The Final Countdown

Submitted by Brian on March 19th, 2009 at 1:58 PM

Perhaps the greatest legacy the Pistons have given to the metro Detroit area is an area-wide affection for the greatest hair metal hype-up song in the history of ever. The run-up to an important basketball game is incomplete without it:

It obviously hasn't sunk in yet, as I'm not nervous. Northridge and Memphis are tied at 13, the NCAA tournament is underway, and Michigan plays tonight and I don't even have the normal level of jitters you might have before a Michigan-Northwestern football game or a random midseason hockey game.

The only explanation is that the idea Michigan will participate in this excessively large, bombastic, chaotic, sort-of-merit-based-but-also-kind-of-not American institution has been proposed to the brain and been rejected. Rejected like Andy Katzenmoyer's NFL career. Like the Michigan State student body's collective application to Michigan. Like sanity as it applies to Ekpe Udoh's decision as to where he should spend his college career. You get the idea.

This will evaporate a nanosecond after Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims share a split screen and "7 Clemson Tigers vs 10 Michigan Wolverines" is superimposed over the wide shot of the arena, and then I'll be terrified and angry for two solid hours. Woo sports! Looking forward to it.

Some items of interest to complete your tourney prep:

Next up: a monkey, one glove, and pedophilia accusations. Reader Fred Simmons points out something… unusual about the SI cover with Manny Harris lost in a sea of players*:


Hello tinting! If (when) Michigan makes it next year, Michigan's representative on the SI cover:


*(Anyone notice that of late SI has gone away from SI-curse triggering covers? Part of it is regionalization and so forth, but now they don't even pick a national champion for football, they just put six different teams on six different covers. What a cop out. I blame that "Arizona is No. 1" debacle.)


  • Wojo on where the instate programs find themselves:
    Michigan opens its first NCAA Tournament in 11 years in the land of barbecue, hoping to lick its chops and stick its long shots. If you saw the giddy reaction when the players learned they were in, facing favored Clemson tonight, you know this is one excited team taking its important first step.

  • Excellent diary breaks down Michigan's performance against top-100 opponents with variable amounts of rest. Correlation is not causation, but it's not exactly bad news to find out that Michigan on 4+ days of rest is ridiculously better than Michigan on three or fewer. (Until we get to the second round (hypothetically).)
  • Dylan is in the house; he posts a final preview, and has had excellent content all week.
  • Maize 'n' Brew interviews Clemson blog Block C about goings-on.
  • There is plenty of Clemson-centric content at The OP.
  • Rosenberg recaps the drought.

        Early returns say: screw Kenpom, yo. Cal State is now leading tempo-free #1 Memphis; BYU is getting housed, and LSU is edging Butler. Let the defiance of nerd expectations last all day.



        March 19th, 2009 at 2:09 PM ^

        If I had to listen to even 20 seconds of that sonic drivel I'd have to shove a rusty spike into my temple and end it all. Area-wide affection my ass.


        March 19th, 2009 at 2:39 PM ^

        BYU trying a radical move: a whitewash for the entire game. For some reason it's not working too well.

        Also, didn't the "Final Countdown" revolution start with Arrested Development? That's where I was re-introduced to the song in all its glory.


        March 19th, 2009 at 2:49 PM ^

        Michigan State student body's collective application to Michigan.

        Ironically, 90% of MSU grads I meet say they were accepted at Michigan, but all their friends were going to state, so ...

        Politeness dictates a shrug or a nod; but invariably I think to myself "riiiiight".


        March 20th, 2009 at 9:57 AM ^

        They regionalized the cover, blowing up the local guys. You probably got the Midwest version like me. Manny is still buried (arguably even worse!) way over to the right. It took me 2 minutes to find the Michigan representative in the mass. He'll be more prominent on the Sweet 16 version


        March 19th, 2009 at 3:48 PM ^

        Yes, I vividly remember the early '90s Final Countdown at Pistons games and even then as a young kid, it gave me chills - especially with Ken Calvert announcing Joe Duuuuumars.

        They then went away from Final Countdown for at least a few years during those awful teal unis.

        I can't find an original vid, but here's Calvert introducing the "Bad Boys" at a recent reunion:…

        Michigan Arrogance

        March 19th, 2009 at 3:52 PM ^

        Rust, Hagelin dangerous on the penalty kill


        n00b alert: Maddog Madden was the best PKer i ever saw. honestly, if you told me that his +/- on the PK only was >0, i'd believe it.


        March 19th, 2009 at 6:14 PM ^

        ...was depressing as hell. I think I've never allowed myself to fully admit to the horror that was Ellerbe. 9 of his 14 recruits didn't last past freshman year? Sweet hizzou.