With Breaston behind him like it was yesterday.
Same with Crable because I was at that game.
Thanks for ruining my day, appreciate it.
No Twitterverse this week. Instead, we shall plumb the depths of our collective sadness.
We live in some the headiest of times of modern Michigan fandom. The basketball team is coming off a NCAA runner-up season and it is bringing in another bumper crop of highly-ranked recruits. Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison are in the early stages of assembling some sort of Megazord. Michigan’s facilities are new and shiny and fantastic. But to move to the future, it is important to understand the pain of the past.
So, with a few weeks before anything actually happens in the sports world, this seems like a good time to try to answer a simple, cathartic question: what was the worst moment to be a Michigan fan?
Like the Highlander, there can be only one. So I guess this is our search for the Lowlander. Use whatever criteria you wish, but bear in mind what we’re trying to determine. We’re limiting the competition to the 1990’s and on. Obviously crappy things happened before that, but many of us can’t remember too much farther back. The events in question have been divided into four regions:
We’ll cover the first two regions this week, and the other two soon enough.
I’ve included some concise arguments for and against the thing in question being the worst thing ever. As a palate cleanser, for each entry I’ve also included a comparable event that went Michigan’s way. The wonderful Yang to the craptastic Yin, if you will. When you’re done reading, Vote HERE: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/99RQK2Y.
Again: read. THEN VOTE. Then cry a little.
Are you ready for this? I mean, we’re gonna pick at some serious wounds here. Okay. Let’s do this. (after the jump)
Abombination in Michigan - Michigan led by 12 points with just over 2 minutes left, and by 5 points with 0:06 on the clock and Colorado on its own 37 yard line. And, well...
Kalin Lucas - Michigan hadn't beaten State in basketball in thousands of years, but they had played the fifth-ranked Spartans close all night, and held a one point lead in the last ten seconds. Kalin Lucas then buried a long jumper, and DeShawn Sims missed a lob leaner at the horn. Sad Peedi.
Spartan Bob - Michigan led their 2001 game at Spartan Stadium by four points, but Michigan State had driven inside the Michigan five yard line with 17 seconds left (not cool, Jeremy Lesueur). Smoker scrambled to the 2, but was tackled in the field of play. The clock ticked down, and then it just kinda stopped. A TJ Duckett touchdown later, we had us some controversy and much lamentation.
Ben Brust - Michigan held a three point lead over the Wisconsin Fightin' Handcheckin’ Shooter-Undercuttin’ Gingers on a Tim Hardaway 3-pointer. All that remained was to avoid THIS:
Evan Turner - An upstart Michigan team was making a late-season bid to make the NCAA tournament, and held a two point lead in a crucial game. Their opponent had an inbound play with a couple of seconds left, and a ridiculous three-point prayer broke Michigan hearts.
Death to Backboards - An upstart Michigan team was making a late-season bid to make the NCAA tournament, and held a two point lead in a crucial game. Their opponent had an inbound play with a couple of seconds left, and a ridiculous three-point prayer broke Michigan hearts.
Fall of Tiny Jesus - After standing on his head against North Dakota, diminutive/fun-sized/mighty mite/scrappy/Eckstein goaltender Shawn Hunwick had Michigan an overtime goal away from a national title. Unfortunately, it also left them an overtime goal away from sadness.
Gong Show - Ref screw job. In a season somewhat like this year, Michigan made a spirited run through the CCHA tournament to keep The Streak alive, and reached the Regional Final against Rico Blasi's bro-tastic Miami (NTM) squad. Michigan put the puck in the net off a brief (brieeeeefffffffff) scramble in front of the net in the first overtime, but the goal was waived off because the CCHA was a Gong Show of epic proportions. Referee John Gravallese claimed he lost sight of the puck (presumably because he relies on echolocation like a bat, or because he was terrible at his job), and intended to blow the whistle. Miami went on to score in double-OT.
Ariel Bond/Michigan Daily
Webber's Timeout - You all know the story. Down by two points in the 1992 NCAA Championship game, Chris Webber grabbed a rebound with about 20 seconds left, traveled, dribbled down court, and called a timeout that did not exist. UNC got two free throws, the ball, and the National Title.
Pitch it to Breaston – Here’s a scenario for you. You're Tyler Ecker. You're at the 2005 Alamo Bowl at the end of the Year of Infinite Pain (boy, how that label looks now). It's the last play of the game, and you're down by four. You're in the open field. Steve Breaston is next to you in the open field. He is Steve Breaston. You are, I remind you, Tyler Ecker. You have the ball. Steve Breaston does not have the ball. What should you do?
Crable NOOOOOO - Football Armageddon featured #1 Ohio State and #2 Michigan. Midway through the 4th quarter of a well-fought game, Michigan was down 4, and OSU faced a 3rd down just across midfield. Troy Smith threw an incomplete pass, and Michigan was about to get the ball back with a chance to regain the lead. Except...
The 15-yard penalty kept the drive alive, and OSU scored to effectively put the game out of reach. Saddest of Pandas.
Roundtree at the One - In 2009, Michigan was 5-3, and held a 13-7 lead on a very beatable Illinois team when Tate Forcier hit Roy Roundtree for what appeared to be a 77-yard touchdown. After a review, it was (correctly) determined that Roundtree was down at the one yard line. Four straight stuffed running plays later, Illinois had the ball and some sort of magical momentum-juju. They drove 99 yards for a touchdown, and then tacked on another 24 straight points for good measure. Michigan lost the game 38-13. At one point the scoreboard read 19-7 Michigan. That’s… something
2003 Frozen Four - There’s nothing fancy about Michigan’s loss to Minnesota in the 2003 National Semifinal. It was just… blerg. MIchigan held a 2-0 lead late in the 2nd period, but lost the lead within a few minutes. Michigan dominated the overtime, but a soft-looking goal ended things.
Goodnight Sweet Ulnar Nerve – Not sure I’m ready to talk about this one yet. Denard was a quarterback, then he scrambled for like 6 yards, then he wasn’t a quarterback anymore. Russell Bellomy stepped in, and was… well, not Denard. The resulting loss also may have cost Michigan a Bo Division title.
You remember this one. I wrote about it. Michigan was up 5 with under a minute left in a game that would have given them a share of the Big Ten regular season title, as well as a bye in the Big Ten Tournament. Poor free throw shooting saw them down 1 with a few seconds left, and Jordan Morgan’s putback somehow didn’t fall.
High and Tight, Train – This was the birth of Michigan’s decade-long struggle with spread teams, but Michigan had this one in hand. With a five point lead with under a minute left, Anthony Thomas took a handoff, busted through the right side of the offensive line, and headed to daylight. Without the ball.
The loss basically gave Northwestern a Big Ten title that would have been Michigan’s. We still love you, A-Train.
With Breaston behind him like it was yesterday.
Same with Crable because I was at that game.
Thanks for ruining my day, appreciate it.
vote Ecker vs. Webber's TO was a tough 1 seed vs 8 seed.
I'm voting for the Alamo Bowl. *Additional depression linked to this game*: That's when my Michigan fandom started truly hitting its stride at age 14. I specifically remember Antonio Bass (who I was obsessed with because he went to my high school) having a one-handed catch that ended up being a SC Top 10 Play. Little did I know that would be the last time I ever saw Bass on a football field.
Herbstreit yelling "Oh my gosh!" still echoes in my nightmares...
To this day it was the worst officiating I've ever seen, and Herbie echoed that feeling.
The Sun Belt refs proved me wrong. Which is why this one doesn't rank as high, because that moment wouldn't have mattered without the other dozen screw jobs.
*People forget the officiating was really bad in that one even before the end.
All of sudden there are about a 100 psychologists in the Ann Arbor Area with full calendars.
Um....ow. Still I think this one's going to be one of those "Best Helmet in College Football" kind of tournaments.
So someone is going to create a program to vote for Kordell Stewart one million times in 30 minutes? That's just sick man.
Like any good on-line poll (and by good I mean existent), this one will get rigged, ballats will be stuffed, etc for whatever reason. However, this time, I don't think anyone will be demanding a recount. My head hurts.
this is painful reliving these events. before seeing the matchups I immediately thought of 94 Colorado. I was near catatonic for a week. I try to erase that memory from my mind.
especially because I almost broke my hand slamming my fist into a kitchen cabinet after that play. That game still infuriates me. Someone mentioned the trip on Desmond in the end zone--that deserves to be on here. That play also still infuriates me. Time to take a long walk during lunch and relax.
That's easily the number one omitted item. It definitely beats death to backboards or Kalin Lucas.
I was at the Colorado game and had to drive around a bunch of CU students after the game.
I was at the ND-Raghib Ishmail game and spend an hour listening to St. Mary's girls gloat at a frat party.
The Webber time out.
MSU pass interference on Desmond in the end zone.
The first game I took my wife to was Applachian State.
The first game I took her parents to was Utah.
This dead period is killing me. My 7-10 visits to this site a day sort of seems pathetic without more commits or actual football news. Need football to start. Big House BBQ's coming...
Please never take anyone special to any games again.
The Wolverine Fanbase
This whole thing is a bigger buzzkill than Buzz Killington.
I was going to ask "BiSB, what happened in your childhood to make you want to inflict this kind of pain on others?"
And then I realized the events in this post are the very things that happened to all of us that make us want to inflict similar pain on others.
That said, can we do a version of this post where we collect all the bad things that have happened to OSU and Sparty over the past 23 years? It would be much more enjoyable.
Gloating over bad things that happened to our rivals, rather than focusing on our own team, is really a RCMB move. If we put together a list of Sparty Noooo's, would we be any better than RCMB, with their demented obsession over all things Michigan? Yes. But not by enough.
Screw that. I want it, and bad.
OSU too (although I can just cut to the chase and say "SEC" with them.)
nothing to do with anything but I just called a banking company and a pleasant southern sounding woman transferred me to specialist Michael Cox. I could barely stiffle a giggle, or make it through my message when his voice mail said Mike Cox. Of course, I had to immediately log in and tell all of you.
Cool story sis=)
giggle everytime I see or hear the name Cox. Yes, I'm childish.
When a girl giggles at Mike Cox.
You might not be old enough to remember, but I was there and will never forget.
One of the greatest classes in Michigan football history goes 30-2-1 and never plays in a bowl game.
Fuck that guy.
I'm sorry, I haven't (and probably won't, given the degree to which I prize my own happiness) read the full article, but how is there any debate about the worst thing ever? I seem to recall there being a game so soul crushing and embarassing that it is only referred to in hushed tones and never by name.
The Game Which Shall Not Be Named loses points because it was only broadcast on the BTN, which at the time had limited distribution. A large portion of the fanbase, including me, missed seeing it live because of that fact.
You lucky dog. I watched that whole cursed game. It was the only time I actually broke furniture after a game. I kicked a chair and snapped a leg off. The chair's leg not mine.
Actually, thanks to the fact that it was only on BTN, I had to watch it in a crowded Austin sports bar filled with drunk Longhorn fans rather than at home surrounded by supportive loved ones like I normally would have.
I had to be there. I had to have my soul dong smashed under bitter, angry, stomping boots for every stair I climbed to get out of what was simultaneously one of the happiest, most special places on earth, yet on that day, also hell. That day, however, could've just been a fluke. The next week, I sat at a work party for my wife, at the home of her buckeye loving, bitch of a boss, (who, incidentally, married her other, Joepa disciple, Penn State fan, bastard of a boss) watching the dismantling by Oregon, while this douchebag (the bastard boss) asks me what's going on with my Wolverines. This, THIS, should have been my low point. However, the low came a couple years later as I watched from the south endzone as a hapless bunch I loved so much was outclassed by Toledo in the Big House. That day, I knew how far we had fallen. That day had to be the lowest.
I knew I wouldn't be able to watch it, so I went out on a boat with some friends on Lake Michigan. When we got back in and were putting away the boat, I heard some other people talk about how "it's too bad about Michigan." I figured that Henne or Hart got hurt or something, because I didn't even think it was a possibility that we would lose.
The Horror wins the "Shock" and "Ensuing Ridicule" categories, but some of these probably made me feel worse, and would fit in the same category:
M v. Toledo 2008
Rodriguez at Ohio State, Either Time
Rodriguez Tries to Get Fired by Singing That One Song at the Banquet
Greg Mathews Kicks Oregon Guy in the Penith at End of 39-7 Beating, the Week After the Horror
The horror is the single worst moment of my Michigan fandom. Nothing even compares. I couldn't watch espn for a week because all they did was play that stupid blocked kick over and over and over......... Fml
I'm guessing it wins the FML category.
The pain that some of these bring makes me wonder how I survived them initially.
The hell is the purpose of this post
We went over the worst moments of the decade a couple years back, this is unneeded
I like you BiSB. I like what you do here. I think you, by all indications, are a righteous dude.
But I hate you so much right now.
Sure it's the middle of July but man. I shouldn't have clicked the jump...
How about all of those things sucked fairly equally? I was in middle school with MSU time game and stopped watching and ran out for a birthday party thinking we'd won when the clock should have run out. I found out like an hour later. That was not a good party for me.
"Now those insolent posters will be clamoring for me to bring back 'This week in twitter-verse"
Well played BiSB, well played.
I'm redefining depression by being at work and watching every heart breaking moment in Michigan sports history.
HALF of the heartbreaking moments in Michigan sports history.
Part II: forthcoming.
Part II: let's just all vote for The Horror and bask in our misery.
creating a personal bracket for my own life's worst moments and how much fun that woud be.
Always good for the soul to dwell on hard times.
Can't wait until we get to relive the Horror (or me the time my dog got hit by a car).
unless it's in the final region, but I think it fits in the Dagger region:
1990 Michigan vs. Michigan State -- 2 point conversion for the win, defender grabbed Desmond Howard by the ankle, no call.
Edit: I see I'm slow and others mentioned this one above.
I did my best to forget about these.... WHY?
Moments from this year should win because we we still made the title game. Only moment from this year that's worthy IMO is the foul that was actually a block.
You've got 5 seconds left, and CU has to throw it into or very near the end zone for any hope of victory. They're not going to be throwing it over the middle, or running it. Given that, why in God's name did we have slow-footed LB Steve Morrison in coverage?
I remember watching this game in the basement with my brother growing up. We were jumping around celebrating Michigan's apparent victory, when Colorado caught it and out of frustration I turned around and punched the closet wall...and put a hole in it.
To resolve the issue, I went up to my bedroom and brought down a Cecil Fielder poster and placed it over the hole. I thought I had gotten away with the crime when the poster fell down a few weeks later and I got in trouble. I think this one stands out more because of the aftermath than the actual loss.
I realize that this was the game Denard stopped playing QB, but that ulnar nerve was already messed up. Remember that goaline play against Illinois? He came out, Bellomy in, TD Rawls or something.
That being said, it sucked losing him more than that game.
2006 Ohio St game was the worst. Wasn't that a borderline late hit too? Or am I just being a homer?