I loved this column when it was in the Michigan Football Guide.
Punt-Counterpunt: Alabama 2012
Something's been missing from Michigan gamedays since the free programs ceased being economically viable: scientific gameday predictions that are not at all preordained by the strictures of a column in which one writer takes a positive tack and the other a negative one. Something like… Punt-Counterpunt.
By Ken “Sky” Walker
Michigan-Alabama Cowboy Classic
Punt/Counterpunt are together again for another go-round. The last time I wrote for this column, Lloyd Carr was still head coach of the Wolverines. I’ll count as a blessing that I didn’t have to write during the dark days of Michigan football. Bet you never thought you’d be more glad to be rid of “he who we shall not name” than that old curmudgeon Lloyd, did you?
I wanted to thank Brian for giving Nick and I another opportunity to voice our opinions, but I’m having second thoughts about doing this again. I’m finding it difficult to get excited about cranking this out every week, having a deadline, dealing with Counterpunt—it’s too much like work.
Actually dealing with Counterpunt is probably more like babysitting a spoiled child. They never know what they want, they make unreasonable demands and you can’t satisfy them no matter what you do.
Take this Michigan/Alabama game. How long have we known this was scheduled? Did you make any arrangements for attending it—tickets, air or hotel reservations? Noooo—but who decides last night while quaffing his fruity, hoppy brew ski that we just had to go on a 1200 mile road trip, leaving in the next five hours? I might have downed a few vodka tonics by then, but at least I know what’s feasible and what isn’t.
A feat that can be accomplished is Blue beating ‘Bama. First game of the season is the perfect time to play them. Coach Hoke and defensive coordinator Mattison have had eight months to game plan for this one. We’ll have the second coming of Megatron, when Devin Gardner lines up at wide receiver – which DB on Tide defense is going to cover him? And then there’s Denard. If you don’t have faith in what this kid can do by now, then you’ll just be a nonbeliever forever.
It should be obvious to all that my column-mate has issues. The man calls Bama’s coach Nick “Satan” for god sakes. Didn’t anyone ever tell Counter-runt to stay away from the red kool-aid? Nick stockpiles the talent and then just overwhelms you. Nothing special about the offense, just run it down his opponent’s throat until they choke. Remind you of anyone we used to know?
Michigan 31, Alabama 28
By Nick RouMel
Michigan-Alabama Cowboy Classic
Many thanks to MGoBlog for bringing Punt/Counterpunt out of retirement. While I was easy enough to track down, Punt was a challenge. He was eventually found living in a hut along the Mekong Delta, wearing a bathrobe with fuzzy slippers, with a vodka tonic and a Swedish K at his side. He was raving, but Brian promised him a bath and a visit to the set of “American Guns,” and he was persuaded to return and resume his column.
While one might surmise that such a Kaczynski-like hermit would be fearsome, Punt is actually quite the chicken. “Pawk, pawk!” I taunted him when he revealed he would be choosing Michigan in the Cowboy Classic. “So you don’t want anyone to question your right to wear your Sam McGuffie UM jersey?” Punt wouldn’t pick against Michigan even if they were playing, oh, say, Appalachian State.
Punt and I do share excitement about the Cowboy Classic, but not enough for him to actually attend. I told him I’d be at his door at 5 AM on Friday for the 19 hour drive to the Republic of Texas. I argued that by the time his death bed rolls around, he’d have more regrets about missing this grudge match with Nick Satan. But Punt stood firm, so we’re watching on the big screen.
Unfortunately, I do not share my friend’s optimism about this weekend’s matchup. Satan commands a reverential buzz these days. While at MSU he was barely able to put up Denny Stoltz-like numbers, in the hotter climes of the southern US, he has three national championships, two with Alabama.
Not even the antics of his devilish daughter can distract Satan from his evil mission. Kristen Saban, an Alabama co-ed, is now facing a lawsuit from fellow student Sarah Grimes. Sarah claims that after the younger Satan posted on her Facebook page, "No one likes Sarah! Yayyyyy!" she confronted Kristen to remove the post - but Kristen responded by pulverizing her. Just like her daddy teaches the Alabama defense.
It is that very defense that is now salivating for the opportunity to pulverize Denard & Co. Punt sees a glimmer of hope because Satan has lost a few of his minions to the NFL, but he seems to forget that Satan has more henchmen than the Wicked Witch. Yes, I fear that the good guys are going to get our winged helmets handed to us by the winged monkeys.
Evil prevails. Satan dances in his cloven hooves, his forked tail twitching with glee.
ALABAMA 24, MICHIGAN 14
Me too! I am excited to see this back, what a great reminder of football Saturdays at the Big House.
These columns are great. Thank you both for doing them. I will look forward to hopefully reading more of them.
There's always a chance and Michigan has some fire power. A concern of mine which I think has been voiced before is Denard's helmet coming off. If it does without a penalty from an opposing player he would have to sit the next down. Hope it doesn't happen too much.
Welcome back! I've missed you guys and ur picks. I've missed the rest of the magazine too....especially when it rains and I want to sit on something dry!
"If you don’t have faith in what this kid can do by now, then you’ll just be a nonbeliever forever."
Now it's on the front page.
As long as you don't bring back that season overview* guy. He was a whiny douchenozzle.
(*Not the historic days of yore articles....those were ok).
Oh, how I missed this column! Those free programs were great. They gave you just enough reading material to get through halftime.
We called 'em "shitty freebies" but I always grabbed one and went straight to the back to read Punt/CounterPunt!
As an out of state student who didn't start school until 2007, I have no idea what is being referenced, but am elated that I found out about Kristen Saban's beat-down.
Happy to see the column again. Hopefully this is a reoccurring game day feature on the site.
Brian, you have done a useful public service. Thank you, long live Punt-Counterpunt
Brian has done a lot of things right with this blog, but this may be my favorite. Thanks to all involved for bringing back an underrated piece of past gameday experiences.
Remember this column. Fun piece for the blog.
Kinda coulda done without the veiled RR cheap shot from Walker. Those are the kind of attitudes that divided the community to begin with.
But he community is no longer divided because Hoke poops gold.
I always enjoyed reading you before the games on Saturday. It is good to see that this blog values you both, as well! I look forward to your future writings/ramblings!
awesome, brian. awesome. you need to put the beveled guilt button back.
I'm a student again reading Punt/Counterpunt as I round the corner on Hoover heading to the Big House. What a treat. Even more ammunition to get me bouncing off the walls before kickoff. GO BLUE!!! BEAT BAMA!!!
I remember punt counterpunt used to make the best paper airplanes when I was a youngster
I don't know what this is, but there was a definite lack of posting this week* so this helps!
* Kidding, for the inevitable broken-sarcasm-detector people.
I like Punt's prediction. Hope he's right.
Ticket available for tonight's game for MGo Blogger who will use ticket: sec 249 row 10 for face $175; email@example.com. I'm in Dallas
For early-90's verisimilitude, I'm going to print this column and then rip it into tiny pieces for touchdown confetti.
Was always the second best skywalker, after Luke, but surely before ken the spandex pants slam dunker walker, anakin and Luther Campbell.
So glad this is part of mgoblog now.
Great reading and glad to see it again. Over the years, who has been the most accurate picking the outcome? I hope Punt!
My dad always taught me to not take free handouts from unknowns, except the old school freebie program. Hurts to say it, but I prefer punt. Go Blue!
The best blog just got better.
This has made my day... hell, month...
Literally brought me back to my childhood.
Used to look forward to these articles every week when my grandparents took me to the game weekly.
my creepy uncle used to look forward to the strip club advertisements.
I've been gone from AA long enough that I didn't know that the free-pre game programs are a thing of the past. I always loved them. I've read Punt -Counterpunt dozens of times sitting in section 4 waiting for kickoff. See it revived here on MGOBLOG almost transports me right back to Michgian Stadium. Thanks!
And welcome back, Punt-Counterpunt! Missed you guys!
Hopefully this is not a one-off deal.
Only thing that could have made this entry better is if Brian could have found some of those awesome old paintings that used to grace the cover of the free rags.
punt/counterpunt used to be one of my favorite game day traditions. so happy to have them back!