also duty-free guys falling over and grabbing their shins
Since people are reporting the old links don't work, I've posted the older stories here. Be sure to thank M-wolverine for saving all these.
Part 1, Awkwardly Met My Future In Laws:
Warning: It's long. If your attention span is short, move along.
So I met my girlfriend's family last night. This was fairly awkward for a number reasons:1. They neglected to alert her to the fact they thought it would be great to drop by. 2A. They didn't know she had a boyfriend 2B. Especially a white one. 3. They also didn't know we live together.
So a little background here. My girlfriend is Korean and over here for some upper level education. Her parents assume, or well assumed, she was getting a degree from a top American school and then returning to South Korea to teach at some top school, as that is typically what you do. To become a faculty member at any of the good Korean schools you basically need to spend some time at a top Western school.
However in Korea women make about 30% less then men and are typically expected to exit the workforce and raise children. It's a fairly big problem over there, a lot of 30 something women are refusing to have kids because they don't want to become stay at home moms and the Korean government is somewhat worried about where the next generation is going to come from.
Anyway the differences in culture led my girlfriend to decide that immigration is the way to go. Over here she'll only make 15% less than me, progress enh? Family dynamics are tricky over there, you don't buck your parents authority, so she's kept them in the dark on a few things, namely me. It worked well for awhile, she flew home once a year to visit and otherwise we figured with the world's largest ocean and most of continental United States between us and them we thought the odds of a surprise visit were low. After she graduates we'll be getting engaged, so we figured we'd just wait to then to introduce me to the parents and going through the inevitable fallout of "You're marrying who and living where…?" could occur.
So last night I'm at home, drinking and doing laundry because thats how I roll when I hear a knock on the door. I open the door and standing there are 3 generations of Koreans. As I look at them I'm having this little warning bell going off in my head *I've seen these people before somewhere…*. They're also rather confused, as they flew 18 hours and had a 12 hour time zone shift . They just punched their daughter's mailing address into a GPS and showed up to surprise their daughter. They got some guy who is holding a beer and looking confused. Welcome to America!
At first they thought they had the wrong address and asked me where [MY ADDRESS] was. So we go through a little routine where I'm explaining to them they're at the right address and they're convinced they're at the wrong address, because they're looking for their daughter, not a white dude boozing it up. As they're going through this I finally connect the faces of the parents and her younger sister to the family photos my girlfriend has on the shelves in the living room.
My brain kind of locked up for a moment. I'm suddenly aware of the fact our place is not very neat right now, we have a number of empties on the counter in the kitchen and most importantly: these people have no idea I'm sleeping with their daughter and her dad is some kind of officer in the Korean Army. *He's had years of training on how to kill people, this is so awesome.*
So I very reluctantly ask them "Are you [her name]'s family?" This gets me some confused looks, but yes indeed they are. All I can really do is just say "Well she lives here too." I invite them in and get the gf on the cellphone. They're looking all over the place, really confused. Her sister spots some photos of the gf and me and points them out to her family. The gf is off at library and of course thinks I'm messing with her. I hand the cellphone off to her father, who says "Hi" and "What the hell is this white boy doing in your apartment?'. I take the opportunity to lock the dogs in basement and also do my best to covertly move some things out of sight as well. For example, even if you figure you're safe from parental/older relative visits, never leave out the photos of you and your gf doing a beer bong together.
The gf rushes home and does her best to explain to mom, dad and three of her grandparents how she'd neglected to mention her boyfriend of over two years and her living arrangement and the surprise bonus of not only is she dating someone but she's dating one of those creepy, white ginger kids. Given the expressions of everyone involved it didn't go very well. We took them all on a quick tour of Ann Arbor / Campus and then they back to their hotel to turn in early because of jet lag.
I am needless to say not popular with her family right now. I don't know much of it is personal and how much of it is "We just had a 18 hour flight just to discover you're living with a guy." Her dad rather unsubtly asked me about my family's economic background and my level of education and he at least seemed to like the answers. I'm not dead yet, so I have that going for me.
Also the night wasn't a total write-off for this little gem:Girl Friend's 16 Y/O Sister [In Korean]: Is it true what they say about white guys having bigger 'equipment'? GF: I've spent the past two years teaching him Korean, I bet he understood that. *Sister Turns Bright Red, Looks Over at me* GF: And yes.
The other one is horribly stereotypical, but amusing comment:Me: This is the University hospital, where I work. Mother: *face brightens* Oh are you a doctor? Me: No. Mother: *fall falls* Oh.
So they'll be staying for two weeks. Umh, hooray?
Part 2: Adventures in Korean Facebook (Cyworld) Stalking:
So I'm still alive. I've had limited interaction with the family, last night and this morning. I'm talking a half day from work on Friday and that will be the big day, followed by parent on parent action this weekend. I'll update you guys with that on Monday or whenever I can type up something good.
In mean the time, my gf and I have been Facebook stalking her little sister.. It's not actual Facebook, its the Korean version of it, but she doesn't have privacy settings up and we've been reading her status feed as a way of seeing how the parents are taking it.
Quick Bio on Lil Sister: Sixteen years old. She was the 'unplanned' child. Her parents had three kids, all within ten years of each other and then though they were done. Well 11 years later, Lil Sis shows up. Her parents are old enough they could potentially be her grandparents and rather boring by this point, even more so by teenage standards. Lil Sis is kept on a short leash following some trouble last year for public intoxication in Hong Kong (she was 15 at the time). So mom and dad watch her like a hawk and brought her along. She is armed with a LG smartphone that has a keyboard and an internet connection, so her gossip is fed directly back to Korea. I think she's supposedly to be in school, yet she's over here right now. Not sure how that works.
So without further ado, Lil Sis's status feed:
Wednesday Evening:"He's WHITE and they live together!"
[numerous replies along the lines of "wf are you talking about?"]"We're in America to visit my sister! She has a white boyfriend and they live together. She never told my parents!"
[Various commentary on this. One little shithead calls my gf for a slut for sleeping with a white guy. Is instantly gang banged by numerous Korean girls going "We sleep with white guys because they don't treat us like shit like Korean guys do." After giving him a good old fashion internet beat down the girls move on to important topics. ]"Yes he tall, but he's pale. Really pale. It's okay though, he's not fat"
[She posts a bunch of photos of me, my dogs, my car, our apartment, all covertly taken with her camera phone. This prompts discussion on how tall I am, if I'm cute or not. I might have been biased when counting votes, but I'd say 65%+ of the votes ranked me as attractive. One girl asks if I have a younger brother.]
…longer break, this next batch of posts comes from after we dropped them off at their hotel..."I just heard my mom swear for the first time ever! I don't get why they're mad. He's cute, went to college and my sister says he is good in bed. His car is really big too, he must be rich!"
"Grandpa [maternal side] is really mad. He wanted her to marry a grandson of his friend. My sister is in so much trouble!"
[This arranged marriage provokes negative comments. It appears some of the people consider this guy to be a loser. I liked the comment "I don't know him, but he if needs a grandparent to get a date he must be worse than Lee Jin-gyu]
"They have a heated pool here! I didn't bring a bathing suit but I'm going swimming when my parents fall asleep! So many cute guys! =)"
[If Lil Sis does come to America for college, its going to be one hell of a rebellion.]
Part 3: AA and Hockey
Sorry for not posting any updates, I’ve been a bit busy. The worst/weirdest thing over the past few days must have been the “exotic food” talk my girlfriend got on Thursday, at least for her. She’d gone out to walk the dogs, mostly an excuse to get outside and escape everyone. I was off at work and her grandparents were checking out our apartment. Her maternal grandfather had asked her point blank “Why is there only one bed in here? You’re not married.” Anyway her mom decided to come along on the walk. As they’re walking her mom launches into this really tortured metaphor, which I’ll paraphrase:
“You know honey, it’s normal to be attracted to exotic things. Sometimes when I want something exotic I’ll get some Japanese food or some Mexican food because it is different and exotic, but at the end of the day I find eating a nice Korean meal is more pleasant and easier on the stomach.”
The moral to the story is, date within your own race, it’s easier on the stomach.
Over the past few days we’ve hit up Saigon Garden, Blue Karaoke (since everything there is in Korean) and the Taste of Taiwan Night Market over in the East Hall on Friday. If you didn’t go on Friday, you missed a great event. Five dollars for dinner, three snack tables, a dessert table and skill games. I stole the show in the chopsticks challenge. You had to move metal marbles with your chopsticks and I pretty much destroyed all comers, including the gf’s father. He got 4 marbles, I got 11. Finished the night off at Momo Tea playing Go Stop, a traditional Korean card game. Her grandmother dominated all comers in that.
Things went well, on Thursday it was dinner and karaoke with some Korean friends, including a married couple that teaches here. They kept the conversation focused on all the various Korean cultural things that go down around here. Ranging from the grocery stores to the film and lecture series that Center for Korean Studies runs. Sadly the Korean Students Association event for this month is bowling (I assume traditional Korean bowling in Ypsi, complete with rednecks one lane over drinking Bud Light and watching NASCAR, just like in Seoul), but the Taste of Taiwan thing made a pretty good substitute. To be fair, she’s not active in KSA (we neglected to tell her parents that), so I have no idea what their events are like.
The biggest drama point on Thursday / Friday was the grandfathers. They were amusing themselves by testing my knowledge of the Korean language. One of them would ask me a question, using weird syntax and big words and then as I was figuring out what he said, the other one would ask me something. Then they’d stare at me like I was an idiot while I trigged to figure what just got said. I normally had the second speaker to repeat what he said. After this did this a few times my gf got up in their faces and called them out for doing it. She went on a little rant about how their poor manners reflected poorly on her. She even managed to sneak in a little comment about how my family never tested her knowledge of English and it embarrasses her that her family has worse manners than mine. I thought things were about to go nuclear at that point, but her grandparents backed down. They didn’t apologize, but they toned it down and most importantly they backed down and didn’t argue with her. In private her father later apologized to me and said he’d speak to them about it as well.
After doing some Asian culture on Thursday and Friday, we moved over to embrace some American culture, namely hockey. Saturday during the day was introducing them to my parents, everyone walking on eggshells a bit type of thing. Then we sat her family down and called up the DVRed Wings vs Wild game and started to cover the basic concepts of hockey. We both play and her parents had seen our six million sticks (give or take a few million) littering the apartment. They were impressed by the speed of the game and shocked by the hits. Right after a rather vicious one her mother looks over at my gf and goes “You play that sport?!!?” We tried to explain there is a major difference between our caliber of play and the caliber of the Red Wings, but everyone seemed shocked my gf played and hadn’t been snapped in half. My mother also didn’t help:My mom: “I know, really. Everyime I see my son play I’m worried he’s going to get hurt. You know he’s hurt his knee four times in seven years.” Me: *glares at my mom, clears throat* My mom: “He had to wear a brace one time and….” Me: I’m going to the kitchen for a drink, anyone need a refill? *glares at mom, my dad elbows her while everyone is looking at me*
Things started to get interesting during the Bemidji State game. Started off pretty tame, everyone in the living room, with some extra chairs dragged in, a bunch of snacks ranging from Gimbap to Doritos. Gimbap is basically Korean sushi, although the contents of it are normally cooked (Gim = dried seaweed, Bap = steamed white rice, just add some pickled radish, seasoned beef, crab, etc and you’re in business). Her family was impressed when I actually made some all by myself.
The bad was the tequila came out. I’m a tequila whore, I have an entire cupboard of tequilas (I love blue agave tequila the most, but they’re all good). I actually used to have one cupboard for tequila and one cupboard for non-tequila liquor. More recently the overflow from the tequila cupboard has been invading the other liquor cupboard. I should build a little Alamo and put the vodka and whiskey in it. So we mixed up some margaritas and figured it might do well enough for everyone to have a mixed drink, just one mind you, enough to be a bit of a social lubricant.
Well my girlfriend is kind of stressed out right now. I worked a full day on Thursday and a half day on Friday, so she was alone in the shark tank with the parents for those time periods and getting badgered. She’s running short on sleep and just generally a little ball of nerves right now. On her way into the kitchen to grab some more food, a soda, whatever I guess she was also taking pulls off the fifth of tequila to calm down. By pulls I mean she killed about a half a fifth of tequila in one and a half periods of hockey, plus two margaritas.
Midway through the second period she comes back out from the kitchen, now seating it tight, she was kind of squished in her mom and sister on one of the couches before she got up. I had a crappy little Ikea chair all to myself for most of the game. She walks over and plops down in my lap, puts her arms around my neck and buries her face in my chest, since she tends to get rather cuddly when drunk.
Now there is just silence in the room for a moment. Everyone is looking at us, my parents quickly look away and over at the TV, although you can see my dad’s expression going “Oh shit.” Lil Sis is raising up her camera phone, but her mother swats it down. I’m looking at her like “Are you trying to get me killed?”. She’s my girlfriend, so I can’t exactly shove her out of my lap and be like “Go sit with your mom”, but her entire family is just staring at us. Aside from hugging each other when we met after work, this is the most PDA they’ve seen between us.
Now my girlfriend kind of lifts her head up, gives me a peck on the cheek and goes “You’re kind of stiff, do you want a back massage later?” She then grabs my left arm and pulls it around her shoulders, closes her eyes and starts to drift off. She’s pretty out of it by this point. I figure “Well it’s not like they can unsee this, full speed ahead.” So I spend the rest of the Bemidji game with her using me as a pillow. She’s like a little angel when she sleeps, a little angel that started drooling on my shirt with 8 minutes to go in the third. She slept through a lot of it, something she’d normally never do during a Michigan sporting event, but like I said she hasn’t been getting much sleep recently. On Wednesday night we were up to 4 am. I think she actually faked falling asleep because she felt guilty since I wouldn’t go sleep as long she was up and I had work the next day. Once I dropped off I think she got up and went out for a run with the dogs at like 5 am. Then came home, crashed and was up to see me out the door at 7 am and then to hang out with her family.
So after the Bemidji game, her family said their goodnights and got out of their rather quickly. I think they just had no idea how to act to their daughter behaving that way, drunk in their presence and rather direct in contact with me. It’s changed and PDA is more common in urban Korea now, but with the parent’s and grandparent’s generations, you didn’t even hold the hand of your wife in public.
*The Dong Punch of Dong Punches*
Since the weather on Sunday was so terrible. We were restricted to indoor activities, we had a nice long conversation about my dad’s car. Her family was impressed by it and seemed to take it as a positive sign of my family’s economic standing. So my dad and her dad talked cars and got to know each other. We also prepped for the Miami of Ohio game in style. My dad brought over a big party tray of wings, which were a hit with everyone. I made up nachos, got a fire going and figured we’d do this in style. My girlfriend spent the entire game hanging out with me (or on me). At one point she was sitting my lap and feeding me a wing, while giving her parents a look basically daring them to say something. When I needed a beer she’d get up and grab it for me (since she was on my lap she had to move anyway). I’m thinking “You know, you guys are really welcome to visit whenever you want. Hell, you guys should come out for all the football games next year.”
Then came the Great Dong Punch of 2010, the one where Angry Michigan Hating God awoke from his torpor and violated me in ways I did not know I could still be violated. First overtime, 17:23. We should have been on the phone buying tickets at that point, but instead Angry Michigan Hating God bent over the largest alumni base in the world and had his way with us. “Oh I missed a spot after The Horror? You mean after making you stand through 3-9 and 5-7 in the student section I can still inflict further trauma upon you? Here, let me take care of that.”
There was some good from this, my gf was worked up by now, we both were amped up. There was that early fluke in the 3rd, where the Miami shot bounced off the post and we’d been pumped ever since then. She was in my lap, we threw our arms around each other, I stood up, we’re both cheering, we kiss and as I’m looking past her at the TV…
I SEE THE FUCKING REF WAVING IT OFF!!!!!!!!!! *RAAAAAAGEEEEE*
She’s out of my arms now, unloading her multilingual swearing capacity at the TV, I’m working through my mastery of English obscenities. Her family is staring at us as if we’ve both gone insane, my mother is also yelling at the TV. Okay the play is under review, we calm down, they show the replays. Puck in the net, great, here we come……what the hell, whistle? What kind of shit is this?
Her dad is getting into this. He’s gotten the basics of hockey, puck in the net equals a goal. Look you dumbass refs, even the guy who just learned the rules last night get this. Put the point up and send us to Detroit. But as we all know, Michigan Hating God wins in the end.
There is a silver lining though. I caught just the tail end of the conversation about us, it was between her father and his father. They’d gone outside to smoke and were discussing how passionate her daughter is about all this, how she never acted like this in Korea. They might not be thrilled by it, but it sounded like they also understood in some ways she was too Americanized to just happily throw it all away, move back to Seoul and go the traditional route. Given the fact she stood up to her grandparents and some of the things like that, her dad seems to feel this is an actual relationship, not just her doing a white guy for the hell of it.
I also found out her paternal grandfather thinks I’m not a real man, because I let her boss me around and a real man wouldn’t take that kind of shit. You never hear good stuff about yourself when you eavesdrop. Her dad though did stand up for me a bit and say he didn’t think I had a weak spine, just that I “spoiled” her. All I can say to that is, she freaking sat in my laptop and fed me wings for the entire hockey game, she even deboned them for me first..
Who exactly is spoiling who here?
The other good news is my parents have offered to stay in town for awhile, so while I’m at work they’ll hang out with the gf and her family and give her a bit of break from any more of those “easier on the stomach” lectures. Her mother definitely does not approve of me so far.
We’re still setting up stuff for this week, so I don’t know when I’ll have time to post next, but it’s likely going to be hitting up some of the Asian things in this area and showing that their daughter isn’t rejecting her parents’ culture, so much as becoming multicultural and she’ll have plenty of exposure to Korean culture even if she lives over here. I think she is planning to crash some Korean Studies classes this week, so if you’re in one and a family of Koreans walks in, feel free to flirt up the little sister. When she posts photos of you on Cyworld I’ll let you know how the voting goes.
In some ways we’ve made some progress, her standing up to her parents, me showing I’m at least somewhat up on Korean culture and things like that. The downside is her parents are used to her doing what they say. When she goes back to Seoul they impose a curfew on her (she is in her late 20s), tell her which friends she can hang out with and things like that. That’s always been how things worked in Seoul, she lived with her parents and did what they said. Over here, she’s starting to dig into her heels. It’s kind of like she had dual personalities, a standard college student one when in Ann Arbor and more of a child one where she obeyed her parents when in Seoul. Her parents are just meeting this other her for the first time in. After Bemidji when I mentioned that PDA might have been a bit of a shock to her parents, she went off on how she’ll do whatever she wants with her boyfriend in our apartment, which likely prompted the sitting in my lap on Sunday. So it’s a good sign for me, but we’ll see how it plays out when she tells her parents get lost when they try to her what to do.
This is getting long, like pushing 4 pages in Word, so I'm going to end it here. I have some background drama about what prompted the parents visit and some erroneous assumptions they made and I'll get that in Part 4.
Part 4: The Drama Part
So sadly my gf’s dad is gone. Depending on how much you read the international news, you may or may not know that a South Korean warship sank recently. It and another ship were up patrolling near North Korea and the ship either hit a mine or had an internal explosion and sank. North Korea is also threatening to nuke South Korea, but that’s just business as usual when Kimmy Jong Il forgets to take his meds. Between the two events though the South Korean military is on a high enough alert the father has to fly back and report to his unit.
So I gave him a ride out to Metro, just him, the gf and me in my car. As we’re going along he’s talking about how South Korean cars are catching up with American cars and he has one of the fast new sport coups with the 2.8 Liter Engine. I don’t say anything about that, but as we’re merging from US-23 onto I-94, I put my foot down and give my V8 full throttle and come blazing down the merge ramp like a bat out of hell. I glanced over and had the satisfaction of watching the father grab the door handle in a death grip, white knuckles and all. Long story short, no more comments on how much power a 2.8 Liter I4 produces.
The lack of the father has been a major setback to Ginger-Korean relations. The father appeared to like me, I’m invited over to Korea this summer to spend time with the family since he had to cut his visit short. So either he likes me, or he figures it’s easier to dump my body when he has home field advantage. With the father gone, the mother has revealed her inner bitch and her dislike of me. Well always knew she didn’t like me, but with the father gone she no longer appears to have a moderating influence.On Thursday we’re walking around campus and she goes: Her: “Does the sun hurt your eyes?” Me: “No, I’m fine. Why?” Her: “Well you have such big eyes, it must be very bright.” Me [thinking, not saying]: *Was that supposed to be an insult or are you just that clueless?* Her: “Look at all these Chinese girls around here. There are so many of them. I bet no one minds when the Americans date the extra ones.”
She always points any Asian couples she sees and how happy they look.
We hit the boiling point on Thursday. I have Thursday and Friday off work to hang with everyone, so we’re walking from a coffee shop on State over to the Diag. Right in that area between NatSci and Angell. Her mother accosts a pair of Asian guys walking along as well:Her: “Excuse me, are you Korean?” One Guy: “I am, my friend is from Taiwan, do you need help with something?” [Likely thinking she needed help translating something.] Her: “Oh no, I just wanted to show her she could find a cute Korean boy here if she took the time to look.”
My gf slams her coffee down on the sidewalk and glares at her mother: “Yes mother, I must be insane to live in America and date a white boy, instead of living in Seoul with you.”
The guys are getting the hell out of the conversation at this point. Without missing a beat the mother turns and slaps my gf across the face. Full on snap her face to one side, giant red mark. I put myself between the mother and my gf. The mother has her hand up like she was going to hit her daughter again, I just step in, crossing my arms over my chest.
Silence as we just stare at each other for a moment, her face is livid, but I’m 5’ 11” and she’s 5’ 3”. So she can’t exactly shove me out of the way and go after her daughter again. I finally speak (in Korean, using the phrasing that suggests I’m talking a child/inferior, as opposed to the politer ones I should be using):“We might never get along. I’m fine with that. What you don’t want though is for me to be mad at you, and if I ever see you hit [name] or hear that you hit [name], we are going to have a major problem and I am going to get mad. Do we have an understanding?”
After a few moments she lowers her hand and steps back. My gf just turns bright red and gets out of there. All this went down in front of my parents and some people that happened to be up early. I catch up with her by the Fishbowl and she’s crying because my parents saw this all and will think she has a dysfunctional family, because now her mom will always hate me (as long as she also fears me I can work with it) and all that. Fun little emotional rollercoaster, she goes from crying, to giving me a slap for being so stupid, to kissing me for standing up for her. Estrogen is a hell of a drug..
I text my parents that I’m bailing out, so they go off suit shopping. Her family also breaks off and I drag my girlfriend off to the Arb to enjoy the weather. Nice day away from everyone and we hook back up with the folks (both sides) in the later afternoon.
We worked Lil Sister over for intelligence later on. Interestingly enough the maternal grandmother laid the smack down on her daughter (the mother) for acting like that in public. Part of what Lil Sister repeated went like this:“I am embarrassed any child of mine would be such a poor parent she would need to hit her adult daughter in public.”
Also:Mother: “How dare he do that, challenge me when I was disciplining my child…*rant rant rant*” Maternal Grandmother: “Well if someone hit me, you would defend me, wouldn’t you? [Looks at her husband]” Maternal Grandfather: … Maternal Grandmother: “Oh I see, you would let the person beat me. At least my granddaughter knows her man will protect her.”
It appears grandma at least approves of the intervention. I also caught up with the father on the phone, his take on it was: “I’ve told my wife before she hits the children much too frequently.” I guess since I didn’t actually touch his wife, we have no beef. No apologies from the mother, or from me and she’s tending to avoid me at dinner and things like that, walks on the other side of the group.
So at this point I’m not sure if I’m going to try to patch things up with the mother, if that’s even possible, or just roll with the “You hate me, you fear me, but you know I will end you up if you hit my gf again” kind of deal.
On a lighter note, Lil Sister vs Dogs:
So Lil Sis was raiding my ‘fridge for food and pulled out the smoked salmon, the crack of the canine world, at least for my dogs. She instantly has a pair of man’s best friends in the kitchen and they want her to share. She takes a piece of salmon and holds it above their heads going “Awww you want the fish, puppies want the fish?” Corin starts to rise up to get it and she lifts it up out of reach, or so she thinks.
Corin is 112 pounds last we checked and can put his paws on my shoulders. Lil Sis is like 5’ and 100 lbs tops. Corin drops back down, looks at her for a moment and then jumps up again. He puts one paw on each shoulder and pushes her down onto her rear. She sits down with a little thump and her eyes get real big, Corin grabs the fish from her hand and trots off. In America, dog eat you.
Theodora, proving she is the smartest of the bunch yet again, waited until everyone was engrossed in Lil Sis vs Corin, grabbed the package of salmon off the counter and headed for the basement. Oddly enough, Lil Sis has yet to update her Cyworld and mention she got taken out by a pair of malamutes.
So you guys have a great weekend. I have tomorrow off, in theory to enjoy the weather and my guests, but I’m sure y’all will have a better day thanme. Right now the GF is “working her thesis” in the office, which judging from the sound of it is actually venting to her older sister on the phone. Once she gets done with that I think we’ll be drinking.
Part 5: Detroit and Oakland County
So yeah I kind of fell off the radar hunh? Sorry about that. Well after everything went down we kind of decided to get out of town on a last minute idea. Packed the camping gear, the dogs and a lot of booze into the car and headed for New Mexico where I have some family. Left the car at their place and hiked around up in the Guadalupe Mountains for awhile and enjoyed being totally off the radar and the grid. Just the two of us and the dogs, nice and relaxing. SO I was totally gone and out of touch from all things electronic for awhile. My apologies.
Highlights of the trip:
Pulled over for doing 25 over the speed limit (really New Mexico, why do you even bother with speed limits?). Girlfriend is driving, she begins sobbing, adopts a really heavy accent and actually drops the line Dishonor my famiry. New Mexican sheriff deputy is not emotionally equipped to deal with a sobbing Asian girl. He apologizes (!!!) for pulling her over, makes me take the wheel and has me promise not let her drive again. He apologizes to her a second time, tries to cheer her up and returns to his cruiser. She spends the next hour bitching about having to fix her makeup and yelling at me for hitting bumps while she's curling her eye lashes or some shit.
Texas cops had no problem dropping a ticket for 15 over on my ass though. Although maybe if I'd turned on the waterworks I could have gotten an apology.
We're up in the mountains, there's still snow up there, pine trees and everything. My gf gets the great idea of Lets sleep under the stars, like in the movies, it will be romantic. No tent or anything, just a ground sheet and the sleeping bag. Zipped together of course, so she can steal my body heat. So at some ungodly hour of the night I feel this pressure on my chest. I figure it was a dog just trying to use me as a pillow, so I start to get a hand free to push the dog away when I realize I have a skunk sitting on my chest, staring right at me. I lie there frozen, it seemed like an hour, but it was really like 10 minutes. Finally the skunk hops off me and wanders off. Took me like four hours to calm my heart rate down and go back to sleep. Fuck espresso man, wake up with a skunk on your chest and you won't need that kind of shit.
Also good was the pair of fat Texans telling my gf to go back to Mexico. Swing and a miss fellows. This naturally went down in a WalMart.
So Now Detroit:
First off, if you haven't been to Seoul, it's a really nice city. Population of ~10 million, incredibly clean and a subway system that puts all others to shame. Also a very safe city, you can safely wander around out there without any worries.
Compare that to Detroit, where Kroger left because they couldn't find enough qualified workers to stock shelves.
So after the entire slapping incident relations where pretty chilled. The mother is angry at her daughter for defying her, me for getting up in her face and also at herself for losing control of the situation like that. A lot of traditional Asian families though like to pretend everything is 100% fine on the surface and they're all one big happy family. So the mother basically does a 100% and becomes terminally friendly and acting like she has the best family ever, while hundreds of emotional hang ups lurk under the surface. Like we were talking around the campus and see two big fat Michigan squirrels. So she starts yelling and gesturing excitedly while pointing at the squirrels. Whips out the camera and takes photos, then has her daughters stand by the squirrels, takes photos of them and everything. What she was trying to project was: See? No issues in the family, its one big happy family that is taking photos with cute animals and we?re all laughing and having fun, everything is great.
So the trip down to Detroit was kind of easy (but annoying) because her mom was on all the cute subjects. Like ?Ooooooh look the airport where we came in!!! Ooooooh look a blue bridge over the highway, that?s one of your school's colors isn't it dear? Ooooooooh look a tire beside the highway!!!!!! *six million photos*?
The perkiness though was kind of strained as we got into the city. I mean what do you get excited about in Detroit? Ooooh look a burned out house! Ooooh look another burned out house! Look dear a gang shooting in progress! *duck and cover*?
We hit up the RenCen and had some friends give us a little tour of the GM World Headquarters, enjoyed a good ?American? lunch at the Hard Rock Café and drove around Belle Isle. We rode the People Mover in a full loop around the city and I drove them through some of the shadier parts of Mexican Town. I opted not to go into the really bad parts of town, but some of the empty lots right down by the Joe and that area got the point across. Got them to double check the door locks a few times.
When we were walking about Belle Isle, every time a black person approached the family would shift to so I was between them and the stranger. They also totally blown away by the fact black people could be cops. One of the grandfathers summed up Detroit's problems as Oh so the brothers of those who commit crimes are the police? No wonder nothing gets fixed. You should get some good American cops. When he says America, what he neans is white.
*For those of you unfamiliar with North Asian cultures, typically everyone in the country belongs to one to ethnic group. So to them one ethnic group = one country and a lot of them don't get the idea of a country with multiple ethnic groups living in one country. So to them American's ethnic unit is white people and they don't get why all these black people are running around. I one had a Japanese person point to some black people and go: I thought they lived on preserves?.'. (He meant reservations.)
It's also one of the reasons many traditional families fear their children settling in America. In a lot of cases, immigrants will forever rank one step below the locals. As in Korea is run for the benefit of Koreans, others might settle and work there, but the needs of the minorities aren't something the government spends a lot of time worrying about. At least compared to America and Canada.
After Detroit we cruising up to Grosse Point to show her family what a difference a few blocks on Jefferson can make. We ended up coming back through Oakland County and stopping in Rochester to visit some family.
Now the best part about visiting my cousin in Rochester Hills is, get this, he's married to a Korean American girl! Ginger mojo, it gets you the Korean every time. His wife was born in Korea, but adopted by white Americans at age 2 and raised in Holland, Michigan. So while yes she does appear Korean, all her mannerisms and speech patterns are those of a native Michigander. I always give him shit for marrying a "Knock Off" while I have the genuine article. His reply: 'The model I got doesn't consider dog edible, yours does. I win. (His wife went to State, so I?m pretty sure I win in the end.)
So we pull into his driveway, he comes out to greet us and a few minutes later his wife comes out. The expressions on the faces of her family were amazing. It was a total ?What the hell? They're stealing our women!? So we introduced her around and gave them her background. She speaks no Korean, but Lil Sis kept forgetting and trying to talk to her in Korean. They showed off their new baby and everyone fussed over him. My gf's mom made a big fuss of his Asian facial features. (The kid is 3 months old and the only thing I think he resembles is a pink raisin that shits itself.) My gf's mom really seemed to get into the kid, since I guess she really wants grandkids. So I guess the day she accepts me is the day she starts urging me to procreate with her daughter.
We finished off the trip by introducing to I-275, Michigan's six lane parking lot and sitting in traffic for awhile. I was expecting the mom to make little remarks about how I could go date an adoptee and keep my hands off their native resources, but she was still in the ultra friendly and everything is happy mode. So it was just small talk and excited pointing at a Hummer H2s and things like that.
Lil Sis also said once she gets a car, she wants us to send her spinners, really big ones. We were stopped next to a 1990s Buick blasting rap and she opened the window and leaned out to get a better video of the spinners in action. The two homies in the car were punching each other on the shoulder, laughing, pointing and all that. She waved back, gave them the peace sign and then took their photo. The one guy collapsed against the steering wheel laughing at that point.
Part 6: They're Gone
First off I need to shout out to Shredder for the MS Paint. Amazing man, amazing. For the record, my hair is rapidly turning the color Shredder shows in the paint. Given it appears to be full on Spring or Summer in that paint, its accurate (aside from the fact my skin isn't bright red and peeling, freaking Irish ancestry). Also to Brian for mentioning me on Unverified Voracity, wow. MS Paint, Unverified Voracity and Haikus. Wow, you people must really be bored.
Also a shout out Chait at TNR for linking to the first one, although I feel compelled to point out I used to write for the Review. What's with you Dailypeople always mooching our stuff? [/sarcasm].
Bzzt, Bzzt. My cellphone vibrated on the coffee table, alarm going off, reminding me i need to at work in an hour. I reach out, fumbling for the cellphone, trying not to disturb my girlfriend. How did she steal the covers again?
She's sleeping on top of me, we fell asleep on the couch last night, some time around 3 am or so. She's wrapped in our maize and blue afghan (which I knit, thank you very much), she's gotten it wrapped around her body multiple times like a sleeping bag, leaving me with nothing to cover my feet. She's snoring softly, she claims I lie about her snoring of course, face pressed against my chest.
I grab the cellphone, kill the alarm and flip open my email. I dash off a little email about having a cold or allergy problems, not sleeping well and say I'm going to take some decongestants, grab some sleep and then come in to work late. It's not a total lie, my allergies are acting up right now.
Overcast, the sound of the wind whistling by our sliding glass door. Corin is sitting by the door, a fifth of tequila between his paws. He looks at the bottle, about two inches of amber liquid remain at the bottom of it, then presses his nose against the top. Then shifts, trying to shove his tongue down the neck of the bottle, failing. After a moment he gives up, eyeing the bottle, nudging it with his nose. Then that tongue outs again. Corin's a canine alcoholic. The remains of our drinks are gone, he and Dora likely finished them off once we passed out.
Talk about a hell of a hangover. There's half a bottle of water on the coffee table, but its out of arms reach. I try to grab it a few times before finally grabbing the leg of the table, dragging it closer, an inch at a time, trying not to wake up my girlfriend as she snores on top of me. Both dogs are watching me now, heads tilting as they try to figure out what the hell I'm doing. I get the water and manage to only spill about half it on myself as I drink.
So Wednesday afternoon we convoyed to the airport. The father was the only with an international drivers permit and he's gone. So my gf drove out the van loaded down with the family, my parents next and me last. We all pulled in at McNamara, helped her family move their bags into the terminal. She hugged them farewell, shook hands and gave hugs as well.
Dropped the van off at Hertz, wished my parents farewell and walked over to my car. The gf fiddles around with the radio, putting on BoA's American album, selecting the track Control and cranking the volume up. With the chorus of:
You don't know me, I'm not who you think I am
You don't own me, your wish is not my command
Oh oh oh oh
You think you're in control
You think you're in control
Control, control, control
You think you're in control
It's not exactly a subtle song for what she's going for here. Since we're out anyways we take the long way home, swing through Clawson to grab some sushi at Noble Fish. We get there before the restaurant section opens, so we load up on various foods, then get some sushi and bail.
So I have some stories, ranging from taking the family to Detroit, to Easter, to meeting some Japanese neighbors (Are you a white guy hanging with a traditional Korean family? Get some Japanese people in on this, you'll suddenly be the second most hated race in the room.) I'll type them up soon, really. Right now I'm just cranking this out over my late lunch break, so I'm on the clock here.
So in the end, how did I do and does the family hate my guts or not? I made some major progress on Easter when it came out I'm not religious, which her family approved up. I guess there was some fear I'd convert their daughter to a Western religion, which was odd to find out given how many Christians there are in Korea. The grandmother seems to like me, she actually gave a legit hug at the airport and echoed the father's invitation to come to Korea. The paternal grandfather seems to at least tolerate me, I guess he considers me a bit more of a man after the slap incident, even if I don't boss my girlfriend around.
The mother and the grandparents on that side are still tricky. Part of my acceptance I think rests on how my gf's relationship with her mother plays out. She bucked parental authority over here, and did it in front a lot of her people and her mother is not happy about that. So relations are tense between my gf and her mother. Their farewell was really strained and the hug was one of those ice cold quick 1 second long things. Her family had to change planes in Chicago and during that time her mother called the go's cellphone. My gf responded by sending the call to voicemail turning off the phone. Things are tense there. Since the dad flew back early, they had a spare ticket for this flight and the mother was pushing hard for my gf to use it and come back to Korea so they could continue to talk about this. My gf dug her heels and is still here.
On a lighter note, on Sunday we visited my uncle up in Livingston County. He's a good Michigan redneck, complete with a gun case and stuffed animal heads in his living room. The one grandfather was admiring some of the weapons and we pulled a few out to shoot. Lil Sis wanted in on this, so we gave her the folding stock G36K. Posted on her Cyworld is a photo of her firing the gun. She had to fire prone because the one time she tried to fire from the shoulder while standing the recoil kicked her ass, so she'd put on a pair of jeans and a camo shirt for the lying in the dirt part. These were both about 5 sizes too big. The caption under the photo: "I'M AMERICAN NOW!!!!!!!!" There are a bunch of comments on the photo and a conversation about Americans and guns, and one of Lil Sis's was basically "All you boys better treat me right, or I'll have my sister send over her big white boyfriend and his guns to get you." Crex, Gingerwater Inc, international ginger enforcer. She's actually pretty good with it, after a few lessons on how the sites work she had good grouping and she outshot both her grandfathers, who served in the Korean military. He dad loved the picture and had it posted in his office on base I'm told. She's taken her paper targets and some empty casings back to Korea. About fifteen minutes after we dropped them at the airport it hit me "Shit, those things are in her carry-on bag. What if TSA flips out over them?" Luckily she made it through security and customs with no problems.
The above is the orginial arch that was voted into the board's Hall of Fame. At one point they were removed because my gf (now wife) was still teaching her and some of her students connected the dots. With that all history now, they have returned. Due to populat demand I'll occasionally do updates in the off season or if I have something truly worthwhile talking about. You can use the 'korean inlaws' tag to find them. At the time of doing this, the future updates are:
For those of you bored, I'll do another installment of CRex and Korean In Laws. Wedding edition, Part I. It's a special one since I got married three times.
If you have no idea what the hell this is, see here. Scroll down to the Humor section and look for the Korean Saga. Also if you forgot who Little Sister is, you might want to scan those and brush up on it. Also posbang M-Wolverine when you get a chance, since he kept copies of those for me to restore.
As a general note I'm pleased to report we're back to more or less funny things. Parts 4 and 5 got kind of dark. When you get right down to it my wife's parents had been in an alien culture for a long period by that point and also were dealing with jet lag and a surprise boyfriend. People got grumpy and we went through the drama period. Those days are long gone, now when I visit I go drinking with the father and all is well. Her mother actually really likes my mother which has also smoothed some things over.
To begin with the first marriage was solely to avoid the whole HS1B and OPT issue. So the deal is if you're a foreign student and graduate, you get a year (OPT) to find a job. If you don't, INS tells you to get your ass out of the country. If you're an American dating someone on OPT time, it's kind of lose-lose. I've seen girls stressing out because they're 8 months into their year and their boyfriend still hasn't proposed. They're walking around going "Doesn't he love me? Doesn't he want to help me stay here?". Then if they do propose, they walk around all offended, "Oh he doesn't respect me. He doesn't think I can get a job and a green card on my own. He thinks the only way I can become an American is to marry one." I know who a guy who got yelled at for taking so long to propose and then yelled at for proposing based on the above. All in the span of 5 minutes, at the time he was on his knee in the Grand Hotel on Mackinac. She did take the ring and they're happily married, but he described OPT as the worst time in their relationship.
So I decided to run an end around on all this and suggested we go down and do the paperwork for tax reasons and so we could just get it out of the way before my girlfriend graduated and started the job search. I'm just romantic like that when it comes to getting married. "Look honey, I bought you a ring, now fill this form in so you can be my little tax write-off."
This leads to the citizenship interview. The one where you get split up and questioned about each other. It's the government way of attempting to make sure some foreigner isn't paying you to green card them in. It's also rather difficult to know exactly what it entails. You show up with bunch of proof of your relationship (photos, flight ticket stubs from trips we took together, etc) and then it all depends on which agents you get and how grumpy or biased against interracial marriage they are. I know couples that got the paperwork in one visit. Others got four or five rounds of fun and eventually had to call in lawyers.
I got one of the guys who apparently was going to be a pain. Despite all our photos and proof of a multiyear relationship, he wasn't buying it. He noted she was about to go on OPT and seemed convinced this was a paid marriage and forged all the photos in photoshop or something. We finally reached the question of "What she do?".Me: "Well she's a PhD student at Michigan. About to graduate." Agent: "Yes, but what is her research." Me: "She's working on some projects with Aerospace and remote controls." Agent: "You can't be close if you don't know what she researches." Me: "Something military, she and her adviser drive to Dayton frequently and all I know is drone warfare. They don't tell me much else." Agent: "She's not even a citizen, she can't work on that." Me: "Actually since South Korea is a closely allied power, their citizens can work on certain level of projects." Agent: "I don't believe you." Me: "The officers she works with figured this would happen. One of them gave us his card and said you should call him with the questions."
So the agent gets on the phone and calls up the USAF. The officer asks to speak to us, so it ends up with the agent, myself, and my wife sitting in the room on speakerphone.Officer: "So how's it going?" Wife: "I was called some rude things to my face today. Not great." (Her agent was worse than mine as it turned out.) Officer: "Oh one of those…" (there are some other foreigners working on this project, so I guess the military has had this happen before). Agent: "We have some very valid concerns…" Officer: "We'd be happy to provide 'supplemental' material to address your bullshit concerns. What are your GPS coordinates? I'm about to send up a drone for testing and I'd be happy to have it drop 'something' off." Agent: "…" Officer: "Look, you can do the paperwork or I can call my boss at the Pentagon and tell them a billion dollar project is going to be delayed because immigration is jerking one of our researchers around."
We left with all the paperwork.
The next part was getting married in Korea. The Korean tradition was you were married at the house of the bride. These days a lot of people do it in hotels or other venues were you can rent a wedding room, but due to the idea of the bride's parents kind of running the wedding it was agreed we'd do the first ceremony over there.
As a side note with international travel, I can't stress how awesome ANA is. I'm not associated them in anyway (aside from having all kinds of frequent flier miles with them). Basically imagine an American 777. Now replace the grumpy 40 year old stewardesses who give you a dirty look when you ask for the entire can of Coke instead of some tiny cup of it with a bunch of 20 something year old Japanese girls who somehow keep a perky smile on their face for an entire 13 hour flight. You also get a show when it comes to take off.
The stewardess start closing up the overhead bins. Our plane had the kind where you have to push the entire bin up to secure it. So this featured a tiny little girl valiantly trying to close a bin that Americans filled with a good 100 pounds worth of carry on luggage. Eventually a guy in that row notices the stewardess is struggling, unbuckles, and closes the bin for her. If the guy fails to notice you'll hear a progressively louder series of cute little squeaks as she indirectly tries to get the guy's attention. She moves to the next row and it repeats. For the entire length of the 777. It's stupid, but also damn funny. Sadly some of the ANA flights actually have tall stewardesses, so it isn't every flight.
So I eventually herd my family onto the plane (my father has never left the country before so it takes some prodding to get him to go the ROK) and head off to my doom, errr wedding. My wife's family has decided I'm likable enough. I'm still not entirely in until I aid in the production of a grandson, but they like me well enough. I think they accepted their daughter isn't in a terrible hurry to return to Korea, which is fairly patriarchal and she's too rebellious to be happy with it, and as far as round eyed devils go, I'm not that bad.
There are a variety of pre wedding traditions in Korean, centered around gift and money exchange. Since I'm not Korean and the whole thing isn't exactly traditional the only one we opt to follow is Sansu. The exchange of wine and food between families, which comes close to leading to disaster.
My family had brought a number of American things. For example: Michigan dried cherries, beef jerky, Grand Traverse Cherry Vodka, and Irish Whiskey due to our Irish roots. The problem begins when Little Sister manages to confuse the Cherry Vodka with flavored soju. Since soju normally runs around 20% abv she's used to putting down a bottle of soju and not feeling much pain (soju also comes in smaller bottles). In Korea they do all kinds of flavored sojus. Yogurt, strawberry, lychee, etc. You get a carafe of it and drink it (Tomokun also does this in Ann Arbor). I realize Little Sister has put down 2/3s of a bottle of vodka about the time she stands up on the bar, proposes a toast to our happiness and promptly face plants off the bar and onto the tile floor. Luckily without any visible injuries since a stool breaks her fall (to a degree).
My wife and I are tasked with take her out for some noodles and sober her up. We're in the cab when Little Sister loses it and pukes all over the place. The driver calmly opens the glove box and hands us a pack of cleaning wipes and an airplane style barf bag. We then get informed there is a standard fee for vomit cleaning. We also get a lecture on how we should have told him she was drunk and he could just have given the bag and avoided the see.
As it turns puking in cabs isn't all that uncommon in the party districts of Seoul. The driver isn't mad about the puke, it's a standard job hazard I guess, just mad we didn't ask for a bag. I'm not saying Korea has a drinking problem, but when they have standard fees for drunk vomiting, they probably do.
We pour a combination of Pocari Sweat (a Korean energy drink) and ramen into Little Sister to get her functioning again, perhaps too functional. Since we're out she demands we do some clubbing and karaoke. She calls in my wife's older sister and the four of us hit the town.
The real fun starts at karaoke club. A couple friends of my older sister in law met us at the club and we have a pretty good group going. I'm a big fan of the older sister because she works as a model/back-up dancer. So she has lots of friend who run on the tall side for Korean girls. They always want to dance with me since they have a hard time finding guys significantly taller than them. So of course I have to dance with them, you know to be polite.
Little Sister excuses herself out to the bathroom and returns twenty minutes later with four other girls. Rather scantily clad karaoke helpers. She proudly announces this can be my Korean bachelor's party and then points the helpers my way, with my wife standing right beside me. As to what a karaoke helper is, the way it works is you pay for some girls to help you come in and sing the songs. This is cover for you to get a look at the girls and negotiate some extra services after karaoke (prostitution). You don't have to get anything extra and there isn't any assurance the girls will accept your offer anyway. It's just a time when you scope each other out.Me: "Fuck you cherry vodka, fuck you very much." My wife: "Well she already paid for them, so it's just wasted money if we kick them out." Me: "So you yell at me when I'm polite and dance with your sister's friends, but you want me to keep the hookers?" Wife: "I don't like wasting money." Me: "By that logic if I get a mistress, buy her an expensive handbag, you're okay with me sleeping with her? Because otherwise I'd have just wasted money on the handbag? Wife: "It's only wasting money when I say it is."
So that was my Korean bachelor party. My wife's sister younger sister hiring hookers for me, in the presence of my wife and her older sister. My friends back in America didn't even get me a stripper, a trip to a strip club, or anything of that nature (We did the ever classic drinking and camping thing, my friend got drunk, fell asleep in a kayak and woke up on the Au Sable River five miles downstream from the campground). Nope, my hookers came from a 18 year old girl. Hooray. Even better her dad may have slipped her the money to cover it. I guess he thought it would be funny.
The girls were actually cool. They were happy enough to party with us and work as waitresses. They'd duck out and grab more beer, noodles, or snacks when we ran dry. One of them also appeared to work out a business deal with one of the single male friends since the two of them left early. I ended up doing Empire of State Mind and Live your Life with one of the girls who spoke solid English. As a group we all did Lollipop.
As we're walking out of karaoke we happen to walk past a pair of white folk, likely Americans teaching English based on their look. I'm surrounded by a pack of girls, the two guys are on their own. One of the guys is wearing a tOSU ball cap.Me: "O-H!" *guy turn around with a big smile on his face: "I-O!" Me: *gestures at the girls* "Hail to the Victors!" A moment of silence as the Bucknut stares at me and then I lead the girls (well the ones who can speak English) in "It's great to be…a Michigan Wolverine!". He just turns around and walks away. Ah rivalries, how you define us.
The night ends though with Little Sister passing out, likely due to the fact she started drinking again at karaoke. By night I mean about 5 am, Koreans go hard. At Michigan of course we think a party night is hitting the Jug at 11 and leaving three hours later when it closes. Then if you're really on a roll you go have a couple drinks at someone's house. In Korea you hit the night market around 8 or 9, then you hit the clubs, then a break for food, and then back out. One of my in-laws explains to me he keeps a spare suit in his office so he can go directly from the clubs to work. He staggers in, changes, and sleeps it off. He doesn't get in trouble since his boss and his boss's boss are doing the same.
I'm sitting there on a bench with her head in my leg and her snoring away while my wife and the older sister go check the subway map and get some water to pour into Little Sister. I'm about half a beer away from either vomiting up my internal organs or passing out myself. I'm just peacefully floating around in that drunken haze when two shadows fall across me. I glance up and see a pair of Korean cops staring at me.Me: "So officers, what can I do for you?" Officers: *glares of death at me with the teenage girl passed out on me* Me: "I know this looks like date rape, but I swear it isn't."
I'm separated from her and over against the patrol car by the time my wife returns to straighten everything out.
The actual wedding is smooth (thankfully). We do the initial ceremony with me in a tuxedo and my wife in an American wedding dress (they caught on in Korea). The ceremony itself is quick since a long ceremony would just delay the guests access to the feast and the booze. She then changes into a traditional outfit for the feast. The food is a lot better than most American weddings, its a real banquet with entire fish and the like. The only hitch is that the Christian branch of her family is confused as to the lack of a Christian ceremony. They get that my wife isn't Korea, but they couldn't get their head around the fact I'm American and not Christian. All Americans are supposed to own guns and be Christian it seems. To keep the peace we let one of her cousins, who is a Minister, do a simple little ceremony on the tail end.
After the ceremony and feast, the younger section of the wedding party hits a bar. My father in law rented out the entire bar for us, so we had the place to ourself for 4 hours and had a good time. it was murder on my liver because I had to drink with everyone at the feast (individual toasts with all the males present) and then another round of toasts at the bar with everyone. At the feast first I went around the tables and toasted everyone. Then everyone came up to the table and toasted me. All one on one, with about 40 guys there. I reached the point where I was faking taking sips of soju to survive. Luckily Little Sister was not fully recovered from her introduction to vodka and passed out early on rather than engaging on another spree of hooker hiring.
And thus I was married on one of the two continents where I had to have a ceremony.
This diary takes a look at the spring roster data currently available from the schools’ home sites, Rivals recruiting profiles from 2008 to the present and depth charts from bloggers like you. I mash these up to share some data hopefully in an interesting way.
First the disclaimers… this is down and dirty. Like most of you there isn’t a ton of time to do this sort of thing. The data is broadly categorical and prone to errors on my part. The depth charts are just for comparison purposes and don’t mean much. The 1s look pretty solid to me though for both teams. Enough said… let’s do this…
Every team comes from the crucible of recruits who are signed and walk-ons who show up in the present and previous 5-6 years. Here is a table of the recruiting classes from Rivals for both schools.
Alabama averages 26.6, Michigan 23.6 . You can’t talk about this game without this elephant in the room. The way Alabama does football is different. This has been discussed openly here (long may Meechigan Dan run) , in the WSJ… and by everyone including recently the local media in Alabama but not by Saban (not openly) or the University of ******* (name redacted to protect it’s privacy.)
Here is a table of the players who are on the roster now by class…
Not quite accurate perhaps… one of the class of 2008 took a greyshirt and is currently a RS Sophomore. There are 4 JUCO players on the Alabama roster – 2 of whom will start on the defensive line in September. The other two are on the 2s but will probably see time. One them was a member of the 2010 class but was shunted to a JUCO for
roster school work. Suffice to say the charts above look relatively matched by class especially with the JUCO/Greyshirt disclaimer with respect to this years roster at least on the face of it.
College football is never the same at any school. Teams follow the rules of the NCAA (supposedly), their conference and their school. Northwestern is more severe on admissions than most all if not all B1G teams. Service academies have JV squads that follow different rules. BYU and other schools send athletes on 2 year missions…CFB is complex, varied and… freaking pretty great all together. So let’s not cry about the insanity that is Oversigning or discuss it further. There are better places for that.
In fact oversigning is only significant when the players who show up are good to begin with. How good are the players from each school?
Here’s the Rivals ratings of Alabama and Michigan for the crucible classes of 2008 up to and including 2012 class by school…including the current walk-ons.
The green diamonds are mean diamonds. When they don’t overlap in general the populations are demonstrably different. These do overlap.
Here’s the same analysis but just for the current roster plus 2012 class.
Note that Alabama will have 119 players (noted as observations in the lower right corner above). Some people will not be invited to Fall camp. Hmmm… that happens to the best of teams. Note also the crucible dataset is better than the actual roster. It hurts to lose people to the NFL – early or otherwise.
Let’s break this down by position.
I don’t have time or inclination to make this pretty. Notice the Defense is on average more highly rated for Michigan – but not at safety – which is a key position for Alabama and any team.
The “Adjusted” tick mark is to signify the positions have been normalized. How I did that is not worthy of discussion but suffice to say it wasn’t categorically fun – but I wanted to compare them head to head and it’s adequate IMO for this purpose.
Here’s a similar breakdown by body mass index (BMI) and straight weight.
BMI works for positional analysis and can yield interesting insight IMO. I did a diary last year that showed JR Hemmingway’s outlierish BMI. I seem to recall him pawning a few DBs on underthrown balls last year with said BMI. I’m going to say this just to get pissy comments… BMI even points to fitness wrt football. If you don’t think that is true then bring it on. There are few coaches in the game that don’t give a player a target weight to train toward. BMI points to stockiness good and bad and possible leverage advantages. It also kills more NFL players in retirement than PCS.
But I digress… back to the charty things….
Kenny Demens is the lone max outlier point at LB for either team. We are thin there and everywhere (pun intended.)
Here are the weight comparisons with the exact same analysis.
Our defensive ends, safeties and backers are statistically different (especially without Demens.) Bama’s safeties are tightly packed by weight. Most of this has to do with my normalization of position I think. I would have to look at this more closely.
The biggest complaint with this analysis (and yes I know there are many) is that it’s 11 on 11 not 119 on 102. Let’s look at depth chart’s and do a little more charting.
Here’s what I will use…
|Alabama Offense||Michigan Offense|
|QB||AJ McCarron||Phillip Ely||Blake Sims||QB||D. Robinson||D. Gardner||R. Bellomy|
|TB||Eddie Lacy||Jalston Fowler||T.J. Yeldon||TB||F. Toussaint||V. Smith||T. Rawls|
|X||Kevin Norwood||Amari Cooper||Marvin Shinn||X||R. Roundtree||D. Gardner||J. Robinson|
|Y||Kenny Bell||Chris Black||Blake Sims||Y||D. Dileo||R. Miller||J. Hayes|
|Z||Christion Jones||DeAndrew White||Danny Woodson, Jr.||Z||J. Gallon||J. Jackson||A. Darboh|
|HB||Brian Vogler||Harrison Jones||Brent Calloway||HB||S. Hopkins||J. Kerridge||D. Funchess|
|TE||Michael Williams||Malcolm Faciane||Brian Vogler||TE||B. Moore||A.J. Williams||C. Eddins|
|LT||Cyrus Kouandjio||Barrett Jones||Kellen Williams||LT||T. Lewan||K. Kalis||E. Gunderson|
|LG||Chance Warmack||Chad Lindsay||Isaac Luatua||LG||E. Mealer||C. Bryant||J. Burzynski|
|C||Barrett Jones||Ryan Kelly||Chad Lindsay||C||R. Barnum||J. Miller||E. Mealer|
|RG||Anthony Steen||Isaac Luatua||Austin Shepherd||RG||P. Omameh||C. Bryant||G. Glasgow|
|RT||D.J. Fluker||Austin Shepherd||Barrett Jones||RT||M. Schofield||K. Kalis||B. Braden|
|Michigan Defense||Alabama Defense|
|SS||J. Kovacs||M. Robinson||T. Carter||SS||Vinnie Sunseri||Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix||Jarrick Williams|
|FS||T. Gordon||J. Furman||J. Wilson||FS||Robert Lester||Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix||Nick Perry|
|CB1||B. Countess||C. Avery||D. Hollowell||CB1||John Fulton||Bradley Sylve||Travell Dixon|
|WLB||D. Morgan||B. Hawthorne||J. Ross||WLB||C.J. Mosley||Tana Patrick||Dillon Lee|
|CB2||J. Floyd||R. Taylor||T. Talbott||CB2||DeMarcus Milliner||Deion Belue||Jabriel Washington|
|WDE||F. Clark||B. Beyer||M. Ojemudia||WDE||Xzavier Dickson||Adrian Hubbard||Ryan Anderson|
|DT||J. Black||Q. Washington||K. Wilkins||DT||Quinton Dial||Jeoffrey Pagan||LaMichael Fanning|
|MLB||K. Demens||J. Bolden||M. Jones||MLB||Nico Johnson||Trey DePriest||Dillon Lee|
|NT||W. Campbell||R. Ash||O. Pipkins||NT||Jesse Williams||Brandon Ivory||Jeoffrey Pagan|
|SLB||J. Ryan||C. Gordon||K. Ringer||SLB||Adrian Hubbard||Dillon Lee||Jonathan Atchison|
|SDE||C. Roh||N. Brink||K. Heitzman||SDE||Damion Square||Ed Stinson||D.J. Pettway|
|Alabama Special Teams||Michigan Special Teams|
|P||Cody Mandell||P||W. Hagerup||M. Wile|
|K||Jeremy Shelley||Cade Foster||K||B. Gibbons||M. Wile|
|PR||Christion Jones||Dee Hart||Deion Belue||PR||J. Gallon||B. Countess|
|KR||Christion Jones||Dee Milliner||Deion Belue||KR||J. Hayes||T. Rawls|
|H||D. Dileo||J. Gallon|
I followed the HB convention for Alabama and XYZ nomenclature subbing in FB and WR1, Slot and WR2 for Michigan with plenty of fudge. I used common Michigan terms on defense. It is what it is. I said I wasn’t going to get into the normalization of positions and I did… back to charts.
This is worse case for Michigan (barring injury - not to tempt the fates) and best case for Alabama. I don’t see any of the non EEs playing for the Tide from the 2012 class. I do see a strong possibility that some 2012 non EEs play for Michigan (though not well enough to start the first game – there is too much to learn. Glasgow will play when Mich goes up by 30 in the final five minutes of the game.) This is just to separate out the players from the scout team for comparison purposes anyway.
Let’s get back to charts looking only at the players on the depth charts above. These are pretty busy…zoom your screens. I’m to lazy to break out the sides.
OK… I’m surprised more diaries don’t end like this. My wife just told me to get to bed. I must obey.
I can say a few things here but really it’s the data I want to share – not so much my opinion. But let me say this… so far not much new here. :-|
I have a ton more comparisons here as well as a novel way of looking at walk-on talent (nothing sexy but I think it’s interesting.) I hope you guys can make this out and that there aren’t too many errors in my data.
I will throw up other charts looking at the roster, rivals DB and depth charts at a later date if time allows.
Before I sign off though… let me leave you with 3 points as to why Saban is God’s gift to coaching. You can’t argue with these…
He’s the smartest guy in the room if you listen to the talking heads and hangers on. I can’t stand SEC hubris. Here are some counterpoints.
- Saban has been beat before.
- Saban isn’t going to play on the field in Texas.
- I sure would like Hoke to hold one of these someday…if only there was a team and a schedule that could make that happen…
After looking at the teams and where they are at…I don’t think we are 10 points worse than Alabama. I say we win this game. If I could prove that then CFB wouldn’t be worth watching.
I must go. If I must… then I choose to Go Blue!
Edit: I screwed the pooch on the formatting - fixing a data error for Hasean - a five star...how could I miss that?
Hey all. Before we get started, a reminder: Its been 566 days, and counting, since Ohio defeated Michigan in football.
Technically, the offseason is officially OVAH. How so? Because now we have a full(ish) board of games to bet on thanks to the esteemed Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas releasing well over 100 games of the year lines back on Monday. This has become an annual tradition for the casino's sportsbook and, for me, it tells me two things: One, hurry up and get your summer on because pretty soon it will be football season, and, two, it's time to start studying up on these teams and getting them down cold because if it's football season, that also means it's gambling season. For full analysis on the games on the Nugget's betting board, bookmark the JCB. We'll be looking into these throughout the summer. And while we havent produced any posts yet on the subject, we do have a killer Wisconsin preview on the blog this week as well as daily Euro Cup 2012 coverage. For now, lets focus on the five games involving Michigan. Here are the lines as they opened and later adjusted as action came in, with a full breadown following:
|Opponent||Opening Line||Current Line|
|vs Alabama||Bama -12||Bama -10|
|at Notre Dame||ND -1||ND -1|
|vs Michigan St||UM -6||UM -6|
|at Nebraska||UM -2||UM -1|
|at Ohio State||UM -3||Pick 'Em|
WE HAVE A DIFFERING OF OPINIONS: NEBRASKA, OHIO STATE
What jumped right off the page for me is the fact that the Golden Nugget installed Michigan as road chalk in both the Nebraska and Ohio State games. The Nugget's opening line called for Michigan -2 at Nebraska and -3 at Ohio State. This is in direct contrast to the spread projections put forth by Beyond The Bets, which we discussed in the MGoForum last week.
To review, BTB did spread projections on all the scheduled college football games for the upcoming season. Per their numbers, Nebraska was -3 vs Michigan and OSU was -4 vs the Wolverines. In both cases, the first actual betting line was nearly a full touchdown different from the BTB projections. Of the 111 lines the Nugget released, a handful differed a point or two from those BTB projections, but very few had a different team favored which was the case with these two Michigan games. I caught up with Behind The Bets in an email exchange to get their take on the differing opinions on these games. Home field played a big role in their initial numbers and it was revealed that their numbers pegged OSU to be upwards of a 6-point favorite, but given Michigan's bounceback season in 2011, new found skill at defense and rivalry game intensity, BTB felt it more prudent to project a smaller number. They think the Bucks are the best team in the Big 10:
We power rated Ohio State as the best team in the Big Ten. Obviously, the Golden Nugget disagrees and - to some extent - it's apparent that Las Vegas wiseguys do, too. Otherwise, it's likely that the line in the Michigan-Ohio State matchup would have moved from Michigan -3 to Ohio State being favored. At some point, it very well could, and the guess here is that Ohio State will be at least a three-point favorite by kickoff. But that's the great thing about making opinions in June: They aren't exact, we all have different ones, and it makes for some great discussion.
Dont loook too deep into their power rankings calling OSU the league's best team. For one, its only summer. We're all speculating at this point. But more importantly, very little separates the teams at the top of the league. BTB forecasts a conference race thats too close to call. In their rankings, Michigan is just a point behind OSU, and there's a minuscule 3-point difference between OSU, the highest rated team, and the fifth-rated team, in this case MSU. BTB said that Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska are basically dead even in their ratings, and if the Cornhusker game was in Ann Arbor this year, their spread projections might have listed the Wolverines as 5- or 6-point chalk.
One of the themes in past summers in the wake of early betting lines being released was that Books couldnt throw numbers on the board to stop people from betting against Michigan. Whether it was Michigan being an unknown commodity in the wake of coaching changes in 2008 and 2011, or, frankly being a known stinky commodity after losing years in '08 and '09, nobody seemed interested in backing the Wolverines. That might be shifting and seeing the Nugget install the Wolverines initially as road chalk in the Nebraska and OSU games is an example of that changing mindset. The public loves betting on stars and few shine as brightly or are as popular as Denard Xavier Robinson. BTB expects the Wolverines to be a public darling most of the season.
Expect Michigan to be a heavy public team all season long - no different than USC, another storied program who has a Heisman Trophy hopeful at quarterback. And again, the Mattison factor can't be underestimated. The days of watching Greg Robinson's Swiss Cheese defense are over, and Michigan fans can again expect to see the defense make great second-half adjustments and keep them in games they otherwise have no business winning.
However, early action, at least on the Nebraska and OSU games, shows that the early bird gamblers are still going against Michigan. The OSU line was immediately bet down to a pick 'em and enough Cornhusker action was lured in to shave a full point off the Nugget's original line from UM -2 to UM -1. Living in Ohio, I can tell you that word is going around about a pick 'em line for this year's The Game, and I received a handful of texts and emails from Buckeye friends wondering if I was ready to bet them. The answer to that is No. I suspect the Bucks will have a really good season this year. And that come game week, Michigan will be catching a field goal. The smart investor will wait for those points to materialize, so dont pull the trigger just yet.
As for the Nebraska game, I'm a bit more bullish on Michigan and the current line than I was at first blush. When I broke down the 9.5 regular season win total prop for Michigan at the JCB, I wasnt very confident about any bigtime road game, admitting I couldnt even give a lean to a Michigan win in Lincoln. Since then, however, I've done soemthing radical. I rewatched last years game. I have new found Michigan confidence. I had forgotten just how much Michigan dominated the game and worked over Nebraska's allegedly vaunted Black Shirt defense. I recall the game getting out of hand in the second half thanks to some quirky turnovers by Michigan, but if this game was scored like a boxing match, it would have been a rout, all rounds to the Wolverines. It was the best four quarter game Michigan put together all season. Fitzgerald Toussaint was a beast. Michigan's offense was unstoppable. And the Nebraska offense, led by Tyler Martinez, generated no offense without the help of turnovers or after the game had long been decided. You know the woodsheds that Michigan seemed to end every season with under Rodriguez? It was like that, but with the good guys being the bully. After rewatching last year's game, I could buy the Wolverines being the slight chalk that the Nugget has made them. I think people are as unsure as ever on Nebraska. And nobody is interested in laying many points with them and Martinez. If you want my advice, go ahead and take Michigan against Nebraska. But hold on to your money until game week for OSU and wait until Michigan is catching points.
THE MONSTER OPENING GAME: ALABAMA
The online sportsbook 5Dimes got a jump on everybody with this game, releasing a line of Alabama -7 in the dead of winter. Sharps pounded Alabama on that line and eventually the line grew from Bama as one touchdown favorite to two touchdown favorites. To be clear, this wasnt a case of constant, daily action coming in against Michigan, making the line -8 one day, then -9 the next and so on. It was more of a shock and awe type of thing than anything else. That opening line of -7 got so much one side action that the book pulled the line, went back to the drawing board and rereleased it as -14. They seemed to have a found a fair number for the middle of the offseason, but, in the last month, a slow trickle of Michigan money came streaming in, and 5Dimes knocked the line down to 13.5, then to 13 and just before last weekend all the way down to Alabama -12.
When the Nugget released their much ballyhooed lines on Monday, they agreed with the latest 5Dimes shift and hung a Alabama -12 number. And in a sign that BTB's intimations that Michigan could be a public play this year, money did come pouring in on the Wolverines. The line at the Nugget currently sits at Bama -10. However, back at 5Dimes, where the online didnt get the hyped injection of action like the Nugget got on Monday, the line remains -12. So, if you want to bet Michigan and the points, go over and do it at 5Dimes while you can still get an extra two points. You know what I am thinking? I am wondering how sizeable the demographic is who has Alabama -7 on that very early 5Dimes line, but also has Michigan +12 on the Nugget line, or even +13 or +14 on the 5Dimes re-release. I want to watch this game with that crowd. Otherwise, I'm probably going to sit this one out.
I honestly dont have a true feel for exactly how Michigan will fare in this game. I do know that last summer I figured only a miracle could keep the Wolverines in this game. But their performance, especially on defense, a season ago, has at least given me a flicker of real hope in this game. I am not reassured that Alabama has to replace a lot of defensive parts, but it still will be athletic, fast and talented. And still coached by Nick Saban. It's easy imagining them choking Michigan the way similarly frothed defenses from MSU and Va Tech did to the Wolverines a year ago, despite the Renaissaince season. And the Tide's offensive line might be a mismatch going against the inexperienced and unproven Michigan defensive line. This might be the worst matchup for Michigan's defensive line to be playing without stalwarts up front Mike Martin and Ryan Van Bergen for the first time in years. Eddie Lacy and Jalston Fowler will handle the rock for Bama now that Trent Richardson is in the NFL. They have just theee 100-yard games between them, but I wouldnt be surprised if one of them pops over the century mark in this one, taking advantage of Michigan transition up front. I cant shake the feeling that this game may just take the form of the recent Bama/Penn St matches from the last couple of seasons. Bama strangled those games in their favor, slowly, but surely pulling away for 24-3, 27-11 wins, covering the spread in each. Michigan at least has a much more capable offense than Penn State ever did coming into those games. The playmaking ability of Robinson alone might be enough of an offensive counterpunch for the Wolverines to, unlike PSU, stay in the game and make the Tide sweat in the end. That might not sound like the most optimistic assessment, but a year ago at this time, I figured Michigan would be lucky to stay within three touchdowns of the Tide. #Progress
THE UNDERDOG SERIES: NOTRE DAME
I really dont have any new ways to present this well known factoid of the Michigan-Notre Dame series, so I'll just say it. This is an underdog series, with the dog logging a 21-5 ATS mark and actually winning the series outright on the real scoreboard by a 13-12-1 count. I always say the underdog in this series usually ends up playing its best game of the season. On the current 4-0 SUATS run the dog in this series is riding right now, you could for sure that say the 2008 Irish squad and the 2009 and 2010 Michigan squads didnt play better games or earned bigger wins in those years than what they accomplished in the annual grudge match between these historic programs. You'd be hard pressed to find an annual series that tilts so strongly to the underdog. Clemson-Georgia Tech in the ACC gives it a run for its money. Both games are ones that I will always play the underdog in, no questions asked. Sometimes its that easy to pull the trigger.
I know some partisan Michigan fans will grumble at the audacious lack of respect oddsmakers are giving the Wolverines here by making the Irish the favored team at home. But I want to Wolverines to be the underdog all the time in this matchup. Nothing good really comes from being chalk in this series. The Irish havent covered as chalk in this series since 1982, while the Wolverines have only covered twice as chalk in this series during my adult life. At least Michigan has some history of winning, but not covering in this series like in 1997 and 1999, but those were major escape jobs from our heroes.
The Irish are always a tricky team to handicap. Other than this Michigan game, the Irish are either eye opening dogs--catching double digits against USC and Oklahoma--or do-a-double-take heavy chalk, such as laying 10 points against Miami. Wise guy bettors have long loved Brian Kelly, but so far in two seasons in South Bend, he hasnt rewarded that faith with a great record against the spread. The Irish perpetually seem to be overvalued more than any other team in the early going of college football seasons. The money quote from Kegs 'N Eggs Adam from the above link:
There were also other games later in the season posted, and Vegas is taking plenty of Notre Dame action, again, because they are Notre Dame. The Golden Nugget clearly likes this team and are making lines that stretch beyond protecting themselves against public betting. That’s not the first time we’ve seen that happen, though.
Yes, we have seen it happen. In fact, it's become a little bit of a cottage industry for me (and the JCB, natch) to spend every September betting against the Irish before people realize just how overrated they are and how skewed the lines are as a result. Did you know that Notre Dame is just 32-31 straight up in the month of September and before since Lou Holtz left town? Well, now you do. That nets out to 27-35-1 against the spread, so betting against the Irish on the blind during the opening month of the season has turned a decent profit since 1996. As chalk, they are especially good money burners during the first month of year, logging just a 12-23-1 ATS mark during this stretch. Basically, they have been annual slow starters since Uncle Lou left town and have failed to cover the spread two out of every three times they've been September chalk since then. With the Irish laying 13.5 to Navy, a single point to Michigan and likely to be chalk against Purdue, you'll make money by betting against them in these games if past history is any indication. And even though they've covered the spread the last couple years against MSU, you could probably add in MSU -2.5 to the Fade Notre Dame Early profit mix. It's a Fall Tradition like no other.
THE GREEN ELEPHANT LAYING IN THE WEEDS: MICHIGAN STATE
The Michigan State Spartans, the current program Waterloo (please, no mail from Iowa. kthnxbai). I brought this up last week, but I am inclined to take the points here and side with MSU. I've been picking MSU to at least cover, if not win, pretty much the entire time during their nifty little historic winning streak over Michigan. I feel Michigan is finally ready to win this game and have just the right circumstances to do that this season--game is at home, senior QB, seemingly extra focus finally being put on this game and so on. But will they? I cant see them doing so in anything other than a close fight that goes right down to the gun.
I have a betting paranoia on taking a team thats favored by a decent amount while trying to snap a noteworthy losing streak against Foe X. A great recent example was last year's OSU game where Michigan won, breaking a 7-game losing streak to the Bucks, but failed to cover the closing -8 line. Yes, I realize there was a shaky replay call that overturned a Michigan touchdown late in the game, keeping them from opening a 10-point lead. But that wasnt the last play of the game. And part of my anxiety in these spots stems from situations like that, even if the TD is granted. There is plenty of time for a worthless late score and back door cover. The dreaded Prevent Defense burns chalk bettors every week with late scores. Given how fast OSU scored some of their TDs that afternoon, you cant say that replay was the difference between covering or not. The back door cover would have been in major play. I'm convinced that had the TD stayed on the board, Michigan would still need to recover an on-side kick to finally clinch a victory.
Getting back to this MSU game, I just dont think more than field goal really should separate these teams this year. And as far as that back door cover scenario, Michigan would need to be up more than 13 points in the fourth quarter to avoid the back door threat. I dont see that happening. We'll see how this line evolves between now and October, but right now I would take those points to the bank.
THE KNOWLEDGE will soon be reviewing the 2012 Michigan football season results in a series of posts. This series will consist of two posts: one outlining the overall season results, and other documenting the out of conference results
as per usual, THE KNOWLEDGE will provide individual game pointers before each game to aid the seekers of the ultimate glory: the title of TOP FRIEND OF THE KNOWLEDGE, as THE CHALLENGE makes a successful return to these very pages
in the meanwhile, THE KNOWLEDGE shall tackle the issue of recruiting in this post
the questions asked by many folks is: in the future, will Bo Scarbrough be in the Michigan back field along with Shane Morris, and behind the line of Cameron Robinson and Damian Prince?
many people also were chomping at the bits to coin the awful MIT pun ro refer to the trinity of the Morris-Isaac-Treadwell before the fact that Isaac will not attend Michigan was revealed as time moved from future to present
of course, these people are and were wrong
on the other hand, many is the number of folks who have been dismayed at what they consider to be lackadaisical progress of Michigan's recruiting after the initial burst. these people see OSU and USC stock up on great talent while Michigan is signing long snappers
and these people are worried (rightfully, in their own minds) if Michigan's coaches can keep up with the Meyers and Kiffins of the world - failing to realize that keeping up with such experts of illegal tactics as Meyer is an extraordinary achievement
and these people are wrong as well
so, where to turn for sanity?
to THE KNOWLEDGE of course. THE KNOWLEDGE has a long, illustrious and peerless history of revealing the future correctly even in the midst of highly irregular abnormalities of the spatio-temporal continuum
as a result, THE KNOWLEDGE has soared to great heights countless times leaving every doubter in a trail of dust
thus, THE KNOWLEDGE is the sole course of relieving people's anxieties about the future
those that follow THE KNOWLEDGE shall be worry free
THE KNOWLEDGE has already revealed in these very pages that the 2012 recruit who will have the greatest success is the lowly rated Sione Houma
people that don't understand the future don't know this; hence, they are highly confused ans greatly stressed by such matters as recruiting
the only thing that matters is winning the games and winning with class and integrity; that is the end product all fans care about
since this result is already revealed by THE KNOWLEDGE at the beginning of each season, people should quit worrying about other things and focus only on THE KNOWLEDGE's revelations
THE KNOWLEDGE shall soar and bask in glory as ever
(Click the image to view full size)
For How bad is your fanaticism of Michigan sports? Does it warrant professional psychiatric help like the devotion of Tom Blockham? When I started writing this I tried to consider the type of questions that a shrink might pose to such a patient, and tried to be honest with my own answers as well. I invite you to do the same as Mr. Blockham visits the couch for the next few episodes to analyze his devotion to Michigan.
Tom's reclamation continues on Thursday. Don't miss it.
THE BLOCKHAMS™ runs (typically) every Tuesday here at MGoBlog, and at least
every Thursday on its official home page. Also, don't forget to check out Friday Roughs,
a spontaneous low-end comic based on trending Michigan events,
available on Twitter and Facebook every Friday.