Some long-time Terps fans looking forward to Big Ten

November 21, 2012|By Don Markus | The Baltimore Sun

Joe Duckett has been going to Maryland games for 40 years, dating back to when he was a kid growing up in South Baltimore.

Now 41, Duckett came prepared to Tuesday night’s game against Lafayette at Comcast Center with a bagful of Big Ten hats.

“As soon as the vote was announced, I went on Big Ten website and bought 10 hats to give them to my friends,” Duckett said.

Duckett, who went to Tuesday’s game courtesy of friend and longtime Maryland season-ticket holder Steve Baldwin, said that his initial reaction after hearing the rumors late last week was “My goodness, what is that about?”

But once he heard the “rationale and reasons” explained by university president Wallace Loh at the news conference to announce the move Monday, Duckett became excited about the Terps moving in July of 2014 

“I think it’s great,” said Duckett, a Millersville resident whose son, Michael, graduated from the College Park campus in 2005. "It gives us an opportunity to get a fresh start in a new conference with a viable financial future.”

Duckett said that the ACC’s expansion to include football powers such as Miami, Florida State and Virginia Tech “really took a toll on the basketball. It’s really not the same league we loved when we were kids.”

The move to the Big Ten will also give Duckett a chance to see new venues and break a long-standing vow never to go to Indianapolis, which regularly hosts the league’s postseason tournament.

“As lifetime Colts fan, I’m going to waive my lifetime ban of going to the city of Indianapolis,” said Duckett, now 51 and a Ravens fan. “I’m almost over the Irsay saga. He’s been dead a long time. This will help get me over it.”

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