Cumberland Times-News

Mike Burke - Sports

September 13, 2012

Just another game? Don’t buy that one

Maryland football coach Randy Edsall says he has nothing but fond memories of his time as the Connecticut football coach. The Connecticut football players, most of whom Edsall recruited and then left in the middle of the Bob Irsay night following their blowout loss in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, to a man say that while the manner in which Edsall departed likely bothers some people around Storrs, it certainly doesn’t bother them.

Just another game, the Maryland coach says of Saturday’s match-up at Byrd Stadium when his current team hosts his former team. Just the next game to come along on the schedule say the UConn players.

Mm-hm, and Gary Williams and Geno Auriemma were just the next basketball coaches to come along in College Park and Stoors (It’s just too nice of a day to mention Calhoun).

As of Thursday afternoon the Huskies were listed as three-point favorites, meaning if this game were being played at a neutral site (say, Glendale, Ariz.?), the Huskies would be a six-point favorite. That means the oddsmakers believe UConn is better than Maryland, which, despite the Terps’ surprising win at Temple, is not too difficult to grasp at this stage.

Thus, since there is unlikely to be a raucous sellout crowd going Dawg Pound tomorrow at Byrd, an intangible advantage for Maryland might be Edsall, who should know the strengths, weaknesses and tendencies of most of the UConn players better than UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni does himself, as Edsall is the one who recruited them. On top of that, despite his cardboard demeanor, Edsall could serve as a lightning rod tomorrow afternoon, whether he wants to or not, for given the circumstances, which make even the most ardent Maryland supporter wince, this being just another game for the Connecticut players is an emotional impossibility.

Just as any college football coach will on the recruiting trail, Edsall promised these players and their parents, if not the moon, that it would always be Us against The World. Yet when the The World, or in this case Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson, came a courting, Edsall left without so much as a “See ya.” This just after teaching former UConn running back Jordan Todman a life’s lesson by ordering him to tell his teammates face-to-face he was leaving the Huskies early to turn pro.

“It’s something I have to live with,” Edsall said Tuesday. “I wish I could have talked to those players in person. But the circumstances in our profession didn’t allow that, and that’s something I have to live with.”

If the circumstances were greed and self-fulfillment, then no, they wouldn’t have allowed that. Living up to the example of the face-to-face lesson he was seemingly trying to teach Todman, though, would have demanded it.

“It is a game that is UConn versus Maryland,” senior UConn linebacker Sio Moore told the Middletown (Conn.) Press, crystal clear in his awareness that if the Huskies take the field tomorrow psyched out of their gords for personal payback purposes, they could be in for a very long day. “We have to go in there and play. If we go in there full of emotion like that, we won’t be able to concentrate on what you need to. What we need to do is make sure we execute.”

Edsall, who has maintained that Maryland has long been his dream job, told the media this week he scheduled this game as the UConn coach with the intention of coming back to the area, as he is a native of Glen Rock, Pa., a mere 90-minute drive from College Park. “It’s just one of those things, when I came here, this is where I grew up,” he said. “When I was at Connecticut, I just thought it would be a good game for us in terms of recruiting down here, but also from the standpoint, just to get back down in this area.”

Well, he’s back in the area, and after a disastrous first season at Maryland, on the field and in the PR department, he revamped his coaching staff, turned in an outstanding recruiting year and even took some instruction on working and playing well with others. After two games, the Terps, at 2-0, have already equalled their win total of a year ago and enter tomorrow’s game with their coach’s former team on the mission of approaching it as just another game.

 “People that you (have recruited), you’ve gotten to know, you do,” Edsall said. “You follow them. But hey, you wish them well in every game except when you’re going to play them.”

Or after you lure them to a place they had likely never heard of in their lives, then leave them without so much as a goodbye.

Mike Burke is sports editor of the Cumberland Times-News. Write to him at


Text Only
Mike Burke - Sports
  • Terps need to move and move quickly

    The good news is Maryland will never have to play another basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Goodbye, good riddance, sayonara, smell ya, no more of you, stay classy, we won’t let the door hit us on the way out.
    Until we see you in court.

    April 13, 2014

  • Then again, he’s manager of the Yankees, and I’m not

    I went to bed confused Wednesday night, which in itself is nothing new. But having
    watched most of the Orioles-Yankees game, including the final three innings, earlier
    in the evening, then watching the late Baseball Tonight before I turned in, I was under the impression that the Yankees had won the game when I was pretty sure before watching the show that the Orioles had won.

    April 11, 2014

  • At times we all should allow for a little flex

    Other than when I was a student in the Allegany County Public Schools System, I’ve always believed the most thankless job there is — or at least one of the most thankless jobs there is — belongs to the person who ultimately hits the switch on whether or not to call off school because of the weather. You’re slammed if you do, you’re slammed if you don’t. No matter what you decide it’s no win, but, like managing a baseball team or running a bar, everybody knows they could do it.

    January 11, 2014

  • A treasured member of the family of baseball

    When a former professional football player from our past dies, he is most often remembered as being one tough son of a gun, or a wonderful runner or pass catcher, or as a brilliant quarterback.

    January 10, 2014

  • Bob Giffin believed in the goodness of us all

    The first time the Giffin family exploded onto my radar was at a Fort Hill basketball game years ago in the old Fort Hill gym. Believe it was a City game, which meant the place was packed, the walls were sweating and the smell of popcorn permeated the atmosphere. And through it all marched the family Giffin in perfect formation, tallest in the front, shortest in the back, led by father Lew, mother Donna, oldest son Bob, second son Tom, third son Donnie and fourth son Johnnie.

    December 28, 2013

  • Redskins do that voodoo that they do so well

    This time last year the Washington Redskins were in the midst of a seven-game winning streak on their way to the NFC East title. Mike Shanahan was being hailed as the perfect football presence the franchise had sorely needed for so long. Quarterback Robert Griffin III in the sprint option was being hailed as the single greatest invention since the wheel, and beleaguered Daniel Snyder, the little owner who couldn’t, was being hailed for not even trying as he allowed his two-time Super Bowl winning coach and lord of all things football to pull the strings on all things football.

    December 13, 2013

  • Fort Hill’s approach is all-inclusive

    After Fort Hill opened everybody’s eyes last season in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year (*1), it was a pretty sure bet that the Sentinels, given all of their returning resources, would be making a run for the state championship this year (*2).

    December 6, 2013

  • What resource will the O’s allocate next?

    In November 1993, Dan Duquette, then the general manager of the Montreal Expos, traded second baseman Delino DeShields to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a young pitcher by the name of Pedro Martinez. According to a story in last Sunday’s New York Times, upon completing the deal, Duquette, now general manager of the Baltimore Orioles, told Neal Huntington, then a member of the Expos front office and now the general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, “This trade is going to be hated in Montreal.”

    December 4, 2013

  • No month of Sundays this Friday

    With Fort Hill comfortably in control Friday night in its eventual 46-7 1A West Region semifinal victory over Manchester Valley, and with score updates from the other semifinal pouring in from nearby Washington County, Greenway Avenue Stadium was abuzz, for the unthinkable was about to take place — Fort Hill was going to play Hancock.

    November 16, 2013

  • Mike Burke Ty Johnson works hard, and makes it look easy

    Any summer day you might go to Greenway Avenue Stadium to get a little exercise you are likely to see any number of high school athletes there working out — football players, soccer players, basketball players, any kind of player you might want to think of.

    November 9, 2013 1 Photo