Sunday, February 21, 2010

Who Dat in Maryland

Is the University of Maryland the hottest linguistics school in the US? I started thinking about this after reading that Hal Daume will be joining the faculty. We don't normally talk about schools this way, but we talk about sports teams like this every day. So I'm gonna play a little game and cast a few linguistics departments as contemporary NFL teams. While goofing off on this, I was surprised by how similar some of the schools are to their local NFL teams.

  • U. Maryland = NO Saints. Spent the last few years quietly building a top team and now everyone sees how good they are. All around quality in all positions and solid special teams. Depth and breadth in one team. Still adding new skill players, they're looking to the future. Tough to beat. Fun to watch. Can they repeat?
  • MIT = NE Patriots. They still get a respectable number of wins, but the dynasty is over and no one fears them any more. Not likely to be a factor in the near future. Who will replace Brady?
  • Penn = Philly Eagles. Always in the playoffs. Always tough. Lots of weapons. McNabb scares everyone. Fearsome reputation. But the Lombardi trophy haunts them.
  • SUNY Buffalo = Buffalo Bills. Flashes of greatness here and there, but you can't win the big one on special teams alone. Lots of talent has come through, but too many top players have come and gone without staying. Loyal fans, but still longing for the good old days. They need to retain players and show they can upset the big dogs to regain their reputation.
  • Stanford = Indy Colts. Always a factor. Always a threat to win it. Too many great players not to be pre-season #1. 
  • UC Santa Barbara =  Oakland Raiders. Still got some big names. Still can make the big play. But the brash boldness of its reputation doesn't carry as much weight these days. Who's the next Howie Long?
  • UT Austin = Dallas Cowboys. Dangerous team. Some scary weapons. They can beat anybody on any given day. But they can be beaten on any given day too. Need a spark to be seen as a top dog.
  • Harvard = Cleveland Browns. Umm ... they still have a team?
  • UC Berkeley = SF 49ers. My sentimental pic. I've been a fan for too long to give up on you, but the glory days are fading fast. The 80s ended 20 years ago and you're still looking for Joe's replacement. Your Hall of Fame is impressive, but what have you done for me lately?


Bridget Samuels said...

Haha. As a Harvard alum currently at UMD... well, I won't comment other than to say this is very amusing :-)

Q. Pheevr said...

Wait, they named a trophy after Linda Lombardi?

Chris said...

@Bridget, you've moved up, haha. In any other year I would have quipped "...and better weather too," but that clearly no longer applies.

@Q.Pheevr, yeah, the Linda Lombardi trophy goes to the linguist who gives up linguistics for a career that's as far removed from linguistics as possible, haha. I think I'm in the running myself.

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