Talk:Maryland Terrapins football: 1856–1946/GA1

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GA Review[edit]

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Review 1[edit]


At the time, due to the embryonic nature of inter-state travel and intercollegiate sports

Could you be more clear as to what you mean by “embryonic”?

  • I noticed I didn't explicit explain it in the text. Since the lead is just a summary, I will try to fit something in the main body. Strikehold (talk) 09:28, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Actually, I mean like using some other word than "embryonic". Maybe "due to the constraints of inter-state travel in intercollegiate sports. Noble Story (talkcontributions) 11:50, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Okay, I reworded it; let me know if that makes more sense. Strikehold (talk) 13:53, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

...drafted a "football philosophy", an early attempt at a codification of college football.

How can you codify football? What does that mean?

  • "Codify: organize into a code or system, such as a body of law". It is a fairly common term in the context of establishing solid systems of rules for the various types of "football" [1]. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Maybe you could exactly say what of football they're codifying. Like you say in the body, a "philosophy" of football. Noble Story (talkcontributions) 11:50, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm confused. In the text you quoted it says "philosophy"... Since the lead is just a summary, it shouldn't need to get too much in depth I wouldn't think. The question is, do you think it is explained adequately in the main body? Strikehold (talk) 13:53, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

From 1911 to 1934, Harry C. "Curley" Byrd served as the team's head coach and during his tenure significantly increased its strength of schedule.

Try: “During his tenure from 1911 to 1934, Harry C. "Curley" Byrd served as the team's head coach and significantly increased its strength of schedule, as Maryland recorded victories over then-powerhouses Penn and Yale.”

The early years: 1856–1901[edit]

Thus, in 1892, the first official Maryland Agricultural football team, known as the "Aggies" or "Farmers",[2] was formed by quarterback William Skinner.

I don’t think “thus” is a good way to start off a section. Also, being so short, I think this section could be combined with the upper one.

They would go scoreless in that inaugural season with losses to St. John's College, Johns Hopkins, and Episcopal High School. Changed “would” to simple past tense.

Pearse "Shorty" Prough

Is his nickname really necessary?

  • Nicknames during this time period were extremely common, and sometimes players were known almost exclusively by them. If someone wanted to research the matter, they might not necessarily find information on "Pearse Prough" if he were more known as "Shorty Prough". I don't know if that is the case in this instance, but I think its fair to include it, and I don't think it detracts from the content. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

The following season, in 1893, showed significant improvement.

The team showed improvement, not the season.

  • That seems to be splitting hairs to me. The team improved, but the season showed it. Either way, I don't feel too strongly, so feel free to change if you'd like. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

The state championship was controversial, however, with St. John's protesting that they had deserved it instead.

Care to go farther in this statement, and elaborate?

  • Done. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
    • OK, "St. John's protested that they deserved the latter instead". This is slightly unclear, in terms of
  • I gave it another shot. Let me know if that is any more clear. Strikehold (talk) 13:53, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

In 1894, former coach and quarterback William Skinner helped lead...

OK, former coach of what? And how did he become a quarterback ‘‘afterwards?

  • He was coach and quarterback of the Maryland team. The nature of the head coach was quite different in those days, and often the coach played on the team. I clarified. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Did you? It looks the same. If he was the HC and QB at the same time, then you should say that. If, at the time, he was only QB, then I don't think "former coach" is really necessary, as it can be confusing. Noble Story (talkcontributions) 11:50, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Yes. In the first mention of Skinner, it now explains the situation. Read a couple of paragraphs above where you are quoting. Strikehold (talk) 13:53, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Again, the St. John's game involved controversy, with the MAC making accusations that ringers were hired from Lehigh. When Johns Hopkins canceled their game, Maryland arranged to play Georgetown instead.

How about starting off: “Maryland’s game against St. John’s involved...” And explain what you mean by “ringers”.

  • "A person highly proficient at a skill or sport who is brought in, often fraudulently, to supplement a team." This is from wiktionary, and I think the term is fairly common knowledge... Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
    • It sounds rather American to me, so I think a wiktionary link to it at least would be appropiate. Noble Story (talkcontributions) 11:50, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Ah, okay, it must be an Americanism. I added a link to the definition. Strikehold (talk) 13:53, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

and instituted rules which would have placed the Maryland team at a distinct disadvantage.

And the disadvantage would have been...?

In 1896, there was a renewal of football at Maryland.

I think “The following year” would be better than “In 1896”. Notice that you start almost every paragraph with “In X year”, which makes it very monotonous.

and banned smoking, drinking, and junk food during the football season.

Junk food is slang, and probably not what they called it back then.

  • Clarified. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
    • "...and eating pie" Does the source really say that? Maybe it could be general, like "sweet foods", "unhealthy foods", or something. Noble Story (talkcontributions) 11:50, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
  • That is what it actually says. My assumption is that it was served in the dining halls and was probably the only sweets they really had available. Strikehold (talk) 13:53, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

It became clear that Maryland-Baltimore had sneaked three extra players onto the field

Sneaked seems rather informal.

  • No, it is correct. "Snuck" is colloquial, however. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Maryland saw a marginal improvement to 3–4–1 in 1900, but then fell to a 1–7 season in 1901.


  • Everything doesn't necessarily need a source, but for "material that is challenged or likely to be challenged." It is in the year-by-year records, which is cited numerous times elsewhere. I added a citation. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

The first professional coaches: 1902–1910[edit]

Markey re-instated physical conditioning and incorporated a tackling dummy during practice for the first time at the school.

Care to link tackling dummy, or explain it?

but was forced to fill in for a fullback who had been intimidated during the Georgetown game.

How exactly was he intimidated?

Maryland Agricultural attempted to rectify this lack of regulation by writing a "philosophy" for the sport, which stated in part that it would "offer no inducements to any athlete."

What exactly is meant by “inducements”?

  • That is what the source says, I don't think it includes a longer quote. It seems pretty obvious though, I would assume it means cash, material goods, paying for expenses, etc. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I think just leaving it at the direct quote is best, rather than attempting to make an interpretation of exactly what it means. That is, after all, a quote from the 'philosophy' itself, and the reference doesn't really expand on the meaning. Strikehold (talk) 13:53, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

In 1904, Markey agitated for a salary increase.

Is there another word you can use for “agitated”?

  • I reworded that paragraph. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

He would also play baseball and run track and field at the school, where he set the records for the 50- (5.2 seconds), 100- (10 seconds), and 220-yard (22.3 seconds) dashes.

What he did in baseball and track and field is not relevant to the history of Maryland football.

  • His ability at track is surely directly relevant to his ability at football, and baseball was often played by players in the offseason to stay in shape for football before spring practice existed. Also, Byrd is probably the single most influential alumni, overall not just in football, in school history. I don't see how one line detracts. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

The Curley Byrd era: 1911–1934[edit]

In 1912, the school was completely destroyed by a fire, deepening its grave financial difficulties.

I think “completely destroyed” is redundant.

  • Not necessarily, although in retrospect this statement isn't true. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Byrd would greatly increase fan and faculty interest and financial support for football at Maryland.

Simple past tense.

In 1915, Byrd requested funds for the school's first stadium and associated facilities

Why is something in 1915 before something in 1913?

  • Because that is related to the content of that paragraph. It doesn't have to be a strict chronology. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

For the feat, Maryland Agricultural won the state championship.

They won the state championship because they shut out four teams?

  • Yes: "The team shut-out four Maryland state universities". Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

The following decade, the team played an increasingly difficult and farther afield schedule.

Can you be more clear with “farther afield”? Like, actually say they played teams farther away?

  • That has the same meaning to me. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Eight teams from the SIAA split to form the Southern Conference: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Mississippi State, and Tennessee. They were joined by six non-SIAA members: North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington & Lee, and Maryland.

I think you only need to record that Maryland joined. You don’t need to into all that detail about everyone else.

  • Maybe, but I think it is interesting to note, since the alignments of these early conferences aren't commonly known and differ significantly from those of today. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Indeed. However, this is not really relevant to this article. To a history of the conference, yes, but not this article. Noble Story (talkcontributions) 11:50, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I have to disagree here. Those named schools were in the article subject's conference for thirty years thereafter, and as such played most of those teams on a regular basis. Since that is not the case any more, and hasn't been for the past sixty years, I think it is at least helpful to make note of. Six of those teams have been in the SEC for more than half a century, six are now in the ACC along with Maryland, and one doesn't even have a major football program anymore. (Teams play only a very limited number of out-of-conference games each season). Strikehold (talk) 13:53, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

In 1923, the stadium, for which Byrd had petitioned funding, was completed at a cost of $60,000 with a maximum capacity of 10,000.

How about giving the name of the stadium?

  • There are a few reasons. One is stylistic, to avoid saying "Byrd" twice in the same sentence. Second, "Byrd Stadium" is the name of the modern stadium which is different. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Big-name coaches: 1935–1946[edit]

In 1935, Byrd became the university president,[20] and Jack Faber replaced him as the football coach for 1935.[5]

Don’t have one-sentence paragraphs.

  • According to whom? Unlike ideas shouldn't be crammed together and unnecessary lines shouldn't be added, so I don't see the alternative. In this case, it looks like it can be combined with the following para though. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
    • It's fine now, but just for reference, Wikipedia:Paragraph: "One-sentence paragraphs are unusually emphatic, and should be used sparingly." I don't think the intention was for to be exceptionally emphatic. But it's fixed, so it doesn't matter. Noble Story (talkcontributions) 11:50, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

In the homecoming game...

Homecoming game? What’s a homecoming game?

The Terrapins' two losses came against Penn and Penn State—which was the second game in a series that would bedevil Maryland throughout its entire duration.

When you say “which”, are you referring to Penn or Penn State, or both of them? Also, say “a rivalry between the two teams” or something like that. “A series” is really unclear.

At the end of the season, Maryland were declared the Southern Conference champions. It was their first national conference championship.

Could be combined.

Both the following two years, 1938 and 1939, saw Dobson's teams accumulate 2–7 records, and he was replaced by Jack Faber. However, Faber did not have much more success, going 2–6–1 in 1940 and 3–5–1 in 1941.

Could be combined.

  • The concepts are different enough to warrant separating. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

In 1942, Clark Shaughnessy was brought on board as head coach. Shaughnessy had achieved fame at Stanford, where he installed his quarterback-centric version of the T-formation as his primary offensive scheme. In response, Glenn "Pop" Warner had said, "If Stanford wins a single game with that crazy formation, you can throw all the football I ever knew in the Pacific Ocean." Stanford, which had gone 1–7–1 the previous season, went undefeated in Shaughnessy's first year, won the Rose Bowl, and earned the number-two ranking in the final AP Poll. Shaughnessy was named 1940 College Coach of the Year for the turnaround performance.

This whole thing really isn’t relevant to Maryland history. You need to summarize it more.

  • I trimmed it slightly, but have to disagree somewhat when you say it is irrelevant. The system he used was what he brought to Maryland; Pop Warner is one of the most early innovative coaches and his opinion of that system is noteworthy. It also ties in to the idea that Byrd was looking for a big-name coach to bring success to Maryland.

After one season, Shaughnessy left Maryland for Pittsburgh.


  • Like I said earlier, it seems a relatively uncontroversial statement, but I added another cite. Strikehold (talk) 06:00, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

In 1925, he took over at Minnesota, which had posted a 3–3–2 record the prior season, and by 1927 had them achieve a share of the Big Ten championship.

Try: “...and led them to a share of the Big Ten championship in 1927.”

However, at Maryland, when Spears accumulated just 5–12–1 after two seasons, he too was replaced.

“accumulated just 5-12-1” is ungrammatical. Accumulated what?

Noble Story (talkcontributions) 03:11, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

OK, looks like there are just a few more things to do before these are all finished, and I can post part 2. Noble Story (talkcontributions) 07:34, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Seems I missed a few comments with my first response, but I think I addressed them all now. It is kind of hard to read as written. Do you think you could use bullet points for your next set of remarks so I don't miss any? Strikehold (talk) 09:28, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Review 2[edit]

These are the few new corrections not related to the previous comments: Against Yale, Maryland had led 14–12 at halftime. A referee ruled a Maryland drop kick incomplete, while Byrd claimed it had been good by a "country mile." I'm thinking a good way to reword would be: "In a two-point loss to Yale, Maryland had led 14–12, but a referee ruled a Maryland drop kick incomplete, which Byrd claimed had been good by a "country mile".

End Bill "Zeke" Supplee's performance against Penn and Yale resulted in him being named an All-American by the Associated Press. Supplee was the first Maryland player to be honored as such. Another combination: "...being named an All-American by the Associated Press, the first Maryland player to be honored as such."

  • I reworded it, which I think makes it more streamlined, but still in two sentences. I prefer to try to limit sentences to two or three clauses for clarity's sake. Strikehold (talk) 13:53, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

and the football team was referred to as the "Terrapins", in addition to the older nicknames, at least by 1928. at least by -> as early as.

and Jack Faber replaced him as the football coach for that season.

And what happened in that season? You don't say.

  • Nothing all that noteworthy, as far as I know. I added a blurb to the end of the sentence about what record he compiled in that season. Year-by-year results are covered in Maryland Terrapins football seasons linked at the bottom if anyone is curious. Strikehold (talk) 13:53, 19 April 2009 (UTC)


I'm just curious: Is the split for the history articles arbitrary, or did something special happen in that year?

  • It is kind of the college football project's M.O. to combined groups of seasons that might not be very noteworthy individually into coaching tenures. For a lot of different, often short-lived, tenures it is sometimes easiest to just combined them, like in this article. Jim Tatum became coach in 1947, and his tenure is covered in another article. He was the most successful coach in school history, so it made for a logical point to break. Strikehold (talk) 13:53, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Also, a biggie, before this can be passed. This article uses current ref (CR) 1 a lot (19 times by my count). But since CR1 is a book, I think you need to split up those references, and quote individual page number(s).

  • Is it a big deal? It is a range of 23 pages (as cited), and since the book is on Google Books, it is easy to search by keyword. I'm not sure.. Strikehold (talk) 14:00, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I think it is. As you say, it's only 23 pages, so outline individual pages should be relatively easy. I believe that's the last step before being a GA. Noble Story (talkcontributions) 13:50, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Alright, ref 1 is now cited by page number. Strikehold (talk) 15:20, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Other than that, though, this is getting pretty close to ship-shape. Noble Story (talkcontributions) 11:50, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Well, it looks like a pass. Congratulations. Noble Story (talkcontributions) 02:07, 25 April 2009 (UTC)