Since the time of the ancient Romans people have been captivated by sport. In ancient times the sports were somewhat different, though the devotion of its loyal fans was much the same.
They gathered in thousands to watch the gladiators, chariot races, Olympics etc. and they were as raucous a bunch as any sports fans today. Legend has it the gladiators would often times behead the losing combatant and wave the severed head in the air to the crowd’s joy.
Though sports fans have been around for centuries, what draws a person to the sport or teams is often unique. For me the year was 1992 and I was 16 years old. I turned on the TV one Saturday afternoon, and there was a football game on so I decided to watch it.
It wasn't NFL but since there was nothing else on I would suffer through it. It was Sept. 12. The Michigan Wolverines were playing the Irish of Notre Dame. It was a slugfest that ended in a 17-17 tie, and I was left very disappointed.
How could a guy who simply turned on a TV. and watched a game he cared nothing about be disappointed afterward you ask? Well during the game something interesting happened, the maize and blue had stolen my heart. Was it the uniforms?
Perhaps it was the players with names like Hayes, Toomer, Law, Wheatley and Grbac?
In fact, for me it was the winged helmet. There was something about it that simply caught my eye and by the end of the first quarter I hated anyone that stood in the way of Michigan and victory, on this day it was Notre Dame.
My first season as a fan was a great one. We finished 9-0-3 and won the Rose Bowl, thanks in large part to a massive game by one Thyrone Wheatley. In the end, he ran for 235 yards on 15 carries and had three touchdowns on his way to being named the Rose Bowl MVP.
What a season, I loved every minute of it. I couldn't imagine how I had survived the previous 16 years not having seen a Wolverines game.
The local cable companies drew my ire many a time when they would televise some ridiculous Big East matchup instead of my beloved Wolverines. Still, there was the radio. I could listen to them play if nothing else.
Loving the Wolverines while living in Nova Scotia, Canada would prove to be trying at time as NCAA football was relatively unheard of here. I ached when I couldn't watch the maize and blue go to battle on Saturday afternoons.
I would sit by the radio or gaze like a zombie at the sports tickers to keep up to date with the game. All I can say is thank heavens for the miracle of the Internet (which I was soon to receive).
No one I knew could figure out my love affair with the Wolverines. Saturday afternoons were off limits for everyone. My girlfriend was the only one that was allowed with me, and she had to wear a Wolverines jersey and sit in the exact same position throughout the game (unless Michigan started losing, then she would obviously have to change positions immediately).
I had maize and blue coursing through my veins and I was loving it.
Over the years some very big names passed through the hallowed halls of the Big House. Names like Woodson, Law, Wheatley, Perry, Brady, Griese and list goes on and on.
I lived and died with our boys on the grid iron each Saturday. I would watch each play with bated breath. There has been many good times and some bad times but never have I wavered in the face of adversity.
I would find myself on Saturday afternoons making some absolutely insane agreements with God almighty himself. "Please God; if you just let Michigan come back and win this game I will do anything.
I will start going to church or doing those ten things that are written in the bible. You know, the not killing and things."
I was never going to kill anyone anyway, how hard could that be. I would even throw my other favorite teams under the bus for them. "God please, let the Montreal Canadiens, or Toronto Blue Jays lose....even the Chicago Bulls, but just please let Michigan win."
Over the years I would pledge to give up sex, smoking, drinking, even my left testicle because hey, there was always the other one...Honestly, I would be a saint right now if Michigan had won all those games and I had lived up to my end of the bargains.
Alas, many times God saw through my schemes and the Wolverines lost. I would be gutted and no one would dare be around me for days. I would go into a deep depression and the only thing that could get me out was for Michigan to win the next week, or their rivals to lose as well.
As the Wolverines went, so did I.
Now, almost 20 years later the future is bright for Michigan fans. We have new names, new systems and new (or renovated) facilities but the same old winning tradition of Michigan. Our future rests on the shoulders of young men with names like Minor, Forcier, Graham, Warren, Mathews, Robinson and their coaches.
It is my belief that these young men will once again lead the Wolverines to glory and back to the winning tradition of the past.
To conclude I would like to go back to ancient times and resurrect one of the traditions of the gladiators of Rome. Can anyone deny how great it would be for Rich Rodriguez to parade around the big house holding Jim Tressel's head in his hands after Michigan trounces OSU (I know, a little gory but I couldn't resist).
That would make last year all worthwhile.
So to the reader I ask these questions:
1) What prompted you to be a Michigan fan?
2) How long have you been a fan of your favorite sports team?
3) What have you pledged in order to see Michigan win a game?
4) What would you give to see Michigan win a NC?
For the past few weeks, I’ve been pretty vocal about my rooting interest in seeing Denard Robinson become Michigan’s starting quarterback, and have often gotten asked why. Scanning MGoBoard this morning, it appears as if the masses are suddenly all a-twitter about Mr. Robinson as well. Before the inevitable Denard-backlash strikes, I’d like to briefly explain my enthusiasm for the young man:
1. I enjoy rooting for the underdog. Unlike Tate, Denard wasn’t bred to be a quarterback, and hasn’t had the benefit of private lessons from the time he was weaned from breast-feeding. Tate was immediately tabbed the presumptive starter by many people on the internet – from commenters on this blog to Brian himself (check the tagline on the site). Obviously, I felt this was somewhat premature, given that Robinson had yet to set foot on campus. Tate has the benefit of years of additional training, and months of additional practice time in the offense – I think it’s a cool story that Denard is able to push him, and it says a lot about Denard’s competitiveness and overall talent-level that he’s able to do so.
2. Many here know me to be a contrarian. Would I derive a healthy amount of satisfaction seeing the legion of amateur-quarterback coaches on this site who write authoritative scouting reports based on 90 second highlight films to be proven wrong? I absolutely would. The gap between Robinson and Forcier, clearly, was oversold by these people from the jump, or the “competition” as it exists, wouldn’t be as intense as it apparently is.
3. Shoelace = Awesome.
4. By far, the most important factor, for me, is that Robinson is exciting. From the little we’ve seen, and the bit more we’ve heard, Robinson’s game is, for lack of a better word, sexy – he’s a touchdown waiting to happen. Forcier’s highest praise, really, is that he’s extremely fundamentally sound. To me, I know which one of those sounds more fun to watch – I’d prefer to watch a dynamic game-breaker than an effective game-manager. I was excited when Michigan hired Rodriguez, because, FINALLY, we had a coach that would find us a quarterback who would inflict as much running-QB trauma on the opposition as we’ve suffered at the hands of Dennis Dixon, Vince Young, Troy Smith, Donovan McNabb, Armanti Edwards, and even such luminaries as Jarious Jackson. Well – we’ve GOT one of those – Denard Robinson.
I want to be clear, however: I’m not a football coach. I know nothing about throwing mechanics. My opinion, really, is useless. What I’m laying out here is not “why Denard Robinson is better” – because I am thoroughly unqualified to say such a thing. What I’m saying is why I prefer Robinson.
My praise of Denard really drew out alot of dickheads on this forum, and you all know who you are. You know, the same ones who will be saying they knew all along how great Denard was gonna be.
I will say it again for those of you with selective memory and those who still have Forcier's shlong in their mouths.. ITS ALL ABOUT DENARD, and remember, it was DICLEMEG who has been telling you so since MARCH.
“Incest is wrong because it brings Buckeyes into the world”
This is the eleventh entry of the 2009 MGoShirt Alert, a design project that will enable MgoBlog readers to vote for upcoming designs in the new MGoBlogStore.
On Friday, I rolled out an unfinished design that I asked you, the MGoBlog faithful, to embellish with your unique senses of humor. To my delight, there was well over 100 responses, which can be viewed here in the event that you missed them. In the end, however, it was clear that one reader's suggestions gathered more steam than any other. Congratulations, then, is in order to Beegs, who came up with this:
I added the tagline below, after struggling with it most of the day yesterday during various home improvement jobs. In the end it just seemed to make perfect sense to bring it all back to the family values nonsense. This shirt may very well be asking for legal trouble, but it's all in malicious hate and ridicule of the enemy-- good times!
I also thought it was worth sharing my original 'final' design for the retro shirt, borrowing heavily from a Chrisgocomment word that I remember surfacing several months ago:
Since I've never heard, read or smelled the word 'douchenozzle' anywhere but here on MGoBlog, I thought it had some insider community appeal-- but in the end it was definitely worthwhile to open the shirt design up to the MGoCommunity instead. Thanks again to everyone who got involved... we're less than two weeks away from the opener boys!! GO BLUE!!
Time to vote. What do you guys think of Beegs' shirt?
|pollcode.com free polls|
|What do you think of MgoShirt #11?|
|Five Stars Four Stars Three Stars Two Stars One Star|
***** Five Stars: Justin Boren puts all but one slice away from 3 whole pies! If only he could find someone on campus to add all dem up!
**** Four Stars: Boren scarfs down 2 pizzas and still has room for bread sticks.
*** Three Stars: Benedict Arnold eats an entire pie himself, for breakfast.
** Two Stars: 6 slices. He just doesn't have an appetite until snow plow season.
* One Star: Justin can barely get down 3 slices. Fat quitter Buckeye bastard.
There's been a lot of questioning about how final judging will work-- it's quite simple, really. I'll take the poll results of each design, and weigh them against the star value of their vote: In other words, every five-star vote will get multiplied by five, every four-star vote will be multiplied by four, etc. until a final 'score' is tallied for each design. That score will then be divided by the total number of voters to get an overall average score. I think we're going to go with the three highest-rated shirt designs and have a final deathmatch poll to determine the winner, probably a week from today.
Tomorrow I look forward to unveiling the shirt known simply as "The Woodson." Until then, see you next time for another exciting edition of-- MGoShirt Alert!
- Michigan players find better communication in Robinson defense (link)
- Bielema remains firm on suspensions, cause still unknown (link)
- Wisconsin may start redshirt freshman at Quarterback over Sherer, Clay No. 2 back (link)
- MSU quarterbacks feature mixed results, freshman Caper leads pack (link)
- Preseason Butkus Award list features Seven Big Ten players, including UM's Ezeh (link)
- Five Big Ten Players on Rimington watch list, including Michigan's Molk (link)
- Seven Big Ten Players on Nagurski watch list, including Michigan's Graham (link)
- Minnesota to utilize the Wildcat offense. (link)
- MSU offensive line continues to shift as injuries in replacement slots persist (link)
- RS Freshman Brinson may be Greene's replacement in Iowa (link)
- Graham on ESPN top 25 draft board (link)
- Illinois cornerback and expected starter/contributor out for season with torn ACL (link)
- MSU's "Celebrate the State" Michigan directional scheduling bonanza (link)
- ESPN Big Ten Position Rankings: Special teams: UM #2 (link)
- Indiana starting true freshman at DT ($$$ link), Seven projected starters missed a practice or more this past week (link)
- OSU linebacker Spitler with strained calf, return unsure only in timing (link)
1. Illinois - plenty of proven experience across the board at skill and line positions
2. Iowa - their offensive line should be terrific
4. OSU - TP and O-line experience put them just above Michigan if Blue doesn't hit on all cylinders, which I am assuming
5. Penn State - O-line and receivers need to prove themselves first
6. Wisconsin - seems to have too many new starters to rank any higher
7. MSU - I think they are generally overrated given the rebuilding throughout the backfield and along the line
8. Northwestern - less worse than the remainder
9. Purdue - less worse than the remainder
10. Minnesota - less worse than Indiana
11. Indiana - going to be a rough year
Why Michigan #3? Well, I think that if everything goes according to RR's plan, Tate has a good year recognizing defenses and feeding the dot receivers and TEs, Minor can go for 1400 yards behind a much more solid O-line, avoid turnovers, and the stretch O begins to finally spread its wings. There are many hopeful ifs in there, but that's the point. I think if Michigan can get things rolling early, we might see dramatic results. Much of the rest of the Big 10 will have questions to answer themselves offensively. Even if Michigan is more "average" to expectations, I see it in the top 5 offensively, which will take pressure off the defense, too, in terms such as time of possession, field position, playmaking etc.
1. OSU - reloading at linkbacker seems to be their biggest question
2. Iowa - if their line performs well, they might be the best defensively
4. Penn State - secondary kinda feels like Michigan's last year to me
5. MSU - enough quality returning to be formidable
6. Wisconsin - solid, but not special
7. Northwestern - secondary and LB play should be decent
8. Illinois.- unimpressive D last year bleeds into this one
9. Purdue - they are at least one step up from the stench of the cellar
10. Indiana - in the battle for worst, they lose because of their D-line
11. Minnesota - not less worse than Indiana
Why Michigan #3 again? There are certainly equally significant ifs on the defensive side of the ball, and healthy skepticism in the team's ability to meet these goals, but hear me out. If Graham and Martin can be nasty all Big 10ers, Ezeh be a 100 tackle stud, and secondary avoid the big play thanks to strong play from Warren and Turner, with solid pursuit angles and tackling across the board, I think GERG's scheme will be well-suited to the offensive schemes in the Big 10.
This kind of offensive and defensive scenario would see a radical shift in the give-away/take-away margin. And, if players just held the ball last year, where would it have ended?
I am not going to try to translate this optimism into wins and losses, just thought I'd put it out there for consideration.
I am not rating the kicking games, but since we have one of the most powerful forces binding the fabric of space punting...