A Win for Everyone
Courtesy: Athletics Media Relations  
Release: 12/25/2013
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You're out of the woods

You're out of the dark

You're out of the night

Step into the sun

Step into the light



Betcha didn’t know that little ditty from “The Wizard of Oz,” from when Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion make their first approach to the Emerald City had a name, did you?

Yep, it’s called “Optimistic Voices,” and as the Towson football team makes its approach toward the FCS championship game, those lyrics and that song describe what’s happening around Tiger Town.

Towson alums are emerging from years of athletic woods and darkness and embracing perhaps the biggest advance into the sunlight since the school was founded in 1866.

Plans are being made all over the area for a full-out Towson assault on Frisco, Texas, the site of the Jan. 4 clash with North Dakota State in the FCS national title game, with those who can’t make the trip arranging to gather with friends and like-minded folk who have worn the black and gold.

To be sure, this isn’t even the first time a Towson football team has made an appearance in a national championship game. That happened 37 years ago in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl – the Division III title contest.

But that was long before the era of 24-hour all-sports cable channels with the power to spread the good news of a burgeoning university poised to take its rightful academic and athletic place among higher profile schools after years in the shadows.

And while the current students are entitled to claim this run to the title as their own, it’s perhaps fitting Saturday’s exciting come from behind win in the semifinal game against Eastern Washington and next week’s championship game should take place while the campus is dark for the semester break, so the alumni can bask in the glow.
 
This championship run is certainly about the 11 senior starters across the offense and defense, many of whom endured the indignity of the 1-10 season three years ago. This is surely their moment to revel in.

But it is also a moment for Phil Albert and Gordy Combs, the coaches who laid the foundation for Towson football. It’s a moment for such notables as David Meggett, Tony Vinson and Sean Landeta and any other player who has suited up at Minnegan Field or Johnny Unitas Stadium.

And it is most certainly a moment for Rob Ambrose, the former Tiger graduate who rose through the coaching ranks to take over the helm of his alma mater five years ago and lead it to the verge of ultimate success.

Just after the Tigers claimed their 35-31 win Saturday, Ambrose declared, “I don’t want to seem redundant, but these kids were brought here on a dream, a chance to make history, to do things that have never been done at a place where people said you couldn’t do them.”

Regardless of next weekend’s outcome, they won’t be saying that about Towson any more.


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