Note – The first half nearly broke me. I was in the fetal position for most of it, with visions of 3-9 haunting my every thought. Needless to say, Cat32 disapproved of everything that happened in a massive, epic way. But the second half was so redeeming, and they showed so much heart and resilience that I just can’t bring myself to adequately describe the suckitude of the first half in my own words. It would just be something pathetic, like “well that sucked.”
Therefore reader, you get two diaries… Since the first half was basically a Shakespearian tragedy, this first half diary is done with occasionally edited Shakespeare quotes. You’re a smart audience and can handle it, I think. The second, wonderful, glorious half will be done later in the week in the normal style.
· 3:30 – Game is about to start. “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. Each have their entrances and exits, and each in his time plays many parts.”
· 3:35 – Kickoff. “Cry Havoc! And let slip the dogs of war.”
· 3:36 – The dogs of war allow a 55 yard kickoff return by Wisky. “Oh, that way madness lies. Let me shun that.”
· 3:41 – Wisky misses a FG. “Blow, blow, thou winter wind. Thou art not so unkind, when you push Welch’s 34 yard attempt wide left.”
· 3:45 – Threet fumbles. Wisky ball. “O, woe is me, to have seen what I have seen, see what I see.”
· 3:53 – Wisky kicks a field goal. Good job to hold ‘em D. Some advice Badgerfan: “Glory is like a circle in the water, which never ceaseth to enlarge itself, till by broad spreading it disperses to naught.”
· 4:02 – On a five play Michigan drive, three plays lose yards and one is an incomplete pass. “Something is rotten in the state of Michigan.”
· 4:11 – The defense does a great job stuffing Wisky on 3rd and 1. Then Thompson gifts them a 1st down by jumping egregiously offsides on the punt fake. “Off with his head!” (Cat32 picked that one out.) “Every man has his fault, and punctuality is his.” (Mine.)
· 4:18 – The defense recovers nicely, and forces a Wisky field goal. 6-0 WI. “Now is the winter of our discontent.”
· 4:23 – Michigan does a fairly ugly 3 & out. “Be great in act, as you have been in thought.” End of quarter. How does Threet look to this point? “I am not bound to please thee with my answers.” OK, but how would Sheridan have looked? “I dote on his very absence.”
· 4:28 – We punt, then Evridge’s first pass is intercepted by Charles Stewart! Hey Evridge: “Tremble thou wretch! Thou hast within thee undivulged crimes, unwhipp’d of justice!”
· 4:34 – And we take good field position for the first time all game and promptly go 3 & out. “We do not keep the outward form of order, where there is deep disorder in the mind.”
· 4:35 – “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” Nothing football here, just good advice.
· 4:39 – Wisky does some good things, has a nice big pass play, but then Evridge takes far too long to throw on 3rd and 5. “I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.” Mouton causes a fumble, recovered by Michigan. The Michigan defense did come to play today. “Thou art all the comfort the Gods will diet me with.”
· 4:40 – 4:45 – Threet fumbles on first down, Michigan recovers. “Assume a virtue if you have it not.” McGuffie has his perhaps only productive play of the first half, not that the offensive line was helping him. “Be not afraid of greatness. Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some men have greatness thrust upon them.” A punt from Zoltan.
· 4:49 – The defense rises up yet again, and forces a Wisky punt deep in their own end of the field. “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.” Then Greg Matthews fumbles the punt. “O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven; it hath the primal eldest curse upon ’t, another fumble.”
· 4:50 – A brief, non-Shakespearian message from Cat32: HOLD ON TO THE #[email protected]%!! BALL ALREADY.
· 5:04 – (I paused the game here for a few minutes to collect myself.) Wisky has a long run down to the Michigan 5 yard line. “True is it that we have seen better days.”
· 5:05 – Wisky punches it in for a touchdown. “How bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes.” 13-0 Wisconsin. Bonus coverage: “Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble.”
· 5:08 – Mike Hart is interviewed by the sideline reporter. The ABC cameraman does a good job correctly framing his halo. He says, and I quote, “This Michigan never did, nor never shall, lie at the proud foot of a conqueror.”
· 5:09 – We fumble the kickoff. I’m not even making this up. 2 quotes, mine first then Cat32’s: “If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction.” Cat32’s: “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”
· 5:13 – Wisky kicks a field goal. 16-0 WI. They show Rodriguez scowling. “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”
· 5:16 – ABC points out that 45% of Michigan’s offensive plays this season have gone for zero or negative yardage. “I pray thee cease thy council, which falls into mine ears as profitless as water in a sieve.”
· 5:18 – The defense forces another 3& out. “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, and close the wall up with our Wolverine defense.”
· 5:22 – Threet throws an interception. “When sorrows come, they come not single spies but in battalions.” The crowd is booing fairly loudly. To the crowd I say, “A wretched soul, bruised with adversity, we bid be quiet when we hear it cry.”
· 5:27 – Wisky kicks yet another field goal. 19-0 Wisky. They show Rodriguez again. Two quotes are appropriate: “A first down! A first down! My kingdom for a first down!” and “Come not within the measure of my wrath.”
· 5:32 – Threet caps the half off with another interception, thrown with 10 seconds on the clock. “The attempt, and not the deed, confounds us.”
· 5:33 – Wisconsin quote: “They have been at a great feast of turnovers, and stolen the scraps.”
· 5:33 – Halftime. What to say about that? “This half’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his half-hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”