Fear and Loathing in Ann Arbor Volume I
The 2010 Regular Season
Pre UConn- MSU
Disclaimer: The following diary is a combination of a narrative for the 2010 Michigan football season excluding the Gator Bowl and a collection of work from author Hunter S. Thompson. I made minor changes to his work such as places, names, coaches, players, etc to make it relevant to our 2010 season. The work in this diary was lifted from the pages of Dr. Thompson’s work in “Hey Rube”. If you wonder what lines were his and which were mine, thank you for the compliment and then get the book. This is a trial run at my first diary. If the majority of you like the content, I shall release part two of the 2010 season. If the majority of you do not like the content, I will keep part two to myself and would appreciate FAIL pics more than pointed insults. At least I will be able to laugh AND cry at the same time.
The autumn months are never a calm time in America. Back to work, back to football practice, etc….Autumn is a very traditional period, a time of strong rituals and the celebrating of strange holidays like Halloween and Satanism and the fateful harvest Moon, which can have ominous implications for some people.
Ominous it was. A second half season collapse leaving us 5-7 after a 4-0 start left the Michigan family feeling like getting in line for free turkey at the homeless shelter for our first hot meal in ages only to be told that chilled peas and week old fruitcake were left once it was our turn. More grumblings came not from our tummies, but alumni, fans, and current students at the time. Also the Detroit Free Press and their head henchman of death, Rosenberg, were hellbent on sinking Michigan football into Lake Huron.
September 4th, 2010. UConn. A kid nicknamed “shoelaces” that had the best smile east of the Mississippi takes the field as the starting quarterback. We witnessed the possible talent the year before with his blazing speed. Some of us worried of the inaccuracy and arm strength however, but this was a new season and nothing having to do with shoelaces, jockstraps, and sports bras would prevent us from feeling the overwhelming lust for the spoils of hearing Hail to the Victors with smiles all around when the clock ticked to 0:00 in the 4th quarter. Shoelace D Robinson proved his offseason training when he threw for 186 yards, ran for 197, and garnered 2 TDs. Victory was ours and we were headed to a showdown in South Bend riding on a 30-10 victory over a favored conference champion on the grand opening of a renovated stadium that rivaled the Roman Coliseum.
September 11th, 2010. Notre Dame, a college of hopeless alcoholics with huge egos and a weakness for mob hysteria in tense situations. They are the ones who will get angry when their lofty pregame predictions start going awry. They then guarantee some last minute fumble or shocking interception. I have seen these loonies win on some days, but lately, not often. They are the spiritual descendents of legendary old west gamblers who would bet the ranch and even their wives and daughters on one game of impossible odds that they cannot see due to denial of the mediocrity of their program. The fact remained the same though. We hate them and would hate even more to lose to the bastards. Games in South Bend can be scary, but again Shoelace D Robinson led our band of warriors to victory over the Brian Kelly led pack of degenerates. The week before’s performance against UConn was not expected again. That expectation turned out to be true. The performance of 244 yards in the air, 258 on the ground, 3 TD’s, and the last minute game winning drive shattered the expectation. 2-0. The next week? A I-AA opponent that was a sure win.
September 18th, 2010. UMass. This game was thought of as a lock before it even started. Call your bookie and tell them you are betting your soul. There would be no way we could lose this with Shoelace D Robinson. We soon found out that Denard doesn’t play defense. Although Shoelace put up 345 total yards and 3 TD’s, I sat by the internet radio gnashing teeth on my dog’s chew toy at the possible upset of Michigan by another I-AA team. Most if not all of Michigan’s fan base went rigid with fear of “The Horror” part duex. If any innocent bystander were to walk into a house with an avid Michigan fan, they would witness something similar to watching a brain-damaged cow with wild eyes staggering crazily around in circles with its legs caving in, its spine seizing up, and its hooves lashing out in the air with Mad Cow Disease. Michigan won 42-37, but it felt more like a tie and the defense was concerning. Oh well. It is a win and seeing how we came one win short of bowl eligibility a year before, we chalked it up to our horrible luck against small teams in the Eastern Time Zone.
September 25th, 2010. Bowling Green. Not much to say here. Every human being needs a reason to wake up, and this would be a good one for this Saturday. Many of us were curious to see how the defense would respond to its questionable performance the week before. There was an eerie feeling in the air before that game, at least on my owl farm. Most of my body was confident as a red blooded American man that just won the National Arm Wrestling competition and drove off feeling like a winner with Anne Hathaway in a blood red 1963 Chevy Impala convertible. However, I kept one eye open and fixed upon the defense anticipating a meltdown of epic proportion so that I could find the nearest sharp object and ram it into my pupil. Turns out I kept my eyesight and Meeeechigan won again with Denard able to leave early and Tater Nutz making it a record setting day for two quarterbacks in the season.
October 2nd, 2010. Indiana. The Big Ten schedule would officially be started this day. Indiana would be the first foe. By this time we were saturated with the voices of various experts claiming that Shoelace D Robinson could not sustain his demi-god like numbers on the field. It was said repeatedly, like most news and catchy memes, that Michigan would be risking destroying Denard and QBs like him in the future faster than high schools being able to churn them out. Michigan must have two QBs, because one of them is certain to get crippled or mashed by some steroid crazed monster who weighs 388 pounds, runs faster than Deion Sanders, and is hell bent on hurting people. Once Big Ten played started, Denard would suffer a compound fracture beyond our wildest nightmares.
Onto Indiana then. Last year’s contest was a white knuckle ride that left me scrounging for clean underwear at the conclusion. Indiana was and rarely has been good. It shouldn’t have been that close. If we lost this year to Chappell and his rightfully hyped passing show, I could only guarantee one thing. It would be a night in Ann Arbor of booze and violence that, 99 times out of 100, would swamp anybody that goes near it in a hurricane of fear, pain, and stupefying disasters that will haunt them for the rest of their life. Thankfully this was not the case. Michigan wins again, but in close fashion because of the growing liability and unluckiness of the defense. I did not shart my pants this year, but I did almost choke on my gum.
October 9th, 2010. Michigan State. Our intellectually challenged brethren to the west in East Lansing. We lost two years in a row to these shmucks and this year would be different. The noise about falling off a cliff into a pit of shame and despair at 5-0 reached deafening levels. Not this year chaps. This year, we would beat the forces of dumb into Bolivia and become bowl eligible for the first time under our coach Rich Rodriguez. The planets aligned, the moon was in Virgo, and our eggs were counted and ready to launch at that clown disguised as a coach, Dantonio.
The planets may have been aligned, but it wasn’t in our solar system. Michigan State brutalized us, making us look like the Chinese Crested Powderpuff pedigree of the state of Michigan. We came down like a car off a cliff from the week before’s high. There was a savage 180 degree swings between totally opposite poles like joy and fear, wild passions and violent rages, sudden love and sudden hate. Hate for Dantonio and his clown college beating us for three years in a row. Hate for Rich Rodriguez for only filling our hot air balloons with half fuel and mentioning it after we were 10,000 feet high. Hate for hate sake. Nonetheless, the whole situation, without exaggeration, was like sitting in a traffic jam on the San Diego Freeway with your windows rolled up and no air condition while Portuguese hip hop boomed out of your surround-sound speakers, animals gnawing at our necks and diseased bill collectors hammered on our doors with golf clubs. At least we got Iowa at home the next week and have deflated any lofty invincibility complexes…
Auburn -3 v. Oregon
OSU -3 v. Arkansas
Stanford -3 v. VTech
TCU -3 v. Wisconsin
Oklahoma -17.5 v. Uconn
*lines differ slightly at different books but right now theyre all within a point or two of eachother. These are all i could find
I think that the Big 10 has a really favorable bowl schedule, for the first time in a loooong time. The only team that truly doesn't have a shot is MSU. They fell on the two loss Bama grenade, which... awesome.
From there it gets much easier:
Wiscy v TCU - A pressure game for a big team like Wisconsin, but there are way more murderous opponents in BCS games. Easier draw than Stanford (whether you like the coach or not...) This is a can't lose game though, as we don't want a Big East team like TCU to beat a solid B10 school.
OSU v Arkansas - Another solid pull for a BCS game. Could have been a lot worse. I think OSU keeps with the trend and does them dirty ala Oregon from last year.
Iowa v Mizzou - Mizzou had a decent year against a very immasculated Big 12. Their only big win was against Oklahoma. They beat Illinois by 10 on opening day, FWIW. Iowa didn't play Illinois. I think Iowa is overrated, and that this is a coin flip.
Illinois v Baylor - Maybe the name Baylor just doesn't resonate with me, but I think Illinois puts on a clinic. I haven't been a proponent of the Big 12 for a few years, and Baylor is... Baylor. Illinois is going to be pretty solid next year, and Scheelhause (sic) can benfit from the extra practice. Home game for Baylor.
PSU v Florida - Probably not a bad year to play Florida in a bowl game. Losable game, but I think it's more likely a win. Home game for Florida.
Northwestern v Texas Tech - I don't have enough data on these teams to know. Home game for Texas Tech. Maybe a loss? Someone who's more knowledgable than me fill me in...
...and Michigan v MSU - (NNTMSU) I think we match up well against them. Even when our teams lose to 1AA schools, we still can bank on beating SEC schools. Another positive is that our team will have no distractions whatsoever going into this game. I'm sure there won't be any extracurricular banter by the press in the weeks leading up to it.
Another thing to consider is that we play only 3 true away games (in the state of the opposing team). That's down from the average year. I can see the Big 10 going 7-1 or 6-2 without a doubt. I think 5-3 is more likely.
This is my third and final call for joining the mgoblog college bowl pool.
You can join up until the first game starts on December 18th with the New Mexico Bowl, but this will be the last reminder. Thought I would interject it here while the college football world is buzzing about the bowls and hopefully most of our MGoblog family checks in to see whats going on. We are currently at 104 internet athletes at the time of this post.
For those not yet on board that are looking for fulfilling your college football knowledge resume:
Go to ESPN, click on the Fantasy tab.
Click on College Bowl Mania
The group name is mgoblog.
The password is Denarded.
You will not be able to join or leave when the first bowl game starts on Dec. 18th.
Good luck, but not too much. I kind of want to win.
Just a quickie here, but check the Gator Bowl website. Tickets selling quickly. MSU travels well by the way. They're rabid. Literally in some cases.
Rich Rod's UNACCEPTABLE Vote:
5. Ohio State
7. Michigan State
10. Virginia Tech
11. Boise State
14. Oklahoma State
16. South Carolina
19. Texas A&M
21. Mississippi State
22. Central Florida
23. West Virginia
24. Florida State
25. NC State
He's a little higher than average on Mizzou, South Carolina, and a little lower on Texas A&M and WVU. He was only one of three to include NC State, the other two both slotting them at 24.
Other notes, Mike Locksley of New Mexico hates him some Alabama. He has them at #23, 2 below the next most pessimistic and one of only 3 to put them in the 20s.
Speaking of Locksley, he was only one of 3 coaches not to have Auburn vs Oregon in the MNC. He and Kyle Wittingham of Utah both had TCU at #2. Ackley at Idaho put TCU at #1.
A lot of the mid-major coaches were the harshest against Boise State. Locksley put them at 16, Ackley at 14,
Harbaugh hates Wisconsin and thinks the Big Ten's top three are weak compared to the rest. Wisconsin checks in at #8.
Dantonio puts his Spartans at #4. Also has Buckeyes one spot ahead of the Badgers at 5 and 6. Zook puts Spartans at #5, one behind the Badgers.
Yes, I know - New Year's Day has, in fact, happened the last two years despite the absence of our Michigan football team...but you all agree it just wasn't the same.
I am now counting the days to was once, and will be again, my favorite day of the year (yes, more the my own birthday). Of course, I am excluding religious holidays, and my wedding anniversary.
In past years, I have put a lot of thought into how I will spend my day in front of the TV...mostly centered around who will join me, food, and beer. Most of the effort is in planning the food, or 'snackies' as I refer to them (my family loves it when I say 'snackies'...well, not really). It's a long day...Outback bowl at 11:00, last bowl game usually ends at around midnight, so I've learned to 'pace myself'.
So before I plan my New Year's Day, I thought I would ask my fellow MGoBoard experts and connoisseurs - what is your usual routine?
Needs more cowbell.