Over at MGoBlue.com, Bruce Madej tells the story of four stranded Michigan football players who made team decisions as they struggled to make their way to Jacksonville in the face of this past weekend's east coast winter storm.
Starting offensive lineman Patrick Omameh finally arrived in Jacksonville on evening flight Monday, Dec. 27. He and running back Fitzgerald Toussaint were both in Columbus, Ohio, and when their flight though Washington, D.C., was canceled, they had to fly to Philadelphia.
There was only one seat on the direct flight from Philly to Jacksonville. The players had to decide who would take that one seat and get to Jacksonville on time for the first practice. Tousaaint knew Omameh, a starter on the offense, needed to be on that flight. Toussaint made the decision to put Omameh on the direct flight. He would take the long road to Jacksonville through Charlotte, thinking he was getting his teammate to Jacksonville first.
Ah, but the best laid plans sometimes go awry. The flight from Philly was cancelled and Omameh was stuck, and the Wolverines were without their starting right guard for two practices in Jacksonville. Toussaint, on the other hand, made [it] to Jacksonville late on the 26th.
Junior safety Mike Williams and freshman [defensive lineman] Quinton Washington also tried to make necessary moves to help the team when they reached their connecting flights in Atlanta. Williams' flight on Delta was leaving as scheduled, getting him into Jacksonville on time for the Sunday practice. Washington's flight was delayed. Williams, who played in two games this past year, knew it was important to get Washington, a nose tackle who has played in all 12 games, to Jacksonville first.
The players pleaded with Delta to switch the tickets, but in this day and age of travel, the airline's hands were tied. Williams made it to the Sunday practice, while Washington came in later that evening and was ready to go on Monday.
Decisions on the fly are something football players need to make on the field. These four players had to make decisions about how they would fly and the value to the team of their fellow teammates.
Echoing Madej, these stories show how these Wolverines first consider The Team in their decision making. Quite a contrast with some other behavior we've seen lately.
Nicely done, fellows.