Friday, September 4, 2009

Michigan Football 2009 – The Video

Brought to you courtesy of the MGoBlog, which I love so, so much (pay attention to the lyrics):

When the color jumps back in and the tone of the music shifts it is just such a perfect moment. I cannot imagine a more fitting tune and montage to kick off a new season after last year’s disaster (not to mention the maelstrom of the past week).

Hope. It’s what’s for dinner.

That song, btw, is “A Better Son/Daughter” by Rilo Kiley. Never heard of it before, but I’m buying it.

I suppose I should be more conflicted about the game tomorrow. I mean I am actually a Western Michigan alum. And I loved WMU. It was a great school for me and I say that in spite of the fact that they accepted Wolverine-wannabe students with a slightly sub 3 GPA. It just doesn’t invite the devotion I feel when it comes to U of M. I take flack for that on occasion and that’s fine, but seriously, I spent five years in Kalamazoo and I spent my entire youth growing up around Ann Arbor. Some of my best memories from back then are going to or watching Michigan games with my dad and my step brothers.

I remember 1990 against Michigan State when Michigan having just scored to end the game was down one point and elected to go for two. My dad, stepbrothers, and I were in our familiar seats in the corner of the endzone on the opposite end, but same side as the student section. We saw the ball get thrown, but our view of the pass was totally obstructed. All we knew was for a moment the student section was going nuts. We assumed it was a catch. Everyone in our section did. We were dancing in a circle in the isle until the hush fell. It wasn’t until we got home that we saw what happened, that Howard was tripped before he could get his hands on the ball and still almost grabbed it. The walk home that day was miserable. And I cherish that. It was a shared moment that, for good or ill, becomes a part of you for forever.

On the other end of the spectrum there was 1992 – Michigan vs. Ohio State with the Rose Bowl on the line. I was a high school senior. I don’t recall why, but my step brothers couldn’t make the game so my dad gave me the tickets and told me to take some friends, which of course, I did and we were treated to one of the best games I ever saw at that stadium. It was the polar opposite of that Michigan State game in almost every way, highlighted by Desmond Howard’s famous Heisman pose TD in the corner of our end zone. My friends and I were in the 6th row and the dude was no more than 50 feet or so from us. Second best sports related memory I’ve ever had. (#1 being at Comerica Park when the Tigers beat the Yankees in 2006.)

Sorry, Western. You gave me a lot of good memories, but when it comes to college football, you can’t top the highs and lows of a youth spent growing up Blue.

So, it’s time to light the candle on a new season. No, it probably won’t bring the return to national prominence fans of the Maize and Blue crave, but it’s the start of a new season and all things still remain possible. And if the path back up to the mountain top starts by running over my alma mater*, then so be it.

And sometimes when you’re on/You’re really fucking on/And your friends they sing a long/And they love you!

Go Blue!

*And, hey, if WMU wins tomorrow, I can be simultaneously depressed for what it might mean for the rest of Michigan’s season and very, very proud of my old school.