"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
[A bit of mgofiction for a slow thursday before the game. Hope you all enjoy. Or not.
-- Coach S.]
[Fade into the locker room, just after the Wisconsin game. Coach Rod takes center stage, and starts speaking.]
COACH ROD: "I'm going to say one thing to you, men. One thing."
[Cut to the last drive of the Wisconsin game. Michigan down by 4, 35-31. 1st and 10 on the Michigan 24 yard line. 2 minutes, 13 seconds on the clock. Frank Beckmann announcing.]
BECKMANN: "Denard takes the snap, running right. Cuts back left, just tripped up! Gain of 5 on the play. 2nd and 5 coming up."
BRANDSTATTER: "He's been hard to stop today, huh Frank? Kept Michigan in this one almost by himself, over 300 yards of offense and three touchdowns. You think he has another touchdown left in him?"
[Cut back to Coach Rod, in the locker room]
COACH ROD: "It's been a long year. Remember spring practice? Remember those long weeks you put in during the summer? Well, it's been a long year for me too. Did I do everything right? Hell no. I've made mistakes. Who here hasn't? We made some honest mistakes, and get raked over the coals for it. Wasn't easy for me, wasn't easy for my family. But as Mufasa said, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Have we been killed, men? Are we dead?"
[Cut back to the game]
BECKMANN: "Denard back to pass, zings one over to Stonum, who drops it. Big third down coming up."
BRANDSTATTER: "Nice read by Denard, saw the corner playing a little off Stonum there. But gotta catch those easy ones. Don't want the drive to die here..."
[Back to the locker room]
COACH ROD: "Hell no! Not dead yet. No, not dead. And therefore, stronger. We are stronger. WE ARE STRONG."
[Coach Rod takes a deep breath, looking around the room. All eyes are on him.]
COACH ROD: "I want you all to think about what this team means to you. To be part of it. To contribute to it, no matter how big a contribution, or how small. Just like that little play out there on third down, right Kelvin?"
[Back to the game]
BECKMANN: "3rd and 5. Big play, not much time left, lots of yards to go for the win. Denard back to pass, passes down the middle to Roundtree, caught it! Roundtree dragged down from behind -- oh no, fumble! Who got it?"
BRANDSTATTER: "I saw Kelvin Grady running behind the play, and I think he just might have dived on the ball and gotten it. We'll have to see who's under that pile of white and red."
[The refs slowly peel one Badger off the pile after the other...]
BECKMAN: "Michigan ball! What a hustle play by Kelvin Grady! The play of the game! First down Michigan, ball at the 44 yard line. One minute and thirty on the clock. The Wolverines aren't dead yet!"
[Back to the locker room]
K. GRADY: "That's right coach. Like you said, never give up on the play."
COACH ROD: "That's right Kelvin. Never give up. NEVER give up. NEVER GIVE UP! This team has been down, this team has been beaten, but never once did I see any of you hang your heads. You kept fighting. The Wolverine never stops fighting, even when it's down. Even when it looks like the fight is lost, the Wolverine never quits. We fight to the end, win or lose, live or die. Right Stephen?"
[Back to the game. Michigan has advanced the ball to the Wisconsin 31, but it is now 4th and 1. Time is running out.]
BECKMANN: "Game on the line here. 4th and 1. Hopkins in the backfield, two receivers split right. Denard takes the snap, hands to Hopkins, who's hit in the backfield! He keeps his legs moving, spins, and dives, and drives the defensive tackle back. It's gonna be close!"
BRANDSTATTER: "I thought he was stopped short but he kept pushing! Depends on the spot, but he just might have gotten it."
[Refs bring out the chains...]
BECKMANN: "First down!! By the nose of the ball. What a second and third effort by Stephen Hopkins! 48 seconds left. Clock momentarily stopped thanks to the first down."
[Back to locker room. Hopkins nods at Coach Rod]
COACH ROD: "That's why we've been working this year, men. All year, every day, every hour in that weight room. It's for that yard when you need it on fourth and one and the whole game is on your shoulders. It's at that time when you see who is the better man. That is why we work so hard. THAT IS WHY WE WORK!"
[Nods around the room, and grunts of agreement. Coach Rod takes one more deep breath, and speaks again, his diction now at its peak]
COACH ROD: "But like I said, I've really only got one thing to say to you. One thing! It's not hard to guess. It's what we've been waiting for. And when the game clock ticked down out there a few moments ago, it's all I could think of. Just one damn thing!"
[Cut back to the Wisconsin Game. It's now 4th and goal, very little time left on the clock.]
BECKMANN: "4th and goal on the 2 yard line. 13 seconds left. Here it is, Michigan fans. 8-3, or 7-4? Win, or lose? What's the play call here Brandy?"
BRANDSTADTTER: "I think we all know who's getting the ball on this one, Frank. I just hope his shoes stay on."
BECKMAN: "OK, Here we go. Denard takes the snap. Takes a step forward. But then he steps back, jumps, and throws it to a wide open Koger. TOUCHDOWN MICHIGAN! TOUCHDOWN! He jump passed it on the last play of the game! Michigan is going to win, 38-35! The crowd is going crazy!"
[The stadium erupts, and then the band. The Victors will play on into the night... Cut back to the locker room]
ROD: "Just one thing on my mind after that game. Can you guess what it is? Denard?"
DENARD (softly): "Beat the Bucks."
TATE (louder now): "Beat the Bucks!"
ROD: "The rest of you all?"
TEAM (screaming): "BEAT THE BUCKS!"
ROD: "THAT'S RIGHT, JUST ONE THING: BEAT THE DAMN BUCKS! Now get outta here and celebrate. I'll see you Monday, and I tell you what, men: They better be ready down there in Columbus."
[Fade to black]
In the loosely adapted ways of Dante, I present to you the eleventh 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 circle of Dante's version, those who would commit fraud are punished. In each of the 10 bolgie (subsections), a different type of sin is punished, be it pimpin', flattering, simony (paying the church for blessing), magic, corrupt politicians, hypocrites, thieves, advisors who would promote fraud, "schismatics" (those that would schism religion), or counterfeiters.
As we reached the edge of the 7th circle, we encountered a cliff so steep, it would be impossible to climb down. The abyss seemed to be an endless drop down into darkness. Naturally, we needed a Geryon. Unfortunately, none was to be found.
"So what now?" I asked Crockett.
"Say something bad about America."
"What?" I inquire.
"Say something bad about America. Anything. I'm not going to do it, I'm Davy Crockett for goodness sake."
"Umm… okay? America smells funny?"
Without a second passing, a great "CAW!" came bellowing from the depths. In a flash of fireworks and with the Star Spangled Banner blaring from nowhere, a giant creature came screaming from the deep.
"Who dares defile the name of America! In the name of Ricky Stanzi and J Leman, this aggression will not stand!" proclaimed the great bird.
Cowering on my side, and pointing at Crockett, I yell, "This guy made me do it! He tricked me! Hey wait, why can you talk normally?"
"ENOUGH! I am the great Hawkeye, devourer of corn, strangely named after only my eye, and defender of patriotism!"
Crockett stepped forward, "That'll be enough Hawkeye. The boy didn't mean any harm. We just need your services. We need a ride to the bottom of this here cliff."
"Well, honorable Davy Crockett, I shall grant your request on one stipulation," said the Hawkeye. "You must sing me my favorite song."
"You've got to be kidding me," I reply as I gather my wits.
"Well, Hawkeye, are we talking the Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, or what?" asked Crockett.
"No. Better. I want you to sing Oh! by Girls Generation!"
Crockett and I simultaneously, "You've got to be kidding me."
"No! You will not fly without you singing my favorite song!"
"You obviously didn't see me in Riders of Destiny did you?" asked Crockett.
"There weren't movies in your time Crockett," said the beast.
"Dammit, you've got me there." After a short pause, "Alright, I've got an idea."
In a whirl, John Wayne magically transformed into a 16 year old Korean Girl!
오!Hawkeyes 너무 멋져! 지금은 그들에 대해 노래 것입니다!
After the song was completed, with a tear in his eye, the Hawkeye proclaims, "By Leman, that was beautiful. I shall take you down this cliff. Climb on to my back, and we shall fly like a Ricky Stanzi pass to the endzone!"
With a look of confusion, I ask, "Does this mean we're going to be intercepted and go backwards?"
"Blasphemy! You want a ride or not?!" shouted the Hawkeye.
"Just sayin'. But yes."
Crockett and I climbed aboard. During the flight, I had to ask Crockett just what the hell happened up above. His reply, "you'd be amazed what you learn on the set of Rio Bravo with that slut Angie Dickinson.".
Stunned, I decided to just let things go, finishing the flight in silence.
After landing, we walked down the path, and came up to two cave entrances. To the left, a purple sign reads Chicago; to the right a red sign reads Indiana. "Interesting that Chicago has their own place in hell. They're always the forgotten team," I state.
"Actually, that bolgie is Chicago and Northwestern. Chicago didn't provide enough space to fill the entire realm, so they started putting Northwestern fans in their, too. It really pisses off the Wildcat faithful, being called in Chicago instead of Evanston."
"So this is where fans from opposing schools are kept?"
"Indeed. Each is subjected to a punishment deserving of their respective bases. If you look into the Chicago bolgie, you'll see that Northwestern fans are whipped into pumping gas for eternity. This is punishment for jingling their keys at football games. The Chicago fans are just whipped into submission, as they're just quitters anyway."
"Huh, gas pumpers, huh? I like the irony. It's like rain on a wedding day."
"That's not ironic."
"Nevermind. Anyway, what happens to the Indiana fans?"
"Their heads are turned backwards and they are forced to play basketball without seeing what their doing. They suck horribly and couldn't beat even the lowliest of teams. To complicate it, they're shown clips of the current Hoosiers under Tom Crean. The tears they cry from this freeze right to their face."
"That's so cruel."
"Oh just wait. You see the next two caves, to the left is Illinois. There the fans are subjected to carry lead coats to weigh them down, while being forced to watch the entire history of Illinois football as if Ron Zook had been their coach since the team was started. They're amazingly worse. And to the right, you'll see Penn State's bolgie. There, the Nittany Lion fans are afflicted with a disease that turns them into zombies. They march around hungering for brains."
"I think I'd prefer being a zombie over watching Ron Zook coach a 1920s Illini football team into crap."
"You and me both, son. The next set of bolgies feature Iowa and Purdue. The Hawkeye fans are destined to a life as a stalk of corn. They start as a seedling, grow into a 6 foot tall crop, and then are reaped, feeling the blade tear them into bits, before they return to a seedling."
"As if living in Iowa City isn't boring enough, eh?" I ask as a loud drumming became audible in the distance."
"Purdue on the right here, they've got it about as bad. They spend the after life being dunked into a vat of boiling tar, a victim of their own vats. On top of that, their stupid drum beats in their bolgie, but the demon Purdue Pete has no rhythm, so it's not even a constant beat."
"That's awful, let's move faster."
"That can be done, partner."
"Who's next?" I ask.
"Next is Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Badger fans are placed over a bed of hot coals and forced to jump around."
"The more I hear these, the more I go back to that whole cliché thing we discussed back at the gates to Columbus."
"Noted. But quit interrupting me, boy," Crockett started. "On the left, you can see the Gopher fans crucified to the ground so that people can walk all over them. As you can see, the roof and walls mimic the Metrodome, a place I'm sure all Michigan fans can appreciate."
"Getting walked all over in the Metrodome? Sounds like a familiar Gopher story."
"That it is. The next bolgie coming up is Michigan State's. Before I even tell you what happens there, I'll remind you how cliché everything has been so far, then let you guess. Any ideas?"
"They're subjected to Gerard Butler prance around in a skirt for eternity kicking them into wells, yelling 'this is Sparta?' "
"No, but close! They're made to believe they've been reincarnated into Spartan boys, but as the youngest son, they are to be forever tormented by their stronger, smarter, better looking big brother. And once they've reached a certain age, they're sent to war against the Persians who kill them and start the process over again."
"We've got to get more creative people down here."
"Yeah, you've got to remember, most of the people that run this place are basically the blue hairs from Michigan stadium circa 1927. In life, they were entertained by playing with a stick."
"Indeed. Now, on past the last bolgie."
"Sweet, I'm interested to see how those idiots from Ohio are tormented. Please tell me that they get their nuts busted by continuous kicks to the groins?"
"Actually, the next bolgie belongs to Notre Dame. They may not be a conference member, but to hell with the Irish. The Buckeyes go somewhere else, deeper in hell. We'll get to them later."
"Huh, fair enough. So what happens to the Irish?" I ask.
"Well, you see, they have to plug their head into the ground like emus while their feet are scorched on hot rocks. They're told the strategy of putting their head in the ground is a schematic advantage to lessen the burn. It doesn't really do anything but make them look funny."
Disappointed by such a weak punishment, I reply, "It'd been funnier if punch drunk leprechauns came up and kicked them in the shins at the same time, maybe beat the crap out of them."
"I'll make note and pass that along to Ufer. He's never been much on trusting leprechauns. They look too much like gingers. We're still unclear if gingers have souls, and if they ain't got a soul, then they ain't coming to hell."
"It may suck, but not as bad as Michigan is playing right now. They just lost three straight to Penn State, Illinois, and Purdue. Bad things are happening in your world. Fans are growing restless. We must escape hell quickly, before we lose our chance."
And with that, we quickly made our way toward the final circle of hell.
(Special gif thanks to chunkums)
Large flurry of relevant diaries lead me to delay this one. Only 2 canto's left after this one…
In the loosely adapted ways of Dante, I present to you the tenth 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 circle of Dante's version, those who would commit violence are punished. The murderers, bandits, those that would commit suicide, blasphemers, and sodomites were all tormented in three separate areas. Murderers were submerged into a boiling river of blood, suicide cases were reincarnated into bleeding trees picked to death by harpies, and the blasphemers and sodomites were destined to wander a desert of flames as fire rained from the sky.
The walk from the 6th to 7th ring of hell was totally agony. The gods were also fans of the USMNT. So while watching a 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup game, they discovered the vuvuzela. That damn horn blared through hell for weeks. I'm still deaf. Michigan must never go bowl-less again. They must never lose to Ohio State ever again. The punishment is overkill, even for those in hell.
As we descended into the 7th ring, we were met by it's guardian, the Penn State Nittany Lion. As we went to pass him, he jumped in front of us and began to mumble and jump around. I turned to Davy and asked, "what's his problem?"
"He's trying to scare you into turning back."
"This is supposed to be scary? He's like a teddy bear with a scarf. Jumping around with arms raised is supposed to be intimidating?" I ask as the Lion hangs in head that he'd yet again failed to put fear in to a Michigan fan, just like his highly rated teams that have failed again and again in Ann Arbor.
"He is a pretty weak mascot. I'll give you that, but he's also going to be our guide through this realm," replied Crockett. "Now you, Cowardly Lion—"
The lion interrupted with a few mumbles. "Oh, right, Nittany Lion. Lead us through this circle, the circle of Violence against the program."
The lion then waved his hands in a "come this way" fashion and the Duke and I followed along the top of a ridge. After a brief walk, we came to point above a valley below us. In the valley were hundreds of Michigan fans wearing maize. On a ridge below us sat centaurs with great bows, firing flaming arrows down on to the fans below. As I stopped and watched, Crockett noticed my interest.
"Those are the fans that have sold their tickets to opposing teams' fans. This sin has lead them to lead their life standing in the crowd they can never escape. On top of that, the one team who never buys tickets, will forever rain arrows down on them."
"What team are the Centaurs?" I ask.
"Indiana are the Hoosiers. Why on earth are there centaurs down there?"
"What did you think a Hoosier was?"
"Good point. But centaurs?"
"Back when Bob Knight was coaching, he had this crazy theory that running horses in basketball might have a more sinister purpose. He, being the most influential person on campus at the time, convinced the medical school to merge his players into half man, half horse creatures that would have the speed and stamina to destroy teams on the court."
The Nittany Lion mumbled and Crockett laughed, "Yeah, never could get those flesh eating corn monsters to work. That Bob Knight was a crazy fella."
"You've got to be kidding me," I respond dryly.
"Nope. The kids didn't last long. As soon as they died, they became the perfect fit to fill this role in hell."
After sitting there a while, the centaurs caught sight of us and began to divert some of their arrows upward. Pulling out his six shooter, Crockett began to fire down on the centaurs to provide cover as the Lion and I moved on.
As we fled, Davy fell out of range as the Lion urged us forward. At a fork in the road, I tried to insist that we wait up for Davy. The Lion mumbled and pulled me along. With Crockett being familiar with hell, I figured he'd catch up, and what harm could come from following the Lion. He's so cute and couldn't possibly do me harm. Right?
As we pushed to the left at the fork, we came upon another valley, this one composed of several barren, black trees. The Lion directed me into the forest, peering ever so suspiciously at the darkness above us. Something was up.
As we reached the trees, it was clear that names were carved into them. While some names had faded out, some were still freshly carved. One of those, a particularly tall tree, the name of Epke UDoh was written. Interested, I went up to touch the engraving. Upon touching the engraving, the whole tree flinched.
"Who goes there? Is it another one you of you damn harpies?" came a voice from within the tree.
"No, it is I, formerlyanonymous, a Michigan fan."
"Oh, good. I thought one of those damn harpies came back to bite at me."
"Who are you?"
"I am Epke Udoh. Like all of the other trees in this area, I'm the soul of a Michigan player who quit a Michigan team or transferred to another school."
"Huh. That sucks."
"You have no idea. What are you doing down here?"
"The Nittany Lion… hey, where'd he go?"
"That treacherous Lion has lead you into a trap. He despises Michigan fans, and he's lead you to the harpy feeding ground," explained Udoh. And with that, the swoop of wings up above began to become audible. A dark creature dove down and Udoh, ever defensive, swatted the harpy down to the ground like a blocked basketball.
The harpy squealed, and arose. This harpy was quite strange. It looked like a crack whore who had grown wings. As it lifted up, it became clear, this was a woman who was once attractive, but as her MSU shirt alluded, she spent 4 years at Michigan State, losing all her beauty. She was now a broken woman, stupid, ugly, and unable to shut her mouth.
The harpy, squawking loudly, made it's advances at me. Retreating under the protective branches of Udoh, I hoped to get the help from his tremendous reach. I was lucky that his longest branches were able to keep the harpy at bay just long enough for Crockett to arrive, guns blazing. The harpy didn't last long with the tree and Crockett firing. After a brief few seconds, it scurried away into the darkness.
"Thank you, Epke. Even if you chose a crappy, Christian school over Michigan, I'll always be a fan of yours."
"I appreciate it formerlyanonymous. As for you Mr. Wayne, would you mind signing my bark? It's a tremendous opportunity to meet an accomplished actor like yourself!"
Bang bang bang. "Take that you filthy animal. It's Davy Crockett."
"Dammit, that hurt!" yelled Udoh.
"Serves you right to call me by some other guy's name!" exclaimed Crockett. "Alright boy, you ready to get back on track. I caught up to that damn Lion on the way back up to the 6th level. Beat the tar outta him, and if it wasn't for me already having this kick ass coon skin hat, I'd be wearing something new by now."
With that, Crockett lead us away from Udoh. As we climbed back up the ridge, we could see from a far that the harpy who fled earlier had returned to Epke with several of her friends. Udoh was no match for the flock. He fought off several, but the final four Spartan harpies ripped him to pieces.
After reaching the fork in the road, this time Crockett lead us down the right path. This ridge lead us to yet another valley. In this one, we found a large desert. In this desert were found only a hand full of men. As they crossed this desert, the sand would burst up in flames with every step they took.
After one of their yells, I asked Davy, "Who are these people?"
"These are the sportswriters that turn against Michigan in order to better themselves. They proverbially bit the hand that feeds. For their Jihad against the program, they were banished to the deserts where they are set ablaze. That one way over there, that's the soul of Rosenberg. He has a special punishment. Not only does he walk this desert, but occasionally dolphins emerge from the sand and punch him with their tails."
"So you're saying, in Soviet hell, dolphin punch you?" I ask.
"This isn't Soviet hell. This is Michigan hell. Where the hell did that come from?"
"You don't get the internet do you?"
"No, we don't take kindly to communist around here."
"Right," I say sarcastically.
Davy went on, "But anyway, as you can see over there, writers from the now defunct Ann Arbor Chronicle lay in the desert over there. Yonder, you'll see the Detroit News writers sitting in that expanse. And lastly, you see the writers from the Detroit Free Press wandering in groups like the sodomites they are."
"I know, funny word, right?" the Duke says as he laughs. "Now let's get moving. We've but just 2 circles of hell left and the gods are definitely in our favor. Michigan has won 4 in a row to start this season. We shall travel quickly with them doing well."
And we were off.
In the loosely adapted ways of Dante, I present to you the ninth 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 circle of Dante's version, those who would commit Heresy are punished in tombs of fire.
As we reach the 6th circle, there was a noticeable feeling of optimism in the air. The mood felt less heavy. The feeling was strange, one that I hadn't felt in quite a while. It didn't take me long to figure it out either. Michigan just defeated Minnesota, closing out a perfect record in the Metrodome.
The celebration didn't last long in my mind. I knew Michigan was still 3-7 and not going bowling for the first in ages. It was a hollow win.
The 6th Circle is a eerily quiet cemetery. Graves are aligned quite compactly, and there is little room to pass without nearly stepping on the hallowed ground. Each soul is in a grave marked with their name. Below the name is listed a saying one of two phrases, "Down in front!" or "You can stand!" As I start to see these two messages, I have already figured out what the sin of this circle is, embattled fans.
It seems strange that this is the only circle thus far that has it's damned in what seems like isolation. I guess that's because the fans here would rather fight with each other than focus on the game. In each case, standing or sitting and yelling at the standing, they ruin each other's game experience. Say what you will about the idiot message board posters, they at least bicker away from the game. These that fight during games, there is a problem there.
But despite my personal feelings about these besetting fans, I can't help but wonder what their take on their punishment is. About half way through the 6th Circle, I couldn't contain my curiosity, especially when my other option was watching Northwestern beat Michigan on a wet Ann Arbor afternoon. So I turned to Davy, "Davy, do you mind if I talk to one of these spirits of this domain?"
"Nah, partner, do as you wish. Just don't ask too many questions. The people in this circle get a bit testy."
"Yeah," I start. "I can tell by the headstones. Any suggestion on sitters or standers?"
"They're damned if you do, they're damned if you don't. Or, well, yeah. The sitters will moan that you're impeding their time. The standers will complain that your not a big enough fan to ask them questions. Pick your poison, kid."
"Great, I'll take the crab juice. Um, how about the standing guy? I don't want to have to sit down to perform this interview."
Davy replied, "That's a good point. Let me round up this feller over here." Feller? Really?
Davy began to wave his hands to open the grave, and as he did, flames burst through the opening as if the grave was pressured with fire. After the grave completely opened, a spirit leapt out as if he were gasping for air.
"Woooo does it feel good getting out of there!" the spirit exclaimed. "Now who do I owe thanks for getting me a break?"
Davy points over to me, "That'd be this here fella."
"Well, then thank you. My name is Super M. Fan. I had it legally changed to that back in '97, right after I caught every game of that National Championship season, at home and on the road. I had Charles Woodson's face tattooed on my ass after he won the Heisman. Wanna see?"
"No. Not at all," I replied as the guy went and pulled down his pants to moon me.
"KISS THE WOODSON!" he proclaimed.
"You're not a real fan if you can't appreciate Woodson in all his glory."
"How much can you tell me about Michigan's baseball history?"
"Michigan has a baseball team?" he asked.
"You're not real fan of the University."
"BURN!" said Davy, as flames reached up and scorched the wretched soul.
After letting his yells subside, I redirected the conversation. "So, how's hell treating you, I mean other than the burns?"
"Dude, it's horrible. Not only can I not get a decent drink down here, but I have to watch the Big Ten Network's Greatest Games for eternity."
"That doesn't sound so bad."
"They're all Michigan losses. And the only commercials are for Rotel and Barbasol."
"Ouch. I take that back. If it makes you feel any better, though, that's all they play even on Earth."
"The worst part, occasionally they tease us with a break in programming. It always ends up being campus programming from Purdue's campus. Have you ever seen how they inseminate a cow? Dude, least interesting semen related thing ever. This guy in a plastic glove sticks his hand up the cow's an—"
"Dude, stop it. I know where this is going, and I don't want you to go on any further."
"Hey, there's only so many ways to get your jollies down here."
"No. Enough. Stop."
"Fair enough, guy… Hey, Michigan's about to take on Northwestern on BTN in like 3 minutes. I think Michigan may finally win this one. I can't remember back to the '95 season, but jNWU has to be horrible, am I right?"
"You're not going to—" I start before interrupted by Davy.
"Formerly, let him have it. We must continue on. Super M. Fan, get back in the hole." The spirit sank slowly back into his crypt to go endure more pain and misery. Davy looked at me, "He hasn't even gotten to you're time on BTN's greatest games. Just wait until he has to watch the Horror. Yikes."
"I envy him not."
"Come on boy, let's move on. Trouble is on the horizon. Michigan is losing to Ohio State by 3 touchdowns. The gods will be angry." So hastily we set off.
In the loosely adapted ways of Dante, I present to you the eighth 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 enter the city of
Dis Columbus to see how the souls damned to hell are sorted.
As I pass through the underworld's city of Columbus, I really think they missed on naming it. The dark streets of deserted homes and what looks like certain crime reminds me more of certain areas of Detroit than it does of Columbus.
There are dilapidated buildings set in eternal flames. Souls that are awaiting their placement in the depths of hell are kept pinned in those flames. It is a sad place.
We walked through several blocks of the city before we reached a point where the city ended. At the edge of the city was a line of souls awaiting judgment. As I pass, I try to avoid eye contact, because, I mean, how am I supposed to look at them?
In my probably obvious attempt to ignore the souls around me, my eyes wandered back to godzillatron. Things are getting worse. Last week Michigan made a white, walk-on wide receiver look like an All-American against Michigan State in Ann Arbor. This week we're in a shoot out against a hapless Purdue. They've got some wide receiver in at quarterback. He's torching us right and left. I'd feel better about drudging through hell if Michigan could at least show signs of competency.
While staring in solace at the screen above, I noticed my vision went blurry, as if I was looking through a fog and flashes of light. I had accidentally walked right through one of the spirits who was on fire. Strangely, the fire didn't affect me. The spirit was a man, large in stature, sporting a really ugly mustache.
"Hey douchebag, get outta me!" exclaimed the spirit.
"Oh, so sorry, sir. I just –" I started before Davy Crockett interrupted me.
"Don't you apologize to that piece of slime. Don't you recognize what he is? That Buckstache doesn't give him away? That's the badge of the Ohio State fan. Everyone of them is cast into hell with one of those on their face, even the women," Crockett explained as he pointed toward the ugliest piece of trailer trash I've ever seen.
"That's harsh, but it's also so so awesome," I chuckle out as I realize just how ridiculous these people in line are. Most of the Buckeye fans are either pure trailer trash or dressed like they're heading to a Nickelback concert.
We keep walking, and instead of avoiding looking at the poor souls, I'm taking in some deep pleasure in seeing some of these opposing fans waiting in line to be sent to their circle of hell. A certain schadenfreude, if you will.
When we reach the head of the line, much to my surprise, I see the great fiery whip that I once saw pluck Rudyard Kipling from the first circle of hell. I couldn't yet see the master of the whip, but he was plucking out souls from the masses one at a time, flinging them down into the lower levels of hell. His precision was insane, plucking one person from the masses without even touching another. It was masterful.
As the the origin of the whip came into sight, I was both shocked, and, well, who am I kidding, at this point, not surprised to find that this minion of hell, the wielder of the whip was Goldy Gopher. If there was ever one mascot in the BigTen that would know something about being whipped, it'd be Goldy. Apparently all those football beat downs taught him something useful.
"Davy, you think I could talk to him?" I asked.
"You'll need me to translate. If you couldn't tell from Bucky, the mascots can't speak with Sparty being the lone exception. They can mumble, so it comes out kind of like Kenny in South Park."
So we made our way up to the boulder from which Goldy operated and Davy called him down. Goldy leaped down and made his way over to Davy and myself. He started shaking his head and making a muffled squeaky noise. It was like watching the old Chip and Dale cartoons where it's a high pitch squeak that makes no sense.
Crockett laughed at whatever it was that Goldy said, smiled, and replied, "Yeah, man, still going by Davy Crockett. They'll never catch me."
Goldy mumbled some more, pointing in what seems like random directions, moving his hands around more than Bill Clinton in a speech. Goldy continued to talk for a while with Davy just humming in agreement. After a couple of minutes, Goldy turned to me and mumbled something else to Davy.
Davy translated, "Goldy tells me there's good news that you'll probably want to hear. Your fortunes are going to look good by the time you reach the 6th circle."
"Well, that's, uh, good?" I mutter.
"Yeah. So, what do you want to ask him?" Davy asked.
"What is it that you're doing?" I ask. Goldy seems to laugh, then he starts to mumble to Davy, bobbing his head.
About thirty seconds into the mumbling, Davy plainly interrupted Goldy, "Do you really have to say 'Don'cha know' after everything you say?"
Goldy seemed a bit pissed off at this, bobbing his head much quicker and sounding a bit more stern in his mumble. Just like a Minnesotan.
So when Goldy finished, Davy turned back and translated the long mumbling, saying, "He says he whips a person, grabbing them and throwing them to their final destination."
"That was like 5 minutes of rambling, and that's all he said?" I ask.
Davy replied, "There was some talk about starting an hell ice hockey club, but I didn't think you'd really care."
"Yeah, you're right."
"But yeah," started Davy. "He said his whip goes around the person the same number of times as the circle he's destined to spend the rest of time in. So say that Buckeye fan you walked through earlier, he'll get wrapped up 8 times. Hey Goldy, why don't you show him how it's done?"
Goldy mumbled, leapt back up to the top of his boulder and gave his whip a spin. The tip made it all the way back to the Buckeye fan I walked through earlier, wrapping him eight times around. The spirit was lifted and thrown back and down into the far reaches of hell. It was awesome.
After feeling the satisfaction of watching a Buckeye being thrown deep into the depths of hell, we waved adieu to Goldy. He did that weird mascot salute that they tend to do when signaling goodbye. We were off, heading from Columbus down into the 6th circle.
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.