You may not remember the name Terry Baltimore, but he has a special place in UConn football history, at least for some of us. You see, back in the salad days of 2007 your editors were working in the moderately-regarded news room of a little organ called The Daily Campus. Now, as you may recall, the fall of 2007 was an exciting time for UConn, as the Huskies rushed out to an 8-1 start and climbed as high as 13 in the BCS poll, with the biggest win of the bunch coming in the middle of a three-game home stand. UConn upset No. 10 USF and the crowd rushed the Field and celebrated long into the East Hartford night.
For a handful of nerdy student journalists, this seemed like a prime opportunity to run a splashy photo across the paper's front page. Surely our photographers will have captured Andre Dixon celebrating with the crowd. Or maybe there would be a wonderful shot of game hero Greg Robinson Jr., his face painted in ecstasy. Alas, it was not to be, because the only clear photo we had of UConn players celebrating was of...... Terry Baltimore? Who the hell was Terry Baltimore? He was a goddamn hero that's who, we just didn't know it then.
We ran the Baltimore photo (less-than-ideal subject aside, it was a hell of a picture), but we also got more than a few laughs out of the fact that we were about to introduce Terry Baltimore to the world. Little did we know that Baltimore never needed us. He was about to introduce himself.
One week later I found myself standing next to Meacham at Rentschler Field, watching the Huskies take on Rutgers. Desi Cullen booted the opening kickoff deep into Rutgers territory where Dennis Campbell received it before being promptly tackled by.... Terry Baltimore. I remember laughing as Baltimore's name was read aloud to the crowd, but I wouldn't be laughing for long. That's because Baltimore played the game of his life that night, racking up an absurd seven special-teams tackles and earning the game ball. If you played for Rutgers and caught a ball that UConn kicked or punted that night it meant one thing and one thing only: Terry Baltimore was about to bring you down.
And so I've always associated the name Terry Baltimore with one of UConn football's defining characteristics: relative greatness. It's in that spirit that I'm proud to announce The Terry Baltimore Cup, a 12-play tournament that we'll be hosting for the next two weeks to determine the greatest play in UConn football history.
All through today I'll be writing posts introducing the tournament's four top seeds. Then, starting tomorrow and each day throughout the rest of the week we'll host preliminary matchups for the other eight nominated plays. The winners of those early round matchups will take on the top seeds next week, with the winners all decided by fan vote and two weeks from today we'll reveal the winner of the Terry Baltimore Cup and the greatest play in UConn football history.