Vamos Maryland

Despite the often dirty laundry, the meals that are of less than home-cooked quality, and the crippling loneliness at the realization that your only friends are textbooks, college also provides you with that one activity that defines your collegic life and shapes you personally.

crew tefoFor me, that refers to my time with The Crew.

IMG_2606At the University of Maryland we have a soccer team, and with that soccer team we have a Crew. A crew of loyal fans dedicated to bombarding the opposing team’s keeper with family-friendly insults, cheers regarding our eagerness to score a goal, our displeasure with the other team, and our incredulousness over the shoe color of the keeper. And then we sing and then we chant and then we hold our scarves up high, and then we practice our Spanish with a rousing round of “Vamos Maryland” and occasionally there will even be a 90’s theme featuring the song stylings of the Backstreet Boys and Train.

When you join The Crew there is always so much going on, and though you leave exhausted and partly wishing you had spent your time finishing up that Rhetorical Discourse homework, you often get so much more than you put in.

Thanks to my time spent with the crew I have:

  • Discovered that soccer is not just an introductory sport for second graders
  • Made friends that I honest-to-goodness plan on staying in contact with
  • Watched us win 2 ACC Championships
  • Overcame my fear of singing with gusto
  • Avoided drinking at Crew tailgates
  • Befriended the drunkards at Crew tailgates
  • Learned that loyalty still exists in the form of enthusiastic clapping
  • Found that I have a flair for scarves
  • Made friends that I could attend other sporting events with
  • Gotten more than enough exercise by running to switch bleachers at half
  • Attended every UMD home soccer game
  • Broken school bleachers and watched a rivalry game from the field

I may be getting a bachelor’s degree in English and Communications upon my graduation from the University of Maryland, but the scrappy and blurred photos of my soccer game attendance will always be much more valuable.

Vamos. Vamos Maryland.

Esta noche, tenemos que ganar.

1238101_10200614990922377_173688009_n IMG_2568 IMG_2608

Advertisements

Bingo with the Ravens

I love football. I love bingo. But only once a year do those two loves coincide in one glorious event. Raven’s Bingo!

DSCN0922Growing up just outside of Baltimore, I have long been a supporter of the purple and gold, the strong and bold, the Baltimore Ravens. Come game day/purple Friday you’ll see me parading around in my jersey, donning my sparkly raven earrings, and professing my hatred for the Steelers.

Growing up with such avid bingo goers as my mother and grandmother, I’ve been going to bingo almost every Saturday night since I was 10 years old and my mom believed that I could stay up until 10:30 without passing out. Come bingo time you’ll see me parading around the house with my bingo marker, wearing a light jacket to keep out the chill from the firehouse, and professing my desire to take home big money.

About once a year in the summer time my Mom and I faithfully flock to this event. Purple, a women’s-Ravens-support-club-awesome-thing-group hosts the Ravens bingo at M&T Bank stadium (club level, baby!). They provide the purple, the fans provide the passion.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It is magic. (Though not quite O’s magic)

Despite sweating ourselves silly in the line outside (one girl almost fainted so I gave her my water bottle to stay standing), once we entered the magnificently air conditioned makeshift bingo hall, any emotions other than pure joy left our minds.

DSCN0956

Not only did we get to enjoy LaQuan Williams (WR) and his bingo calling prowess, but we were also treated to delicious food, free bingo souvenirs, a beautiful view of the city, and the potential to win fabulous prizes such as signed footballs from the team, gorgeous canvas prints of the players, and a picture with LaQuan.

DSCN0949DSCN0926

No, my Mom and I didn’t win (though our hearts leapt when we waited occasionally). Yes, I had a fantastical night of starring at a Ravens player and marking my bingo card.

So look for me standing in line next year, I’ll be the girl decked out in purple, grinning from ear-to-ear, and sweating profusely.

O’s Magic

Since before I was born, I’ve been an Orioles fan. I may not be the most avid or knowledgeable baseball watcher, but I truly enjoy the sport, and even more than that, I love attending the games.orioles logo

I’ve always gone to the O’s games with my family, but around last year I realized that it had been a good 4 years since we’d last ventured into Camden Yards. So for Father’s Day 2012 (delayed due to hectic schedules and weather complications), I decided to give my dad tickets to a game of his choosing, which we used by watching the Orioles play the Rays.

camden yardsDespite the threat of rain, constant humidity, and eventual loss of the O’s, we had a great time as a family. The beautiful Baltimore skyline greeted us as we drove into the city early that morning for a bit of exploring. We took a stroll by the warehouse right next to the park and paid a visit to Boog’s BBQ stand where I got a picture with Boog Powell himself. After satisfying our craving for deliciously overpriced ballpark food, we took our seats in one of the top decks. But the height of our seats and the fact that they were a mere $17 didn’t deter us from having a lovely afternoon. We could see perfectly and had plenty of people around us to add volume to the cheers reverberating throughout the stadium.

Unlike Ravens games which can get intense and loud, the Orioles games are oh so calm and relaxed. There is a real family atmosphere to be found with all of the children toddling around in their orange jerseys while grandparents patiently wait in lines for the tots’ cotton candy. Despite the child behind us kicking my mom’s seat and playing his video game rather loudly, everyone was so well behaved and courteous, further adding to our pleasant experience.

IMG_2091

IMG_2092I truly love spending time with my family, and the strong sense of community that the O’s could provide for me was great too. Every now and again you just need to know that you’re a part of something larger than yourself, and it may take yelling “O!” during the National Anthem with thousands of strangers to feel that sense of unity.