An analogy of Gary Williams and Terps basketball in a conversation I had last night during the terps 89-87 come from behind win over the 5th ranked Tarheels.
"Hey, you are a huge Maryland fan. Does the herd love Gary or not?" "Oh man are you kidding? They love Gary Williams." "Why is that?" "He personifies Maryland basketball." "How so?" "He's flawed but tenacious and succeeds in the end."
That may have been the most accurate compliment given to Gary I have ever heard. I don't know why I am writing about this, I guess it's because I have nothing else to write about, but that Maryland game last night sort of moved me. I hadn't really been that happy for a team in a long time. I can't quite yet grasp it but it has something to do with a team being an underdog, counted out, and even out rightly disrespected by the national and local press. They beat a haughty UNC team that things they'll steamroll to the final four. This may be true (and my bracket picks will more than likely reflect it.) but don't count out hungry teams with raw talent that are willing to win ugly and fight.
Gary Williams is the closest thing to the genuine article that I think you will find in the coaching ranks of any sport. I hope that I don't say that because his exposure to my spectrum is greater than others. I hope I say it because watching Gary coach and his post game interviews are truely special. Last night after the game he broke down and cried. On the sidelines the man drops more sweat on the floor than a couple in a latin dance club.
Anyway - cheers to Gary and the Terps for their now concrete pleacement into the realm of 64 and best of luck to them the rest of the way. It could be a special team.