Dear Testudo Times readers,
I’ve been going back and forth about how I wanted to start this letter, so I’ll kick it off with this: I want to thank you all for following along with Testudo Times’ coverage of Maryland athletics. Now, this is not a goodbye or an announcement that coverage is stopping in any way, but I wanted to address you all as we enter day four without sports. Some of us are probably handling it better than others, but if I’m being completely honest, I certainly am not one of them. Anyone who knows me personally would probably describe me as a workaholic. In fairness, I am, but it’s because I love what I do. I love sports and truly consider myself lucky to be able to share the stories behind teams, coaches and athletes through my work. And even if it isn’t for work, you can probably find me watching random college basketball games or some sort of sporting event with the little free time I have. So there is now a big void, which I’m sure many of you are facing as well, as we take on these unprecedented times. I’d like to take this letter to share some of my thoughts on the abrupt end to the season for Maryland men’s basketball (not that the other sports aren’t equally as important, but because that is the team I covered the most intimately over the past three years) before explaining our plan for the site moving forward.
I’ve been waiting for someone to tell me I’ve been Punk’d. It all feels so unreal, but this is in fact reality. The sports world has been forced to a jarring holt. What felt like the workings of a dream season for Maryland has abruptly ended and we’ll never get to see this Terp group on the floor together again. We’ll never get to see Anthony Cowan Jr. suit up again in red, black, white and gold. He spent all year with the goal of a Final Four run in mind and pushed every step of the way with a desire to garner banners and rings, to give College Park a piece of some glory. We’ll never know how far this team could have gone. We’ll never know what the Bowie, Maryland, native guard had left in the tank. We’ll never know if this team had just turned a corner and was in store for a historic run. We are simply left with the world feeling turned on its head and a plethora of unknowns.
People may have thought I was a little naive throughout the season, clinging on to my prediction that Maryland would make a Final Four. And while the team certainly could have when playing at its best, maybe I was a little — I guess I’ll never know now. But I do know that there was something special about this group. There are ways to back that up with statistics and such, but it was more so a gut feeling I could sense every time I talked to the players. I sensed it every time I covered one of those magical comebacks, like when Darryl Morsell drained a game-winning triple to win at Minnesota, or when the Terps went on a 14-0 run late to defeat Michigan State in East Lansing. And after each victory, one message remained: they hadn’t done anything yet. They weren’t even close to their goals. But now, those goals will never be fulfilled, and there’s absolutely nothing players and coaches could have done to change that. The team always said it could control what it could control, and this pandemic was simply too big for anyone.
It clearly was too big for me too. There were a lot more articles I wanted to write and many stories I hoped to uncover and share with you all this season. But I want to assure you all that we will continue to produce as much content as possible as we navigate through these uncharted waters. After all, anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I likely could not function for too long without doing what I love — writing about sports and sharing stories. Let’s not find out what that would come too, shall we? There’s no question that this won’t be the spring coverage we had planned, but since taking over the site I have committed myself to ensuring that Testudo Times produces the highest quality and range of content, and that will continue — just in a different form.
We’ll be looking back at the seasons for each team, as well as the year for Maryland athletics as a whole. We’ll be digging through old teams and moments. We’ll be continuing to produce the ouTTakes podcast, as well as other podcast content. And we’ll be producing features as much as the circumstances allow. Maybe we’ll even throw in some fun editor Q/As or sports movie reviews. Those are just a few ideas we’ve been working on (more are coming, for sure), and we of course would love to hear what content you’d enjoy seeing. I’d like to think that my staff and I have elevated Testudo Times to another level over the past year, and we won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
Thanks for your continued support,
Managing Editor of Testudo Times