I did not make this headline up
The Captain Planet Theory
12/29/2005 - Pistons 106 - 101 Heat - 23-3
I have this theory, you see, about the Pistons. It took them some time to learn about the magic rings that were mysteriously bestowed upon them by Joe Dumars upon their arrival in Detroit, but now they have mastered their respective domains. At the beginning of the year they gathered at center court, screamed 'let our powers combine,' and summoned forth Captain Piston to wreak havoc upon evildoers and floppy, charging Mexicans leaguewide. Rasheed is obviously fire--ask his Nike commercial. Always running Hamilton is air. Steadying Billups is earth. Prince and his suffocating, impossibly plentiful, tentacle-like arms: water. And Ben Wallace defines the concept of heart as it applies to sports.
This occurred to me--
Goddammit. Fine. Here... but don't expect it to be noble or kind or stoic or really anything except a screed. I tried to wait for coherence. It didn't work.
12/29/2005 - Alamo Farce - Michigan 28 - 32 Nebraska - 7-5
I haven't read a thing about this game. I turned it off after filling the halls of a friend's house with enough swearing to build a medium-sized pirate vessel (hyyyarrrrr!), went home, played Civ 4 in a futile attempt to prevent my fists from clenching and unclenching at random, and watched Michigan get annihilated in the GLI, like, again. But I assume that the random squad of barely trained monkeys that were assigned to officiate the game have been rounded up and shot into space, never to trouble college football again, right? And then the Sun Belt was summarily dropped into Division II where it belongs, right?
The tragedy of the final play is that it overshadows the real final play when Mario Manningham was blatantly interfered with on fourth down. Or that Michigan was forced to use timeouts because the ape-men did not realize that they could review plays, including an obvious fumble that was not called as such earlier in the game. I'm at a loss as to why the Alamo Bowl couldn't have found some illegal immigrants from Botswana who thought they were watching a bizarre form of rugby to officiate. Or a pack of ravenous hyenas prone to consuming wounded participants. Or people who enjoy "Everybody Loves Raymond." I don't want to go too far: none of these three groups of totally incompetent, unqualified people would have been an improvement. But they wouldn't have been any worse, and they would have come cheaper.
I'm sure there are a myriad of reasons why Michigan lost that game unrelated to the refereeing. I cannot be bothered to think of them right now. (Okay: 27 yard field goal miss, run defense reliably awful even without much Massey, Henne's inability to find anyone downfield.) All I can think of is truly going off the Penn State deep end and executing the Keyser Soze Manuever on anyone even vaguely connected with that... that... whatever it was.
I hope you'll forgive me: I ain't watching it again. Here's your UFR: screw 2005. The one redeeming feature of the last play of that game was I got to say "it's over" and put Michigan football, 2005, from my mind forever. In retrospect, even the run of success, or at least non-incompetence, that got us to 7-3 only served to raise our hopes just in time for the final two games to dash said hopes broken upon the rocks. Every step in the season seemed to raise the factor of cruel mockery to yet another level.
So: here lies 2005, killed by its own incompetence and that of others. Its gift to future generations is the phrase "well, at least it wasn't 2005." Try it: "well, we may have lost to MSU, but at least it wasn't 2005." "Well, I may have inoperable pancreatic cancer, but at least it isn't 2005." "Well, that rapture thing happened, my bet on Hinduism came up craps, and now I'm faced with hell on earth during Armageddon, but at least it isn't 2005."
We beat Coppin State, though, right? Seriously: did we?