Many Marylanders believe there are three “professional” sports teams in the state: the Ravens, the Orioles and the University of Maryland. Many consider the University of Maryland to be the college that all Marylanders call their own, regardless if they went to school there or not. I grew up as a diehard Terps basketball fan myself, and still am to this day, however, I attended Towson University.
Upon graduating college, I heard about Towson’s 10-year plan in which they wanted to expand and basically become “University of Maryland North.” Very few people thought they would be able to reach this goal. While the enrollment increased and the campus expanded, Towson was still just an afterthought when it came to University of Maryland. During my time at Towson, I saw inept sports teams and a college that, in my opinion, not even the city of Towson really embraced. Very few businesses in town had any Towson gear hanging up, so I viewed Towson as more of just a city with a college rather than a “college town.”
Baltimore is the most populated city in Maryland and the city most associated with the state, and we have two professional sports teams. Yet, we tend to only identify with a college team that is located outside of Washington, DC. Something isn’t right about that.
As Baltimoreans we are prideful and love any team that represents our city, unfortunately there has yet to be a Baltimore college team that fans could truly embrace as their own across all the major sports. That is no longer the case. Towson is the largest school with the biggest alumni base in Baltimore and they are doing big things on the football field, while also making huge improvements in many other sports.
If you know ten people who live in the area there is a good chance at least half of them went to Towson. Many of the alumni tend to stay in the area after college even if they are originally not from Maryland.
In my opinion, Baltimore sports fans need a school to embrace and that school can be Towson. The university now has a new arena for basketball that everyone can take pride in and this Saturday the football team will battle North Dakota State for the Football FCS National Championship. While FCS isn’t the highest level of college football, it is the second highest and it produces a lot of NFL talent. I am not comparing this to the Big Ten, which Maryland plays in but, but it is a great brand of football.
So why not Towson? Why can’t it be the college that represents the state? I am not saying local sports fan shouldn’t still be Terps fans, but why identify with a college that is 40 miles away when you have one in your backyard you can embrace?
Towson’s goal was to be “University of Maryland North” and they failed in that goal. They are TOWSON and they represent Baltimore. The time is now and come Saturday at about 5pm they very well could be national champions!
FIGHT ON TOWSON TIGERS, FIGHT ON BLACK AND GOLD!
Follow Marco on twitter @mromanell and follow Southbmore.com @southbmore1