Punt-Counterpunt: UMass 2012

Submitted by Brian on September 15th, 2012 at 11:18 AM

soccer29[1] VS michigan-qb-denard-robinson-stiff-arms-opponent[1]

Something's been missing from Michigan gamedays since the free programs ceased being economically viable: scientific gameday predictions that are not at all preordained by the strictures of a column in which one writer takes a positive tack and the other a negative one. Something like… Punt-Counterpunt.

Ken_thumb7_thumb1PUNT

By Ken “Sky” Walker
9/15/12

Dear Dave,

In the past year, you’ve gotten a lot of ink for your commitment to have Michigan play the most entertaining schedule they possibly can. And while this season’s schedule has plenty of marquee games, you’ve failed to address the worst inequity facing season ticker holders. This is the dreaded ‘every other year is great’ syndrome. This is something that has to be addressed.

I’m not the first, nor the last, person to point out this feast or famine pattern in the schedule. Last year was fat city; great excitement, record crowds. The Irish, Huskers and Buckeyes; all were gracing the Big House. This year, all we’ve got is Sparty. Now I’m not pooh-poohing the MSU game. It’s arguably one of the biggest games in recent program history – the Wolverines need a win badly. But one big game does not make a season.

If you doubt the lack of interest in this year’s home schedule, look no further than my column-mate, Counterpunt. Counterpunt has yet to attend a home game—and won't be in the stands today. The runt was all fired up to make a last minute, 1200 mile road trip to Dallas. But negotiating the 2.3 miles from his abode to Michigan Stadium has thus far, proven to be an insurmountable task. And what is it that’s kept my esteemed colleague away? Why it’s soccer! Counterpunt would rather attend a tweenies’ girls’ soccer game than make an appearance at Stadium & Main. Who knew? (I guess he’s technically coaching, but that’s a matter of opinion.)

While this might make Counterpunt a candidate for dad of the year, it’s also somewhat of a commentary on the unattractiveness of what’s being presented. Would it be too big of a sacrifice to offer to play two away games in one of these series, just to even out the schedule? Especially, if giving up home games to accommodate “spread the brand” appearances, is going to be the name of the game in the future.

I’ll admit today’s game will be great for those who like blowouts. Frankly, UMass probably isn’t good enough to be in the MAC at this point. I think the only way Michigan doesn’t score half a hundred, is if Coach Hoke starts substituting early and often. Oh well. Guess I’ll just have to enjoy my doublewide, cushioned seat. It’s costing me enough. Go Blue!

Michigan 54 UMass 10

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COUNTERPUNT

By Nick RouMel
9/15/12

Nearly two years ago today, after starting the season 2-0 including a stirring win at Notre Dame, Michigan played the tiny, insignificant University of Massachusetts “Minute Men” in the Big House. They barely escaped with a 42-37 win, unable to stop UMass, which gained 439 yards and scored 20 points in the 4th quarter.

I fear a similar result today. And yes, I understand UMass is now 0-2, and that Brian calls them the football equivalent of a baby seal. As if we Wolverines are anything so fearsome, padding across the ice floe with our Nerf club in hand, causing said baby seal only mild curiosity.

Which is why, Punt, instead of sitting with you on your cushy, hemorrhoid-resistant stadium cushion, I am choosing to coach my 11th grade girls’ travel soccer team, the MPSA Crush “Fighting Pumas,” in a tournament in Linden, Michigan. (And these 16 year old young women, who for the most part have drivers’ licenses, would take mighty offense at you calling them “tweenies,” if they cared even one whit about the opinions of the self-described “geezer” Punt.)

(Remember last week, when Punt got all excited when a young woman at work admired his maize and blue bulletin board push pins? Punt is much like the old dog on the front porch, who watches the squirrels cavort not twenty feet from his nose, but too tired to actually do anything about it.)

Except to navigate those 2.3 miles to the Big House, and fancy himself active and energetic, wearing his maize and blue checkered “Sans-A-Belt” pants, sitting on his soft cushion, and lifting his bottom six inches when the “wave” comes his way. Punt is as responsive as the Michigan linebackers, when a couple of Minute Men come lumbering their way, turning their heads in apparent surprise, followed several seconds later by the realization that they must give chase.

You, Punt. Go watch those Wolverines, as they barely escape the inexplicably motivated baby seals. In turn, I will pace the sideline of the soccer pitch, cheering on my Pumas, immune from the criticism of blogs, sportswriters, and snarky pseudo-journalists such as myself.

Hmm, maybe I’m actually the one looking for the soft, cushy Saturday, hiding in Linden from our lumbering linebackers, who will get the job done in the end, when they have to.

MICHIGAN 28, UMASS 24

Comments

Don

September 15th, 2012 at 11:45 AM ^

But I don't think we'll cover. UM 38  UMass 13

The game will never be in doubt, but we'll still sputter sporadically on offense. Most of UMass's points will come late in garbage time against the backups.

FreddieMercuryHayes

September 15th, 2012 at 11:50 AM ^

Man, if Counterpunt is correct, I will buy three videogames and officially shut myself down from all sports things for the next thee weeks.  At which time I will then pop my head above ground and survey the damage.  Then probably back to more videogames.  Hey, it's better than alcoholism I suppose.

maizenbluedevil

September 15th, 2012 at 12:05 PM ^

Am I the only one that doesn't really understand what this is supposed to be??

 

Also yeah I don't think Michigan will cover the spread.  I'm really tempted to take the points and put money on UMass.  

Fully expecting Bellomy to play the entire second half along with a lot of the other younger players and backups.  34-10 sounds about right.

Derelicious

September 15th, 2012 at 1:08 PM ^

I love the picture at the top!  I actually had cousins go to Tri-Unity.  They were actually quite good at most of their sports (basketball in particular)... for a class D school with 40 students per grade.

I'm ready for a game where our team looks real good and cleans up on the competition (even if its extremely weak competition).  I'm ok with watching an uninteresting game that's over by half-time.... This better be the case.

PeterKlima

September 15th, 2012 at 11:50 PM ^

...that this has come to a blog near me.  I think I will be making some donations to mgoblog if they keep this up.  I missed this a quite a bit for some reason.  It should be combined with the mini-programs for your pocket.

 

/get off my lawn.