“On the offense last year, they had great spacing. That’s what I remember. Great spacing, great shooters, like Nik Stauskas, who’s not there right now. But they always have someone to fill the roles. They have a cutting offense, kind of hard to guard.”
This is my first diary post, so be gentle. Sorry its so long.
I have been responding with predictions for this year a little bit in some other posts. I thought I was pretty smart when I predicted a 1-3 start. I felt we would improve and end the year 6-6 but barely miss a bowl. Now, everything has changed. I don't know if I have ever been happier about being wrong in my life. I just wanted to tell my saturday story.
I woke up and watched gameday. We were of course picked to lose. I was being optomistic though and thought if it was close I would be happy. My wife and our two kids had moved to Ann Arbor in April for just this sort of weekend. We graduated in 1997 (missing the NC by a year, although I went to the 98 Rose Bowl, story for another time) and have always loved UM. I had a friend in town and was taking my daughter to tailgate with him. Right before the game, my wife was going to pick her up and I was going to the game, my first this year.
At about 12 I get a call from an optometrist I work with in Toledo. I have never gotten called in for an emergency since I joined this practice, but wouldn't it happen today. I was pissed off. A person got hit in the eye with a softball and had blood in his eye. The optom. couldn't get a good view of his retina and needed me to come look. On top of that, the guy went back to the hospital for a CT and I had to wait for it before I could see the guy. I calculated my likely wait, drive time, exam time and realized that my day was shot. Best case, I would miss part of the game and I didn't even have my ticket in hand yet.
As I was driving to Toledo I listened to big ten football on XM and cursed silently to myself. When the patient sees me, he notices I'm in shorts and a michigan shirt and he says "are you going to the game?" "I was," I say. The patient was fine and I got back on the road as soon as I finished checking his eye. I am a superstitious believer in my behavior effecting the outcome of the game so I thought, this has to be good karma and now we are going to win.
I was DVRing the game and I got back halfway through the first quarter (DVR is one of the greatest inventions of all time and essential for anyone with kids) Watched the craptastic display and felt crappy. At least I wasn't watching this in person, I thought. I am not down on our team. I think RR is brilliant and I know we will be awesome soon. I still couldn't believe the turnovers from veterans though.
My buddy, the one who I was tailgating with calls me and says he left the game and meet him at Good Time Charley's. I start to get ready but a funny thing happens. We start moving the ball. I text him and tell him I will be there in a little while, but I wait and see us score at touchdown. We're only down 12 and Wisconsin can't do anything on offense. I quickly drive over to GTC's and find my friend ON THE PATIO! I thought he would be watching still at least. Through the glass I see Minor break a long one for a TD. "We have to go inside and watch this!"
At this point, like 12 cute girls dressed in Wisconsin gear with little wisconsin Ws on their cheeks come in and sit right next to us. They are shocked. What happened? they say. Then, bam! John Thompson time. I am freaking out! Greatest feeling ever and why we care about sports. These moments are forever.
Then Threet goes all Vince Young on Wisconsin and the whole place is freaking out. McGuffie TD. Lots of time left. We get ball back and should ice it, but shit! Great punt. Stop them please. Shit! Double Shit!!!! PENALTY! We WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Everyone kept commenting on how tired Wisconsin looked. Immediately this is in my top 10 games I have watched. Others, in no particular order
1. Rose Bowl 98
2. Biakabatuka running all over an undefeated OSU team.
3. Driesback Virginia comeback.
4. Beating ND that same year and marching down South U afterward.
5. Minnesota comeback from Navarre
6. 2004 MSU comeback watching on a beach in Belieze during my honeymoon.
7. 2007 MSU comeback
8. 1997 Woodson beats OSU almost single handedly
9. Desmond doing the heisman pose in the endzone against OSU in my first game in the big house