I want to address the non-existant threat we as sports journalists face, reporter gremlins.
Last week I was sitting in Alan’s class and out of nowhere, he pulled up a TextEdit window on his MacBook.
Turns out, some “reporter gremlins” stole his laptop for exactly half a second when he went to grab a beer and wrote this:How dare these reporter gremlins steal Alan’s computer!
What were they expecting to find?
Donald Trump’s tax returns? O.J. Simpson’s confession?
The man is cleaner than a 1980s East German Olympian.
At first I thought this was a lone instance of reporter gremlins.
Then last week following Maryland’s 74-64 win over Northwestern, the reporter gremlins struck again. Only this time it was my computer the gremlins commandeered.
I came back from Five Guys (bacon cheeseburger, lettuce, tomato, fried onion, pickle, mayo, and A1…soooo good!), to find the gremlins had written this on my laptop.More appropriate, but that’s beside the point.
Reporter gremlins are somehow hacking computers of good and decent sports reporters (maybe they’re sanctioned by the Kremlin…I don’t know).
Then after Maryland decided to play one half of great basketball on Sunday against the Wisconsin Badgers at Kohl Center, they inflicted a second half on Terps Nation that felt more like they were committing hari-kari than fouls.
The gremlins struck again.How can a team go on the road to Evanston and let’s be honest (sorry Alan), completely overwhelm the Northwestern Wildcats, subsequently head to Madison where they led at the half 33-27, and wind up annihilated second half 44-27, falling 71-60?
All kidding aside about the non-existant reporter gremlins President Trump would probably find more reliable than the mainstream press (and not just cause they love attacking and hacking), what is going on with Maryland this year?
They have the same 22-5 record as seventh ranked Louisville, ninth ranked Baylor, tenth ranked Duke, eleventh ranked Kentucky, thirteenth ranked Florida, fourteenth ranked Purdue, sixteenth ranked Wisconsin and twenty third ranked Creighton.
The Terrapins have a much better record than eighteenth ranked Virginia (18-9), but because ACC competition is considered vastly superior to the B1G this year, Maryland is constantly on the verge of falling out of the AP Top 25 (currently ranked 24).
A team can only play the schedule put in front of it. Maryland can’t midway through the season say, “Well Iowa is having a terrible year, so let’s change them out and play Gonzaga or West Virginia instead.”
True Maryland has lost some doozies. Pitt, Nebraska and Penn State come to mind.
But that same Pitt team took down Virginia and last week, Florida State.
Nebraska beat Indiana (at Assembly Hall) and Purdue.
Can’t explain Penn State…
And herein lies the problem when trying to figure out the enigma that is the 2016-17 Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball team.
They go on the road and win eight of ten away from Xfinity Center, but lose home games to (sorry Panthers and Cornhuskers fans) awful teams. They can beat good teams like Northwestern and Minnesota*, but not great teams like Wisconsin (where they won last season) or Purdue.
Purdue remains an interesting case study when evaluating Maryland’s season so far.
Maryland SHOULD HAVE WON that game. I know it, they know it, half of East Lafayette knows it…
If they had scored ONE field goal in the final seven minutes, they would have come away with a victory.
Instead they didn’t score a single field goal…and lost.
Maryland has three more games remaining this season, all winnable, two of which come at Xfinity Center. They’re all but guaranteed a spot in the NCAA Tournament, but if they want to “advance in the Big Dance”, they need to figure out why they keep managing to blow leads, or the Maryland Terrapins will be one and done, something that hasn’t happened in twenty years.
Also, Alan, hope this cheers you up! You’ll probably beat us in football in October!
* This article has been updated. Maryland followed up their shellacking of Minnesota earlier in the season with a Wednesday night matchup at Xfinity Center; the Terrapins fell to the Golden Gophers 89-75.