This Week's Obsession: Why Watch? Comment Count

Seth October 1st, 2014 at 12:57 PM

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Glanzman, from the not-Copper Bowl.

[Ed-S: change of format; Ace is asking the questions]

Ace: It's sad that this needs to be asked, but here we are: If not for the fact that you're contributing to this blog, would you watch any more Michigan football this year, and why/why not? If you have tickets, what are you doing with them?

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Brian: I dunno man, I just go. At this point it's a habit so ingrained that changing that is a legit scary thing. That's one of the most frustrating things about all of this: you can't just walk away. If this was anything other than sports you'd just go "this is dumb" and quit it. Like R.E.M. releasing Up. That was all, R.E.M., we are now done, thanks for Life's Rich Pageant.

I'm now in uncharted territory, though. Michigan's losing to Utah and I'm not feeling much of anything; against Minnesota I'm just laughing like a guy walking to the gallows. I don't even mind them losing very much because I'm not going into any games with hope something will happen, and every L is another nail in Brandon's coffin. I have no idea how close to complete that coffin is, what with reports ranging from nonexistent to juuuust about done, and at this point I really need that guy to not be in charge of our program anymore.

So... I would probably be going and sitting in mute sadness interspersed with outbursts of yelling at the coach when an obviously bad strategic decision is made. That's already what I'm doing.

I'm planning on going to the next two games and then seeing what happens before Maryland.

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[After the jump, Butt.]

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My favorite part of the week.

Seth: Yes, because Butt.

I prefer wide open, 'QB Oh Noes' seams, but I get genuinely inspired when a true sophomore who had an ACL recently reattached runs a route into regions with flying safeties. I get inspired by a guy like Peppers when he's not 19 yet and gets angry at his coaches for sitting him when he's injured. I get inspired by Gardner standing in the end zone amidst the greatest shit show in 135 teams, by Gardner standing up despite a Bullough-shaped hole in his sternum, by Gardner standing at all when a far better and better coached Ohio State team thought to snag an easy one over his should-be-dead body.

It was incompetence, not villainy, that caused Hoke to commit his instant-fire sin, and I put most of the blame for the circus afterwards on the maestro, and the lawyers who won't let them say anything of substance. They'll fire Brady for not taking responsibility sooner or for not winning football games later; I don't despise him. As for Dave Brandon, if a million phone calls and another national embarrassment won't convince Schlissel, what will another empty stadium do? If we gotta sacrifice another game for anti-Dave solidarity, fine; I wish it didn't have to be senior day because Gardner.

I'll come to the rest. I have free tickets lined up for all but PSU. I look forward all week to going back to college, sitting with friends and cousins, and watching highly imperfect players muck about with wings on their helmets. Highly leveraged, badly coached college football clown shows >>>>>>>> NFL. If Funchess thinks a win over Penn State is worth another 30 sharp routes on that ankle, what's a few more uppercuts of incompetence to my soul dong? Whatever damage they've done by slapping this on a cereal box, the fact remains it's Michigan, Ferbuttsakes.

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BiSB: Like Brian, I've been struggling with this for a long time, but as a bottom line: I don't want to watch Michigan football right now. So I'm not going to. For quite a while now, I've only watched because I've always watched. It is what a Michigan fan does. Like most of the people reading this, my Saturdays have been structured around Michigan football for most of my adult life. Until recently, the fact that it was Michigan football has always been enough. Even when Michigan was bad, there were moments that reminded me of why I fell in love with the thing so long ago. Waking up early and putting on the lucky faded maize shirt. The team running out of the tunnel to The Victors. Denard doing a thing that defies logic. Just sitting quietly during a TV time out on a sunny day listening to the MMB.

But more than anything, there was always the kind of hope that surrounds Irrational Fandom. I witnessed Braylonfest. I lost my voice and bowels at UTL 1. Hell, I saw Nick Sheridan destroy a decent Minnesota team. There was always that feeling deep down that My Team will overcome adversity and defeat Your Team because of our inherent righteousness and karmic superiority. But that hope is incumbent on at least a colorable belief in the competence of those leading things. And I have lost that belief. The veil has been lifted, and now I'm just watching a football team. And it is a bad and thoroughly unenjoyable football team playing in a thoroughly unenjoyable environment. The games don't even ruin my weekend anymore. They just eat three hours of my life that I could spend doing literally anything else, because I can't make myself care.

So, I'm not watching the Rutgers game on Saturday. I'll DVR it, because it contains information I need. But for the first time in a couple of decades, I'm actively making plans to do something else when Michigan is playing football. Some will call me a fair weather fan for this, which is fine. I've been told that true fans will support a team regardless of how many reasons that team (and more specifically its coaches and administrators) gives you to want to walk away. But I will compare fandom credentials with anyone, and those who know me probably know how incredibly sad this rant makes me. I'm the easiest customer in the world to retain, and somehow they've lost me. I love to hate the team I love, but more than that I hate to not care about the team I love.

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Ace: I am, of course, obligated to attend these games due to my job, but even if I wasn't, I have my reasons for at the very least wanting to watch these guys. Even after seeing the Morris fiasco play out in front of my eyes on Saturday, filling me with an unholy combination of anger and disgust and sadness and concern, every fiber of my being went "f*** yeah, Devin Gardner" at this, just moments later:

Like Seth, I find this stuff inspiring, and I deeply want to see these players get to enjoy themselves on the football field like they expected to when they signed up to play here. While I no longer do the whole interviewing recruits beat, there are a bunch of guys on the team I kept in touch with throughout their recruitments and/or watched play in high school, and it's really incredible to see them progress and begin to excel.

It makes me happy to see Taco Charlton, who once let me conduct a phone interview with him while he was getting a haircut, rip past an O-lineman and wreak havoc in the backfield. Seeing Jourdan Lewis on the fast track to all-conference cornerback is especially cool after watching him play about a dozen times either at Cass Tech or in camp settings. Part of what made the Morris incident particularly gut-churning was that I knew just how much he's dreamed of starting at quarterback in the Big House; when he's ready to get back out there, I'll get a thrill seeing the ball explode out of his hand like it did at De La Salle.

One of the things that made me happiest about yesterday's rally was that the students made it clear their full support was behind their fellow students. "Protect Our Players" ended up being one of the loudest, most sustained chants on Schlissel's front lawn. It's not contradictory or impossible to stand behind the players and still voice disgust with the people charged with running their program, and these are players very much worth standing behind.

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[UPDATE 2:24 PM: now with 100% more Schnep]

Adam: I'll keep watching. As almost everyone else has mentioned, most of the losing this season has left me feeling nothing. I wasn't mad. I wasn't depressed. Just..nothing. It was like getting coffee in the morning. I go to the coffee machine with the expectation that it will provide me with coffee; nothing more and nothing less. That's Michigan football right now. It's football; nothing more and nothing less.

There is still, however, a part of me that doesn't want to miss out. What if something happens that reminds me why I started watching in the first place? I don't want to miss it, and I don't even know what "it" is. The more I write about this the more I think this is just a litmus test for stupidity that I'm failing, and yet I'll still continue watching.

Comments

WindyCityBlue

October 1st, 2014 at 1:10 PM ^

I just severely altered my expectations.  That's all.  And that makes all the difference to me.  I used to expect winning, no matter who the opponent.  That has gradually shifted over the course of ten years to where I am now:  I don't expect us to win against any power 5 conference school.

-I still enjoy going to Ann Arbor, especially in the fall, and wax nostalgic.  The clean crisp fall air is strangely intoxicating. 

-I still enjoy watching the maize and blue come out of the tunnel

-I still enjoy what little offensive capabilities we currently have

-If I don't go to a game, I still enjoy getting up and watching it with friends and having a few drinks

-I still watch

Yea, I think I'm addicted.

ThadMattasagoblin

October 1st, 2014 at 1:10 PM ^

Hell yeah. It's a pride thing. They could be losing every game 84-0 and I'd still go. It's a pride thing. The players deserve our support. We need to show the country we're not quitters. Didn't Nebraska sell out every game during Callahan? Lets at least do something right and keep the 100K streak.

InterM

October 1st, 2014 at 4:50 PM ^

Both Up and Monster were disappointments, just in different ways.  Also, I'm not sure Brian's  example works that well, for me at least -- just like going to Michigan football games these days, I would dutifully buy (or least check out) each new R.E.M. album as it came out, hoping for a return to glory.  Even at the bitter end, I'd usually find a song or two per album that would remind me what the band was capable of -- sort of like the average Michigan game these days, I suppose.  Now I'm seriously bummed out -- I've just gotten past the R.E.M. retirement and I have to endure a similar experience with the downturn in Michigan football.

Trebor

October 1st, 2014 at 1:14 PM ^

"I love to hate the team I love, but more than that I hate to not care about the team I love."

This right here. It is truly painful to be so ambivalent about the team that it doesn't bother me at all that I won't be able to watch the game Saturday. And the problems in the administration keep seeping further and further into my excitement of the other teams with each completely inane press release. It's to the point that I'm probably going to skip my annual Ann Arbor sports weekend with my wife this year.

ChiBlueBoy

October 1st, 2014 at 1:41 PM ^

I've always watched, even when I had no reasonable expectation of a good game or good season. I watched every game of RR's first year--to the end. I've watched a lot of Michigan teams get beaten, but always with the hope that we'd pull it out or, when that became impossible to believe, that there'd be some glimmer that showed we'd perform better the next time around.

Now, I just don't want to watch anymore. I still care, but it hurts to know that we were "those guys." The ones that didn't protect their own kids. The ones who were less prepared, less well coached--just less. At some point, the debate over maliciousness vs. incompetence becomes irrelevant. Even if we start winning, something has died. It may come back to life at some point, but not this year, and likely not with this AD or coach.

2427_Couzens

October 1st, 2014 at 1:15 PM ^

An interesting statement would be to show up for the Senior Day pre-game to recognize the kids, and then walk out en masse before kickoff.  It could never happen, but then again with a low enough attendance...

getsome

October 1st, 2014 at 4:11 PM ^

ha yeah theres not many of them, no doubt its still very young roster.  its a shame 98 and 47 are experiencing this senior year, im pretty sure they anticipated diff results.  hopefully this squad somehow pulls it together to compete down the stretch so ryan and gardner and those dudes can exit with few more Ws and lock away some more on-field memories.  

also re taco charlton comment in OP - that dude needs more snaps particularly passing situations, hes just flat out better at pressuring QBs than beyer or anyone at that DE, give the man his reps

Arizona Blue

October 1st, 2014 at 1:17 PM ^

I will watch because I am highly addicted. If i could walk away, i would. I swore i would stay off the internet this week but its impossible. I am an addict. Is there an AA program for this kind of addiction..

Don

October 1st, 2014 at 1:47 PM ^

and have great affection for the institution we attended and graduated from, and have deep family roots in.

My grandfather attended UM from 1901-1904, the first four years of Yost's career here, and he then got his master's in 1910. My own earliest Michigan football memories are from the late 1950s and early 1960s, and at that time we were mediocre at best and got routinely whipped by MSU and OSU. Maybe that's why I can't muster the sense of moral outrage at not having a successful football team that some fans seem to be consumed by—the universe doesn't have a responsibility to make me happy about Michigan football. The mediocrity I grew up with didn't impel me to become a Michigan State or Texas or Alabama fan, even though those programs were far stronger at the time than Michigan was. Giving up my devotion to rooting for Michigan or booing in Michigan Stadium would have been literally unthinkable back when I was a kid, and it's equally unthinkable to me now.

Bosch

October 1st, 2014 at 1:50 PM ^

... weren't all that much fun from a "watching the play on the field" stand point but you still went because you loved Michigan and you went because you weren't signing over your first born in exchange for season tickets (and you didn't have HDTV at home as an alternate). It is different now. The product on the field may be similarly bad, but now there is a significant financial commitment to attend. DB has seemingly taken every opportunity to alienate the fan base including the students, alumni, and ex players. I have personally been called a bad fan by DB because I expressed displeasure over the skyrocketing ticket prices. When deciding if attending games is still important to me, it's getting harder to balance the "support the players" and "love Michigan" side of the fulcrum with all the reasons not to go.

I'm planning on making the rest of the games this season, but only because I enjoy seeing some friends that I usually don't see much of outside the Fall. My excitement level for walking through the gates has pretty much flatlined.

Don

October 1st, 2014 at 3:09 PM ^

I'll go to the occasional game, but most of my watching has been on the tube. It amazes me that the stadium is as filled as it is, considering the incredible outlay of dough you folks have to cough up. I got season tix in 2010 because the alumni association had seats available with no PSL fee attached, and even though the seats moved around from game to game, it was OK. Too bad the games were disappointing... I'd spring for the same deal again, but I'm not paying for any PSL.

mgoblue78

October 1st, 2014 at 2:45 PM ^

I got hooked on Michigan football in the late 50's and early 60's when the team was dreadful and everyone else my age around here was on the Notre Dame and MSU bandwagons because they had all the success and glamour and fame.

I sat high in the endzones of a half-empty stadium in my Cub Scout, and later Boy Scout uniform, with a free ticket to me, my troopmates,  and a handful of dads as recompense for  "ushering" once a year, sitting dutifully in our assigned nosebleed seats rather than moving down to any one of the  30,000 or so empty seats with better views.  Ironically, I was at the '75 MIssouri game that started the current string of 100K plus attendence, which was the last of those boy scout usher games - Canham having finally sold out cavernous Michigan Stadium for more than the MSU and OSU games - and having no more free seats to give away by the hundreds if not thousands once a year for Cub Scouts to usher.     

The record of the past few years, while a stark contrast to the unbroken four decades of success that began with Bump's last squad through Bo and Mo and Lloyd, is miles ahead of the results on the field in the decade that I became a fan.  I'm not going to cease being a fan because of a few down years.

Yost Ghost

October 1st, 2014 at 3:16 PM ^

Bump Elliot coached from 1959 to 1968 and he had an overall record of 51-44-2 (53.61%) with a 9-1 finish and Rose Bowl victory in 1964 and an 8-2 finish in 1968.

Oosterbaan went 62-33-4 (64.65%)from 1948 to 1958 with a Rose Bowl victory, three 1st place and two 2nd place finishes.

RR/BH have gone 43-38-0 (53.09%) over the last 6+ years. If we assume a generous 6-6 record for year 7 this stat line goes to 47-42-0 (52.81%). With no Rose Bowls and no 1st or 2nd place finishes.

Rich Rod and Hoke combined are pacing behind the worst coaching regime (Bump Elliot) in UM history but at least Elliot had a Rose Bowl victory and a 2nd place finish in his 9 years as coach.

Even if the team manages to get to 7-5 they'll most likely lose their bowl game and end up 7-6 (53.93%) which is still worse than the Elliot years because there was nothing to celebrate except a Sugar Bowl victory.

This is worse than what you experienced as a kid in the late 1950's and early 1960's. I just hope to God we have a Bo coming around the corner like you did in 1968.

 

mgoblue78

October 1st, 2014 at 4:56 PM ^

In the 57-63 timeframe - the end of Bennie's tenure and the beginning of Bump's, Michigan had one winning season ('61), never finishing above .500 in the Big 10 through the entire timespan and never higher than 6th in the final conference standings.

The overall record was 22-28-4 - a .444 winning percentage (counting ties as 1/2 a win)

The Big10 record was 13-24-4 - a .366 winning percentage (ditto)

That's a much worse 7-year timeframe than the one we're currently in.

Yost Ghost

October 1st, 2014 at 9:42 PM ^

Ok that's just statistical spin. I was trying to do a complete comparison of two combined, yet shortened, coaching tenures versus the individual yet longer tenures of two previous coaching staff with the weakest overall records. Oosterbann had more success early in his career and Elliot had more success later in his. Your stats, although accurate are not in the spirit of what I was trying to illustrate. Comparing a complete body of work with others instead of piece meal comparisons.

Blue and Joe

October 1st, 2014 at 1:20 PM ^

I used to watch every game from start to finish. No matter what. I did that for Notre Dame, but I gave up on the Utah game after the rain delay, and stopped watching Minnesota even earlier. I'm not going to watch bad football when I could watch better games or reruns of King of Queens on TBS.

991GT3

October 1st, 2014 at 1:21 PM ^

as hard as they do and know their chance of winning is hampered by a coach out of his league. It just is not fair to them.

That said, I probably will watch.

Voltron is Handsome

October 1st, 2014 at 1:22 PM ^

I am obsessed with Michigan football and will always watch. They play a minimal of 12 games out of 365 days. You bet your ass I'm watching. I don't give a fuck who the coaches are (to a certain extent). I just care about winning. It doesn't matter who is out there playing and coaching, so long as they win. Even with bad seasons we have seen over the past decade or so, I'm watching. I love M football more than any other team and college football is my number one favorite sport.

Indiana Blue

October 1st, 2014 at 1:23 PM ^

In some people's minds I must be the worst fan ever.  I never leave a game, period.  I have seen every one of the miserable games I have attended to the dreary finish .... and believe me Minnesota may have been the worst - because I never did believe we would win.  I haven't had that feeling since I was 7 years old (in 1962) knowing we just weren't good enough.

So I'll be there for the remaining home games and I'll watch the others on TV (this will also be the first time in 10 years that I will not attend an away game too).  However, with ALL the mistake's Brandon has made (too numerous to list), anyone that thinks boycotting Maryland is the answer -  is  just too self absorbed to realize that will have nothing to do with any decision to fire Dave Brandon.  No more than using curly light bulbs will save the planet.

Just another depressing day in the life of Michigan fans everywhere ...

Go Blue!

Mattavious

October 2nd, 2014 at 9:11 AM ^

I was fortunate(yes I do understand what this word means) enough to be at the Minnesota game, sitting in the Big House and experiencing the game.  It was only the third time I've been to a game in my 34 years of being a Michigan fan.  When ticket prices started dropping, I snatched a couple up and my Dad and I went and had a great time.  We stayed til the end of the game and cheered our team on.  

While I was disappointed with the outcome, I was more disappointed to be associated with the the "fans" that cleared out in the third quarter, the same fans that were not making noise on defense, the same fans that were not participating in the Victors, or the GO BLUE chant.  Fans get upset when the team or the coach seems to have given up and yet, the fans had given up from the very beginning of the game.  The other two games I attended, the noise was deafening in that stadium.  We would leave with our ears ringing and our heads swimming from the excitement of being in that crowd.  I don't care what Brandon's doing, I don't care if Hoke made some bad/odd calls during the game, we should be there in support of those kids.  Some Michigan fans take winning for granted.  They take that stadium for granted.   I refuse to do that.  

Well that's my rant.  GO BLUE!

BlueGoM

October 1st, 2014 at 1:25 PM ^

I will watch because I went to Michigan, fought through the engineering program and that education got me where I am today.

Also I love football and I want to see this team do well.   Gardner did relatively well at the end of the Minnesota game, maybe he'll do well this week.  Hope springs eternal.

I will watch because those student athletes on the field deserve some support.

Some of you are devolving into shambling , quivering, spineless quitters.  You need to check yourselves.   Do you want this team to win or not?

Spare me "but if they win that means more Hoke and Brandon!"  - I'm willing to bet Brandon is out at the end of the season even if Hoke manages to get this team to win out.

 

 

wahooverine

October 1st, 2014 at 1:28 PM ^

Why watch?  Because you claim to be a Michigan fan.  Not watching or supporting your team when they aren't winning or performing well ...isn't that the definition of a fair weather fan? 

 

 

gbdub

October 1st, 2014 at 2:04 PM ^

It's been a damn long time since the weather's been fair, and we're all still here. I've got my Fandom Endurance 3 badge, so I'm at least a "rainy-sleety-cold-weather and our team sucks" fan.

But right now we're in the midst of a shitstorm with a Sharknado bearing down and a Crocadurricane on the horizon, for which we're being asked a princely sum for the privilege of experiencing. There's a fine line between fanaticism and masochism, and we crossed it awhile ago.

gbdub

October 1st, 2014 at 3:09 PM ^

Since it's before my time (I think), which games were I and II? And is Utah IV, or are we calling it something else? What do you need to have done to earn that one? I stayed until they kicked us out, but never came back because I heard the stadium was flooded and figured there was no way in hell the game would be completed.

I would suggest Utah be Fandom Endurance IV, awarded to all who stayed until the evacuate announcement. Those few intrepids that came back after the rain delay earn the coveted Fandom Endurance IV Badge, with Winged Helmet Stickers.

Bosch

October 1st, 2014 at 2:41 PM ^

I'll be hard pressed not to punch in the face the person who calls me a fair weather fan. I've been a fan since well before I went to school there in the 90's. It used to be that every loss ruined me for at least a week.... but I'm getting numb to it now. I no longer expect a victory, and I'm starting to not expect a competitive game. I'm not sure whether going to the game or turning on the TV because "that's what I did for the past 1,000 Saturdays, and that's what I'm going to continue to do, damn it!" makes you some uber fan or just ignorantly stubborn. Personally, If I'm going to get punched in the dong, I'd rather have it happen accidentally while playing with my kids and not because I watched Michigan get worked by a team fielded with lower rated players.

MGoManBall

October 1st, 2014 at 1:28 PM ^

No matter how many times I have to dong punch myself along the way, I will continue to watch these players. They wouldn't ever give up, so I won't give up supporting them. 

winged wolverine

October 1st, 2014 at 1:30 PM ^

Because it's Saturday and Saturdays in the fall are for Michigan football, for better or for worse. I'll watch because you know those players are working their asses off and trying to do better, even if they aren't being put in a position to succeed. 

In terms of going to the games, I do hope that people that have tickets continue to go. I wonder about the effect it will have on players and recruiting if fans don't support the team even when the team is down. 

Gob Wilson

October 1st, 2014 at 1:34 PM ^

Why watch? Because I want the kids to succeed more than I want the coach and AD fired. And that is saying I want them to suceed with all my heart. I want them to know I support them.

CooperLily21

October 1st, 2014 at 1:34 PM ^

Its funny how life evolves, from being a lunatic in college to being a more mature lunatic after graduation to being a somewhat muted lunatic after getting married to being an apathetic lunatic without enough time on his hands to spend 3-4 hours getting pissed off and upset.  So like Bry_Mac I will be skipping this game.  I'll be following along on Twitter because those of you that I follow are tons of fun to follow on gameday.  But that's it.  Instead I'll take my kids somewhere fun, or have them "help" me with yardwork, or watch paint dry if there's nothing else to do.  At almost 40 years old I don't have time for the upsetment I get watching games now.  A game is supposed to be fun or at least entertaining.  Michigan football is neither of those things right now and, as such, I ain't got time fo' it.

JeffDC

October 1st, 2014 at 1:37 PM ^

Last weekend I listened to the game as I was headed to a party.  When I got there, I watched the end of the half, then went outside.  Because I know better now, I checked my phone before going back in to catch the rest of the game and it was 20-7, then quickly 27-7, and I just said F it.  I'm not going to ruin my evening with this garbage.  

This weekend we were planning to go up to Jersey, but opted instead to go to the Florida - Tennessee game because my wife is a Gator.  We'll be back home in plenty of time for the game, but there is no way my relatives are going to opt for M-Rutgers over LSU-Auburn and I'm not going to protest or try to find another TV.  I'm done for now.  I hate that, but I more hate watching them fail over and over again.

mgoBrad

October 1st, 2014 at 1:40 PM ^

Sincere thanks. To be honest, I find myself as combination of all of you (excepting the personal ties Ace has). Anger, frustration, apathy, and pride... it's all there. I'll be watching on Saturday, just not as enthusiastically and with much lower expectations than any time previous...

ThWard

October 1st, 2014 at 1:41 PM ^

I don't watch only for wins. The thousands I spent on season tickets during the RR years suggests otherwise.

 

I watch because every representation of the institution fills me with pride; my friends make fun of me for watching UM softball, following things like Peace Corps placement of new grads, and annoyingly passing on any link to "UM is ranked X among academic institutions" or "Ann Arbor is X best place to live" lists to people. In short, I'm obsessed with Ann Arbor, U of M generally, and yes, the football team. All fill me with great pride; win or lose.

The recent trend of dissembling and obfuscating from the AD's office, however, embarrasses U of M kool-aid drinkers like me who take "Leaders and the Best" a touch too seriously.

So why won't I watch this Saturday? Simple. Because watching UM football for me isn't just about rooting for a football team (which I obviously stil will; I want these kids to win, I want them rewarded for their hard work). It's about the most nationally-known representation of the institution itself. And I'm not feeling too over the moon about the institution at the moment, so I'd rather not feel bummed out Saturday night when I could be hanging with my 2 year old son.

pudge44

October 1st, 2014 at 1:42 PM ^

... because Michigan is playing in my home state for the first time ever and I want to celebrate that fact by taking my son. He's been to three Michigan games in his life, and somehow emerged still having an interest in going to a fourth:

2009 vs. Purdue (huge come from ahead home loss as RR's second season went off the rails)

2013 vs. UConn (we can't really be this bad, can we? We might really be this bad)

2013 vs. Penn State (Dad, why don't they just kick one of those field goals THROUGH the uprights?)

I'll go because despite the ongoing gong show I can cheer for Devin Gardner and his fellow upper classmen that have been through this @#$%storm and still come back for more.

I'll go/watch because for 25 years, it's what I've done on Saturdays. To not do so just feels wrong.

I'll go/watch because despite have zero expectations for Saturday's outcome, maybe, just maybe Michigan will give me something to cheer about, something to high-five with my son over. And if they don't, then I'll be happy for my neighor, an RU grad who has been a fan since Rutgers was the worst team in college football and a great guy. He was kind enough to jump on one of my extra tickets when a friend bailed.

I'm really unhappy with the state of things, but when they tee it up on Saturday night, I'll be hoping against hope for a positive outcome.