Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Last I checked, this was a "big time" program, right?

As readers of this blog and my other stuff know, I enjoy Maryland basketball. Even when it's bad, it's good. There is never a shortage of story lines and intriguing player developments. Is Greivis really that good? (maybe) Will Gary ever calm down? (don't bet on it) Will the fans embrace the team even if they lose more than they win? (only the die-hards). My favorite subplot this year might be just simply watching Jin Soo Kim. He's interesting.

Hell, wouldn't it be a little boring if Maryland just clicked along in the top 10 every year like ... well ... nevermind. Here at Terps Nation, we embrace the underdog role, we even like it.

So it is that to keep myself informed, I often venture over to umterps.com to check on the basics, like the stats and the schedule and to find out which network is carrying the game, and then get annoyed when the SEASON OPENER is not on televesion. But I digress from where I'm going with this, which is online.

I am often amused, but the right word is incredulous, to see that in this era, the basketball program does not A) don't do anything particularly interesting or innovative on their site; and B) does not even make sure the content is up to date.

Here then, is a short list of exciting things you can do on the Maryland basketball portion of the UMTerps.com website:

Watch a video with the click inducing headline "Maryland All Access," with about half the picture missing from the little box, encouraging viewers to buy tickets to the upcoming 2K Sports College Hoops Classic. The only problem is that this took place in early November. Last year.

Link to a copy of the 2007-2008 men's basketball media guide, just in case you wanted to re-read Boom Osby's player bio.

Link to the Coach Gary Williams website, where our fearless leader welcomes you with a "message from the coach" that begins, "The 2007-2008 season is quickly approaching and I am very excited about our team this year." I was too coach.

You can also link to the always fun, "Terps in the Pros" section of the site, which informs the inquisitive reader that Maryland's all-time leading scorer and ultimate hero, Juan Dixon, currently plays for the Toronto Raptors.

Listen, I'm not saying everything has to be perfect. I don't think anyone is going to bitch if you don't have the link to the team Mike Jones is currently playing for in Romania (link courtesy of the fabulous, "Maryland Basketball: Where are they Now?" But wouldn't it be fun if it did? Why shouldn't Maryland's own basketball website keep religious track of its former players in the pros for the enjoyment of its fans?

I simply cannot imagine that there is not a hoops crazy Maryland student who would like nothing more than an internship with the sports information department where his sole responsibility in life is to update content constantly on the basketball portion of the site. A few minutes cruising around to other ACC teams' sites might even inspire some creative new ideas. They could even just look at what the women's program is doing on the web, which is pretty cool. Tons of video and exclusive content.

There was a time, and it wasn't long ago, that Maryland didn't need to do much to promote its men's basketball team. They had great college players, won a national championship, and opened a beautiful new building. The fans came running, wallets open. Those days, however, are long gone. The seats will likely be filled for the top ACC games, but if the early season is any indication, there very little buzz about this team, and plenty of apathy. More fans than anyone inside the program would like to admit, even in the student section, seem to be disguised as red seats. One place where the program could get it right and encourage more and better fan interaction is online; and right now, the Terps are dropping the ball.

1 comment:

Mike Steele said...

Thanks for the shout out for the Where Are They Now blog. The frustrations you have about the umterps.com website are the main reason I started that blog 3 years ago. It took me 30 minutes with Google to know everything that was wrong with an old list of Terps in the Pros I found on umterps.com and I wanted to share what I found with other fans. Now, I sort of root for the university to continue on with their web apathy, because if they did a good job, I'd be out of a hobby. :)

Another good website where another fan is filling in the "what could be" void is TerrapinStats.com.