Mike Lantry, 1972
Take a week to recuperate and all hell breaks loose. Although in the buzzed reality I lived in last week, I should have seen it in some sort of shaman vision. Let us begin from the Purdue game I barely remember and will never forget.
The anticipation of attending the Mecca of football for the first time this year was excruciating. My trusted confidant from Pennsylvania and his lady friend made their presence as well. The night started in Flint when we stocked up on a variety pack of the strongest liquids that would do the most damage to even an Irish elephant. We took a pit stop at the Greektown Casino and chased around the American Dream for a bit. All I caught was a headache from the goddamned noise of slots and the cheap rum they sold. The only winner in our traveling band of miscreants was my confidant. He walked away with $38 and a smirk I wanted to wipe off his face with a scythe, bleach, and salt.
The next morning we stopped for sustenance, ice, and rolled a Panamanian cigarette. As the last ashes blew in the wind of a crisp Michigan morning on Route 14, I began feeling giddy as a valley girl winning dairy princess in Wisconsin. We parked our vehicle across the street from the stadium at the lovely golf course. Many complain about the $40 charge for parking there, but if you get there early it is in a prime location and as the chemicals settle in, every strange character rolls in you know you have to keep an eye on later.
I timed the rum consumption perfectly. As my enlightened feeling from the devil’s lettuce wore off the Sailor Jerry’s kicked in. It was only 930 in the morning and I was almost out of my fifth. The phone calls then began to come in. Friends from Detroit looking for me to travel to their locale kept coming in every two minutes. I kindly explained that if I attempted to traverse to their locations around campus, I would most likely end up in prison, or worst yet, East Lansing. This must have been a warning for them to keep a wide berth since no one dared came to our little spot in Ann Arbor. Only one true brave soul had courage to experience my posse this lit up, Blue Dragon. After many minutes of playing drunk Where’s Waldo in a crowd of over 110,000 of the human race we met up. As I polished off my last sip of Sailor Jerry’s, he bared his timely gift of nature’s Prozac. As we huddled into the front of a SUV to initiate peace talks and revelry, my confidant looked more scared than the Lohan family at a law enforcement conference. He spotted two older men of a good looking upbringing in the front of their vehicle along side of us. Tensions were eased when my confidant saw the men pull out a baggie of something that resembled flour. Someone forgot to inform them that making bread does not involve the step of snorting the flour. The bread doesn’t rise as well when done so.
As I tapped into one of my last beers my usually trusted confidant pulled out a fungus substance. I was immediately stricken with panic as I was already on multiple substances and about to embark on a journey to loud noise and sitting among many suspicious looking people. As I argued this would be a terrible idea, Blue Dragon proved to be a true pioneer as he gulped his down within seconds. Faced with immense peer pressure and the assurance I would be ok on a smaller dose, I reluctantly took it expecting impending doom.
Ten of noon struck and our band of heathens took our shit show to the stadium. My confidant and his lady friend had to check into gate E due to her over sized satchel. All that was left was Blue Dragon and I in a sea of drunken irritable fans looking for blood after a bye week gave all time to stew about the first loss of the season to the Fighting (literally) Dantonio’s. As Blue Dragon and I neared the entrance, he heard an angry voice call out to us that we ruined his fucking day because we supposedly cut in front of him. Half in shock of a surreal experience, and half in awe due to the lack of line to cut in, I believe I uttered… “Ok.”
Blue Dragon split way to our seats hopefully to cross paths on another trip in Ann Arbor. I arrived at our seats alone. I noticed a truck driver and his son had two of the seats I purchased. Still in a dream state, I muttered something about them moving the fuck out of the way. Finally my confidant and his lady friend arrived to a surprising 7-0 Purdue lead. Not that I can manage to remember much of the details of the game except the ill timed RAWK music, sappy 80s pop songs, and the constant hypnotic HD screens, but Fitz Toussaint ran the distance of the Intercontinental Railroad and back against the Fighting Stache’s of West Lafayette. Michigan controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides all day and dominated the game 36-10. The rain at the end of the game, I actually enjoyed. It felt good to be rained on when the score board was tilted our way. It was like a Gatorade bath for those of us that continually support Michigan through thick and thin.
The night in Ann Arbor was even more of a hazy semi-unconscious trip. After losing complete composure in a camping store and downing more alcohol at Ashley’s, I vaguely remember ending the night drinking out of a boot, getting hit on by an architect major at U of M in a Robin’s costume, and arguing with a MSU student and her Australian boyfriend about the validity on their school being eligible to be accredited in anything but underwater basket weaving.
PART II: Corn Guzzled
As I slowly came out of the daze of sampling leftovers throughout the week, I wish I would have saved them for the Iowa game. The game first resembled a MANBALL marathon as both offenses looked sluggish and the defenses bent a little at the most. MANBALL advantage tilted in the favor of Iowa as the game went on. As I paced around my house in a furor I began swearing like a man with severe Tourettes. Denard made his fame on his legs. For Spaghetti Monster’s sake, his nick name is “shoelace”, not “glove Velcro.” I understand the wish to change the system to a semi-west coast offense that Gorgeous Borges is used to and wants to implement, but Denard is not made for that purpose. If a coach cannot tune the offense to the strengths of the star player’s advantage, you are neutralizing yourself. One of Rich Rodriguez’s many accusations and partly true was that he did not try to ease into a new system with players from an old system. I believe Gorgeous Borges is doing a better job of this, but has glaring deficiencies in some of the play calling. If a lane opens during a passing play and no one is immediately open, instead of bombing to a fly route, throwing to Tacopants, or trying to squeeze in a pass between three defenders, he should…..wait for it…RUN THE DAMN BALL! Yes this increases his risk of injury, but it also gives the most electrifying player in the NCAA a chance to make something happen in his own comfortable way. Did they tell Barry Sanders not to go lateral so much in his day? Probably, but lucky for us who got to witness him, he didn’t listen. Will Gorgeous Borges adjust for the last four games? I guess you could say there is a better chance of Gorgeous Borges adjusting than growing a mullet.
The day became late and the fate of Michigan looked grim early in the fourth quarter. Down by more than two scores it looked as if the Michigan 2010 team put up a better fight. I walked out to the backyard and contemplated whether to down two bottles of root killer but decided that if I wasted it on myself, the women of the house would dice my body into pieces and send them down the Detroit River if the water backed up into the house again. After returning to the man cave I was shocked to see Michigan’s anemic offense twisted its way back to the game with a fighting chance. Hoke must have done some serious pointing in my absence.
I am not one to pin blame on referees. Teams that effectively execute all game won’t be put in a position that comes down to a few bad calls. After that said, the referees need to be audited or whatever it’s called where they get an occupation proctology exam. Hemingway’s catch was a touchdown with a knee in and the mauling of Roundtree on the last play was so obvious that Helen Keller rose from the dead to boo the call.
Another Michigan loss to a mid-level B1G team triggers flashbacks of two previous deflating seasons. I still hold out HOKE…I mean hope that this won’t end like years past. The defense is better, adjustments after halftime (at least on defense) are apparent, and a larger chip is growing on the seniors that have experience possibly the worst years of Michigan football. In order for bloodthirsty players and fans to be happy this year, there needs to be at least two more wins. If not, next year is not going to be any easier and the offseason of Michigan infighting will seem all for naught.
PART III: Disgraced Valley at Pedophile State University
Much has been said on the Penn State/Sandusky matter. My only words are as follows. They won’t change a thing and some if not many won’t find any value in them. As a rabid college football fan and a recent citizen of the state, I must express them as I have yet to do so.
In 1998 accusations of inappropriate interactions between Sandusky and a young boy surfaced on the campus of Pennsylvania State University. In my opinion, this is what suddenly put the heir apparent of the football program into retirement. This was the first acknowledgement of wrong doing by the coaching staff and university. For four more years Sandusky was given unfettered access to the university facilities to continue his monstrous campaign of ruining the lives of future men.
Again in 2002 a graduate assistant (Mike McQueary) walked in on Sandusky naked having sexual intercourse with a ten year old boy. As the boy and Sandusky most likely turned to see the act was seen, the boy hoping that this nightmare may have been over was dashed when McQueary turned his back and rand home to his daddy. After his dad convinced McQueary to report the act to Joe Paterno and he did so, Joe Paterno then reported it to the now defunct AD. The authorities were never brought in for an investigation and no follow ups were had. An agreement between Joe Paterno, the AD, and the president of the University, Graham Spanier signed off on barring Sandusky from the campus. This would be the second acknowledgement of wrong doing. Again, no follow up and no outside investigation.
Sandusky moved his horror show to the town I then was going to college in. He became an assistant football coach for the high school team and still lured vulnerable boys in his Second Mile program. Finally getting caught again, the guillotine came down. Sandusky’s fate is sealed as I read it in the Grand Jury report. The man has a first class ticket to hell to have the offenses he exercised on youth done to him with Satan’s pitchfork.
Because his fate seems to be sealed, the attention has turned elsewhere on Joe Paterno, the school administration, and Mike McQueary. Attention deserved. For at least 13 years, Joe Paterno knew something was awry with his assistant coach. In 2002 Mike McQueary had a chance to save a ten year old child from the worst day of his young life. The administration was given notice. All chose to do nothing. If Joe Paterno is a man that holds those around him to a higher level of accountability, then a man that holds more power than the board of trustees and the president of the university should have made sure the matter was taken care of and no more young boys were hurt. Instead he either thought the matter would go away or wanted to maintain a squeaky clean image of the football program. Either way, it was wrong. Of course he did what he was technically supposed to do, but he chose a football program over the lives of children. No sport or program is worth more than an opportunity of a normal childhood. Many asked me if I would feel as strongly if this was in Michigan’s house because of my unvarnished hatred of PSU before this went down. The answer is yes. I could not continue to cheer on a program that was complicit in the molestation of young vulnerable boys.
Mike McQueary had a firsthand account to the sadistic acts Sandusky was capable of. He told Paterno and washed his hands of it. When he became a coach, he literally watched as Sandusky paraded more victims to PSU coaching functions and practices knowing damn well what that fucking swine could and would do. I believe there is a law in PA I came across in my occupation that said if any abuse to a child is witnessed or even plausibly true, it MUST be reported to state authorities. The fucking coward could have even anonymously called and told state authorities what had happened. Instead he received a coaching job and stayed mum.
The administration did more of the same. The top of the food chain chose to ignore and to minimally punish Sandusky. The “responsibility” lay with them and they did nothing. This is why the AD and VP of Finance resigned and the president who spoke ignorantly that he backed both unabashed is tonight getting axed as he well should be. All of them should be tarred and feathered and drug through broken glass and rusty nails.
The one item that is increasingly heinous is the victimization of the three parties above. As a recent citizen of PA I experience the cultish trust and invincibility of the PSU football program. Going to college a half an hour from PSU, I experienced this on an extreme level. This football program was so tight knit that it is another reason I cannot believe JoePa and others had no idea that Sandusky’s felonies were known and were suspected to probably to continue. The blind faith many in PA have of the football program is now at a disgusting level. Instead of lashing out to get to the bottom of this disgraceful episode in their history, they lash out at those accusing Paterno and those surrounding the case for unfair targeting. This is not all alumni and fans, but most. I believe it is this cult like following that allowed for this kind of horrific act to take place. PSU football became bigger than life. These children and their families were probably PSU football fans and bigger ones once this “trusted” program chose to include them into this James Johnson hypnotic organization. Families entrusted their young to the care and support of Paterno and his football family. Now instead of talking about victims and whose ass should burn for this, many in the cult of PSU football have had their reality challenged. This is something that has never happened in the age of Paterno. The grasping at straws to defend this program’s wide cover-up of the most atrocious crimes is a desperate attempt to hold onto a reality that really never was. Sandusky was a monster predator and Paterno, McQueary, and the PSU administration were complicit in his actions. Yesterday another 20 plausible victims came forward that could have been prevented if corrective actions were taken at first notice. Instead Paterno and the administration allowed a serial child rapist full access to their facilities for four years after knowing something was not right. The headlines today said Paterno has chosen to retire at the end of the season? The president of the university is getting fired and he gets to stay?! Fuck no! No longer does he get to decide PSU football. He has already shown grave mistakes and has admitted doing so with this simple quote said today:
“This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."
This man and those around this scandal will be taking the field Saturday with the privilege of doing something they love when men and boys around PA were betrayed by that same blind and dangerous love of moving on and forgetting the past in the name of PSU football.*
Nebraska, you better fucking annihilate these cowards and mutant freaks into further humiliation and disgrace.**
*As posting this, The PSU Board of Trustees have fired Graham Spanier and Joe Paterno. What about Mike McQueary?
**Nebraska- Green light to humiliate these freaks is still a go.
Well that blew. So did the game. As the hopes and dreams of a rose covered field similar to the bed in American Beauty got ugly, so did the rules and reactions of Michiganders everywhere. Riding high on a drug better than K2 or bath salts, our HOKE supply dried up. Like junkies hooked on a drug, Michigan fans in withdrawal began lashing out with a bowie knife everywhere and on everyone. Some of the slashing was justified, but some was just pent up rage left over from three disappointing seasons previous.
Pass the Asparagus:
As the first quarter reared its ugly head on my boob tube, I instantly recognized this game was going to be peculiar. It seemed that the Oregon Ducks broke out their 379th uniform combo and some clown college broke out of a birthday party training and took the field in Michigan’s place. I would find out that the real clowns were the other team and the other dudes wearing stripes. When the graceful intelligence of the sportscasters acknowledged that this was actually Little Brother University and Michigan I felt a queasy feeling I hadn’t experienced since my friend's pet mongoose swallowed a family of ducklings and its mother whole at a local pond in front a group of Catholic school kids. The poor kids got a real life lesson on life’s abrupt and messy ends at any age. I’m sure the nuns got a kick out of it and turned it into a behavioral incentive program.
After gaining my orientation back from the kick to the senses the uniforms of both teams provided, I was shocked and disappointed. I was shocked that the Fingerpaint Department at LBU did not whisper into Dantonio’s ear that their colors and fight song include the colors green AND white. Maybe they did, but his school’s Napoleonic Complex was in the way. I was disappointed that even though it was most likely planned, the boys in blue went in to the locker room a half an hour before kickoff to change into their uniforms. It gave off the feeling of a combination of Project Runway and keeping up with the Joneses.
The uniforms were not the only disgusting factor in a game that blew more than two ways from Tuesday. The play calling as you all have noticed or heard by now was less than stellar. Why have a QB that has just an average pass game pass into tropical depression strength winds? Maybe Gorgeous Borges didn’t notice his own hair blowing in the wind. The wind was devastating and underrated in the game in my opinion. Combined with the wind and Gorgeous Borges’ play calling, Gardner’s sporadic appearances in the game wasted plays. At one point a wide open tailback was left hanging out playing jacks in the middle of the field with nothing but end zone and ugly sorority girls in front of him. If Denard was also supposed to find any rhythm in the howling winds of autumn, then he surely wouldn’t get it knowing he could be pulled at any second with the thought in the back of his mind that Gardner was getting in because Gorgeous Borges got frustrated with his pass game and put in Gardner to spark the offense. That kind of thing in a hostile territory like East Lansing would eat at your brain like a super dose of E.
These thoughts came to the front of Denard’s mind as Gholston spun the front of his head 180 degrees. Gholston decided to celebrate Halloween early by becoming his all time role model of football, Steve Lattimer. Like Lattimer, Gholston couldn’t control his inner thugness by doing most of his hitting after the whistles. Why Lewan didn’t gouge his fucking eyes out and pitchfork his dome into a crowd of three legged mules, I will not know until the day I die. The referees acted like 80 year old substitute teachers in Watts by tossing their hankies when they should have brought a hammer down and thrown their asses out for showing up to a NCAA football game with an XFL mentality. Then they should have thrown their crowd, stadium, waste management, and coaches out for unnecessary ugliness.
With the distractions of nauseating uniforms and cage match free for all rules the offensive line must have been confused with the concept of snap counts and picking up blitzes. This compounded the problems listed above that already made for a miserable day that even Poe wouldn’t touch with a 34 and a ½ inch pole.
As the results reverberated through MGoBlogdom and beyond, the crazies made an appearance and rationality of the season at large checked out. Even though I would be the first to panic on a ship with water on it in the middle of the Sahara, I did not feel a sense of panic as the previous two years…yet. The defense for all of the problems had on offense this sad day still looked eleventy billion times better than last year. The offense with a pinch of logic and constant practice can still improve. No we are not a national contender nor do I think even a B1G championship contender right now, but I didn’t think we were going to be August 31st either. So far I am pleased with the progress, not necessarily losing to LBU, but given the growing pains of a tumultuous three years of coaching changes, roster exoduses, and a Pimp Hand looking to sponsor the ring on his hand with Evil Pop while bringing back consistent winning ways doesn’t seem that bad. This could all change but I am willing to stay to be a champion and because I have donated way too much emotional and physical time with a team since I graduate from pull ups and mushy dinners.
As few of you noticed, I didn’t meet my Thursday night deadline for posting. I was in the midst of a bi-polar episode that threatened all of Wayne County to the point where even gang members were put on high alert and locked their doors. The Detroit Tigers were playing the hated Skankees of New Amsterdam. I could not focus on much more that Cabrera’s baby face and Delmon Young’s long ball. Not that there was much to write about last week anyways. To my five followers, I apologize.
Two Saturdays ago, Michigan humiliated and kicked the LOLophers 58-0 like Lewan kicking a three legged donkey destined for hell after being pushed through a meat grinder. The only surprise I had out of the game was that the lowly LOLophers couldn’t even manage a field goal. Props to the defense for getting the first shutout in a long time. Minnesota, the team who cannot beat the Dakota’s I-AA teams even though their roster out numbers both Dakota’s population combined, couldn’t even score if they were at a blind swinger’s party carrying Spanish Fly. The game was a not even a contest from the beginning to the end, especially when Michigan sent out their color guard team after halftime.
What was interesting was the dual play of Gardner and Denard. This idea was clamored for all of last year but perhaps Gardner wasn’t ready yet or Josh Groban’s greatest hits were playing too loud in the locker room for anyone to hear the idea. I have a distinct feeling that we will see this package expand in numbers played and the playbook expanded in different looks. I am sure Gorgeous Borges has something up his sleeve for the slime west and sludge south of Ann Arbor.
The past weekend’s B1G matchup brought an experienced QB and a higher quality team over all in Michigan’s first road game*. Dan Persa, who seems to me to be currently enrolled on the Van Wilder eligibility program, posed a threat to a defense for the most part untested by a quality QB. Yes, I know we played Carder, but Carder wouldn’t be able to hold Persa’s grandchildren’s pacemakers. Not only was Northwestern a better quality opponent than all but one of our past five games, but we were sitting on the record of 5-0 with a #12 ranking in the nation. #12?! The Notre Dame voters must have finally given up on overrating the fighting Holtzssffff and switched their attention on Michigan. We are definitely better than last year, but not yet at an almost top ten level in the nation. The ranking, along with the curse of Premature E-Jubilation that MGoBloggers has embarrassingly suffered from the past two years was heavy in most rational minds**. The fear and angst of being on the brink of bowl eligibility without ever accomplishing it until late in the season was almost too much for me. I once had this feeling of fear and angst before. The target: the prom with a beautiful girl from my senior class. The outcome; scrambling to pick the best of the leftovers, reaching the dance with a less than preferred date, and getting blown…….out at the after party when the fruit punch and Oreos were gone. Everyone was tired from such a fuckin wild night. How we didn’t get arrested, I do not know. Luckily I have ceased my behaviors of illegal persuasion and currently am applying for priesthood. Whoa, went on a tangent. Back to the story. I once had a goat named Sally…..
Northwestern came out in command of offense and defense for almost the entire first half. I felt the curse of 5-0 lurking in the shadows like some angry pedo-bear ready to pounce on a young, unexpecting defense. As I sat in a Flint living room, at halftime I had to take drastic measures. I started munching on Zingerman’s Black Magic Brownies expecting the best medicinal buzz Michigan could provide in a tasty snack. Waiting for it to kick in, I chugged a bottle of Robitussin for my “head cold” and the last four beers of my Rascal White Ale for a runway easer for my magic brownies. I was ready to take on the sorrow and pain of Premature E-Jubilation like a champ.
After halftime I began to feel a little better. The perfect doom preparation concoction was working. I began hallucinating the Michigan defense literally ripping the head off Persa and Pat Fitzgerald getting a flag because his face color matched his purple jacket. He and Brian Kelly would make a wonderful profit on creating a coloring book for young children with anger management issues. At any rate, the Michigan offense also began to trip me out by actually moving the ball all the way into those colored zones on each end of the field. Somehow HOKE always eludes media by slipping out of the locker at halftime, installing magnets in those end zones, and then installing the matching magnets in his offense’s shoes, or for Denards case, his socks.
By the end of the game, Michigan post magnets shut out Northwestern 28-0. Add that to pre-magnets, and you get a final score of 42-24. As I came down from my E-Jubilation concoction, I realized three things.
1. We are bowl eligible. Is the curse finally broken?
2. If we are defensively talented enough and offensively diversified enough to beat the slime from the east, Michigan could make a legitimate run at the B1G title. The rest of the B1G seems to moving downwards. This means our last greatest challenge of the year as of right now may actually be the fighting Zookers.
3. There is nothing magic about the Zingerman’s brownies. I want my money back for false advertising. I also want to congratulate Robitussin for coming through in the clutch and picking up Zingerman’s slack.
Seems as if little brother experienced a three year growth spurt. Along with puberty comes wild mood swings, false confidence, violent behavior, trouble with the law, and lots of acne. Time to pop the zits.
*Road game to Michigan-Chicago campus at Ryan Field.
**Rational descriptor for MGoBloggers may be an overstatement.
It is quite a surprise we are all here. After the performance of the offense and defense at various times against the Fighting EMUs I expected the worst heading into a game with a talented San Diego State. SDSU’s mascot is the Aztecs. These violent lots of people from history were neighbors to the Mayan civilization. Being so close to 2012, I began thinking Saturday against the Aztecs was a bad omen. If we played like we did versus the Fighting EMUs against this bunch, at the very least there would be a sacrifice of one of our former Aztec coaches.
HOKE also gave fuel to SDSU’s fire because of the way he left. He sent them a text, put on his Sony Walkman and looped the Proclaimers’ smash hit, “I would walk 500 miles.” It left a sour taste in the mouths of many Aztecs and they were ready to stuff MANBAWW FOOTBAWW down HOKE’s throat. But it turned out that HOKE went from being an Aztec to being a Tlaxcalan with the help of his coordinators Cortez and Pedro de Alvarado in the conquering of SDSU.
I wanted to attend this game but the realities of reality would not allow for it. If I were to descend into Ann Arbor for any game at any time, I would not return. I would end up waking on a park bench to a police officer with a cattle prod. Out of respect to my job that pays, I stayed home and watched it on the tele. My roommates thought it would be an excellent day to drop cleaning day at the exact time as the Michigan game. I reminded them that nothing takes precedence over my 3-3 ½ hours of joy I get out of a whole week by shot putting the vacuum cleaner onto Farmington Road. The point was made and the game began.
Pre-Rage Pic of Roomy and Vacuum Cleaner: I think it is a Dyson:
I could not fathom the start that I witnessed. Michigan jumped out to a 14-0 nothing lead quicker than Gorgeous Borges fixes his hair in the morning. The way this game was going, I could enjoy a wonderful trip from my trusty suitcase and enjoy the colors on the screen hoping that a double rainbow appears at midfield. Lou Holthsss would appear and Mike Martin would eat him like a bowl of Luck Charms. Luckily I didn’t take my doctor’s approved amount of blotter or else I would I would be writing from a room full of rubber pads and foam razor blades. The momentum ceased immediately after the numbers 14 dotted the scoreboard.
The defense fought SDSU into a stalemate for most of the game forcing three turnovers. This started prompting the question on many minds if these turnovers were made out of skill or luck. It seems that this year the defense has as many turnovers as Bret Bielema has steaks in his jock strap. All the guessing and analyzing can be done by the professional stat guys in our MGoBlog community, but the fact is that no one really knows. We all know the defense is at least one shade better than the defense last year and that might mean you can pin the answer on that, but Michigan has also being playing with fire the whole year so far with all but one team in the field position battle. EMU and SDSU entered Michigan territory many times luckily coming away with very little. It was like the man and his wife who hung around grizzlies for an extended time period. It seemed fun, dangerous, and amazing that a grizzly didn’t swipe a piece of their fuckin taint and guzzle it down with a side of salmon eggs and fresh spring water until they became the main course one evening as we received a bone chilling feeling listening to their blood curdling screams until their larynx became dessert. Not a scene I want repeating in my head ever again. Michigan’s defense is paying the same game, but with pre-pubescent black bears for opponents save maybe Notre Lame. Eventually we might get a big ole bear swat that deflates our jubilation at the current moment. Maybe not. Maybe Mattison has installed true grit into his players and the bending is all part of the plan as long as he blitzes like bipolar hell banshees until the opponents QB shits the bed like Lindley did this past Saturday. We won’t know until further into the season as we test ourselves against a larger talent pool.
John Wayne Mattison's True Grit Secret Blitz Play:
Offense? Well we have Denard Robinson who sprinkles diamonds on his food because even his shit sparkles. That is unless he passes. Denard sparked the Wolverine offense with his legs once again and helped the team to a 28-7 victory with another 200 yard rushing game. There is no doubt that he is a special human and we all feel like associate doctors watch him surgically disembowel opponents from stadium seating with RAWK theme music. There is one brighter spot that has emerged from an offense that only possessed a Denard Maglite last year that was beaten and thrown around as if sociopathic 6th graders got a hold of a kitten. Vincent Smith is the epitome of a true Wolverine this year. The man who is often confused for a TLC little person show character that runs like a bull moose and fights like a wiry wolverine. This is hopefully a viable option the whole year. There was no other option than Denard last year, and our opponents knew that. He was ran into the ground last year carrying the offense on his shoulders, a tough task to do with a donkey kicking Lewan that sends Chinese Buffets scrambling to lock their doors when he walks down the street. Again, time will tell if Smith will continue to be an option down the road and if Denard’s passing game make’s Dick Cheney’s heart beat more than our opponents. (Dick, I still want fuchsia colored boa back if you are reading this. Until then, I refuse to be bunk mates again if there is another intercontinental emergency or bad Michigan season.)
Never before seen Vincent Smith recruiting video:
With that said we face another opponent that should seriously consider heading up a powerful community college league for a farm program of the USFL. The LOLophers looked like a competitor in their game against USC and then fell apart quickly afterwards. It is bad when your program reminisces about the glory days of Glen Mason. I predict a big win with big Denard numbers again. I will sleep well, but anxiously for the season ahead. I can take care of the anxiety with whisky, codeine, and some glue, but I cannot fix the wrinkles Gorgeous Borges and John Wayne Mattison face ahead. Let the B1G season begin by playing some whack-a-Lolopher and gaining some momentum for the same beginning with a different ending.
P.S. For a sure winning bet on a big game this weekend in Madison, place your bets on the team in red and white.
It has already been three weeks of college football season and I have the self mutilation scars tallying every time I thought a game was lost or became frustrated with the Pitbull Dr. Pepper commercials. After spending an afternoon staring at my scars, I realized this habit must stop or else I will be sucking up all the good blood at the hospital for selfish reasons. This past weekend was supposed to be a “healing weekend.” It turned out to be just as frustrating as the past two.
The Eastern Michigan University football team has been compared to a punching bag or even an ugly mannequin used for those loners down in their basements to beat up on after losing their six hour quest of Dungeons and Dragons to install confidence for the next life wasting night full of pizza, funny dice, and no estrogen save in their man breasts from too much pizza and coddling at a young age. I debated whether to even watch this game or to take natural medicine and travel fast as I could to the Medieval Festival in Holly to take in the wonderful colors, music, belly dancing, and a turkey leg the size of Mattison’s head. I decided that in order to keep a weekly diary going it would be in my best interest to stay and watch. I expected an avalanche of offense and a punishment of defense from the get go by our beloved Michigan Wolverines. I soon found myself trying to remember how to tie a slipknot and finding a tall enough place by halftime.
The offense started out anemic and the defense played as if they were on the winning side of the game Tag and trying not to get tagged back. For a while I thought this was some cruel hoax of a uniform swith in the locker rooms so that Mike Hart would be able to coach the Michigan Wolverines incognito. Eastern Michigan manhandled Michigan as their offense stampeded down the field on at least three straight occasions but only coming away with three points from the whole ordeal. Thank the all knowing Spaghetti Monster that this was an inept team that didn’t know how to handle momentum against quality opponents and made buffoons out of themselves on national television. If this were any BIG opponent, our ass would have been grass, and they would have turned it over to the authorities. The Michigan offense was just as putrid as Gorgeous Borges still looks for an offensive strategy besides Denard Left, Denard Right, Denard Center, and Denard Please Fucking Save Us. He still hasn’t found it. MANBAWW FOOTBAWW. Sure Vincent Smith got over 100 yards on various attempts, but again, this is Eastern Michigan School of the Fighting Stuffed Animals. Denards’s throwing seemed to regress as he sailed passes to Tacopants and to Lloyd Brady tailgating outside the stadium.
At halftime I decided it was a bit hyperbolic to hang myself this early in the season. I should save that for Michigan State or Nebraska. I don’t want to waste my finale on a team that my old University President from Pennsylvania who wore plaid sports jackets stepped in for in the past to serve as Emergency President at Eastern. No way. Plaid sports jackets will not be the end of me. I knew Michigan would pull this out from the beginning, but the way in which they started the game was discouraging. Mattison and Gorgeous Borges better take note that an imitation Division III team pushed them around for one whole quarter.
After halftime, Michigan had a fire lit under their ass and the lighter fluid to ignite it was the usual brand, Denard Robinson. The defense also stepped up their game to begin to look respectable, but the rushing attack by the fighting EMU’s still plagued them. Denard galloped his way on his feet, which I am convinced are small unicorns blessed by the Pope. (How else would he always make the Irish look like chumps?) As the scoreboard raced higher for Michigan after unanswered touchdowns quicker than Tyrone Biggums racing higher after stealing a car radio, I still felt a level of disappointment. If Michigan were an ice cream shop going head to head with Baskin-Robbins for the Internationally known Lactose Award for Variety, they would lose 37-1.
Last year Michigan leaned heavily on Denard until he docked in at the end of the season with more bumps, bruises, and injuries than Whitney Hill after a good night out with Bobby. Not only was Denard beat-up by the end of the season, everyone figured out the game plan of a hobbled legged QB trying desperately to save his team from losing and his coach from trying out for Glee. The end result was a predictive offense with a defense that would have won Last Comic Standing and an embarrassing end to the season by being drubbed by Mississippi State 52-14.
The FEAR is afoot again. Whether it is Gorgeous Borges’ fault that he hasn’t tried to implement more offensive strategies using Denard’s threat to open up other plays besides a quick slant and a zone read, or because we are not there offensively with the talent up front and around someone like Denard can be debated until the cows come back to tsio’s many sororities. The defense has improved slightly, but is nowhere near a level accustomed to Michigan’s past or a level that can sustain a season in the Big Ten 2.0. The FEAR is creeping up my leg and beginning to look like a rabid warthog with pieces of kitten flesh dripping from its tusks. The game against Eastern Michigan may have been rewarding in it brought us another win and national ranking, but it also served as a curse in possible false hopes and a déjà vu that is beginning to resemble a Greek tragedy rendition of Groundhog Day. Then again, I’ve been known to worry too much.
Week two. Ann Arbor. Shit got peculiar.
Going into week two I had a nervous feeling that a chicken may get when crossing a high wire over a pit of rabid mauling crocodiles. Coming off a win of an abnormal scenario, there was a chance of a letdown that would put Charlie Sheen’s live standup routine in Detroit to shame. There was going to be lights, security shipped in from Blackwater, jets flying over, paratroopers dropping in at halftime, and uniforms that a future art student at age seven made on NCAA ’12. If it weren’t a football game, many people in the Ann Arbor vicinity may have thought Red Dawn 2 was being filmed in the Big House.
Notre Dame was coming off an embarrassing loss to a far less talented team from the swamps of Florida. One emotion of the Notre Dame Fighting Kellys was obviously anger. Brian Kelly is the only coach I know of that earned his coaching degree from the Homeland Security Department. It was Kelly that spurred Tom Ridge and other brainiacs to come up with the color coded alert levels. After last week, the South Florida Bulls are now on the U.S. Terrorist List.
Notre Dame was gunning to ruin a night of history in Michigan Stadium. They are not a team that lacks neither talent nor coaching skill (notice I didn’t say class). After doubling up the offensive production and producing a stifling defense against South Florida, they themselves lost the game due to the curse of Lou Holtz. Ever since ridding themselves of Lou Holtz, spittle traced back to Dr. Lou’s DNA can be found on every game ball ND touches. This logically explains the many fumbles and miscommunication. I believed naively that the curse would be lifted against Michigan due to Kelly’s coaching prowess and it just didn’t sit well statistically that Michigan could beat ND three years in a row. I respect statistics and precedence. Three in a row, especially with the transitions and coaching clusterfucks Michigan has experienced the past four years, just didn’t seem plausible.
The game began and I didn’t watch it. The beginning of it that is. I was too busy caught up watching ESS EEE SEE FOOTBAWW as Georgia went 0-2 against the Gamecocks of South Carolina in what seemed to be the longest two minutes of fourth quarter in college football history. I think it can be chalked up to a combination of a lack of number skills and a conference hell bent on ruining the lives of scholarship players and intelligent people everywhere.
When the game finally came on, I witnessed a déjà vu of last week’s first drive by the opponent. Michigan made Rees look like an All-American. Brent Musberger was getting off on being able to show off his counting skillz by constantly updating an already irritable Michigan fan base watching on TV the pass attempt/pass completed ratio of Kelly’s poodle QB. After the first drive, I expected a repeat performance of Michigan’s offense moving down the field in electrifying fashion. I couldn’t have been anymore wrong. Denard seemed like a mortal man that had his shoes not tied out of choice, but because he was just incapable. The offense was grim and the defense, well the defense was reminiscent of the finest looking Swiss Cheese west of the Prime Meridian. Not only was Notre Dame racking up passing yards that went mostly to Calvin Johnson Jr., but the running game of Notre Dame’s was also slicing and dicing the Michigan defense. The game began looking grim. Michigan looked more helpless than a bag of kittens smothered with BBQ sauce sitting on a silver platter in front of John Madden. Halftime ended 17-7 in favor of the Notre Lame Fighting Kellys.
Once halftime started, I had to take a shower. I had this disgusting film of disappointment covering my body. As mentioned before, I did not expect this game to have an outcome that I desired, but I did expect MANBAWW FOOTBAWW to put up a better fight than a nun in a UFC fight. I texted one of my colleagues that was sitting inside the Big House amongst the mass of people that was watching the horror show live to walk into the locker room and demand that HOKE either start pointing magical rays of football into the players or get out while he still could and join me at a shindig in Detroit I was readying myself for. The shindig included many beautiful women and alcohol. I was not sticking around to see Notre Dame light up the scoreboard as I sat alone in my Livonia basement mancave. Alcohol seemed to be the perfect remedy to obliterate my memory and women seemed to be the perfect cure for a bad case of grumpypantsitis due to their nurturing demeanor.
Once the third quarter started I smelled good and was ready to cut rug in Detroit. I figured I’d wait one or two more drives to see if HOKE inspired the team, the team, the team to fight back and make this a respectable game. I was at first sorely disappointed again. ND scored making the first night game in Michigan’s history 24-7 bad guys. As I started making the finishing touches on making myself presentable to the public eye, Michigan scored! Not only did they just score, they made a play that became a cliffhanger for me. Denard threw a long bomb to Hemingway as a ND defender gnawed upon his leg. I guess he could make this throw and play due to the drills in practice where Gorgeous Borges holds onto Denard’s legs preventing him from running and making insane plays with his legs. This forces Denard to make insane plays with his arm.
After that score making the game 24-14, I decided to stay, so I could be a champion. I am glad I did. Sitting helplessly in my chair I worried that this game would keep my hopes alive just enough that I didn’t get to use my new pack of razor blades I picked up at Ace Hardware earlier until the end. Then the hour would be too late to get a quality suicide hotline operator to talk me down. The graveyard shift gets its name for a reason. Not only was I working on my third ulcer, but my ex-girlfriend half a world away thought it would be a wise idea to send a shitstorm of insults at my team’s first night game just because she was jealous that her alma mater of Penn State‘s only tradition was waving a cane at a pep rally and excusing himself for foul language the night before. This night could not be anymore nervewracking.
The fourth quarter turned out to be a footballgasm that I will never forget. Michigan outscored ND 28-7 to defeat the Fighting Kellys. Not only was it a comeback of a lifetime, but the way ND crumbled was pure Shadenfreude. The most memorable was when the curse of Dr. Lou attacked Rees into throwing the ball…without the ball. At this point, the Michigan National Guard was put on high alert as the Kelly Alert Level reached violet. From late in the game on, the breaks bounced Michigan’s way. The Hopkins fumble into Denard’s magical hands and the five turnovers in all seemed to be luck that slid in the direction of the Maize and Blue. Michigan pulled out a victory of epic proportions and I felt like a champion for staying. I texted back by ex’s comment of this being an embarrassing moment of Michigan football history, “Fuck your history.”
As for the seeming luck that the Irish did not have and Michigan did, I believe there was something more. I think it was Vince Lombardi or someone important like that that once said, “Luck is when hard work meets opportunity.” After watching this game I believe this quote a little more. This team for the last three years, would have never been able to pull this off. You can bicker about it being the coaches, player’s age, or lack of skill, but I saw a team believing in themselves that I haven’t seen in a long time. The breaks in the game have not bounced in Michigan’s favor against a formidable opponent in such away for at least three years. You may argue Wisconsin 2008, but they ended up 7-6. As I said earlier, ND is going to be a decent team this year. As a matter of fact, I expect them to knock off Michigan State. Brian Kelly will turn Notre Dame into kamikazes before he lets ND go 0-3. I am sure they are practicing ball handling skills with duct tape and battering rams at this very moment. Anyways, this Michigan team shows fight. Something I knew the last couple of years they didn’t. In the past, as soon as the offensive momentum ceased, so did the whole team’s chances. Not in 2011. This Michigan team may end up 7-6 or something close, but at least I know they will die fighting.
Screaming, yelling, and having your face mocking a chameleon in heat may be therapeutic for some, but a resolve to never give up and keep giving your opponent everything you got on a big stage at home in the style I saw last Saturday night, is true Homeland Security.