From Toledo, Ohio...I hear you man...drinking right now but still proud to be a Michigan Wolverine now and forever....Go Blue Basketball (at least we beat Ohio State in that last year).
I started off this season with high, possibly overly optimistic hopes for this team and this season. This is my freshman year as a student, and I remember my dad fondly telling me that I was beginning my tenure as a student at the beginning of the Rich Rodriguez era. My parents, both alumni, had raised me as a Wolverine from birth, but this year was going to be special. I was a student; it’s a totally different feeling, as if I was now officially a part of something so much bigger than myself.
I was there to start the season against Utah. I was apprehensive. The only game my family attended the previous year was Appalachian State. The parallels were there with quarterback and halfback; the glaring difference was that Utah was a higher-caliber team. We lost. I stayed until I saw those zeros at the end of the fourth. It hurt. I moved on.
Miami came and went. There was a win. I cheered wildly throughout. It was nerve-racking, but we triumphed.
Then there was Notre Dame. I cursed the fumbles and the rain. I remember telling my friend, wearing a #3 jersey for a past player, to take it off after I informed him it was Stevie Brown’s number. I lamented the comfort that I had taken for granted with four years of Hart taking care of the football. The pain was deep after tearing apart senior Brady Quinn two years previous and then, last year, a freshman Jimmy Clausen.
Wisconsin. That was special. I stayed, of course. My roommate’s friends dragged him off to North Campus around halftime. I remember the fear I felt at Travis Beckum’s 2 pt. conversion. How could that happen?! And then that yellow flag…that magical flag. Fists white with fear, I awaited the verdict. Ineligible receiver! We survived, and I remember cheering in the stands while I watched the most beautiful kneels that I have ever witnessed in person. My dad texted me at the end, I think the first I ever received from him - “How’s that first conference win feel?” We were on top of the world. We were Michigan.
Then…devastation. I watched until the end as Illinois’ Juice Williams dismantled us. I shouted angrily as pass after pass was thrown out of the endzone at the end of the Toledo game, as feared the horrible flashbacks of the Appalachian State blocked field goal, and lo and behold, my worst fears were realized. Penn State gave me false hope in the beginning, as I remembered the last-second win against Penn State that a friend took me to. But they pulled away. Penn State ripped us apart and made us pay for years of domination.
Michigan State. I stayed until the end. I actually went to the Purdue game, surely expecting a win. I saw Odoms kick return and a lead disappear quickly. I went crazy when Stonum knocked down that defender, fighting for that touchdown as if he was the next Michael Crabtree. But we lost. I felt as though the trick-plays stabbed me in the heart. My friend who hosted me made sure to rub in the loss. I remember asking him who his coach was going to be next year, the coach Purdue has already decided on, and he had no clue. Why did he deserve that win when he knew so little about his own team? Was that fair?
Northwestern. It happened so recently, there’s no need to recap. I almost died. Half of the people I was sitting with left at halftime. Do I blame them? No…it was freezing. But I stayed. I almost sacrificed my toes. I was half-running down the ramp after the game ended and I felt as if they were breaking off.
Ohio State. God, I had hope. I really did. But that hope was dashed. I’m still numb as I write this. I feel emotionless. I’m not even angry now…just depressed, hopelessly depressed.
I’ve had my share of disappointment this season. We all have. I’ve cursed my own players, totally disregarding the fact that they are my age, and that I’ve never put so much effort into something as they have into football. There is no way that I can feel as those players feel. The seniors? As they have bravely said, someone had to be the start of the new era. They sacrificed so much more than any of us ever could for Michigan. They deserve so much more than what they were given, and I feel ashamed at my own pain and sorrow when I think of theirs.
Am I still optimistic for next season? I have to be, and I am. It will be a new year next year, and I will still be in those stands, until the end, cursing our failures and cheering our successes. I’ll continue the tradition of staying until the end, not to be self-fulfilling, but because our players deserve it. They deserve better fans than some of us, myself included, have been, as this season has shown some of us who we really are.
This season had been more difficult than any before. I never expected the start of my freshman year to be like this, but I’ll endure, because I can and I must. I won’t give up. I’ll uphold the tradition. I’ll be strong. I’ll remember the good times past and look forward to the future successes that await us. I’ll be back. We’ll all be back. You know why? Because we are champions, and we won’t let a single season define us. I might not be able to win games for Michigan as player, but I’ll be there as a fan cheering wildly and doing all that I can do to support our team.
Let’s remember who we really are. We are Michigan. We are Wolverines. We’ll be back. I know it. And when we do, for those standing in our way, by God, be ready. Because we are, and always will be, the leaders and the best. Never forget.
post.....even though i knew we were going to lose today I just couldn't prepare myself mentally for this loss....just depressing....go blue forever.
I'm glad to know that someone on this campus feels the same way I do. It's depressing to see how quickly some of the student body gave up on this team, writing them off after 2 games. We all knew this was a rebuilding year, but nobody seems to be patient enough to get through this. I worried the Wisconsin game would be the highlight of the season, which in my mind would have signified a loss to OSU. All week I got my hopes up, and not a single person I talked to felt the same way I did. We should all be proud to be Wolverines, I'm glad you are