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Feb. 24, 2005

Maryland fans are over the top

by Grace Harter, Page Editor
In the world of college basketball, March Madness is almost here, which means a month of exciting games, intense rivalries and rowdy fan behavior.

The one school that takes the cake in the "rowdy fan behavior" department is the University of Maryland. U-Md. fans are notorious for screaming obscenities at games, starting riots no matter the outcome of the game and viciously taunting opponents. Some of these things are not out of the ordinary (how can games be fun if you can't boo your opponent or at least cheer for your team?), but Maryland fans have been known to take it to the extreme.

During last year's season, fans took a lot of flak for wearing T-shirts that said "[Expletive] Duke" and shouting so many curses during a game with their much-hated rival that ESPN accidentally broadcast some of the chanting and the obscene T-shirts. Students called it "free speech." Other people had different ideas. "It used to be that students dropped the F-bomb on the Vietnam War, the draft and napalm," wrote Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins in an article. "Now they drop it on Duke."

After that article was published, Maryland began focusing on cleaning up fan language and behavior. At recent games, officials have tried to get students to swap obscene t-shirts for appropriate ones that still broadcast the fan's love of Maryland. Coach Gary Williams has begun writing to Maryland's newspaper, The Diamondback, to ask fans to keep it clean while at games.

But what about what happens after the game?

There we run into a little dilemma. Maryland fans don't have the cleanest record when it comes to post-game celebrations. In fact, they're downright awful. Win or lose, it seems to make no difference; either way, there will be a huge riot.

"They win, they set fires. It makes no sense," a worker in College Park was reported as saying after Maryland's win against Duke on February 13. In the last Maryland riot, at least 15 people were arrested after a crowd of about 3,000 kids tramped down Route 1, setting fires and throwing trash. Rioting got so bad in 2002 that Maryland created a rule that allows for some students to be expelled if they commit extreme acts of vandalism and violence after the games.

"There are students who go to great basketball schools all over the country who manage to get a buzz on and be outrageous without crossing the line that everyone recognizes as civility," Jenkins wrote of Maryland's frequent rioting.

Certainly, a win against a bitter rival and higher-ranked team is cause for celebration, but rioting? Usually, lighting trashcans on fire and overturning objects in the street is not a sign of happiness. That kind of behavior brings to mind rebellion; each game, it's almost as if fans had just been told Maryland was forced to forfeit to Duke.

Maryland fans are notoriously poor sports when it comes to Duke. Last year, some fans somehow obtained Duke guard J.J. Redick's cellphone number and began passing it around the campus. Soon, Redick was receiving an exorbitant number of calls from Maryland fans, causing him to change his number. This year, Redick's new cellphone number and home phone number somehow got out, and his parents began getting phone calls from crazy fans from all over the country (not just a few from Maryland). How utterly hilarious. Since Redick was quick to change his number again, it would be a great idea to harass his parents.

That's not to say that Duke is any better. The Cameron Crazies, a group of fanatical Dukies named for Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium, would give Maryland fans a run for their money. They taunt and jeer just as much as Maryland fans. However, they are not known, as Maryland is, for their deranged uprisings after games and destructive behavior. It's sad to think that while establishing itself as a strong academic school with great basketball, Maryland is also developing a reputation for bad fan behavior.

Fans should think twice before engaging in such antics during the college basketball season. Not only are they pointless (though some students may disagree), but they send a terrible message around the country about the University of Maryland, as well as cause thousands of dollars in damages around the campus.

Maryland fans should be mindful of the message they're sending about their school. In fact, there's one area where they should not beat Duke: unruly behavior.

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  • Michael Bushnell (View Email) on February 25, 2005 at 12:30 PM
    The Duke fans have coordinated chants that they come up with, and even though I'm a MD fan, I've gotta say that they are some of the most clever and creative fans in collge basketball. They make Cameron a crazy place to play; spirited crowds make ACC basketball great in the same way that SEC football is the most exciting conference in that sport.
  • sam on February 26, 2005 at 3:23 PM
    rioting is so cool! thats why i love maryland basketball. Comcast center is off the chain when the game is close
  • duke fan on February 27, 2005 at 11:00 AM
    i love how maryland fans are always saying "give us respect, we beat duke all the time." i admit that maryland seems to have duke's number in recent years, but the rioting i see on the nightly news forces me to think of maryland fans at the university in a lesser light.
  • DUKE!! on February 28, 2005 at 6:44 PM
    Maryland fans push the line constantly on cheering. They are some of the most obnoxious and inappropriate fans in college basketball. They are rude and appear to have no lives because they spend so much time bothering players from other teams. For example, JJ Reddick has had to change his cell number five times because he was recieving so many obscene phone calls telling him how awful he was. Most of these calls came from terp fans. That is beyond ridiculous. And then MD fans try to hide behind the free speech thing? Give me a break. There's a difference between being supportive of your own and having bad sportsmanship towards another team. While I'm all for sport rivalries and don't expect "clean games," MD fans push it too far, too often.
  • 06Lisa on March 1, 2005 at 1:13 PM
    The best part about Maryland games is the rioting! Yeah sure that sounds horrible, but would you rather go to a game where the fans don't care and have no school spirit, or a game where the crowd is the main event?

  • Lieutenant Apparent on March 1, 2005 at 1:41 PM
    Thank you, Captain Obvious. You return to your post.
  • dfhfdlk on March 2, 2005 at 6:22 PM
    duh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh HEY!!! YOU SUCK!!!!

    write maryland athletics to bring Rock and Roll part 2 back to basketball games. it WAS the best part.
  • Duke on March 3, 2005 at 9:28 AM
    Maryland isn't even our real rival anyway.
  • Elliott Wolf (View Email) on March 3, 2005 at 9:36 AM
    As a cameron crazy, who was actually present at the Duke/Maryland game down here, I take issue with your characterization of duke fans.

    Yes, we did take some cheap shots at Nick Caner-Medley's girlfriend, but there was no obscenity or anything. Just amazingly coordinated chants. The entire student section even started yelling at "the crazy towel guy," a random old man in the seats who twirled a towel over his head.

    And yes, we too riot...After we beat our real rivals (carolina). Each dorm at Duke has a large wooden bench in front of it, and the University receives a permit to let the students burn them. No arrests. No teargas.
  • danno (View Email) on March 7, 2005 at 3:12 PM
    It's funny to hear from a Cameron Crazy who still thinks he and his Duke buddies to "cheap shots" at Caner-Medley's girlfriend, when in fact, Sports Illustrated said just days after the game that they were duped into the chant. And yes, Maryland fans are a little crazy. And no, I wouldn't want to be driving down Route 1 after a Terps game -- especially against Duke. But this characterization of Terps fans is nuts. A few dumb individuals (aka the people who threw batteries at Carlos Boozer's mom) are to blame -- not the rest of the student body, which generally does the right thing......and a side note on those individuals- as Animal House once said, "And if a few individuals are to blame..., isn't that an indictment of American society as a whole? Well, we're not going to sit here and listen to you as you bad mouth America!"
  • A DUKE FAN on March 16, 2005 at 7:12 PM
  • Z on April 11, 2005 at 8:51 PM
    why are there all these Duke fans in here? GET OUT
  • communist of 07 on April 11, 2005 at 10:34 PM
    TERPS AND MARYLAND FANS ROCK! There was a picture of Terps walking towards a couch bonfire, and you could see my bro's back in the middle of the frame. TERPS RULE!
  • CameronCrazy (View Email) on July 10, 2005 at 7:52 PM
    Maryland fans and students are "wanna-be's" and pretenders. They wish they could be apart of the Duke tradions and famous history so bad they take chanting to a level that makes them look foolish and disgraceful. These actions reflect on their team.
  • Miranda (View Email) on July 13, 2005 at 3:56 AM
    I Luv Duke and They're Just A B-ball Team Like Many Others Doing What They Love to Do, Just Like The Guys From The Terps, Maryland Would Be Upset If We Did All That They've Done 2 Us, I Just Don't See Why We Can't All Just Do a Simple Boo or Somethin', Not Takin' It 2 The Major Etreme, I Happen 2 Know That JJ Redick Is a Really Good Person That Just Loves Basketball and He Doesn't Deserve All The Things Thats Happened 2 Him and His Family Because of Maryland
  • mario on November 29, 2005 at 2:30 PM
    Duke is a great team, but they will get punished by my terps again this year
  • mario (View Email) on November 29, 2005 at 2:31 PM
    Duke is a great team, but they will get punished by my terps again this year
  • travis (View Email) on January 5, 2006 at 10:26 AM
    terps rule
  • Josh (View Email) on January 11, 2006 at 9:11 AM
    Duke and Maryland both suck. Go UNC!!!
  • josh (View Email) on January 11, 2006 at 5:36 PM
    Dukes fans are a bunch of girls.How cute the cameron crazies. How bout the one sport school fans go pound sand. Duke has a good team BUT THEY WILL GET PUNISHED BY THE TERPS
    Now all you duke fans just go cry
  • John on January 16, 2006 at 1:00 AM
    J.J. Redick is the man!!!!!!!!!
  • Megan on January 27, 2006 at 12:12 AM
    I am a student at UMD and I love our team, but I also acknowledge that other teams are good as well. I personally hate the way our basketball rituals make the school look - whether it's fair for anyone to make the general assumption. But the fact is, it is just a college sports game.

    Also, rioting is never a good thing, and it certainly isn't a measure of school spirit. It is however a measure of weakness and mindlessness to participate in such reckless violence.

    All the teams in the ACC are great, I just wish Maryland's rioting reputation doesn't leave a stain for years to come. If the school is smart it will find ways to combat obscene lack of sportsmanship and endangerment to the public from riots.
  • TarHeelNut on January 29, 2006 at 11:20 PM
    Maryland and Duke aren't even rivals... stop trying to act like they are. When you guys win a few national championships come back and try and take our rival....

    And I must say, as a loyal UNC fan, I do think that the Duke fans come up with some amazing chants and it makes me hate them so much more... GO UNC!!
  • Will Smith (View Email) on February 10, 2006 at 10:01 PM
    I am not the famous will smith but my name is will smith bnut I think Maryland fans are the most rude fans in collage sports and they are just jealous because they dont have a great shotter like JJ Redick and a center like Shelden Williams.I really dont think they dont have a good school because there players cant pass there classes.Also they shouldent be jealous about coach K because all they got is Gary Williams.
  • Ashley (View Email) on February 23, 2006 at 3:40 PM
    I'm so in luve with Duke and hate Maryland fans. They are the worst fans I have ever watched. At the last Maryland/Duke game they were cheering in the beginning and twards the middle while Duke was once again beatting them, they stopped cheering, at least Duke fans are loyal even if their team isn't doing so well. Duke is clearly the better school.
  • Andrew (View Email) on April 5, 2006 at 1:32 AM
    Oh..and about riots GO UMD WOMEN!!! Nothing like UMD riots to cheer campus up and bring everyone together.
  • ex-blair terp on April 6, 2006 at 6:11 PM
    we've cleaned it up... after ladies terps brought home the championship, riots were just as huge, yet more civil. Only one student was injured, and that was because a hit-and-run driver struck her before the riot began. go terps and go riots
  • big willy style on February 11, 2007 at 6:25 PM
    theres no reason to even complain about people being rude... its called the real world deal with it... buncha damn babies.
  • Mike Hunt (View Email) on February 20, 2007 at 7:16 PM
    As a Maryland student I'd like to begin by saying that I think rioting has gotten out of hand and isn't necessary. However, the school is also at fault for not designating an area for students to celebrate (like they do at Duke). Having said that...

    One Duke fan made a post claiming that MD fans have no lives b/c they spend their time calling Reddik's cell number. At the same time, Duke students are the ones who spend time creating cheer sheets and camping out for months at a time only to lose to Carolina. That was a weak argument...I thought Duke students were supposed to be smart.

    Duke fans and students have absolutely NO RIGHT to argue that Maryland students are obnoxious and innapropriate. Let me remind some of you of a couple (although there are many) examples. In 1998 Duke students chanted "Junior College" at Steve Francis. Wow, how classy. So sorry that not every one can come from a white, upper-middle class family that can afford $40k tuition. And let's not forget about how they threw condoms at an opposing player one year.

    I'm sorry Duke students/fans, but dressing up as Ronald McDonald (and any other stupid costume), putting on body paint, having line monitors, and handing out cheer sheets does not make your students better than Maryland students.
  • terp fan on July 23, 2007 at 9:45 PM
    you're incredibly wrong...umd is known for having one of the best student body fans in college history (not just for basketball, but for other sports too such as men's soccer). its upsetting to see one call another a poor sport, but you know what they takes one to know one! terps baby
  • Matt on July 25, 2007 at 5:34 PM
    Maryland fans have always had a unique way of "cheering" and "celebrating" and, to be honest, the majority of us make no apologies for it. If you come to a basketball game wearing a Duke jersey we will taunt you mercilessly and if you try to taunt back you may just end up fighting a few of us. If you make comments that we are out of control and out of line we will not "clean up" our behavior we will only take it to the next level. We will not stop rioting after games because.... Well.... Itís just what we do. You see, UMD students like being known as the rowdiest most out of line fans in the country. We like the fact that coach K. is afraid to bring his family to The Comcast Center. We will find and call JJ's cell phone number until the day he dies and most of all we LOVE the fact that other schools (Duke) are afraid to take their efforts out of the PG-13 realm and into our world. People can call us "animals" and "low class" all they want on the internet or in the newspapers but chances are they just donít have the balls to do it in The Comcast Center.
  • Mo Tariq on June 19, 2010 at 7:25 PM
    You are damn right, most people don't have the balls to say anything negative about the Terrapins in the Comcast Center. I am a Maryland student, and I am extremely proud of being a Terp and our athletic programs especially Men's Basketball.

    The 2009-2010 season was amazing. We may not have gotten as close to the Elite Eight, but we played almost all of our games like winners. The Buzzer Beater by Cliff Tucker against Georgia Tech, the upset of the Blue Devils, shocking comebacks against Michigan State and Clemson etc.

    Yah, we riot. SO WHAT! Our country also wages multiple wars at the same time.

    This is who we are. This is TERP NATION!
    • kevin (View Email) on January 22, 2011 at 5:09 PM
      11-7 maryland lmao. NIT baby!
  • kevin (View Email) on January 22, 2011 at 5:08 PM
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