"You can't make me," Hoke said. "You're not my father."
I remember, as a child, going to Big Boy with my mother for lunch. I'm not sure why my father and brother never went along, but it was just the two of us. She always ordered the Farmer's Omelet. I was a Brawny Lad kind of guy.
This crossed my mind as I'm sitting in the ATL Delta SkyClub, looking across the table at my 11 year old son. The attention isn't being returned, as he's currently engaged with the iPad.
So, my thoughts are wandering...and I'm reflecting on last night and on the other 15 or so UMBB games he and I attended together this year in Ann Arbor and Auburn Hills.
And, even though he doesn't realize it right now, I know how he'll always look back on this basketball season as one of the highlights of his childhood. If going to Big Boy with my mother made such a lasting impression on me, certainly this will do the same for my son.
I came of age as a Michigan sports fan during the era of Rick Leach, Rob Lytle, Phil Hubbard, Rickey Green, etc. Some of my recollections of this period are more vivid than my recollections of what I did yesterday. My son is fortunate that he's experiencing the same with Denard, Trey, Novak, etc. When he plays basketball, he takes pride in making moves "just like Trey Burke."
My attention to all sports started to wane when I became busy with work and family in the late '90's. Between my son's excitement for Michigan sports and my discovery of this community of Michigan sports blogs, my obsession is now greater than it has ever been.
Whether we've been sitting in the Big House, traveling to Indy for last year's Big Ten Tournament, or stopping off in Atlanta for last night's game on the way back to Detroit from Miami, sharing U of M sports with my son has created some of the most meaningful moments of my life.
I know there have been a lot of threads created in the past 48 hours, but I thought this would be at least a somewhat different perspective. Being a Michigan grad and fan really is special.
As much as I enjoy the information/facts/data/analysis on this blog, it's even more interesting (to me at least) to hear everyone's personal stories...whether they're related to sports or not.
So, I thought I'd share mine. I hope other MGoFathers on here are able to share their love of all things U of M with their kids.
By the way, look who we bumped in to at the airport. It was a pleasure to be able to thank him for everything he's done for the basketball program...and a fitting ending to our 24 hours in Atlanta.
USA Today states that Bellein's mistake with Michigan's foul situation (he thought we were in the 1 and 1 when we were not) was a gaffe, which they suggest without stating so precisely was a factor in our losing the game, as "wasting those 23 seconds proved to be crucial."
I don't see it that way. I see Louisville as slightly superior last night and therefore a deserving winner. And coaching mistakes, like player mistakes, are going to happen to even the best coach. My question is, do you guys feel that the mistake was "crucial" in the loss? I frankly don't know enough about final minute basketball fouling strategy to comment.
Wanted to share this tweet midgame from the Northwest Indiana Times' PrepBeat columnist Steve Hanlon from last night (the NWI Times is like the Detroit News of The Region, except more widely published and read):
Branden Dawson won the NWI Times POY 2 years in a row (here's the article about 2011), joining a list that includes 2008's Zack Novak and 2002's Chris Hunter, and of course 2012's GRIII (and 1989 & 1990's GRII).
Michael "Spike" Albrecht was runner-up, and now: buyer's remorse? :)
My wife was inconsolable last night. Her happiness for Spike turned into concern when Hancock threw up a barrage of threes and then into despair when the final seconds ticked away. No heroball this time; no happy ending for the good guys. It just felt wrong to me; Pitino was spinning in anger, and then twenty minutes later, he's a genius, a class act, a legend, etc. I was sick.
I woke up this morning and I felt strangely calm. It was the day after a loss, but it was also a day after the end of a great season for Michigan basketball. As I stepped outside, my winter coat felt heavy in the spring warmth and I couldn't help but feel, we came so damn far. It's April, fergodsakes(!), and we were still playing; Michigan basketball is back, and better yet, it's back to stay.
We were all a part of the journey and we have become believers. We're here because we're more than just Michigan fans, we're Michigan family. We have been on a long road to redemption and I know some of you feel that if we haven't reached our destination than perhaps it wasn't a trip worth taking, but I truly believe, that we have already been redeemed because our redemption arises from the journey itself. Sure, the national championship trophy would have been amazing, but looking back over the past twenty years; I'm so proud of where we are today. It truly has not just been an evolution of the program; it's been a dramatic revolution. I have the utmost confidence that we're going to hit our stride and make our run; we're going to continue to recruit the best talent, preach hard work and buy in to a team-first, team-forever mindset.
Our team is a national championship contender, and it wasn't because of one guy; our program is clicking on all cylinders and it's only a matter of time until we cut the nets in April.