Much like Maryland ... see you later
Looks like I picked a great week to put the Steele Press on hiatus.
If ever there was a week, or a morning, to crank out a blog entry and sit back and let the comments flow in, this is the one. Clemson 73, Maryland 70. I got a text message after the game (to be precise, after leaving Comcast Center, thanks to the lousy cell reception in there) from an alumnus and regular attendee who wasn't at the game, but watched at home, and it read, simply, "NIT it is.''
Got a call this morning from another alumnus, and a regular blog contributor, who turned the game off when Maryland was up by 20, and thus wasn't sure what all the agony and forehead-slapping he was hearing and seeing this morning was about.
In the comments section of my column this morning, blame is being spread among Gary Williams, Greivis Vasquez, all the other players and the program in general. This is one of the uglier days in Terps men's basketball history - not up there with the ultimate, undisputable ugliest day (June 19, 1986), but a lot of folks are really ticked off.
(One thought that just crossed my mind: if your graduation rate is 0 percent, you'd better be coasting into the tournament every year. If you're neither educating the kids nor making the field of 65, then what's the point of any of this?)
Over on "Tracking the Terps,'' beat writer Don Markus is asking if this is the worst home loss in Maryland history, and invokes the Duke game in 2001. That, in the long run, didn't cost Maryland anything except some national embarrassment. This one is less national embarrassment, more postseason impact.
In the midst of all that, though, I say goodbye, for now.
Catching a bug immediately after the Super Bowl and being laid out for two weeks did the traffic on Steele Press no favors, and neither, in general, does the fact that knocking out columns all week and dropping blog items daily, or multiple times daily, is a hard pace to keep up. Not that I ever disrespected bloggers as too many of my colleagues in the business have - how can you make a living writing and scoff at others who do the same thing for no pay? - my respect level has increased from the amount of copy they've got to produce.
Still, this blog will be re-worked and re-imagined (maybe even re-named) in the next month or so and, hopefully, started up again, because when I'm not expelling massive quantities of phlegm, I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity blogging provides me to expand on topics I feel strongly about which can't be contained in three or four columns a week. And, believe it or not, I enjoy the feedback, even the nasty, mean-spirited, racist type.
Thanks to everybody for hanging in there and fueling the fire, and I'm sorry I couldn't keep it going the way I'd hoped. I'll still be in the paper, of course. I'll also still be on WNST's Comcast Morning Show with Drew Forrester at 9 every Tuesday (possibly moving to Wednesdays, but I'll let you know), and on The Sports Groove with Mark Gray on WOL every Thursday at 8:37 p.m.
And (one final, important plug), you can still buy Silent Gesture: The Autobiography of Tommie Smith in hardcover; it comes out in paperback sometime in May.
But for what's now called the Steele Press, it's off to hibernation. I'll do better next time.
Maybe Maryland will, too.