The Baltimore Sun's Bob Parasiliti recently penned a short puff piece defense of the WaPo-ravaged Randy Edsall. There was nothing earth-shattering about Parasiliti's profile. The column's pro-Edsall bent is not subtle, and Parasiliti is clearly trying to convince Terrapin partisans that the head coach merits a second-look.
Vocal Maryland football fans, however, are not sympathetic. The conventional wisdom holds that Coach Edsall is a stammering, unimaginative drill sergeant, sent from the University of Connecticut to soil the upwardly mobile program crafted and polished by Ralph Friedgen.
While perusing the venomous comments abounding this series of tubes, my head kept wrapping around the intemperate, confrontational language used by the Washington Post's crappy sports columnists playing Salome. And that brought me back to this past Maryland Day, where the number of fans that turned out for the football players' autograph session was considerably smaller than those at Maryland Day 2011. Yet, despite the negativity, despite the personal attacks, despite the cutting accusations of professional incompetence, sitting all by himself at a lonely table was Randy Douglas Edsall. Coach sat there for a better part of an hour vulnerable to the rebukes of any internet warrior desiring to give him a piece of their mind.
If I am a player on his squad, what Coach Edsall did on April 28th was the embodiment of living your word. If a collegiate coach is going to demand accountability from his players, he damn well better not make himself scarce when slings and arrows are directed his way. Coach Edsall has not run away. He has not hidden.
This trait, while admirable, does not win any football games. But it should win some respect and it should win some vocal support.