2013 Final Four
Last Saturday's near-upset against OSU made me realize how much of a "We were THIS close..." year this has been for my sports fandom. Besides my Cardinals losing the World Series against the Red Sox (substitute Detroit in the ALCS if you're a Tigers fan), our hoops team fell to Louisville in the NCAA championship game after a brilliant season and run to the Final Four (and an 11-point first half lead -- argh), and then Team 134 came three yards shy of shocking OSU -- and all of us.
This got me to thinking...
Last night, you turn in after watching the hoops team endure the usual punishment of playing at Cameron Indoor, and after sleeping for a bit, you are awakened by the Magic Genie Spirit of Michigan Athletics.
"Humble Wolverine fan," he says in a booming voice, "You have endured much trial and suffering because of your love for the Maize and Blue. I have come from the Great Spirit Realm of Yost, Crisler, and Schembechler to grant you one great favor."
"Yeah?" you reply, half-awake.
"As this year of 2013 nears its end, I will allow you to go back in time and change the outcome of one -- and only one -- Michigan Wolverine sporting event from this past year. Your choices are:
Number 1: The football team succeeds in the two-point conversion at the end of The Game and beats the hated Buckeyes, 43-42. Seeing Drew Dileo covered, Devin Gardner pump fakes, then tucks the ball and burrows through a crease in the line, gimpy ankle and all, and just manages to thrust the ball over the goal-line plane before being walloped by a Buckeye defender. The road to Columbus is sown with the bitter tears of Bucknut fans returning home after seeing their undefeated season and BCS title hopes crushed in the Big House. The Aura of the Invincible OSU Version of Urban Meyer is deflated; Coach Hoke is 2-1 against our most bitter rival; Lewan and Gallon cap their Michigan careers with a glorious victory; and the painful mediocrity of 2013 Michigan football, which was basically all downhill after the Notre Dame game, is partially redeemed."
"Wow, that would be fantastic!" you say. "What's the other choice?"
"Number 2: The men's basketball team defeats Louisville in the NCAA championship game. Trey Burke's block (no longer a foul!) against Peyton Siva turns the momentum; our boys re-take the lead down the stretch and put away the game. Coach Beilein cuts down the nets while Pretty Boy Pitino sobs, Spike Albrecht makes out with Kate Upton in the Georgia Dome parking lot while 'One Shining Moment' plays in the distance, and the entire Ann Arbor campus eats at Subway and goes crazy."
"WOW! That would be awesome," you reply. "But ... if we win, do McGary and GRIII go pro?"
"Who cares, you greedy fool!" the Genie bellows. "You've just won the NCAA tourney!"
"OK, OK... so, those are the only choices?"
"What?!?" says the Genie, in shock. "Well, I suppose you could have Jordan Morgan's put-back against Indiana fall in, so the Wolverines win a share of another Big Ten title. Or the hockey team could beat ND in the CCHA championship game to keep the NCAA tourney streak alive. Or Al Borges could find the Magic Key to Unlock Narduzzi, and the football team finally beats MSU in East Lansing. Hey, I'm just as sick as you are of getting whipped by Sparty... But come on, man, be serious! OSU or Louisville. Choose one!"
So, which would you choose? Would love to hear everyone's choice, and their reasons.
Mine? This is tough, but as much as I hate losing to OSU and wanted to win that game, I'd take winning the tourney in March over Louisville. As we're seeing so far this basketball season, even for an elite program with a very talented team, it usually takes a rare combination of luck (e.g., the Kansas game) and a transcendent talent/leader (Trey Burke) to survive and win March Madness -- and titles are forever. It would have been a fitting end to a sublime season. But that's just me.
As Michigan gets ready to take on Syracuse in a national hoops semifinal this evening, undoubtedly many of us will want to enjoy the game with a tasty citrus beverage—with or without alcoholic accompaniment. And on a night like tonight, nothing will be more satisfying to the Wolverine faithful than crushing the juice out of those oranges ourselves. If you’re accustomed to procuring your O.J. from the Tropicanas or Florida’s Naturals of the world, however, you might be a little unsure how to go about the fresh-squeeze. Luckily, the YouTubes are chock-full of helpful how-tos, and EGD has sorted through them so you don’t have to.
In this short & sweet production, natural food chef Kristina Jackson drops three oranges into an opaque food processor, and lets the camera zoom in on the orange trickle coming out the bottom while she runs down the nutritional specs. It’s effective, but not very satisfying.
Okay, here we have a hipsterish Canadian man demonstrating how to make O.J. in a fancy centrifugal dejuicer—while wearing only boxer shorts. His girlfriend (who, unfortunately, is not as extensively unattired) winds up doing most of the work while Pierre yammers on about bioflavonoids. Sure, why not.
From the “people will put anything on the internet” category, now here we have a :12 clip of a hand brutalizing a pair of orange wedges by repeatedly smashing them against a porcelain sink top. Not very useful and lacks the kind of sophistication that one associates with the University of Michigan, but hey—the EGD don’t judge.
In this video, a disembodied hand transforms 28 orange wedges into about 6 oz. of juice using a Ninja blender and a wire mesh strainer. Evidently that wasn’t as much juice as the hand expected, as you’ll see at the end. Sometimes unintentional humor is the best (same goes for the persistent use of all caps, and the amazingly lame acoustic guitar music that continues unabated throughout).
This one features a young headless girl prying the seeds out of halved oranges with a knife that’s longer than her forearm, then cranking them around a hand-dejuicer for an epic 15:00 running time. Admittedly I only watched the first 2:19, but that segment includes plenty of girl-on-orange violence and even a brief argument between our main protagonist and her off-camera mommy. This one’s a winner. And if 15 minutes isn’t enough orange killing for y’all, check out “How to Make Orange Juice! Pt. 2” for another 14 minutes of heart-stopping O.J. action.
Alright. Well, that’s probably enough orange juice videos for one day. But before I go, here’s a recipe for a delicious cocktail that you can make with your fresh-squeezed product:
Crying Orange Martini
· 3 oz. bourbon
· 1.5 oz. triple sec
· 1.5 oz. fresh orange tears
· 2 muddled Mandarin slices
Directions: mix bourbon, triple sec, and orange tears in cocktail shaker. Strain into glass. Garnish with Mandarin slices.
In addition to the basketball game tonight, today at "high" noon is also the annual Hash Bash. Does anybody have any good Hash Bash stories or plan to attend this year?
The title I came up with was inspired by an excerpt from a news story about enhanced police presence that made me laugh:
[Ann Arbor police Deputy Chief] Bazick said police are planning for every situation, but he does not expect the local streets to explode in a haze of tear gas, as has happened at other Michigan schools after April basketball success.
NCAA Final Four Viewing Party
Michigan vs. Syracuse: Due to an existing event in the facility, there will NOT be a viewing party at Crisler Center for Michigan's NCAA semifinal vs. Syracuse on Saturday, April 6.
National Championship Game: If Michigan advances to the national championship game, there WILL be a viewing party at Crisler Center for the game Monday, April 8. Details of this event will be announced on Sunday, April 7.
I know this is a polarizing topic to many within this fanbase, but I came across this letter written by a professor at Michigan titled "An Open Letter to Chris Webber: You are loved."
In it he discusses a possible way for him to reconcile with the past and his influence on the freshman currently on the roster. He actually teaches a class with all five of the freshman in it so he has some real perspective on the topic. I know many people have their minds made up on the issue of whether or not the Fab Five should be honored, but in light of the Final Four this weekend, I thought it might foster a good discussion on the board about taking a realistic approach on how to deal with the past properly. If you don't think Chris Webber should ever be allowed on campus, you're entitled to that opinion, but the ban ends in May and sooner or later something will probably happen involving the Fab Five, and Chris Webber will probably be one of the main driving forces behind how good or bad the results end up being for him, the Fab Five and the university as well.
I tried to think of all kinds of clever things to say about this video, but sometimes words just ain't enough (call it "undescribable").
Stop the interwebs: Valerie McGary, Shantelle Clay-Irving, and Tammy Albrecht reflect together on their sons' latest accomplishments, although...they still have to learn the majority of "the finest college march (March?) ever written"--so, GRIII, don't go pro 'til your mom learns the rest of The Victors. (Which I hope is like never.)
(i'm not going to admit how long it took me to still NOT embed correctly. but...it was at least one episode of Mad Men.)