence lately.

  • dan the man

    Bye, Cam!

    Also, the Ravens are a better team without Ed Reed. There, I said it.