Is your faith in football shaken by reports of physical abuse, coverups, and deifications of child-rape apologists? Is your faith in America and military might and muscular capitalism shaken, too? The University of Maryland would like to offer a counterpoint, which is: AMERICA FUCK YEAH.
Despite football's Very Bad Day yesterday in the NFL and NCAA, and the increasingly inescapable equation of American national identity and big-money sports with hypermasculinized violence, sublimation, and denial, the University of Maryland plans to honor state, country, and multi-million-dollar sponsor Under Armor by literally inscribing its weaponized patriotism on its players' bodies. Via the Washington Post:
Maryland, which today announced a 10-year partnership extension with Under Armour, will wear football uniforms inspired by the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore and the writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" when it hosts West Virginia at Byrd Stadium on Saturday at noon.
Maryland has a mascot, and that mascot is the terrapin. The turtle. Meh. But Maryland also has an alumnus benefactor, and that benefactor is the creator of Under Armor, which has enriched itself greatly by selling shlubs on skivvies that make them feel like gamers. In armor. Poly-blend armor, just like real warriors!
That is to say the Terps will wear uniforms with the cursive script of Francis Scott Key's poem "Defence of Fort McHenry," which later became our national anthem, emblazoned on its helmets and jersey sleeves. Key composed the poem after watching American troops defend Fort McHenry against the British Royal Navy's bombardment on the night of Sept. 13, 1814, during the War of 1812.
Maryland's helmets will feature an outline of the star-shaped Fort McHenry and an image of the flag that flew through the night during the Battle of Baltimore. According to the school release, the 15-star and 15-stripe flag is the only flag in American history in which the blue field is touching a red stripe. The uniforms highlight this detail with red and blue stripes on the helmet, shoulders, pant legs and socks.
Maryland captains will wear red belts as American military captains did during the Battle of Baltimore, and players' names will be replaced by the word "TRIUMPH" on the back of their jerseys. The team's base layers will include the phrase "Conquer We Must," which was included in Key's "Defence of Fort McHenry," but left out of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Also, PATRIOTIC CROTCH:
Last year, "Conquer We Must" Maryland went 7-5 and lost the "Military Bowl Presented by Northrup Grumman" to a team called the "Thundering Herd." America is strange.