SI poll of Marylanders has some surprises

August 31, 2003|by MARK KELLER

I don't await my Sports Illustrated with bated breath every week, as some readers of the magazine do. But when I saw that this week's issue was the NFL Preview edition, I was eager to get into it.

(Hey, there's a fantasy football draft in a few days for which I've done absolutely NO preparation.)

Several weeks back, the magazine - which is celebrating its 50th anniversary - began running stories and polls on a different state each week. This week, Maryland was the featured state.

Some of the poll results were a bit surprising, others not so much.

  • Surprise - Penn State football was voted the third favorite college team.

  • Duh - Maryland basketball was first, followed by Maryland football. Suffice it to say, THAT poll was taken before Thursday.

  • Surprise - The state's biggest rivalry was Ravens-Redskins?!?!

  • Duh - Robert Irsay, the late owner of the Colts, was named "Enemy of the state." And wouldn't you know, a couple of weeks back Art Modell took the honor for Ohio.

  • Surprise - The second favorite sport to watch on TV was the Winter Olympics.

  • Duh - 44 percent of Marylanders don't have a favorite NHL team, and 39 percent don't claim an NBA favorite.

The magazine unknowingly also reinforced the notion that so many people in the Baltimore-Washington metro area seem to have - that the state of Maryland ends at Braddock Mountain.


On a map of the state, there are numbers which coincide with landmarks or hometowns of teams and/or athletes. Most are understandably concentrated in the metro area, but there is one - marked with a No. 1 - out to the left side of the map.

"Hagerstown Suns. The Class A affiliate of the Giants gave away a free funeral as a fan promotion."

Woo-hoo. Hagerstown gets notice.

But what's this? I knew there was a hill in the outfield at Municipal Stadium, but this looks more like a mountain.

Doh! They've got Hagerstown on the wrong side of the mountain. That looks an awful lot like Frederick to me.

Well, I guess we don't have to worry about the Suns moving out of town now. Time Warner has already taken care of that for us.

OK, now that I've pointed out someone else's mistake, I'll fess up to one of my own.

For some reason, the right person didn't get the right version of page 2 of our 2003 Football Preview Guide. Therefore, the index had an incorrect listing.

So, to those of you who were looking for a story on Tri-State coaches and found Martinsburg's Brandon Barrett and Nate Sowers, we apologize for the error.

Mark Keller is sports editor for The Herald-Mail. His column appears every Sunday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2332, or by e-mail at

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