Facelift, Champs Sports, and Cupcakes

maryland_wins_bowl1.jpg

A great deal of change has occurred across Terrapin Nation and my own personal blogosphere since I left for my own personal semester break to Sanibel Island, Florida. I enjoyed my time off, recharged the batteries and I am now ready to take on the ACC season with full force.

Regarding the new look of the site, I hope you like it. The archives are in the process of being transferred and I have a new sponsor: The Finish Line. If you are in the market for any sports or athletic apparel, please click on the ads on this site and you will help to fund all of the work that goes into publishing Turtle Soup. Now onto the Terpies.
Ralph Friedgen and the Football Terps clearly took advantage of their time off. The Terps pasted Purdue 24-7 in the Champs Sports Bowl. At 9-4, the Terps exceeded all expectations and now appear to be back in the upper echelon of the conference. With Miami, Florida State, and Virginia Tech consistently out-recruiting the Terps it is going to be tough to stay there, but Fridge is a great coach, and we will see what this Portis kid can do next season. Byrd Stadium should be fun again in 2007.

Before I put the college football season to bed, let me just say how boring the bowl season is for this fan. Did anyone else notice that the entire upper deck was empty during the Champs Sports Bowl? There are a multitude of reasons why. The games are meaningless. The corporate sellouts and sponsorships are distasteful to most fans, and there are just too damn many of these meaningless bowls. For the life of me, I will never understand why there is not a playoff system. If D-1/AA can figure it out, so can the big conferences.

As for the money argument. I don’t understand the attraction for these corporate brands. I work in advertising, and I would like for someone to explain to me the branding benefit of a bowl sponsorshop. I knew about Champs Sports before the game, and the ad naseusm commercials that they ran during the game did not make me more likely to shop there. In fact, it pissed me off. It’s not as if there is precedent that this sort of sponsorship works. Didn’t Maryland once play in something called the “Poulan Weed Eater Independence Bowl”? The Poulan Weed Eater brand is thriving today as a result isn’t it? Here is some financial advice (which I am sure you want): when a company whose stock you own enters into a sponsorship agreement with a bowl game, sell immediately. That is an indication that they have no idea how to spend their marketing dollars. They are officially out of ideas and they are just looking for a company paid vacation.

Onto Basketball.

We have not learned anything new about the Terps since the loss to BC. They are turning the ball over too much, DJ Strawberry is not a natural scorer, and Mike Jones is inconsistent. We knew this.

The lone insight maybe that James Gist seems poised to emerge as a force. He is our best hope of getting into the upper division this year. He is the most athletically gifted player on the team and one of our tallest. He grabbed 13 boards against Siena. Can he emerge as the go to guy? It’s either Gist or Jones and I am just not seeing any consistency from Jones. Besides with the freshman and Strawberry also producing from outside, we really need a consistent inside threat. Gist needs to be that guy.

The Terps have one more cupcake on Thursday and then the ACC season will begin in earnest on Wednesday, Jan. 10th. If that doesn’t bring a sellout crowd to Comcast, then our student body has officially been lobotomized.

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5 Comments

  1. RE MD Football: My hat’s off to Ralphie. I thought PurDon’t would roll through MD’s defense, but they finally showed some gumption on D. If Dre Moore comes back next year, with Wiseman showing that he might be a lockdown corner to replace Wilson, MD’s defense will be very good. On O, I think Hollenbach’s graduation will end up being addition by subtraction. Jared Gaither has filed paperwork with NFL to check his draft currency, but I think he’ll be back. If he is back, MD will return 4 starters on the line, with another 2 backups that have significant playing time. All skill positions return, except the unskilled Hollenbach. I think MD will hold its own next year.

    RE Jeremy’s lambasting of the bowls: Did anyone catch the Fiesta Bowl last night? I’m an OU grad school graduate, and I root for their demise (their fans make MD fans look like Dook fans); so I couldn’t have been happier about their loss. What a freaking amazing game. Coupled with the BC kicker’s dream come true game winning kick against Navy (who played their hearts…or Hartz…out), for anyone who thinks that the NFL is better than CFB, look no further as to why CFB has it over the NFL all day long.

    RE Turtle Hoops: Yawn…wake me up when the ACC begins in earnest. I’m sticking with my 23-8 regular season prediction (by the way, check those archives…I believe I predicted 8 or 9 MD football wins and 2 WVU losses! That’s it, I’m heading to Vegas to lose all of my money).

  2. Wheels, I have to admit that the Boise State Fiesta Bowl win was incredibile. In my article, I was referring to the pre-News Years Day games. There are so many crappy games. The corporate sponsorships really piss me off because it is that money that is preventing the playoff system. The crazy part is that the sponsorships are meaningless and provide little brand equity unless you are affiliated with a top tier bowl. So frustrating.

  3. Wheels, I do agree that the Boise State win in the Fiesta Bowl was incredible. What I was ranting about was the crappy bowl games that precede News Year’s Day and the sponsorships that go along with them. It’s frustrating because the sponsorship money is what is preventing a playoff system and it has little if any branding benefit for the sponsor.

  4. Thanks for the nod Wheels.

    Fiesta Bowl was freaking great. That being said, no reason we can’t put four teams in a hat and play an extra game with the winner of the little mini bracket the champ.

    My FFL team is done, The Redskins have been out for months and just in time for the ACC schedule. With my new Tivo technology I will be a TV watching FORCE!!! Go Terps!!!

  5. Wheels. there are no shut-down corners in college. If you can’t tackle in college, you don’t play. Deion Sanders of course is the exception and rule. Clearly he is the devil. See the “both” Pizza Hut ad for evidence. And just because the Warshington football team has sucked for the last decade is no reason to say the NFL is below college ball.

    As for the uselessness of extraneous suffixes and bowl games, take a look at how many dot.com bowls there were in the last ten years and how many of those companies are still around in some form. I checked on ol’ Poulan. They are still around, even if they are owned by a bunch of fish eating Swedes!


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