I offer Shawshank Inspiration at the apex of Hate Week and on the heels of the Inspirational Garden Party last night:
Parole Hearing officer: Michigan Fan, your files say you've served 5 years of a life sentence. Do you feel you've been rehabilitated?
M Fan: Rehabilitated? Well, now let me see. You know, I don't have any idea what that means. I mean I guess I still like Michigan, but it's a different Michigan now out there... on the outside. They got this new coach, started sporting Adidas, their QBs completion % tracks the decline of the Standard and Poor Index and our defense inexplicably has the structural integrity of the U.S./Mexican border...our once proud Hoops team strangely feels like the basketball equivalent of SMU football....
Hearing officer: Well, it means that you're ready to rejoin society...
M Fan: I know what you think it means, Sonny. To me it's just a made up word. A politician's word, so young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie, and have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did? Hell yeah, I'm sorry. I mean its been a long time since '03. I still remember Tom Brady and Charles Woodson and Rumeal and Rice.
Hearing Officer: Well, are you?
M Fan: There's not a day goes by I don't feel regret. Not because I'm in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime by being a Michigan fan. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can't. That kid's long gone and this old man is all that's left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It's just a word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don't give a damn.
Cut to: a piece of paper listing the W-L records of the last 10 years of Michigan basketball and the box scores from the last 4 UM/Ohio State games. A stainless steel stamp of redemption comes down like a hammer: "PAROLED".
I'd like to think that the last thing that went through Pryor's head, other than Brandon Graham's muddy cleat, was to wonder how the hell Rick Rod ever got the best of him.
I hope the Pacific is as Michigan Blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.