Bring the Black Bears to Portland, We’ve Had Enough With This Central Maine Nonsense
It's a crying shame that the University of Maine's flagship campus is nowhere close to the state's largest city. In fact, it's practically a crime. I'm sorry, but the true home for the state's largest public university should be Portland, or in the vicinity.
Don't get me wrong, I fully understand why it's in Orono. The school was founded based on the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862. This meant federal land that we procured (probably stole) from an indigenous tribe was used to create this land-grant university. And, yes, Orono is a perfect setting for an agricultural college...in the late 1800s.
However, this is the future, and now looking back on this, well...it's unfortunate.
I like Orono. It's a nice little town. It has the most amazing (and the original) Pat's Pizza. It's also a lovely campus. Yet, I can't help but think how much more amazing the school would be if it was in Portland.
And, perhaps you have figured it out by now, but I'm basically just talking about athletics.
I want major Division 1 FBS college football in Portland. I want Maine to play at the highest level. I want Fitzpatrick Stadium to be rebuilt into a beautiful stadium that seats 25,000 to 30,000 fans. I want to host Boston College, Syracuse, and Maryland. I want major donor scandals. I want stories of players breaking curfew in the Old Port. I want the head coach to perennially be on the hot seat. I lived all of this drama in West Virginia for five years, and I miss it so dearly.
Think about a renovated Portland Expo that was as famous as Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse or Allen Field House at the University of Kansas. The student section would be right on top of the opposing team. Rushing the court would be magical when big upsets would occur, and of course, screaming our heads off at the horrendous officiating that is observed on a nightly basis in college basketball.
And then there's hockey. The Cross Arena would be rocking for UMaine's hockey teams. Shorter trips for opposing fans would also help liven up the building to help create a great collegiate atmosphere. Perhaps a return to glory wouldn't be too far away?
Anyway, I think you get the point.
I could sit here and wax poetic about all the advantages from the education standpoint, but really, I don't care. This is simply a selfish rant, solely based on athletics. You can get great education anywhere. However, the athletic disadvantages of a school that is nearly set in the middle of nowhere is considerable.
It might be a big ask, but I do humbly (lol) request that UMaine considers at least moving all of its athletic programs to Portland. Then, I'm sure the Big 10 will be calling soon enough.