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To Boo or Not to Boo

I asked a couple players after the game about the boos cascading down on Jordan Steffy. Darrius Heyward-Bey told me that he does not hear it and that Steffy does a great job blocking all of that out. Center Edwin Williams said he does not hear it and that the fans clearly are on the outside looking in and that players are involved in the situation and are the ones with first-hand information about the situation.

Steffy is a fifth-year senior athletically, a college graduate less than a month away from his 23rd birthday, but both Coach Ralph Friedgen and school officials have tried to protect him psychologically from a lot of the fan backlash. That was the reasoning that went into Friedgen’s decision not to let Steffy speak to the media following the game.

That is rarely seen in the college football world, a starting quarterback who wins the game not allowed to speak to the media because of the coach’s decision. If Steffy were unavailable because he was receiving treatment on his thumb, that would be one thing. But the decision was made to insulate the quarterback from media scrutiny.

In a sense, it may come to a point where Steffy feels more comfortable on the road than at home. At least on the road, they boo the entire team, not just the starting quarterback. Many believe some college athletes are public figures. A Tim Tebow. A Vince Young, Reggie Bush or Matt Leinart a few years back. But most of the observers I have talked to about this say it would be hard to classify the starting quarterback of a ACC bowl-hopeful as a public figure who could be open to extensive scrutiny.

Does that make a difference in whether a player like Steffy should be booed? Is it acceptable to boo any college athlete? Should true Maryland fans boo any Terrapins player?

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 1, 2008; 4:30 PM ET
Categories:  Football  | Tags: Boo, Booed, Jordan Steffy  
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I honestly think the fans are not booing Steffy himself. The fans are booing Fridge's decision to play Steffy.

I bet if you ask all Terps fans, most would say they don't dislike Steffy, they just want to see Turner or Portis out there.

We've all seen what Steffy gives us out on the field, and it's not as good as what Turner can give us, or what Portis could potentially give us.

And the fact that Fridge and Franklin put Steffy out there after seeing what Turner and Steffy can and can't do really puts into question their credibility.

Posted by: Sam | September 1, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Nobody's boo'ing Steffy, they're boo'ing the coaching staff for continuing to play him over Turner/Portis to no results. Jordan is a great person and a loyal Terp but so am I...doesn't make either of us a BCS caliber QB! Will it take an almost loss to a 1-AA and/or a road loss to MTSU for the staff to get that? Seems like the same song's been playing since McB graduated. I'll take CT or Portis any Saturday - take the risk with the reward - and let's roll.

Posted by: DrZ | September 1, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

First of all Eric, this blog is excellent. Keep up the good work! As for "booing" college players, those of us who passionately follow our teams can get caught up in the moment and boo our brains out. However, when it comes to college players, we must remember these individuals are 18-22 years old and try their best every time out. It's one thing to boo a player getting paid millions to play a game, it's another to boo a college kid. After all, it's "only a game".

Posted by: J.M. | September 1, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

The fans were booing the coaching staff, not Steffy. And why do they need to insulate a 23 year old man? Are they also censoring his internet use and tv time too? This is ridiculous. If he can handle being a division one QB, he can handle booing.

Posted by: Mariolucasforthree | September 1, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it is right to boo college players. However, I think in this case, fans feel like they are getting the shaft. If Steffy has shown any type of promise in the past, he wouldn't be booed. But he is a 5th year senior that really hasn't shown he can lead a team. If there weren't better alternatives on the bench (Turner/Portis), I think fans would just realize that he is the best they got for right now and give him a break. But given that Turner played well in big games last year. It's mind boggling to see Fridge stubbornly stick with Steffy.

Turner seems like a better option. Fans are a lot more aware of recruiting, so also part is to see if Portis is ready.

I don't have anything against Steffy. He is what he is. I just don't understand the stubborness of Friedgen to play him over the other guys.

Posted by: Allen | September 1, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Make no doubt about it. Fans are booing Steffy's playing and the coach's decision to keep him in the game. He is a great guy and probably a great teammate. But he is a terrible QB - much worse than Joel Statham. And that says a lot. The Coachs' insistence on playing Steffy is going to make the alumni, fans, and boosters very upset. A mediocre Turner in practice seems to be much better any game day than Steffy. And if the coaches continue not to trust Turner, them give Josh Portis a chance. Portis could have done no worse than Steffy in that game. The worry is that Portis will make bad decisions that will lead to turnovers -- Steffy threw 2 interceptions and fumbled and was sacked how many times (twice I think?) He is not mobile and seems not to have any ability to find receivers. Loyalty is a nice thing - but there is not place for it when it come to QB. May the best player play and there is nothing right now to prove that Turner or Portis aren't the best available. Even the 4th stringer at this point is likely to play better than Steffy. Steffy is a great ambassador for the team and for the program; he's just not a good QB. And don't get confused -- he was given a scholarship and is now completing a Masters Degree. He is not walking away from MD without being rewarded for his loyalty. Enough of feeling bad for Steffy. Start feeling for the good of the program.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 1, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

The University of Maryland Football program needs some serious overhauling.

It's ridiculous Coaches continue to persist with Jordan Steffy who has been a bust ... He has been given way too many opportunities and has consistently failed to deliver.

I do appreciate the fact that he a good role model, and an ambassador for the program ... But, that doesn't win you games.

It's a shame that the Coaches haven't had the courage to give Turner the opportunity that he has earned. Let's not forget it was his play at QB that helped us get the 2 wins against ranked team. Granted Turner doesn't like to practice ...But, its and issue that can be addressed.

We also need to try and see what Josh Portis can do.

Time for U of M to go big, or go home! Being an alumnus, and a fan I just don't like the direction in which the program is headed.

Posted by: Alex | September 1, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I am a Terp fan.

The play making or Jordan Steffy or lack thereof makes me want to puke. He fully deserves to be booed along with the Coaching staff who named him a starter.

How many chances does this guy need to show he can play in a real game? He has been with the program for 5 years, and each year some other QB has out shone him.

Time for Jordan to be a team player and step down.

Posted by: Brian | September 1, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

If a 22-year-old man cannot handle booing, it makes me question whether he would have the fortitude to be a starting quarterback.

Fans are NOT booing Jordan Steffy the person. Fans are just voicing displeasure with the coaching staff's obstinancy in listening to common sense. Fans are also voicing frustration and displeasure with his horrid performance on the field. Perhaps we should be attending practices instead so we can see the next Joe Montana?

Heed this mister Friedgen. Instead of hearing boos, you may hear the deafening sound of silence from disaffected fans who have chosen to stay home.

Posted by: Charles | September 1, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree with most - we are not booing Steffy like we would a pro athlete - we booing Ralph for his choice in Steffy. Ralph seem to go for the chart to often.. football is not mathmatics - sometimes go with that gut of his and play the person who will win - not just the person whose stats are best.

I never thought booing was productive in the first place.. makes no sense to me - but as long as we pay for tickets - booing can occure.

Posted by: stevida | September 2, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

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