Looking Back on "Snowmageddon"
March 5, 2013
By Keith Sneddon, Maryland Athletics Media Relations Student Assistant
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Rolling out of bed on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010, I pieced myself together after another weekend, and opened my email to see a greeting from Gary Williams:
Due to the major winter storm that has blanketed the region, we anticipate a number of our men's basketball season ticket holders will not be able to make it to today's game against North Carolina at 2 p.m. As a result, we would like to invite students to help us fill the Comcast Center with our signature energy and enthusiasm."
Only a few days prior, the memorable nor'easter that hit much of the Mid-Atlantic termed "Snowmageddon" and "Snowpocalypse" by local media crippled highway travel across the State of Maryland. Campus was closed, but the game was still on, so my roommates and I gathered our gameday gear and set out for Comcast Center from our snowy Leonardtown apartment.
This week meteorologists are predicting another winter storm in the College Park area, with the potential for snowfall early Wednesday morning. While this storm may not reach the magnitude of the one in 2010, the opponent in town is one all too familiar for Terp fans. With Maryland's move to the Big Ten set to take effect after the 2014 season, this could be one of the last times the Tar Heels visit the Comcast Center.
One of the clearest memories from that game was the walk to the arena. Buses were not running, so students trekked across campus in icy conditions not common in this part of the country.
"The thing I remember the most was the walk over to Comcast," said senior history major Vince Barnaba. "The stairs on the side of Eppley were covered with ice and everyone had to essentially slide down."
Once inside, the energy in the building was in sharp contrast to the cold environment outside. As a freshman it was a true eye-opening experience to see the intensity level rise with a marquee ACC opponent in the building. Tommy Hoff, a senior engineering major, had one distinct memory of the rowdy student section in particular.
"I remember the abominable snowman was there in costume."
Students made up a clear majority of fans and were treated to a classic 26 point, 11 assist performance from senior Greivis Vasquez. Maryland went on to roll past the Tar Heels 92-71 that day, and students emptied the Comcast Center with news of unexpected class cancellations. The noisy home crowd seemed to set the tone for the team that year, as Maryland won their final seven conference games for a share of the ACC regular-season title.
That team is all but gone now, but the spirit and energy generated by this school's fans is alive and well. With the Terps debuting their new "White Ops" uniforms in a nationally-televised game, fans are encouraged to wear white and be loud. A little snow isn't going to keep you away from Comcast, is it?