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TRADITIONS

The Maryland State Flag


Bringing the Maryland State Flag into stadiums, particularly on the road, has been a Terrapin fan tradition for decades.

Without question, the Maryland flag is the best-looking, most distinctive state flag in the Union. It bears the black and gold crest of the Calvert family (George Calvert and his son, Cecil, founded Maryland in 1634) and the red and white crest of the Crossland family, which was Calvert's maternal family. It was adopted as the state flag in 1904.

For decades, Terrapin fans have raised the Maryland state flag high over tailgate parties, hung it on hotel balconies and brought it into stadiums and arenas across the country. Doing so is a tangible expression of our pride in and support of our state and its flagship institution. Several college and NFL football fans have their own visual or audible identification gimmick. Ours is no gimmick. It is natural and unique. When you see the Maryland state flag, the Terrapin Nation is close by!

Note: Whether raising the flag horizontally or hanging it vertically, the primary viewer should always see the black and gold Calvert crest in the upper left corner (similar to the star field of Old Glory). You can remember this by the lyrics of the Victory Song: “Raise high, the black and gold.” Click here for more official Maryland flag protocol. Click here for a history of the flag.

The Raising of the Flags

The raising of the flags of the State of Maryland and the A-Game Tailgate is usually the first task to be completed upon arrival into the lot. The flags are raised immediately if we're in enemy territory to establish the Maryland section of the parking lot and welcome Terp fans. The flags are raised with the Maryland Victory Song playing and are then properly saluted with the “A.”

The Mini-Flagpole for the Stadium


The mini-flagpole helps bring the Calvert and Crossland back into football stadiums wherever the Terps are playing.

Established just prior to the Virginia game midway through the 2006 season, it is a dagger to the freedom-crushing desires of the terrorists. Prior to the attacks of Sept. 11, one of the greatest things about gameday at Byrd Stadium was the sight of dozens and dozens of Maryland State Flags being waved, on flagpoles, by Terrapin fans. The quantity of flags made Byrd unique in this regard. Since the attacks, most college and NFL stadiums have banned flagpoles, absurdly believing that all American football fans behave like terrorists or criminals and want to beat up their bleacher neighbors with flagpoles. This foolish, lowest-common-demoninator approach actually allows the terrorists to claim a larger victory than they already got on that dreadful day as it takes away our freedom to responsibly fly and wave a flag in support of our team at a stadium.

Team A-Game now counters this by transporting a mini-flagpole into the stadium and waving the Maryland flag in support of the Turtles. The pole is made of simple PVC pipe, sawed into thirds, hidden during stadium entrance, then reconnected using plumber connectors. The flag is affixed using eyehooks, attached to the pole by pre-drilling holes through the PVC, and nuts. All the materials you need for such a pole are available at a Lowe's, Home Depot, your local hardware store, etc.

Construct a similar pole to support the Terrapins and score one for freedom in the process.

Team A-Game and the mini-flagpole were highlighted in Champs Sports Bowl Photo Gallery in the January 2007 edition of Terrapin Times.

Terp Alley


Team A-Game and the Friedgen's Legions provide a flag arch for the team to proceed under while marching down Terp Alley.

Two and a half hours prior to each home game, the Terrapin Nation converges on Terp Alley to welcome the team to the stadium. Terp Alley is at Field House Drive near Riggs Alumni Center, behind the stadium press box. The band and cheerleaders lead the team on the march to Gossett Football Team House. Tradition dictates that the Friedgen's Legions bring their flag, stop by and pick up Team A-Game, and both groups with flagpoles proceed to Terp Alley. Upon arrival, positions are assumed across the street from each other, and the flagpoles are angled to form an arch for the team.

Debacle
Throwing of a hat, shirt, chair, or other person to the ground in disgust in protest of something or to express outrage. Often occurs with Terps' defense on the field, with corners playing 8 yards off the ball on 3rd and 4. Inevitable first down results in debacles add infinitum. The debacle also can be used to greet late arrivals to the tailgate, particularly those that normally arrive early.

The Moving of the Chains
When the Terps make a first down, Team A-Game takes the liberty of reminding the sideline Chain Crew of what they need to do. We begin our reminder with a long loud “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” followed by three “Move Those Chains!” while giving the First Down signal, and we finish with a loud grunt and pelvic thrust. This has been a Maryland tradition for decades and has caught on big at Ravens games. Paul and Neil brought it to Section 19 in our first year as season ticket holders in '99. We have seen increased participation by Section 7 over the years.

Maryland Victory Song
(Click here to hear it!)

Maryland, we're all behind you
Raise high, the black and gold!
For there is nothing quite so glorious
As to see our team victorious!
We've got the team boys, we've got the steam boys,
So keep on fighting, don't give in!
M-A-R-Y-L-A-N-D!
Maryland will win!

Maryland Fight Song
(Click here to hear it!)

Fight, fight, fight for Maryland!
Honor now her name again,
Push up the score, keep on fighting for more,
For Maryland. GO TERPS!
Go on and fight, fight, fight for Terrapin,
Keep on fighting 'til we win,
So sing out our song as we go marching along
To Victory!

Maryland Alma Mater
(Click here to hear it!)

Hail, Alma Mater, Hail to the Maryland!
Steadfast in loyalty, for the we stand.
Love for the black and gold,
Deep in our hearts we hold,
Singing thy praise forever,
Throughout the land!

Baltimore Ravens Fight Song
(Click here to hear an MP3 file of the song!)

Flying high, fierce pride in our eye,
We're the Ravens of Baltimore!
On dark wings we fly, honor bound for the sky,
Over Maryland we'll always soar!
For glory we vie, and our town will stand high,
To our foes we say, “Nevermore!”
And we'll FIGHT, FIGHT, with all of our might
For our old Baltimore!

Baltimore Colts (1947-1984)
Most of Team A-Game was younger than 7 years old when cowardly owner Robert Irsay stole our beloved Baltimore Colts, one of the NFL's most historic franchises, under cover of a March 29, 1984, snowstorm and moved the team to Indianapolis. The Baltimore Colts helped put the NFL on the national map by defeating the New York Giants in the first overtime game for a league championship in 1958 on national television. The Baltimore Colts had (and some may say, still have) one of the league's most ardent fan bases, which made old Memorial Stadium known as the “world's largest outdoor insane asylum” and which supported the Baltimore Colts Marching Band for 12 years following the theft of the franchise until the Ravens' arrival in 1996.

Baltimore remains one of the NFL's pillar communities, owners of five NFL championships in 1958, 1959, 1968 (followed by a loss to the AFL's New York Jets in Super Bowl III), 1970 (Super Bowl V champions) and 2000 (Super Bowl XXXV champions) and home to dozens of current and future Pro Football Hall of Famers. Two of the better Baltimore Colts fan Web sites are Baltimore Colts Mania and Colts Heritage. As in the latter, the Baltimore Colts deserve their own exhibit in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (they are currently lumped in with the Indianapolis Irsays franchise).

Click here for a few pictures of the final game at Memorial Stadium in 1997, when the Ravens defeated the Oilers, after which Ravens players and Colts legends gathered on the field.

Baltimore Colts Fight Song
(Click here to hear an MP3 file of the song! Click here to hear Real Audio band version. Click here to hear MIDI piano version.)
by Jo Lombardi and Benjamin Klasmer, 1947

Let's go you Baltimore Colts,
And put that ball across the line!
So, drive on you Baltimore Colts,
Go in and strike like lightning bolts!
FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
Rear up you Colts and let's fight!
Crash through and show them your might!
For Baltimore and Maryland,
You will march on to victory!

Byrd Stadium


This is believed to be from the 1974 game against Alabama, which drew 54,412 to Byrd Stadium, then the second-largest crowd ever. Team A-Game was not yet born.