A column by Bob Hertzel for the Times West Virginian
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Word came out of College Park, Maryland, this week that a tortoise can change its shell and the Terrapins, who will face off at home against West Virginia on Saturday, will do so wearing some slick, patriotic new uniforms.
The announcement was made in conjunction with the school signing a 10-year extension with Under Armour, stating they will wear uniforms that pay homage to the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore at Fort McHenry and the Star Spangled Banner.
They opted not let a little thing like the fact that they are located just inside the Washington, D.C., beltway and not Baltimore interfere with a good gimmick that will net them untold thousands of dollars in uniform shirt sales.
There once was a time when it was considered revolutionary to have players names put on the backs of their uniforms — something that led to many of the legal problems the NCAA has had in the last few years as they have not been allowed to sell school shirts with players names, something that is sure to change now that they can use players’ names and likenesses for pay.
But this uniform is going to have, according to the Washington Post, “the cursive script of Francis Scott Key’s poem ‘Defence of Fort McHenry,’ which later became our national anthem, emblazoned on its helmets and jersey sleeves.”
That poem was written by Key after watching American troops defend Fort McHenry against the British Royal Navy’s bombardment on the night of Sept. 13, 1814, during the War of 1812…