Mike Lantry, 1972
Also, "Why the criticism annoy" is not better than "Why the criticism hurts," if for anything, the grammar.
I agree, it does "hurt" a bit when I read all the negative press about UM. But we have to realize, that for most of us life-long fans, this is new. Most of us have never experienced a season like last year. This can not be said of ANY OTHER PROGRAM IN THE NATION. This is why it hurts so much for us. Other schools are used to having ups and downs, good years followed by their own personal 3-9's, but not Michigan. Our time was destined to come sooner or later.
Personally, I feel OK knowing that our time has come now and that we have already made adjustments to our program to prevent this from being a prolonged down era. I believe in RR faithfully, just like I believed in Moeller when he took over for BO, and in Lloyd when he took over for Moeller. When these changes happened, most of us didn't really know these new guys, but we had faith in the M brand, as I do now. RR is the right coach and M will be back on top very soon. Just don't lose your faith.
Michigan is so much more than just a brand.
I really enjoyed reading this, and I think this football season we will have some postive things to remember it by.
Thanks so much for this diary, BronxBlue. It culled memories for me of my own undergraduate time recently completed, and how my fanatical love affair with that Block M will continue to the day I die. Why I still get strange looks from people, and questions from my stepdad who never attended college about my obsession: "Why do you still care so much about some school?" It is MY school.
The day I got my acceptance letter senior year, I was in my high school band room auditioning for a part in Dickens' "Oliver."
My Mom drove to the high school, walked in, and handed me my acceptance letter. I've never been as happy as I was at that moment.
Great post. As a current student I share the same love for the school and know exactly where you're coming from.
You see something on TV when there's one guy among a few other guys, and the one guy says something or asks a question like, "Hey, it should be pretty easy to get parts for a 1952 Studebaker, right?" and the other guys look at each other and then burst out laughing hysterically?
That was how my application to Michigan went down.
that much more because of the lows of 2007 and 2008, the attacks on our coach, the universal acceptance that the world had passed us by and we would never adapt. The return will be that much sweeter than if we had never been so far down.
I'm a 5th generation graduate. It's in the blood, going back to my great great grandfather, who was 1883 Law.
My dad played basketball for UM, graduating just before the Cazzie Russell and Bill Buntin teams made 2 consecutive final fours. He missed out on that, but was always proud of the school and the program.
We used to have season tickets for Michigan basketball. We lived in GR and drove down for about half the games every season. As a basketball alum, he usually got to hang out in the tunnel before the games (and so did I, as a result).
In the mid-80s, one of my dad's friends had a son, Garde Thompson, who played on the team. Garde was a 6-1 guard who had range and handle. He lit up Navy for 33 (9/10 3FG/3FGA) the same game David Robinson had 50 in the 1987 tourney. I digress.
Early on during that time, my dad's friend started reporting unsettling things back to him about what was going on in the basketball program. Tarpley had a coke problem. Gary Grant and Roy Tarpley got into a fistfight in the locker room during a game. Guys were taking money.
My dad didn't want to believe it. Then, one day, when we were standing in the tunnel at Crisler about 90 minutes before the game, and we saw, in about a 10 minute span, Antoine Joubert show up in a purple Cadillac, followed by Roy Tarpley and Rich Rellford showing up in full length fur coats. Tarpley had a diamond earring the size of an M&M.
My dad just shook his head. We never went back to the tunnel, and he hasn't renewed his season tickets since.
It sucks to have people snipe at your program from afar, whether it's your rivals, their obnoxious fans, or the media.
But it seems to me it's even worse to see your school's teams corrupted for yourself.
Our one year in the Big Tenleven's cellar was miserable, but likely short-lived. It sucks when they're talking you down, but they're still talking about you. M Basketball was so far down they weren't even part of the conversation any more. Our ten years in the basketball wilderness, from 1998-2008, was deserved, which makes it all the more painful.
Not sure where I'm going with this, other than to say it could be worse. Imagine if Michigan Football had followed the trajectory of Michigan Basketball. For me, it puts things in perspective and reminds me that it's not so bad that everyone outside of the Michigan community is rejoicing in our pain. They're taking their potshots while they can. After basketball's exile, we were getting sympathy wishes from our most bitter rivals, and that's a truly bitter pill to swallow.
I would compare 2007 and 2008 to the Guthridge-Dougherty years of UNC basketball. Look how far they have come since then.
I actually tingled while reading your post Graduated UM in 71. Was at Bo's first game. Witnessed the upset of Ohio State. Brother graduated in 78. Saw Anthony Carter play. Been bleeding maize and blue and dealing with the yearly heart break for over 40 years (accept for 1997 NC). Was in the Big House for
"The Horror". And now my daughter has just graduated this past spring from UM. I feel very sad that I will no longer get to visit her in Ann Arbor twice a year (and catch two games). Getting there maybe once every 5-10 years will be very tough to take. But there is no doubt in my mind that we will be "back" and very soon. I love UM and my closest friends from 40 years ago are still some of my closest friends. Go Blue!