So, a clarification... I've been kicking around an "Ethics of MGoBlog" post for a while that hasn't quite materialized yet, but now seems like a good time to delineate a particular portion of said ethics: I won't detatch emotionally from the football team and use it as a punching bag to minimize whatever issues I'm having with our Alamo Bowl-bound (at best) warrior-poets. That's a cop-out. I'm here. I'm posting UFR for the rest of the season. I'm talking frankly about the relative gaywaddery of the team in no uncertain terms.
It will be okay. As I exited the stadium after the 30-17 Iowa win last year I witnessed a strangely moving scene between some Iowa frat boys wearing football-theme frat T-shirt prominently featuring the phrase "GIT R DUN." One of them was in full hangdog mode. His buddy said softly "it's only football, man," and put his arm around his friend in a non-ironic, genuinely comforting way that--given the general attitudes of frat boys towards male-on-male touching--completely put the lie to his statement.
So: it's just football. Those of you who are freaking out, disconnecting, and generally saying things that will be regretted later even if their dire predictions turn out to be entirely correct, console yourselves: it's only football. It is only football; repeat until sedated. Release upon temporally nearest major, soul-freeing victory.
Anyway. On with the show.
Mmmph. I said this in regards to the MSU flag-planting:
I would hate whatever team did that at Michigan Stadium, but I would *love* hating them for doing it. It would make my hate strong, and I love having my hate strong.The Gophers then did this:
Now I say this: I would also love to hate the fact that Mike Hart stubbed his toe in garbage time of next year's national championship game. Are you there, God? It's me, Brian.
Also I say that there is a critical difference here. Michigan State's flag stunt came after five straight victories at Notre Dame. Minnesota last beat Michigan in 1986, back when Abraham Lincoln was still the nation's top dinosaur hunter. State's stunt was funny, relatively original, and apropos. The Gopher stunt is just sad. As Seinfeld would say, I'm offended as a comedian. Enjoy the Jug, kids. Maybe your grandkids will see it again one day.
Meanwhile, why is it that when Michigan loses to Minnesota I have to delete useless comments from Notre Dame fans instead of Minnesota fans?
Assorted reaction: strong contender for Best Named Sportsblog Sweaty Men Endeavors has an appropriately horrified response; RBUAS says he liked it better when he cried after each loss:
You know, in the sports bar I watched the game there were 10 other guys watching too. It could have been that they were just too drunk to do anything else, and it could have been that they liked football in general. But it seemed like they were rooting for; Joey's completely lost it; Vijay has some historical perspective on the suck and some other random thoughts, including some re-evaluation of Malone:
, and when they lost it was like none of them were surprised. Well, that makes 11 of us. Michigan
But perhaps the question I haven't asked enough is how many times in a game like this do I stop and say, of Terry Malone's calls, "Wow, that was a great play call there." or "that was the perfect play ... caught them off guard"?; Wojo has a piece in the News that's very good; Blue Cats and Red Sox has your interesting periphery covered:
"Hey, Gophers! Hey Gophers! Go eat some more weeds!" (note: as the gopher's diet does consist of a wide variety of vegetation, this chant was surprsingly accurate); Indeed.
It's not just Carr. During Sunday's Baltimore-Detroit game, a total self-destruction thing for the Ravens and their nigh-NFL-record number of penalties, Detroit was the recipient of not one but two personal foul penalties after an extra point. As a result they kicked off from the Baltimore 40. Instead of attempting an onside kick that would have ended up with the Ravens at their 30 at best, Jason Hanson kicked it through the uprights for a touchback. Not that it really mattered, given Baltimore's impression of the VIBE awards, but Steve Mariucci continues to fall on the gym teacher side of the coach scale.
Dear Detroit News, I know that college hockey is not A1 on the importance scale, but there's no one named "Matt Hensick." The name you're looking for is Hunwick.
Also with the skating and the shooting and the red lights, CSTV's resuming their "Tuesdays at the Rink" series of Internet chats. Tomorrow at 2 they'll have color guy Dave Starman on. Starman saw Michigan up close and personal at the Quinnipiac game on Friday; perhaps if you ask him something about the kids and if they are all right he'll respond with an interesting tidbit or two.
Personally, I was impressed with Tim Miller, who was rough and ready all weekend, then capped it off with a sweet pass he flicked through his own legs that created a scoring chance. Also, the fact that Jack Johnson can shoot it hard and low from anywhere on the ice in any position is kind of totally awesome.