There’s a lot of really bad news coming out about football lately. We don’t really need to be reminded of that, do we?

But at long last we’ve got something to restore our faith in the glory of the good old American sport. And this time it’s not just a good game or a wholesome player. According to an article in the Washington Post, the University of Maryland has introduced its new special uniform:

Maryland, which… announced a 10-year partnership extension with Under Armour, will wear football uniforms inspired by the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore and the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” when it hosts West Virginia at Byrd Stadium on Saturday at noon.

That is to say the Terps will wear uniforms with 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. Key composed the poem 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.

If this sounds a little ridiculous, that’s because it is a little ridiculous. The new duds will look something like this:


Maryland captains will wear red belts as American military captains did during the Battle of Baltimore, and players’ names will be replaced by the word “TRIUMPH” on the back of their jerseys. The team’s base layers will include the phrase “Conquer We Must,” which was included in Key’s “Defence of Fort McHenry,” but left out of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Really, guys? That’s taking this a little too far. The Terps, after all, will never actually be facing the enemies of freedom on the football field. They’ll mostly just be playing schools like West Virginia University and Ohio State.

The school is known as the Maryland Terrapins, or Terps. A terrapin is a term for several smaller species of turtle living in fresh or water in the United States. The school has a mascot, it’s sort of cute.

This new Battle o’ Baltimore uniform has nothing to do with the humble turtle but, as Adam Weinstein points out in his hilarious write-up of the new uniform over at Gawker, “The turtle. Meh. But Maryland also has an alumnus benefactor, and that benefactor is the creator of Under Armor, which has enriched itself greatly by selling shlubs on skivvies that make them feel like gamers.”

So, you know, they’ll have the lamest football uniforms in the Big Ten Conference but they’ll be Under Armour uniforms!

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer