Delayed a day due to quality content of actual importance in the diary section that I didn't want to boot from the front page…
In the loosely adapted ways of Dante, I present to you the seventh canto of Formerly's Football Inferno. I promise nothing when it comes to grammar, punctuation, logical plots, or anything that normally goes into story writing.
For those of you unfamiliar, Dante walks through each region of hell to learn the sins and punishment by talking to those souls trapped. In this canto, we reach the great city of hell – what Dante called Dis. This city houses the final circles of hell.
Davy Crockett and I made it down to the ferry after a lengthy walk. Along the way I admired the great wall along the far side of the Styx. The wall was gray and stained with blood. It had a dank and dark feeling, evil if you will.
"Davy, what's with the wall?" I ask.
"That there wall separates the light sinners from the truly vile sinners. Behind it lies the great city of the underworld. Back several years ago, it was called Dis. Now, they officially call it Columbus."
I turn to Davy with a smug look on my face, "That's not too cliché is it?"
He replies, "Yeah, hell isn't filled with a truly creative bunch."
"Apparently," I say.
When we reached the ferry, we were met by the boat keeper. The keeper was in a druid robe, so his features were hidden, but I could tell he was tall. When we approached him, he motioned us to the boat without saying so much of a word. He left my nerves unsettled.
About half way across, I decided to break the silence and ask him a question, "So is this your full time job?"
The next thing I know, the boat keeper pulled up his oar and wacked me across the head. Everything went black.
When I awoke, I was on the banks of the Styx, already taken off of the boat. I could hear the current ripping by the shore and someone talking in the background. As I came to my senses, I realized it was Crockett talking while trying not to laugh.
"Dammit, man, that was one hell of a hit. You can't be doing that kind of stuff...Yeah, yeah, I know, he'll be fine. Just take it easy you crazy badger."
As I rolled over and up onto my feet, I looked over a boulder to see Crockett talking to the robed figure. This time his hood was down. It was Bucky Badger. That stinking badger knocked me out.
I tried to run over to him to give him a return shot, but my head hadn't quite recovered. As I stumble across the banks toward Bucky and Crockett, I saw the badger reach into his pockets and retrieve a bag. Too dizzy to fight and interested in what he had to offer, I stopped and grabbed the bag from his hand.
"What's this?" I asked.
Bucky, unable to talk motioned to Crockett to explain. Davy said, "That's a mixture of mushroom, mushroom, and snake called Badger, Badger, Badger. It'll clear your head."
Puzzled, I reply, "Clich—"
Davy interrupts, "Cliché, yes. We established that already."
"Just checking," I say as I take a bit of the contents in the bag. Amazingly the stuff worked, clearing my head almost immediately. I handed the bag back to Bucky as he made his way back to his boat. He motioned in a big wave, replaced his hood and was off.
I whisper to Davy, "I hate badgers," and Bucky promptly turns around, gives the arm gesture for "suck it." That bastard. But he's not worth the effort of chasing him down. Especially with him already so close to his boat oar.
Turning back to Crockett, I ask, "So what next?"
"Well, we gotta get into Columbus. There's a gate up yonder. We'll have to go in there," said Crockett.
As we walked up to the gate, the tower over the gate loomed large. It had to be over 200 feet tall. The gate itself was over 20 feet tall, made of thick sturdy wood and fastened with steel. It did not appear to have been opened in years. Above the gate was a look out post that appeared to be manned by no one.
When we reached the foot of the doors, Davy called up to the post, "Hey, you up there. Get your lazy selves down here and open this door!"
Nothing happened. Davy and I look at each other with a "now what?" look. A few seconds later, I see what looks like a man with a mohawk poke his head over the edge of the lookout post.
"What is you're name?" called the look out.
"I'm Davy Crockett, and this is formerlyanonymous," replied my guide.
"You're not Davy Crockett, you're John Wayne! And who the hell is formerlyanonymous?" returned the man from above.
Davy turned to me and whispered he'd be right back. Davy then floated on up to the look out post and disappeared behind the ledge. I waited for something to happen, and after waiting two or three minutes with nothing happening, I started to lose hope.
All of a sudden, I hear a yell and see the mohawked man falling from the ledge. When he reaches the ground, I realize it's Sparty, and man, does he have one hell of a black eye. Crockett comes back down from the ledge, settles down posing like Captain Morgan over the Michigan State mascot.
"Sparty, no. I'm Davy Crockett. You are going to open that door," says Crockett with the expression John Wayne would always would have at his characters' smuggest moment of any of his movies.
"Well you're out of luck, brah. I own this gate. I'm not opening this door without divine intervention," replied the Spartan. And like clockwork, a light shined through the darkness above. Out of the godzillatron, a voice as sweet as candy spoke:
"Little bro, this is Ufer. You'll open that gate right now."
Sparty reluctantly answers, "Yeah, brah. I'm on it."
And Ufer said unto Sparty, and "bow down to the Michigan fan as he passes."
The light faded back into the godzillatron and everything went back to normal. This was awesome. Sparty got up and started pushing open the door to let me pass. As I walk through the door, he bowed down.
Right as I pass through the threshold of the door, Sparty called me "scUM." Before I could even insult his typically Spartan, weak insult, a lightning bolt came from above and punished the Spartan. Life was good.
As we passed through the gates, we entered the 6th ring of hell and the city of the extremely not cleverly named city of Columbus, where the true villains of Michigan football exist.
In the loosely adapted ways of Dante, I present to you the sixth canto of Formerly's Football Inferno. I promise nothing when it comes to grammar, punctuation, logical plots, or anything that normally goes into story writing.
For those of you unfamiliar, Dante walks through each region of hell to learn the sins and punishment by talking to those souls trapped. In this canto, we aren't visiting a level of hell as much as a ring around it. In Dante's fifth circle, we have the wrathful, those who fight each other, destined to stay underwater where they will find no solace in man, God, or the universe.
Coming down the slope to the 5th circle of hell, we could see in the far distance the river Styx and a great wall. This level of hell is rather thin, as you can see all the way across it. It's also noticeably barren. There are no geological formations, just flat land leading to the great river of the underworld. It doesn't even dawn on me until we've almost reached the river that there haven't been a soul in sight.
I turned to Crockett, asking him, "What's up with this circle? Are there no souls damned to it?"
"Patience, partner. You'll get your answer and then some when we reach the river."
What's with cryptic messages about my future coming from these spirits. I guess I should heed his warning. The last few hours have been horrible as I stare at the godzillatron. Michigan just lost to Toledo. As the final seconds clicked of the clock, all hell seemed to shake.
So as we got close to the river, I turned back to Davy and ask how is it we're supposed to cross the river when three souls in the water pop up. The first wore a shirt with the words "G0B1U34W350M3!Scout". The second wore a shirt with the words "HaiL2DaVictorzRIVALZ". The last wore a shirt with the words "Promote RichRod".
G0B1U3 speaks first, "Obviously you have to build a boat and float across. Did you go to a public school? The public school I went to is ranked #2 out of all public schools. That makes me smart."
HaiL2Da responded second, "u dont have 2 go to da skool 2 b smrt dumass. Just ford da river d00d. itll b cool."
Promote RichRod then came up third, "Hey formerly, remember me? I'm the handle that died when my owner went to be a lawyer at the University of Michigan Law School."
"OF COURSE I remember you," I reply as I reminisce Promote RichRod's awesome policing of the early board. "You must have retired after I left on my pilgrimage."
"Yeah, I had a pretty epic ending. I asked "Cutting up the middle" means cutting into Outback's sirloin special, right? Ended this handle's life just a few hours ago. Too many uninformative titles, not enough off topic tags, and dammit, just not enough people who can handle my University of Michigan Law School intellect."
"You're definitely the same guy. So why are you down here?" I asked. "I know you've been to plenty of games and been a loyal Michigan fan."
Promote RichRod replied, "you see, people who post stupid things about Michigan on message boards get sent to fight it out in the current of the River Styx. That explains tweedle dee and tweedle dumb over there. You think mgoboard can get bad, you should hear these douchebags day after day. The good news is we at least all gang up on the stupid MLive posters. We keep them submerged to the bottom."
I nod my head in agreement. Putting up with Scout board style comments would be rough. It's why I've always liked mgoblog haloscan comments. The sense of community doesn't take kindly to stupid or superficial people, well minus that one night where 00goblue00 mentioned she had tits. "Fair enough. Any suggestions to crossing the river that don't come from the Oregon Trail?"
"Yeah, there's a ferry that will take you to the gates of the great city. You just need to wonder in that direction," says Promote RichRod as he points up the coast. "It'll be hard to miss."
"Thanks dude, and good luck."
Davy and I then walked away as the three posters started fighting each other on the topic of the values of running zone left three times and punting. If I wasn't already in hell, I think my soul would have just died a little bit.
In the loosely adapted ways of Dante, I present to you the fifth canto of Formerly's Football Inferno. I promise nothing when it comes to grammar, punctuation, logical plots, or anything that normally goes into story writing.
For those of you unfamiliar, Dante walks through each region of hell to learn the sins and punishment by talking to those souls trapped. The fourth circle of Dante's hell is home to those committing Avarice. Avarice is the equivalent of greed, which was once described in a certain text as "the root of all evil." In Dante's realm, they were forced to move large stones with their chest for eternity.
As we traveled down into the fourth circle of hell, the weather began to clear and temperatures approached being a bit warm. As we reached the bottom of the steppe, Davy stopped me.
"Formerly, before we go any further, I must warn you, this circle of hell may be a bit tempting. Be always sure you are right - then go ahead," warned Crockett.
Little did I know just how true his warning would be. As we entered the main plain of the fourth circle, I was immediately surrounded by women. And let me tell you, these women were endowed. Tig ol' bitties as far as the eyes could see. And we're not talking just DD, we're talking freakishly large boobs. Does size Z exist? These breasts are as large as a woman's torso.
"Look girls, it's a mortal man!" exclaimed one of the big tittied blondes. I think I'm in heaven. All of these women want me.
"So, like where are you from?" one asked. "Did you go to Michigan? I was, like originally from Jersey, but I went to Michigan. I was in Sigma Lambda Upsilon Tau. My grades were awesome! I was a linguistics major, which, is like so totally hard. What can I do for you?" Followed by a suggestive wink, or at least I think it was, I was staring at something else.
"Well, uh… you-" I started before being interrupted.
"So where are you from? How much do you make? What kind of car do you drive? If it's anything less than an Audi you can just pack it up and get out of here," another said, speaking so quickly that I didn't have time to even get a word in.
"Uh, I'm a college student that drives a chev-"
"Oh god, I carried these huge tits all the way over here for that? I'm so out of here," stated the first girl. The girls all turned away, opening up their cell phones and calling god knows who.
"What, what? What just happened here?" I mutter.
Davy steps up beside me and says, "Formerly, this is the land of those fair weather fans who only go to games because that's what the popular kids do. They don't care about the team. They just want to be seen. These are the ones that show up in the short skirts in September, then never make it to a conference game because the weather goes cold."
"Damn dude. Those are some big titties. Is that just a coincidence?" I asked.
A girl, boobs too big to be able to use her hands on her cell phone overheard me and interrupted our conversation, "No, that's like the punishment for us. We were all too lazy from going out before games and getting trashed to make it out to games. We've been punished by being given breasts that are like, so big they hurt to carry around all day. And the worst part, they don't even give us mixed drinks to subdue the pain. This is like a total hell hole."
I replied with a simple "I see" and eye roll, which didn't seem to go over well with the straggler, "Don't give me that look, bitch."
"Oh, okay. You enjoy Avarice, I'm moving on."
"Like, shaaa… wait, what's Avarice?" she replied.
"Go ask one of your English major friends who might have read the Divine Comedy, if that wasn't 'like so totally hard' that they forgot."
So Davy and I kept moving along, and shortly before getting to the edge of the fourth circle, Crockett turned to me and says, "Yeah, I made the mistake of hanging out here too much when I first entered hell. Those bitches are intellectually disabled. And man, listening to them chatter on and on about themselves is a worse hell than anything you'll see the rest of the trip."
"I hear you there, Davy. They're batshit crazy."
And on we traveled.
(picture complements of chunkums… Disclaimer: any and all stereotypes offered by this picture are the sole contribution of chunkums. FA loves him some KKG, or any UM sorority sisterhood for that matter.)
In the loosely adapted ways of Dante, I present to you the fourth canto of Formerly's Football Inferno. I promise nothing when it comes to grammar, punctuation, logical plots, or anything that normally goes into story writing.
For those of you unfamiliar, Dante walks through each region of hell to learn the sins and punishment by talking to those souls trapped. In the third circle of Dante's hell, home to those committing Gluttony, the souls here must endure endless rain of sludge from the monster Cerberus.
After another endless walk, we finally climbed down into the third circle of hell. In this circle of hell, the windstorms of the second circle turned to a freezing storm of black snow. Temperatures were easily below freezing. Luckily I took my jacket with me to the Michigan game I last left, oh so long ago. Michigan weather is tricky like that. It changes on a whim.
As we pushed on through the circle, we could see large hills all around us, however, people weren't to be seen. As we slid between hills, zigzagging through the valleys that channeled through, you'd occasionally hear a person yell, but not often. After a few yells, I had to ask Davy Crockett just what that horrid screaming was.
"Kid, this is the realm of hell for all those who never once made it to Michigan Stadium. It's a sacred pilgrimage that every Michigan fan must complete at least once in their life. For those that don't they are doomed to spend eternity sitting in a replica of Michigan Stadium, except there is no game.
"They must sit and endure the cold of a night game in December. A black snow blots out the light as their souls must freeze. Each of these hills are actually stadiums built into the ground, filled with twice the normal capacity so the damned will have to feel an even bigger squeeze on space. On top of that, they blast RAWK MUZIK into their ears. It's diabolical."
"That's a harsh penalty," I replied. "Is there exemptions for poor people, those who never visit America, or otherwise?"
"Alas, they do not. If you never make a game, you are damned to hell. It used to be worse though. It used to be if you didn't make an Ohio State game. Hell eventually had to change that. The ADA got wind and claimed there just weren't enough handicapped seats in Michigan Stadium to get all the crippled people of the world into Ohio State games. So Hell sent their lawyer-types, of which there are plenty, and sent them to orchestrate a renovation of Michigan Stadium. The requirement to see an Ohio State game should be mandatory again by 2012."
"Huh," I shrugged. "I guess I take back all those nasty accusations I made about the handicapped ruining the Big House."
"Yeah," agreed Crockett. "They had nothing to do with it. Hell doesn't discriminate. The handicapped are just as worthy of punishment."
"So that screaming I heard, that was the RAWK MUZIK?" I asked.
"Yeah, that's the RAWK MUZIK. Horrible stuff."
"So is there a spirit around I can talk to?"
"Nah, most of the people in these stadiums are losers who never went to a game. You know, like that stereotypical Asian kid who went to the UgLi instead of games. That and ugly girls who are pasty. They have no interest in those around them in life, nor do they have any interest in each other in hell. You don't want to be associated with them do you?"
"Davy, you're a horrible soul. I don't even know if you'd made it into Christian heaven with views like that. That said, I don't want to be associated with those type of people at all. I find they normally smell funny, too. Let's hurry and get out of this damn cold. May we never play night games in November or December ever."
As we walked on, I caught a glimpse of the godzillatron in the sky. Michigan just came back against Wisconsin to win. Ha, what the hell did that Domer loving Grantland Rice know about Michigan's future. The Rodriguez Era has begun. Sucker.
(Special thanks to chunkums for the gif)
In the loosely adapted ways of Dante, I present to you the second canto of Formerly's Football Inferno. I promise nothing when it comes to grammar, punctuation, logical plots, or anything that normally goes into story writing.
For those of you unfamiliar, Dante walks through each region of hell to learn the sins and punishment by talking to those souls trapped. In the second circle of Dante's hell, home to those committing Lust, the souls that blurred the line between love and sexual desire are tortured until their desires are purged.
Time flies by strangely here. For what seems like endless hours of walking, there is no sun to point my direction. When I look up to the sky, the only thing you can make out is a godzillatron reaching endlessly with small screens of Michigan updates being played.
There is a problem with these updates. It appears those damned to hell can't see them or make them out. Only I, the living, can see them. As we walk, I can see that Rich Rodriguez has signed a top ten recruiting class in his first year. That's welcome news. There's some crazy looking kids as I peak up at the big screen to see that varsityblue.blogspot.com is highlighting the class. It's a definitely a different air coming into Michigan, and that somehow comforts me as I cross down the cliff and trek across the plain of the damned in the second circle of hell.
As we hike forward, the weather becomes torrential. Great wind storms, like infinite tornadoes plague this level of hell. As we seek shelter in a path that runs through a ditch, I notice souls being thrown around in the wind, being held restless.
"Who are these people, tormented by the endless storm?" I asked Crockett.
He replied, "These are the pundits that either set aside their fandom in order to be objective journalists. These few men, and a couple women, mostly covered other teams, but some of them even covered Michigan. Like that guy there, that's Grantland Rice."
"Wow, he's one of the most quoted sportswriters of all time!" I exclaim.
"Sure is. I remember reading him as a ki… I mean, I remember hearing about his writing long after I had died."
"So you are John W-" I started.
Crockett cut me off, proclaiming, "Watch your tongue kiddo or I'll up and leave you here!"
"Yes, sir," I unleash remorsefully. What's with this guy?
"Anyway," Crockett says, "you want to talk with Rice? As a mortal, you have the ability to call on souls here, as long as you don't distract too many."
"Mr. Rice!" I call as his soul fades slowly out of the wind, as if all of a sudden it's not affected by the howling winds at all.
"Good day to you, sir. I'm Grantland Rice. I was once a great sportswriter covering the Four Horseman of Notre Dame. Now I am but a simple soul, ravaged by famine, pestilence, destruction, and this savage wind. I'm stuck in the blue-gray October sky, in a crest of the cyclone before the second circle of hell, peering down upon the bewildered panorama spread out upon the green plain below."
"That sounds vaguely familiar. Did you just rip off yourself?"
"Yes, I am he who penned the story of the four horsemen of Notre Dame."
"I thought so," I say. "So here's a question for you, why was Michigan the team that you never seemed to cover? It was always Notre Dame, Babe Ruth, Red Grange, Jack Dempsey. It seemed like you never covered Fielding Yost and the point a minute offenses."
"You see, I was one of a dying breed. Despite my lifting of athletes up to the level of demigods, I always wanted to be objective in my poetic tales. It just so happened that I was snatched up by Notre Dame during their glory filled years. You know, the ones they keep claiming are bound to echo back. Ha, unlikely."
"Yeah, ha. I've noticed that most of the spirits down here don't know what's happened recently in the mortal world. Did you hear about their yakety-sax 3-9 season? What a bunch of losers!"
Rice let out a sigh and responded, "No, I hadn't heard, but that doesn't surprise me either. I heard that Tyrone Willingham guy really did a number on them though. Or that's at least what I heard when Holth entered hell a few years back."
The intentional inclusion of Holtz's lisp made me laugh. "But Holtz isn't dead?" I ask. "I saw him on game day before I left."
"Souls can leave the earth before the body dies. It's not uncommon. The body is left without a soul to drift until it expires."
"That explains a lot, actually."
"Indeed it does… Alright, well, I feel I must return to punishment. I have been here with you long enough. May you have safe travels, and may you overcome the despair that you have not even seen yet."
Rice slowly backed away out of the ditch, and before I could even question the cryptic fortune, he was whisked away in the fury of the wind. Davy looked at me solemnly, with a look that I knew meant don't lust after the answer. So I didn't, and we continued on our way.
In the loosely adapted ways of Dante, I present to you the second canto of Formerly's Football Inferno. I promise nothing when it comes to grammar, punctuation, logical plots, or anything that normally goes into story writing.
For those of you unfamiliar, Dante walks through each region of hell to learn the sins and punishment by talking to those souls trapped. In the first circle of Dante's hell, Limbo, the souls that lived without knowing "God" were trapped, unable to reach heaven for praising "God", but not punished severely for they knew no better.
So following Davy Crockett into the burrow lead us down a tunnel. After a few hours, we reached a large opening, a vestibule, we had reached the outer limits of hell. As we entered, Davy explained that hell was a lot like how Dante described it in whatever the hell that book was. It's not important. Apparently there's 9 circles of hell, each holding certain groups of people based on their sins against Michigan football.
After crossing the river Acheron, I walked through the barren land and noticed several large groups of spirits in the distance. Crockett saw me eyeing the groups and broke the silence of the last few hours, "Here in the first circle of hell, you got all your non-fans. All those that lived before Michigan football, all those that never were exposed to Michigan are cast to this circle. This circle is the one that I call home. Ain't much torturing or anything here. We souls in these parts aren't punished for not knowing Michigan football because it just wasn't available. But since we weren't able to experience it, we can't ever make it to the Big House in the sky. It's not so bad, we just gotta put up with jerks like Thomas Jefferson. The man never shuts up about hooking up with a servant girl. Always gloating."
"Umm… alright?" I respond, trying to reassure myself that John Wayne, and even Davy Crockett was born in an era when talking like that was considered politically correct, then pondering on the repercussions of not being politically correct when I now know that heaven and hell aren't based on religious morals but instead, your life as a fan of Michigan. Damn, my head hurts.
As we walked along, we would hear the occasional crowd of spirits explode in excitement. Crockett just walked along as if all was normal, so I just subdued my interest the best I could. That didn't last long though, as when we passed close to one group, I stopped and walked closer to them to take a look.
The sound of my boots on the dirt alerted the spirits to my presence before I could get within twenty-five feet of the group. They immediately became hushed and turned to me. This was the first time I realized that the spirits didn't actually walk on the ground. Being ghostly, they have no mass, and therefore move no dirt when they walk.
I stared blankly at the ghostly figures and they stared back at myself. I broke the silence after a good 30 seconds of awkward, "Hi, I'm formerlyanonymous."
"No you're not. We don't know your name. You're still anonymous," said one of the spirits as he stepped out in front of the crowd.
"No, that's my name. My name is formerlyanonymous."
"Well that's just silly. Clever, but silly. I'm Rudyard. I was once a poet. I am the leader of this group of souls."
With excitement in my voice, "You mean you're Rudyard Kipling? You once said For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. Michigan football used to use that as a major motivational tool."
"Indeed young man. While I may never reach Michigan Stadium in the afterlife, I am lucky enough to be enshrined in its lore."
"Yeah, I really love how we've moved from your wolf pack to Barwis's wolves. I really liked that we are able to keep the wolf theme when it comes to attacking on defense," I replied.
Kipling looked stunned. "You mean my quote is no longer the driving force behind Michigan football? The last time Bo came down here to heckle Woody, he told me that my quote was a centerpiece of Michigan lore?"
"Yeah, with the coaching change, Rich Rodriguez is now the coach. He's not sophisticated to know the likes of you, sir. He quotes things like the Lion King. Now we've got this weight coach, Mike Barwis. He owns wolves as pets. It's AWESOME!"
"Damn you Mr. Mike Barwis! You've taken my connection to Michigan football!" exclaimed Kipling.
"Uh oh, you better duck kid,"announced Crockett as he motioned to get down.
All of a sudden, a fiery whip flew down from the dark sky above as if it came out of the clouds. The whip lashed down and wrapped up Kipling, lighting him on fire. Kipling was then wrapped up, circled nine times by the rope, and lifted through the sky in the dark clouds.
Crockett got back up, dusted off his pants despite there being no dust on him as he's a ghost. "Ya see kid, those who turn on the program belong to a different level of hell. Mr. Kipling here just turned on a member of the staff. The keeper of the gates to the city inside the depths of hell just reassigned Rudyard to a place much deeper."
Alright, all you guys who just lost your leader, go ahead and get yourself reorganized. Get back to your games, I'm taking this boy and headin' down the dusty trail."
I turned to start walking, when it dawned on me that I never figured out what the group was cheering about in the first place. So I went to ask Crockett.
"They play this game down here," he started. "They call it limbo. Two guys hold up a stick and you have to walk underneath it. If you knock the stick over, you lose. It's been all the rage since skee-ball finally got played out."
As I walk dumbfounded forward, I ponder just how crazy this hell really could be. I've made it through one circle of hell and I've already seen Rudyard Kipling flung to a deeper circle of hell and a bunch of ghosts playing limbo. I must continue.