This is my attempt to bury some of my lingering bitterness from Saturday. Feel free to join me if you think it’d be therapeutic or to ignore me if it’s too “Kumbaya” for your tastes or you aren’t ready.
Something nice about Michigan:
Although it’s hard to see this in the immediate aftermath of a tough loss, I honestly think the long-term outlook for Michigan football is better, not worse, because of Saturday. Part of that is having an emotional game to rally around, but more than that, I’m blown away by the integrity displayed by our coaches and players this weekend. They were remarkably composed on the field and gracious in defeat, refusing chance after chance to take the bait from an MSU player or reporter. I think we’ll be very proud of how this program operates for the foreseeable future, and this integrity will help on the field through both recruiting and building camaraderie and trust.
Also, I was thinking about how emotionally many of us reacted to the cheap shots on our players, and it speaks to how highly we think of these kids. Honestly, when I see Denard’s head being twisted like that, it feels like someone’s hurting my friend, brother, or cousin, and I react accordingly. Like usual, we’re fortunate to have such a great group of kids representing us.
Something nice about Michigan State (bonus points):
I’ve been rambling about the nature of rivalries for a few weeks now (http://mgoblog.com/diaries/typology-college-rivalries), but there’s something about the Michigan-MSU rivalry, structurally, that bothers me. It bothered me when Michigan was dominant and it bothers me now. Many of us interact daily with family, friends, and coworkers with MSU blood, and this rivalry generates unnecessary tension between great, smart people on each side of it. My life would be much worse without the Sparties I care about, and I suspect that’s true for many of you, too. Unfortunately, this game often brings out the worst in us in a very targeted way.
(As for Ohio State, though, screw the bastards.)
Something nice about Mark Dantonio (mega bonus points):
Okay, I’m stretching the limits of my kindness here, but I actually like that Dantonio so openly embraces the importance of the Michigan game. There’s something honest and respectable about saying “this is far and away the most important game of our season” when it clearly isn’t for one’s opponent. Part of me hopes that OSU comes after him just because I think he’d add even more life and passion to that rivalry.
Something nice about MGoBlog:
Without having a community of passionate fans to celebrate and mourn with after Michigan games, I’d think I’d honestly push a few of my family and friends to weigh the costs and benefits of murder-suicide. Neurotic as you all are, I appreciate you.