Hoke was top notch at this aspect of his job.
It is the offseason, a time for self-reflection, a time to spend our energy focusing on the things in life that are more important than football. If you're like me, there are a series of burning questions that begin to bubble up into your consciousness this time of year demanding to be dealt with. One of the recurring questions that has been simmering in my mind all season, and I write this piece assuming that I am not alone in this, has been: Why does Brian always say "Cumong, man?"
Whenever I would see this in print, I would wonder: is this how Brian pronounces "come on"? If so, why? Is this a thing people say? It seems to have caught on to the point where other people on the board use it as well. What is the origin of this spelling? Has the Michigan accent evolved since I left? I decided to do some research. I present to you what I have learned about the etymology of "cumong".
First, is this phrase mgoblog-specific? The evidence supports the notion that the term is indeed highly associated with this blog. There is actually an entry in the Urban Dictionary, which defines the term as "A word Alabama Crimson Tide fans use to exhort their team before a key play or belt out with a fist pump in celebration." The example given is CUMONG Tide, run the dad gum ball. Git this! However, as I will cover later, this entry was most likely added by an mgoblogger. Outside of that, there seems to be little to no usage of this word on the English-speaking web, with the exception of mgoblog, where its usage is frequent.
How do we characterize this phenomenon linguistically? The word is an apparently intentional misspelling of "come on". It is a kind of metaplasmus, but more specifically it appears to be a version of sensational spelling, in which a word is deliberately misspelled for effect. Examples of sensational spelling include "Froot Loops" and "Led Zeppelin".
Phonologically, this spelling portrays a shift in place of articulation of the final consonant of "come on," moving it from an alveolar nasal to a velar nasal. In other words, the contact between the tongue and the roof of the mouth simply moves further back when producing this variation.
Historically, on this site the first usage came on November 14th, 2012 in this post describing the Michigan-Northwestern football game. In that post, Brian writes:
Git R Done, for values of R that equal racism. If you don't follow me on twitter you missed the saga of the Larry The Cable Guy clan in my immediate vicinity, a group of redneck yahoos that said a lot of things like "LEZ GO CUMONG" and "GIT EM CUMONG," which was annoying when they did that really loudly after a four yard run--now my hopes are all up and it's second and six--but mostly harmless.
I tracked down that original series of tweets. I present to you the first time the phrase "cumong" was used in mgoblog history:
they cloned larry the cable guy and put four of them behind me— mgoblog (@mgoblog) November 10, 2012
send help— mgoblog (@mgoblog) November 10, 2012
LEZ GO CUMONG— mgoblog (@mgoblog) November 10, 2012
Note that the Urban Dictionary entry, which is the only known instance of this phrase on the web outside of mgoblog, was added on November 15th, 2012, one day after Brian made his post highliting the term. This timing strongly suggests that it is not an independent phenomenon. After the initial Nov 15th post, it appeared again over the next couple of days, first in the defensive UFR as a figure caption and then in the offensive UFR. The phrase picked up steam in 2013 and by October of 2014 became an actual tag on the site.
EDIT: By popular demand, a chart! This is number of unique google results by month on the mgoblog site for the word cumong. Notice that there was a sizable jump in its popularity this football season:
In light of the information that spelling of this phrase was intended to portray the dialect of several "redneck yahoo" fans, we can re-evaluate its literary significance. It seems now that the phrase is in fact a kind of eye dialect, a misspelling often used to convey the ignorance of the speaker, even though the spelling may correspond to how the word is generally pronounced. This is the same device Dickens used to convey the way his uneducated characters spoke, and was a common feature in Mark Twain's writing. (That said, I can find no academic work that confirms the substitution of the nasal alveolar with the velar consonant in dialects from the American South).
I asked Brian to comment on this, and he confirmed that the phrase indeed originated from the a group of Larry the Cable Guys sitting around him during that game. I hope you've enjoyed this foray in to mgoblog history and culture, and that I have helped to shed some light on a question that was on all of our minds.
Michigan may only play one game this weekend but there is a ton of other great games for college hockey fans to keep their eyes on. I am on afternoons this week so I won't be able to have the board posts I had last week. I will however be watching tonights Michigan game via Slingbox on my tablet (Technology and stuff)
Friday January 30
7:00 #54 Sacred Heart @ #58 American International
7:00 #40 Rensselaer @ #33 Dartmouth
7:00 #15 UMass-Lowell @ #17 Merrimack
7:00 #45 Alabama-Huntsville @ #10 Michigan Tech
7:00 #19 Quinnipiac @ #53 Brown
7:00 #31 Cornell @ #17 Colgate
7:00 #29 Union @ #3 Harvard
7:00 #56 Princeton @ #16 Yale
7:30 #12 Michigan vs #36 Michigan State (FYS)
7:30 #9 Providence @ #13 Boston College
7:30 #48 Massachusetts @ #3 Boston University
7:30 #41 New Hampshire @ #34 Notre Dame
8:30 #39 Ferris State @ #1 Minnesota State
8:30 #2 NOrth Dakota @ #3 Nebraska-Omaha
9:00 #20 Minnesota @ #55 Wisconsin
9:30 #7 Minnesota-Duluth @ #11 Denver
- UMass-Lowell has another chance this weekend to help themselves and help Michigan. THey start off the weekend on the road against a team sitting just outside of the PWR top 16.
- There is a top 15 matchup in Chestnut Hill as Boston College is hosting Providence. A Boston College win would improve the RPI of Michigan it should cause Michigan to get passed by BC as thye currently sit only one spot below Michigan.
- The Duel in the D is previewed on the front page (Thanks Brian MOAR Hockey Content please...
- North Dakota takes their #2 ranking on the road to face #3 Nebraska-Omaha. Both teams should remain highly ranked but if North Dakota were to win both games on the road this weekend you could see Neb-Omaha fall down into a range that Michigan could be fighting with them for seed and region ccome NCAA tournament time.
- Ferris State could help Michigan's RPI with a road win in Mancato but C.J. Motte will need to stand on his head to knock off the #1 team in the country on the road.
- Minnesota NEEDS to beat lowly Wisconsin as they are currently sitting 4 spots out of top 16.
Saturday January 31
1:00 #14 Vermont vs #22 Penn State
6:30 #41 New Hampshire @ #34 Notre Dame
7:00 #54 Sacred Heart @ #58 American International
7:00 #45 Alabama Huntsville @ #10 Michigan Tech
7:00 #17 Merrimack @ #15 UMass-Lowell
7:00 #7 Minnesota-Duluth @ #11 Denver
7:00 #8 Miami @ #21 Western Michigan
8:00 #39 Ferris State @ #1 Minnesota State
8:00 #20 Minnesota @ #55 Wisconsin
8:00 #2 North Dakota @ #3 Nebraska-Omaha
8:00 #6 Bowling Green @ #28 Bemidji State
- Penn State hosts a team ranked a couple spots below Michigan in Vermont in their only game of the weekend. A non-conference win would be nice for PSU and the B1G.
- New Hampshire winning two games at a higher ranked Notre Dame would be a nice little bump in Michigan's RPI.
- the only conference matchup is the second game of the Minnesota Wisconsin series at Kohl. it is very important for Minnesota to sweep both of these games.
Monday February 2
5:00 #3 Harvard vs #3 Boston University
8:00 #13 Boston College vs #24 Northeastern
Wednesday February 4
7:00 #9 Providence @ #36 Connecticut
- The best tournament in the country get started Monday night. The first round of the Beanpot matches the two top teams, Harvard and Boston University, in the early game and a BU win helps Michigan''s RPI slightly.
3 Things Michigan "needs"
- all 3 points against Michigan State
- Minnesota to take all 6 points from Wisconsin
- UMass-Lowell winning the home and home series.
unfortunately I have been having computer issues the past couple of days and have written this Diary entry 2 times in full already without being able to post so todays recap is going to be VERY short. Expect the Preview of this weeks action out around the same time Friday.
Friday January 23 (all rankings are pairwise as of 1/22)
#29 Ohio State 1 @ 4 #41 Michigan State
#27 Northern Michigan 4 @ 5 #22 Penn State
#8 Boston University 4 @ 2 #12 Vermont
#36 New Hampshire 4 @ 6 #49 Maine
#36 Dartmouth 2 @ 2 #16 Colgate
#7 Harvard 2 @ 3 #30 Cornell
#10 Yale 2 @ 3 #23 St. Lawrence
#50 Mass. 4 @ 4 #16 Merrimack
#53 Lake Superior 3 @ 1 #3 Bowling Green
#14 Providence 7 @ 3 #9 UMass-Lowell
#12 Denver 3 @ 1 #6 Miami
#1 Minnesota State 4 @ 2 #19 Minnesota
#15 Michigan 7 @ 4 #54 Wisconsin
Recap of Key Games:
- Penn State fell behind 4-1 15 minutes into 2nd period before pulling Skoff and charging back to win 5-4 in regulation.
- UMass-Lowell gave up the first 3 goals of the game and didn't mount much of a comeback losing on home ice by the score of 7-3 to the team ranked one spot above Michigan.
- Michigan State won 4-1 thanks to 2 goals in the second and 2 in the third (agiainst one Buckeye 3rd oeriod tally)
- Minnesota and Minnesota State exchanged goals in the 1st and again in the first 10 minutes of the second.before Minnesota State pulled away with 2 goals in the second half of the 2nd period. HTe 4-2 Minnesota Loss didn't really hurt them but a win wouldv'e been much more beneficial.
- Michigan opened up horribly but turned it around in the second and poured it on in the 3rd.
First peroiod in Madison just under 3 minutes into the game Joseph LaBate scored a power play goal to take the lead. Justin Selmon scored a power play marker to tie the game up with 6:13 left in the period (assists to Kile and Werenski). just 26 seconds later Grant Besse answered for the Badgers to re-establish the 1 goal home team advantage. With just 1:19 to go in the period Joseph LaBate scored another power play goal. Wsiconsin's total season goals in the 1st heading into this game was 2.
Second Period saw another early Badger goal, on Michigan's 2nd goalie of the night as Nagelvoort replaced Racine after the intermission, Jedd Soleway scored the Badgers 3rd PPG of the game giving the Badgers a 4-1 lead on home ice. 1:11 later Justin Selman scored his 2nd goal of the game (assists to Hyman and Larkin) to pull within 2. With just over 5 minuted to play in the period Captain (and Hockey God) Andrew Copp scored on the Power Play (assists to Downing and Compher) to cut the lead to 4-3 heading into the 3rd (Michigan was 0-6 when trailing after 2). Michigan outshot Wisconsin 13-2 in the middle frame
Third Period started off slow in terms of goal scoring. Zach (HOBEY) Hyman got things started back up again 9:19 into the final regulation period scoring in his 6th straight game (assists to Selman and De Jong). 1:01 later Alex Kile found the back of the net (assists to Shuart and Downing) to give the Wolverines their first lead of the game. 1:02 after the Kile goal Justin Selmon completed the Hat Trick (assists to Larkin and Hyman). That was 3 goals in 2:03 of game time. Andrew Copp added the empty netter with just over a minute to play for his second goal of the game (assist to Motte).
Racine started and gave up 3 goals on 8 shots in the first period
Nagelvoort came in at the start of second and allowed 1 goal on 2 shots in the period before stopping all 10 shots he faced in the 3rd.
Saturday January 24
#27 Northern Michigan 5 @ 5 #22 Penn State
#19 Minnesota 1 vs 2 #5 MInnesota-Duluth
#29 Ohio State 0 @ 2 #41 Michigan State
#9 UMass-Lowell 1 @ 4 #14 Providence
#8 Boston University 2 @ 1 #12 Vermont
#7 Harvard 6 @ 1 #16 Colgate
#12 Denver 1 @ 4 # 6 Miami
#39 Rensselaer 3 @ 8 #33 Union
#15 Michigan 6 @ 0 #54 Wisconsin
Recap of Key Games
- UMass-Lowell is swept by Providence
- RPI is crushed by Union. only positive is the game was on the road.
- Minnesota drops their second game of the weekend to another top team in Minnesota-Dultuh.
- Michigan State completes the sweep of Ohio State with the 2-0 shutout
- Penn State ties Notrthern to go 1-0-1 on the weekend.
- fresh off the 7-4 come-from-behind win Michigan scored early and often in this game that was a rout from the get go.
First Period Dylan Larkin got things going EARLY, 1:12 into the the game to be exact (assists to Selman and Hyman). just 51 seconds later Michigan's top line scored again this time it was Zach Hyman with the goal (assists to Larkin and Selman). Things quieted down on the goal front until there was 4:14 to go in the period when Tony Calderone scored (assists to Copp and Serville). Zach Werenski added a beautiful goal (assists to Sinelli and Copp) with just 1:00 to go in the first.
Second Period saw just 1 goal. Zach Hyman scored 1:16 into the period (unassisted) to make it 5-0 in the first 21:16 of action
Third Period had only one goal as well and it was DMan Zach Werenski getting his second one the game (assists to Motte and Calderone)
Nagelvoort was given the start after his recen t relief efforts and stopped all 17 shots fired his way for the Shutout.
Sunday January 25
#16 Merrimack 1 @ 4 # 50 Mass. (Game was rescheduled from Saturday)
Tuesday January 27
#16 Merrimack @ #34 Connecticut was rescheduled
- Penn State defending home ice. They went 1-0-1 against non conference opponent NMU
- Minnesota going no worse than 1-1. They went 0-2 didn't hurt as much as it couldv'e as they ended up playing the two best teams in the tournament.
- Michigan 6 point sweep. CHECK
Pairwise Update (Top 20 and Non conference opponents(*), BIG in all caps)
1) Minnesota State
2) North Dakota
t3) Boston University*
6) Bowling Green
10) Michigan Tech*
13) Boston College*
t22) PENN STATE
t36) MICHIGAN STATE
38) OHIO STATE
39) Ferris State*
t41) New Hampshire*
58) American International*
1) Michigan 21pts 7-1-0-0
2) Penn State 16pts 5-2-1-0
3) Michigan State 13pts 3-3-2-2
4) Minnesota 8pts 2-2-2-0
5) Ohio State 6pts 2-6-0-0
6) Wisconsin 2pts 0-5-1-1
Individual Stats Update
- Zach Hyman ranks 4th Nationally in points.
- Dylan Larkin ranks 12th Nationally in points (2nd to only Jack Eichel amongst Freshmen).
- Zach Hyman ranks 3rd Nationally in points per game.
- Dylan Larkin ranks 6th Nationally in points per game (2nd to Eichel amongst Freshmen).
- Zach Hyman ranks 5th Nationally 2nd in B1G in Goals.
- Andrew Copp ranks 27th Nationally 3rd in B1G in Goals.
- Alex Kile is 6th ranks B1G in Goals.
- Dylan Larkin ranks 7th Nationally in Assists 1st in B1G
- Zach Hyman ranks 10th Nationally in Assists 3rd in B1G
- Tyler Motte ranks 25th Nationally in Assists 5th in B1G
- Zach Nagelvoort ranks 43rd in GAA 3rd in B1G
Team Stats Update
- Offense leads the nation in Goals per game at 4.36. 2nd place Robert Morris sits at 3.73.
- Defense ranks 44th nationally allowing 3.00 goals per game. Ohio State and Wisconsin are only B1G schools ranked lower
- Michigan's Power Play ranks 2nd in the Nation and Conference behind Minnesota (24.69% and 25.58% respectively)
- Michigan's Penalty Kill ranks 43rd in the nation and only ahead of Ohio State and Wisconsin in conference
I'm planning on starting the preview tonight after i get home from work and will try to get it out around noon on Friday.
and thanks to another Michigan sweep I leave you with one simple statement "1, 2 YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO...."
HALFWAY THROUGH THE CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
I thought this might be a good time to review the Four Factors with regards to Michigan basketball now that we’re nine games into the conference schedule. For this diary, we’ll just focus on these nine games – there will likely be a grand analysis of the entire season talking OOC / conference, win / loss, home / away, etc…at the end of the regular season.
First, however, some averages of those factors in the conference schedule to date:
Effective FG% - 46.84%
Off. Rebound % - 26.98%
Free Throw Rate – 26.97%
Turnover Rate – 14.65%
A few other stats to perhaps consider as well – the average A/T ratio for Michigan in these nine games is 1.35 and their average offensive PPP is 1.01 (average number of possessions per game for Michigan is 59, incidentally). That PPP, well not quite as high as in past years for conference play – at least for the Wolverines – does include six performances north of 1.00, games in which we were 5-1 (the sole loss in that subset being Wisconsin, where our PPP was 1.13).
Effective FG% - 46.94%
Off. Rebound % - 30.06%
Free Throw Rate – 32.26%
Turnover Rate – 16.01%
Also for our opponents, they achieve an average A/T ratio of 0.943 and an average offensive PPP of 0.99 (which, of course, is our defensive PPP). Buried in that average PPP are 5 sub-1.00 performances for our opponents, which is part good defense and part playing mostly the lower reaches of the Big Ten conference up to this point.
Looking at the four factors themselves, however, you see a team that is not exactly outshooting anyone, extending a lot of possessions, getting to the line often…and then it makes sense that Michigan’s average margin of victory / loss when it comes to points is actually about 5 points in wins and 13 points in losses (I know, average of three numbers….grumble grumble). The grand average regardless of margin is 0.22 points.
So, here’s what the four factors look like game-by-game (we are, of course, in blue):
Offensive Rebound %:
Free Throw Rate:
For kicks, I looked at Michigan’s four factors split win to loss (so again, average of three numbers….I know):
eFG% in conference wins – 49.25% (1.06 offensive PPP)
eFG% in conference losses – 42.03% (0.92 offernesive PPP)
OREB% in conference wins – 27.68%
OREB% in conference losses – 25.59%
FTR in conference wins – 27.80%
FTR in conference losses – 25.59%
TOV% in conference wins – 14.09%
TOV% in conference losses – 15.77%
Aside from eFG%, there doesn’t seem to be much variance between wins and losses, although take a surface analysis for what it is worth there. The end of season breakdown could very well be more interesting. Right now, the profile of the average conference game has Michigan shooting 20-52 or so including 7-21 from beyond the arc, as well as only 13 FT attempts per game and only 8 offensive rebounds.
Another game, another backbreaking loss. (Source)
Your Weekly B1G Hoops Column
Since the B1G typically doesn’t have conference games on Mondays, might as well move this column to Tuesdays for good.
Table of Contents
Week IV Results
Post-Week IV Standings
Team of the Week: Wisconsin
Player of the Week: D’Angelo Russell
Efficiency Scatterplot From Conference Games
Michigan’s Week That Was
Michigan’s Week Ahead
Week V Schedule
1. Week IV Results
Poor Damn Northwestern.
After jumping out to a 21-10 lead at home against Ohio State, they let the Buckeyes take control of the game – Northwestern was able to tie the game with about four minutes left, but D’Angelo Russell was too much to contain and they eventually lost by two. They led for almost the entire contest against Maryland on the road and squandered an 11-point lead with less than four minutes left in the game. This was the final sequence:
The final sequence of Northwestern' s crushing loss at Maryland. https://t.co/8qNDeRSxnO
— Drew Hallett (@DrewCHallett) January 26, 2015
The loss to Ohio State was brutal; the loss to Maryland was absolutely soul-crushing. Northwestern needs an exorcism or something.
Elsewhere – Wisconsin absolutely murdered Iowa, Indiana beat Maryland at home only to turn around and lose to Ohio State on the road; Wisconsin came away with a tough OT win against Michigan; Nebraska held serve at home with two narrow wins over Minnesota and Michigan State.
2. Post-Week IV Standings
Wisconsin’s still the class of the conference (as evidenced by their excellent efficiency margin), but they haven’t managed to distance themselves after four weeks of conference play because of the unfathomable loss to Rutgers.
Maryland and Indiana are the two lurkers – Indiana’s excellent offense is offset by their permissive defense; Maryland is the inverse. Wisconsin only plays each team once: Maryland on the road, Indiana at home. Whether either are legitimate challengers is certainly up for debate (I personally think Wisconsin’s still the overwhelming favorite), but the conference race has been more entertaining than it was supposed to be, at least.
Ohio State and Michigan State have the best efficiency margins behind Wisconsin – and they’re quite a ways behind the Badgers – though both have already gotten three losses in conference play (along with four other teams at either 5-3 or 4-3 overall). With Wisconsin’s likely dominance (they’re projected to get to 15 conference wins by Ken Pomeroy’s algorithm), those two might be out of the race already.
The race for second place should be a dogfight, and there’s little clarity there, as seven teams are within a game and a half of Maryland. All of them – except for Michigan – have an efficiency margin at or above even; none have an efficiency margin better than +0.07.
3. Team of the Week: Wisconsin
This picture is incredible. (Source)
Wisconsin’s offense is nothing short of amazing. Even without senior point guard Traevon Jackson, the Badgers are a ruthless, efficient machine. Bronson Koenig has aptly stepped into the starting role running the show; Frank Kaminsky is perhaps exceeding the lofty expectations that accompanied him into the season; Sam Dekker is showing off his NBA potential (and efficiently, at that); Nigel Hayes, Josh Gasser, and the rest of the Badgers are all playing well.
Here are the most efficient players in the Big Ten during conference play:
Hayes is the most efficient player in the Big Ten with a significant usage – Aaron White, Yogi Ferrell, Rayvonte Rice follow him – and Kaminsky and Dekker are fifth and sixth respectively. Overall, having 5 players in the top 13 is just absurd, and Wisconsin’s methodical offense is as surgical as ever.
Their win over Iowa – a Top 25 contest, nationally televised on ESPN – was a complete ass-whupping; Wisconsin scored an unbelievable 1.52 points per possession, and, if not for their customarily slow pace, it could have been an even worse blowout. It had the fingerprints of classic Wisconsin basketball (turnover avoidance on offense, foul avoidance on defense – which really hurt Iowa), but it’s hard to remember a time that they played a better game than this against fairly quality competition.
The Badgers averted an upset in Ann Arbor – the game was incredibly slow (which benefits the underdog), but after Wisconsin opened up with a quick run to start overtime, Michigan couldn’t claw back again. It was an underwhelming performance against a much lesser opponent, but credit to Wisconsin for holding on in a tough road environment and defeating the reigning conference champions in their only meeting this season.
Previously: Iowa (Week III), Maryland (Week I), Rutgers (Week II)
[Hit the jump for the rest of the article]
This is my story and how it (figuratively) coincides with Michigan's recent Final Four run. This may be a "MGothreadworthy?" but it's a "cool story bro" nonetheless. So, if you're into the latter quoted, read on...
Have you ever made a decision on a whim? A life-changing, love crazed leap into thin air? It's liberating, it really is. And it's also reckless and irresponsible. It's living life on the edge. Have you ever walked that thin line?
March 29, 2013. It was really cold that morning. A thin layer of frost covered everything, including the road I took on my way to Dayton Airport. Funny thing is, in a mere 8-12 hours I'd be experiencing the other extreme in temperature. I was headed to Los Angeles. I'm 20 years old and I've never even seen a plane up close and in person. And I'm doing it alone.
What a day to pick. Michigan was to play #1 seed Kansas in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament. And Trey Burke alone would become a real hero in the eyes of Michigan fans across the country in what became to be known as "The Shot"
I'm no real hero, but I sure felt like one, clumsily but confidently finding my way through O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. My overlay flight would take off in an hour or so, so I desperately searched for a TV with CBS airing the game. No such luck. I missed the game of my life while talking to a stranger I had met aboard the plane. She was headed to L.A. too. After some aimless chit-chating, the woman gave me her card which I tossed in my pocket and almost immediately forgot about it. I had more important things on my mind.
When the ball left Trey's hand, it spun in what seemed like a wormhole, it happened so fast. Just like that, the Wolverines we're going to take the game. You could FEEL it. That ball could have spun at less than a one degree angle in any other direction and the result would have been that disappointing loss we had but a microsecond to prepare for when Trey put the team on his back. 'Cause that's what he did when he took "The Shot". He put the world on his back when he let that ball go. Man...
That's life on the edge.
LAX is big. Bigger than the cornfields and cow shit of the 50,000 persons population of Mercer County , Ohio. But yet, it's where I found the girl I was in the City of Angels for in the first place. An almost comical clechie of a tale of love that led me to visit her for a few days across the country. And the first thing I said was,
"Where's the nearest sports bar?"
I had missed it, but I watched replay after replay after replay. The athletic motion of off-balance shooting, the alpha male-esque scream that captured the moment after the ball had made an improbable, perfect trajectory.
I had chills that lasted for days.
Before I knew it, it was almost over. My 3rd day there was to be my last. I had such a good time. Palm trees and mountains are a big change of scenery. Of course I was fully invested in my time there, but I also kept Michigan's next game in the back of my mind...
It didn't stay there for long. Turns out, that same night, I would take my own "Shot" and do something insane. I would throw my life in the air and hope for that perfect swish. That night, with the weight of my own world on my back, (a mere bag of clothes and 1000 dollars cash) I would decide to stay. I would decide to leave everything behind. My family, friends, everything, to be have a shot at something better than the dead end life I watch all those around me create for themselves. I would live on the edge.
Those chills would continue for months.
By Michigan's Final Four game against the Orange of Syracuse, I'd have my first job in L.A. Welding, and making more money than I've ever made in Ohio. Credit that to the woman who gave me her card at the airport in Chicago. She was a job recruiter. How perfect?
Only fitting that the Wolverines would make it all the way to the National Championship. Play like Hell, like Victors.
But come short.
Only fitting that I would too. After a year, my improbable run came to an end. And I found myself back in Ohio at square one. Nothing to show for my amazing, however reckless, decisions. Nothing but memories made and a hell of a story to tell.
The Wolverines hadn't brought home the trophy. But came back with a story's weight in gold. One that will be told forever. I guess life is linear like that sometimes. I guess life is hard. But I'm rebuilding. Just like my Wolverines. Strengthening ourselves for another run at something big. However next time, it won't be so improbable.