Confessions of a Quiet Reader

Submitted by ruraljuror on February 15th, 2018 at 2:14 PM

Greetings from a member of the silent majority. That is not to say I don’t enjoy checking what our Mgoblog community is saying in the comment section on an almost hourly basis. I just assume nobody really wants to hear my point of view so I barely bother. Therefore here I am writing a freaking diary post. Oh well…

I don’t know why this specific time I felt compelled to be vocal about my thoughts revolving the football program. Perhaps it was the constant parade of uninspiring news from the end of the recruiting cycle, or it came during the incredible Dan Enos era, which has turned into the….I cannot believe I am saying this… Jim McElwain era, or the fact that Tim Drevno is still employed, or the fact that Shea Patterson is in NCAA purgatory, or the fact that Brandon Peters looked like a taller version of John O’Korn while an actual true freshman came in after halftime for Alabama and scorched Georgia to win a National title, or the fact that our offensive line has been perpetually below average spanning 3 coaching staffs and 10 years, or that we consistently seem to waste world beating offenses with historically bad defenses, or that we waste world beating defenses with historically bad offenses, or that Ohio State continues to exist as a supreme nuclear football power, or the fact that I live near Cleveland and have been constantly asked lately ‘are you guys losing faith in Harbaugh?’ while they reflexively smirk like giant entitled mouth breathing d**k bags. I don’t know.

This site has been my refuge for all things Michigan Football since I first started visiting it in 2010. Brian and Ace are ‘my guys.’ Our guys. I love their podcast, game breakdowns, and unrepentant honesty on what they see on the field every week. Reading or listening to them dissect the program is a lot like listening to your local baseball play by play and color guys. Then hearing ESPN or FOX comment on UM is like listening to Dan Plesac breakdown why your number 2 starter is really a number 1 starter. So it goes without saying that I try to follow their lead on what kind of perspective we as a fanbase should have regarding events around the program.

I am not, as our now embattled savior likes to call Pete Finebaum, an Mgoblog water carrier. I do have issues with some things that are said and written. However these disagreements do not outweigh the overall value the site brings to me. So when Brian wrote is post Outback Bowl article and title it ‘Whatever’ I oddly thought…yeah whatever. I don’t really know where to go from that. It is February and spring ball is nearing and all I can think of is how much I don’t want to hear about a damn thing related to this team until kickoff against Notre Dame. I don’t want to hear breakdown from Sam Webb on what new guy is killing it in fall camp, or what 5 star Pep is visiting. But why I feel that way is not because I have given up, or have resorted to complete apathy for my lifelong favorite sports team.

I just want to watch this team play football games because I actually do believe they will be really really excellent in 2018. I trust no one on the planet works harder and is more aware of the past years issues than Jim Harbaugh. His 2017 was an exception to an entire career built on excellence. I don’t feel great in the trust he continues to have in Drevno, or that he seems to want various opinions on what play to call before they break the huddle, but I also know that guy was inches away from being a Super Bowl winning coach. I know that even with that pro success he is an even better college coach. I remember he was also inches away from taken a team made up primarily of Brady Hoke’s players to the Big Ten Championship game and most likely CFP in only his second year.

So my ‘Whatever’ is based on everything else that surrounds the program that has nothing to do with the actual games that are played. I have no control over what school a high school stud decides to do, or what coach is hired, or the fact that the team I hate the most continues to work at a level I pray UM gets to on a consistent basis. I will continue to expect excellence on the recruiting trail, on the coaching staff, and then on the field, just like all of us do. Until then I will enjoy reading all of the perspectives from fellow fans that are not insane, and hope one day we can all look back at this period of time as a ‘remember when we hated our football team’ as Jim stands next to Shea holding up the Playoff Trophy. Go Blue.

Comments

RowoneEndzone

February 15th, 2018 at 4:22 PM ^

Well written.  I can certainly relate to many of your emotions.  I am still a passionate fan I just don't buy into any hype or analysis until I see it on the field during real games.

LeCheezus

February 15th, 2018 at 6:19 PM ^

Right on man.

I have a confession to make.  I read the RCMB a lot during the 2016 season and subsequent offseason of doom they had, because it provided a lot of laughs and it had been a long time since MSU had been suffering.  I have to tell you that MGoBlog comment sections, while slightly more high brow and slightly less sex jokes, reads exactly like the RCMB did during MSU's worst season in decades. And we were 8-5!  And we didn't lose an entire recruiting class' worth of players to attrition, some of which was criminal related!  And you think our recruiting class was bad this year, MSU was offering whodat guys left and right...and getting turned down! 

CFB is the best sport in part because teams change so much from year to year.  This should inspire hope, not doom and gloom and 800 reasons why we can't win games next year.  If you can't be optimisitic and somewhat delusionally positive as a fan, whats the point?

GHGoBlue

February 15th, 2018 at 6:21 PM ^

And I share many of the same feelings as you. There’s a ton of speculation and hypothesizing about things that are out of our control which I won’t work myself up over. I’m looking forward to things sorting themselves out on the field come September.

ruthmahner

February 15th, 2018 at 7:47 PM ^

So much sense in it.  I always wonder, when some poster in a white rage says, "We absolutely HAVE to [fill in the blank] now!"  I always wonder, or what?  We have no control over most of the management or performance of this football team.  We love them because of who they are and what they represent.  We trust their leaders to make good decisions and inspire greatness.  We hope our trust won't be ill-placed.  

But even in its worst years, this team is worth loving and following.  Even in its worst times, its players and personnel show character that is all too rare.  And dare I hope?  The upcoming years will be far from the worst.  Go blue, go Harbaugh.  :-)

JWG Wolverine

February 15th, 2018 at 10:05 PM ^

I literally agree with every word of this, and I was thinking about writing a similar diary but couldn’t find the words to make it good.

You did! Fantastic write up and here’s to a dramatic comeback year for Michigan Football in September!

Indy Pete - Go Blue

February 15th, 2018 at 10:15 PM ^

Someone needed to put all of organize all of these rational thoughts from an authentic Michigan fan in a single place.  Thank you for taking the time to do this.  I do believe that you represent the 'silent majority'.  I have followed this blog w/o a login until recently, but engaging has been a lot of fun (and humbling at times too).  Go blue and put more stuff out here for us; we need guys like you!

UM Griff

February 16th, 2018 at 10:39 AM ^

Thank you so much for your concise, heartfelt post. You have captured what I feel about Michigan football, through good times and bad. I am sorry I have but one upvote to give.

Merlin.64

February 16th, 2018 at 4:11 PM ^

Thank you for this corrective to the negativity, at times even nastiness, in so many comments.

My own attention to this site has been more recent, but I appreciate the information and insight it offers and I would like to add a note of optimism based on personal experience.

In 1964 I came to UM as an international exchange student from Ireland and immigrated to Canada a year later with my master’s degree. It was a memorable year for many reasons, not least the kindness and hospitality I encountered from so many people. And then there was football, a cousin of the rugby I had enjoyed playing in school (not particularly well, partly because I was too light, but I do remember what it is like to see some dude nearly twice my weight charging towards me at speed; and to have a twinge of sympathy for our quarterbacks).

The season started well, and despite a mid-season loss to Purdue, the Wolverines won the rest of their games, finished first in the Big Ten, and defeated (overwhelmed) Oregon State in the Rose Bowl. Final AP ranking was 4th (9-1). (Basketball did well too: remember Cazzie Russell?)

What, I wondered, advantages did the 1964 team have that enabled it to fight back from an early setback? Here are some observations.

1.     Luck balanced out: we were unlucky to lose the Purdue game, even though we outgained them by a wide margin, BUT

(a)   We suffered no serious injuries at crucial positions (especially quarterback)

(b)   The team that beat us (21-20, with a quarterback named Griese), lost two games late in their schedule

2.     Quarterback Bob Timberlake was not only a senior and third-year starter, but highly mobile; not just a double threat but triple (place kicker as well); and a Heisman candidate

3.     Talented team, most of whom were returning starters: on defense, Bill Yearby and Rick Volk became All-Americans, and many of their teammates went on to pro careers; Mel Anthony, the fullback, rushed for 123 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Rose Bowl; Carl Ward, sophomore halfback was also a kick return specialist; the O-line, largely nameless in news reports, was stout enough to deliver a victory against the Fighting Illini led by Dick Butkus on defense (yes, THAT Dick Butkus), and OG Tom Mack made 11 Pro Bowl appearances; receivers usually came through in the crunch.

Implications for 2018

With a more mobile quarterback and our share of luck for a change, next season could prove much better. Some posters to this blog have dwelt on the team’s weaknesses, and disappointment combined with high expectations have generated gloom and anger.

But take heart, Wolverine fans (and gnash your nasty little pointed teeth, trolls.) As in 1964, we have many returning starters, the defense is already very good, and we are loaded with young talent ready to step up and prove themselves. Prior to 1964, we had gone through several losing seasons, and we had lost a string of games to MSU; but that year we beat the Spartans and held a ranked Buckeye team scoreless, both on the road.

We can do it again. Why not next year?

Go Blue!

Bill22

February 17th, 2018 at 12:15 PM ^

Greatly appreciate this post as it is clearly heartfelt and from a die hard fan. I had enjoyed the optimism and excitement of all things Michigan since we popped New Years champagne early during the Harbaugh hire press conference. The late Carr, RichRod and Hoke years were painful and frustrating. This was supposed to have been a once great program reborn. Last season felt too familiar to the recent past and likely sparked an over reaction by fans, as a result. Erase the memories of 2007-2014 and we likely take it in stride. No different than multiple 4 loss seasons between ‘93 and ‘96. Wins over top 5 Ohio State teams in 3 of those 4 seasons helped! Regardless of the frustrations now expressed on the board this off season, we are all likely in a numb holding pattern for the next 6 1/2 months. All off season “hot takes,” predictions, and stories of team developments will be met with a collective, “uh-huh.” Here’s to hoping the best Michigan team possible shows up in South Bend on the evening of Sept 1st!