As the shuttle drove through the Inner Harbor and passed by M&T Bank Stadium, I couldn't help but look in admiration at the stadium. A beautiful, tall arena of sorts, with purple seats that literally go all the way up to the sky. It's every sports fan's dream, and just seeing all of Baltimore was amazing. I had already been taken away.
However, as I walked through the gates, navigating past a million Penn State jerseys and Maryland hoodies, I asked security guards where I go as a member of the media. Many of them stopped me, and asked me where my parents were, because unfortunately due to my height and my young-looking appearance, I look the part of someone between a 12-year-old kid or a high school freshman (on a good day), rather than the 18-year-old I really am. So, I quickly established the fact that I was media, and I headed to the press box, which was an unbelievable experience. I was in an NFL media room, with food, drinks and even a station for candy that I took too much advantage of.
Finally, while trying to finish a bag of Skittles and trying to find out where to go instead of accidentally walking into one of the teams' locker rooms, I found my way to the tunnel where the players come out. It was from this tunnel that I walked onto M&T Bank Stadium's field. The turf was beautiful, and it was so spacious that I felt like there was more room to take photos.
Both marching bands were fantastic, especially Penn State with it's jab at Maryland, where they played the Maryland fight song in a parody manner. After that, the Terps ran through the columns of fire, and suddenly, the game was underway.
"Keep their offense under control!" I heard one Penn State assistant coach telling the defense.
And their warning was right. Just being down there, you see that some of the players actually had trouble containing Perry Hills and the offense. There were a lot of carries on Perry's part, but when he threw the ball, or handed it off, it truly looked like Penn State's defensive line was left scratching their heads.
Come halftime, I truly believed that Maryland could come back and win. The Terps were showing a lot of push. Watching the players next to you on the sideline, they were jumping around, dancing, getting loud and trying to pump up the fans.
But it wasn't just for the fans, and yes, I am sure of this because there were absolutely (in my opinion) more Penn State fans than Maryland fans. When you're on the field, you can hear and see who gets louder, and I saw more of the blue and white and heard more cheering for the Nittany Lions. However, Maryland players were trying to pump up themselves.
Being on the field for every home game, I haven't seen them get too excited or pumped up on the sideline. They weren't just sitting there. Not one player was sitting for most of the time; all of them were standing, watching and cheering on their team. And it was great to see that spirit back.
And when that final whistle blew, even though it was a disappointing game, all of the Maryland players and Penn State players joined together to shake hands and show some sportsmanship.
I was heartbroken to see the Terps fall, but I was happy enough at the end of the game. They only lost by one point! Testudo was going crazy on the side lines, and I could still hear Maryland pride through the entire stadium, which was almost completely full, mainly with Penn State fans. The Maryland marching band was loud, and the team was getting pumped up.
This is the team Maryland fans want to see. They lost by one point in a game that everyone thought they would get crushed in. Maryland folks kept our heads up, showed sportsmanship and made it exciting and loud. It was an event I will never forget, and not just because of the location, but because this team is showing hope and happiness and positivity. This team is definitely on the road for changing for the better. Anyway, thanks for clicking through some of my photos.