Unveiling the Identity of the Maryland Terrapins

Discovering the Maryland Terrapins Nickname, Mascot and Game Day Traditions

Location: College Park, Md. Conference: Big 10 School Colors: Red, White, Black & Gold Fight Song: “Maryland Victory Song”

The Legend of the Terrapins

When the University of Maryland was born from the merger of various state schools in 1920, it struggled to find a distinctive identity. Initially, it adopted the moniker “Old Liners,” but the vague origins and meaning led to its eventual retirement. Some speculated that it honored Revolutionary War soldiers while others believed it was tied to a border dispute with Pennsylvania. Embracing the name “Aggies” for a brief period, the university’s football team achieved a perfect 6-0 season in 1893.

In 1932, Maryland football coach Dr. H.C. Byrd proposed the “Diamondbacks” as the school symbol, drawing inspiration from snapping turtles he encountered during his childhood in Crisfield, Md. The turtle was already a campus symbol with the student newspaper named the Diamondback. The Class of 1933 cemented the choice by donating a giant bronzed Diamondback, and the university solidified its commitment by renaming the student yearbook “The Terrapin” in 1935.

The Maryland Mascot: Testudo

Testudo, Maryland’s beloved mascot, was famously discovered on the grounds of a University of Virginia fraternity house. Following the incident, Testudo was safeguarded in the campus carpentry shop, with the base reinforced by 700 pounds of cement to deter any potential mobility.

Maryland’s Unique Game Day Traditions

“Get Your Keys Out”

Instead of traditional cheering, students jingle their keys during pivotal offensive plays to minimize noise disturbance for Maryland’s football team.

“Move Those Chains”

As a demonstration of fervent support, fans vocally remind the sideline chain gang of their duty following a successful first down, exclaiming “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” followed by three chants of “Move Those Chains!” while signaling the first down themselves.

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