Jeff White, the fine Virginia beat writer at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, brought up an interesting point that floated through my mind at one time or another on today’s ACC teleconference.
Virginia’s visit to Maryland lands on Jan. 20 – Inauguration Day. For anyone from the commonwealth, it’ll be a near-disaster just to make it to Comcast Center.
That includes whatever Virginia fans happen to make the trek up to College Park for the game. The best two-pronged advice anyone can offer: Arrive early and don’t even think of trying to find a hotel room in town.
So it’s an interesting scheduling quirk, and it’s the first time Maryland has played a home game on Inauguration Day since 1981 (here’s guessing that UMES game didn’t attract very much attention).
It’s also a mild surprise – even for coach Gary Williams.
“A little bit,” Williams said. “It’s going to be a problem in terms of people getting here.There’s no doubt we’re going to do whatever we can to make it as smooth as possible. It’s an 8 o’clock game, and there’s various inaugural balls. It won’t be a problem for me because I didn’t receive an invitation.”
Given how crammed the city will be next Tuesday, maybe that’s a blessing.
Ever the strategist, Williams can already see which portions of his fan base might show up on time.
“Hopefully, our fans from Baltimore can make it because they don’t have to get on the Beltway,” Williams said. “It could be a problem for people who live in Northern Virginia and the D.C. area to get here by 8 o’clock.”
Here, by the way, is the full list of Maryland’s results on Inauguration Day over the years. It should be noted there’s an undated game against Catholic in 1925 (a 27-17 Maryland win) landed on the old inauguration date of March 4:
1981: @Maryland 81, UMES 65
1973: Maryland 76, @Navy 67
1945: N.C. State 57, @Maryland 42
1937: @Maryland 41, Washington College 20