Learn from yesterday, live for today, Hoke for tomorrow - Notre Dame

Submitted by Lordfoul on September 11th, 2011 at 7:06 PM


“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” 
Albert Einstein


Learn from yesterday...

I am a lucky SOB and I know it.  Anybody that has ever known me well will tell you the same.  I also have a lucky number that I believe in with near-religious devotion, a number that I was informed was lucky on my very first day living at the Bur-Lodge.  That number is 72.

This is a number that gives me a real and most reliable count of how my luck is running. When I see it everywhere I can count on good luck in general.  When it comes into play directly related to specific events that hold importance to me it is right on the money. Case in point: Once my brother-in-law and my cousin were driving me out to Fort Dodge, IA to start my short lived existence as an Iowan microbiologist (think 4000L of tetanus, yuck...), and we found ourselves short on funds for the partying we were plotting upon our arrival.  We were in far western Illinois when we decided this after pooling our funds to come up with $172 exactly.  My cousin suggested we hit up the riverboat casino at the next exit and I noted that it was exit 27 (backwards 72) - and off we went.

We put the whole $172 on black at the roulette table.  This was all the money we had in the world being poor college students, but we didn't hesitate.  Of course it would be black; the stars had aligned.  And it was so, and a great time was had by all.

I learned many years later how powerful the bad luck can be when 72 is conspicuously absent.  It was at The Horror, which I attended with my wife sans sunscreen and was forced to leave at halftime lest skin cancer strike us both down then and there.  As we left the stadium and headed to Frasier's we took note of the Michigan team busses lined up on Stadium, all in numerical, though not sequential order.  There sat bus #71 nose to ass with bus #73.  I told my wife "Michigan is doomed."  I knew it in my heart. When Mike Hart scored and then we got the interception we left to go meet friends. In my head the result was a W for sure.  The actual result did not surprise me.

Yesterday was just the opposite.  I was seeing 72 everywhere all week, on licence plates, work documents, you name it.  Then on ESPN's Gameday I saw that 72% of the country had picked Michigan to win at the bottom of the screen.  The stars were aligning again and I could feel it.  Then the first quarter happened and I was suprised, but felt in my heart that Michigan would come back.  I watched the rest of the game with nervous tension muted by a strange calm confidence, and when Vincent Smith scored to put Michigan ahead I looked at the game clock.  1:12 remained.  

72 seconds.

Even when the Irish came roaring back down the field to score I never really doubted that Michigan and Denard Robinson would answer.*  That is simply the power of 72.


Live for Today…

Several Michigan players should bask in the glow of their accomplishments:

1.      Denard Robinson – Holy jeebus.  When > 95% of  the Michigan offense is generated by one guy, should we sit in awe of his accomplishment (yes) or pray to whatever gods we can think of that he stays healthy (also yes)?  Denard Robinson is love for all mankind.  His interview after the game was awesome as well, especially his reaction to his own stat line.

2.     Jordan Kovacs – Kovac's interception was the turning point in the game.  Notre Dame had its foot on Michigan's throat, and the fearless leader of the defense came up big again.  I shudder to think how Michigan would have fared the past 2+ seasons without him.

3.     Brandin Hawthorn – I think we may have found a true player in the second half.  Much like Kovacs last week, Hawthorn almost single-handedly killed a ND drive at a crucial part of the game.  He showed great quickness and insticts and may be the answer we need to solidify the linebacking crew.

4.     Roy Roundtree – Calling for the ball and delivering in the most clutch of situations, it just doesn't get any better.  Especially remarkable as his only catch of the evening.

5.     Jeremy Gallon and  Junior Hemingway – Clutch grab after clutch grab.  Hemingway showed once and for all that he should be playing on Sundays.  Gallon looked like mini-Hemingway on his TD grab and finally got to show off his elusiveness both on the late punt return and on the second to last play of the game-winning drive.

Also of note was the play of Jake Ryan, Mike Martin, and Courtney Avery (Ever see better karmic retribution than when Rees fumbled after Avery's BS interference call?  Why was the ball on the 7 when the ref clearly stated it should be placed on the two?).  Oh, and Woolfolk again – hope that nose is still on straight.


Hope for Tomorrow

2-0 again and the bankwagon is officially hitched to a star for the third year in a row.  I swore I wouldn't get swept up again but there it is.  With Eastern next up maybe Mattison can work out some of the very serious kinks in the defense and set a course for improvement instead of the backward slides of the past two years.  Nine wins looks very doable considering the rest of the B10 doesn't look like as stiff a test as in recent years.  At the very least Denard should be able to keep his health and maybe we can even see a bit out of his understudy.

Go Blue and stay safe.


*Though I figured it would be a fieldgoal and overtime.


Wisconsin Wolverine

September 11th, 2011 at 7:16 PM ^

Awesome story ... I'm hesitant to adopt any superstitions of my own, for fear that they will jump to the forefront of my brain & force me to analyze things I don't want to analyze.  I'm glad you've got that covered, sir. :D  Then again, maybe I'll just start posting "72" on every gameday forum thread for you ... Is that cheating?


September 11th, 2011 at 7:35 PM ^

That is a very well-told tale. 72, huh? I wonder what would happen if you ever met Dan Deardorff in the flesh. He is the most prominent I can think of who wore 72. My guess is you'd probably swoon, pick yourself up off the floor, and head for the nearest casino.


September 11th, 2011 at 7:36 PM ^

I like your analysis but everything else being equal (turnovers, penalties, poor defenses), the difference in this game was coaching.

Whenever a ND player made a mistake, Kelly was out there running his mouth.  True, he didn't have a USF-esqe meltdown but he was getting in the face of his players.

Whenever Michigan screwed the pooch... Hoke was out there coaching the players up.  I'm not saying Hoke is all touchy feely and bullshit but in the heat of the moment, Hoke's out there telling his players to keep their heads up, giving a pat on the backside, and telling them to be ready because they will be needed again.

Hoke was the difference Saturday night. 



September 11th, 2011 at 7:52 PM ^

BWC is also deserving of some honors, imo. He came up big time in ways I did't know he was capable of. Lets hope he can build on this (I think that because his problem was mental, this boost in confidence could actually transform him game. We'll see).

Wolverine Convert

September 11th, 2011 at 8:05 PM ^

I saw a post earlier about the ball be spotted at the 7 yard line rather than the 2 yard line. Apparently there is a rule of a maximum 15 yard penalty on pass interference - hence the 7 rather than the 2. They made the correction, but didn't announce it. I thought that was odd too.

Red is Blue

September 11th, 2011 at 9:38 PM ^

in 72 hours from now, it will be right around 9:30 on Wed night -- Take the 9 and the 3, add them together and get twelve, multiple by 60 minutes in an hour and get 720.  It will be 9/14/2011.  Add the individual digits together and get 18 plus the M score of 35, gets you to 53, the game started at 8 (20 hrs mil time) add that in to get to 73 and of course subtract one to correct for the negative influence of ND and viola 72 -- I think you should expect something lucky to happen then. 


September 12th, 2011 at 9:39 AM ^

Hope for tomorrow should be just that hope and not expectation.

There's a ton of reasons to be ultra concerned about this team e.g. Cierre Wood gaining 10 or 20 yards running up the gut multiple times, Michigan's defense still having the huge cushions in pass coverage, the lack of a pass rush most of the game against a Big Ten type average to good O line for Notre Dame, Denard being horribly inaccurate just as he was in the spring game (can't complete a screen pass, off target on a number of throws that forced the receivers to make a great catch, underthrowing almost every deeper throw forcing the WR to adjust to the ball rather than hitting them in stride), no attempt to establish a consistent MANBALL attack with the running backs except the occasional power play from Hopkins who would gain 3 yards and since Denard missed the pass on first down it being 3rd and 7 every time.

The difference is RR no longer runs the offense (mostly a bad thing) and Greg Mattison runs the defense (mostly a good thing). The two? interceptions Rees threw were because of the scheme of the defense disguising the coverage both times making him think a player was single covered and safe when Michigan had help on him.

I'm hoping with coaches I have a bit more faith in like this staff this is a team that can improve over the season but if it plays like this every game it's headed for a 5-7 year and me getting more gray hairs


September 12th, 2011 at 10:12 AM ^

This was the amount of time left when we got the ball back down 24 -21. Note that in the movie PI, 216 is the number that the group of hassidic jews tell the main character is the number for God.  Upon further research there is something to this and wikipedia has the following :

A 216-letter name for God is found in Jewish Kabbalistic sources (mentioned by Tosafot as well as by the Kabbalists) as well as in Christian Kabbalah and in Hermetic Qabalah, derived from the 72 groups of three letters, each of these triplets being the name of an angel or intelligence.  

72 groups.  Whoaaa. Then on the ensuing drive denard passed to vincent smith for the touchdown.  This was the connection of two numbers. 2 and 16.  The full moon was reaching its apex in the fourth quarter as well our offense. Who knows what any of this means but it is pretty interesting if you ask me.

There is a quantum physic analysis of this game that could be applied as well relative to the score of the game and the psychological comforability of losing.  Once desires were reduced they were manifested. I may write more on this later.  Price of tickets could've played role in wax and wane of expectations as well.