Wednesday, January 4, 2012

M Go Blue, I Love You

     As I start to write this, the Sugar Bowl just ended about 20 minutes ago.  Man, that was a great game.  The term nail-biter gets thrown around a lot, but truly, I bit off most of my finger nails.  In case you're not aware, Michigan won 23-20 in OT.  It was a little bit of a sloppy game, I admit.  But the team won the game, and they deserved it.
     I'm not a crazy football fan, but I am a crazy Michigan fan.  It's a hard feeling to describe.  I feel about Michigan the way I imagine other people feel about their spouses or their children.  I've experienced deaths of family members that didn't churn my stomach as much as watching a Michigan interception.  I've also experienced some pretty awesome things that still couldn't hold a candle to the joy in my heart when Michigan wins bowl games and Denard Robinson leaps into the stands.
     It may sound like there's seriously something wrong with me; the thing is, I'm not the only one who feels this way--not by a long shot.  There was a good chance blood would start streaming from my roommate's ears every time the defense failed to stop a first down.  You've never heard "for fuck sake" screamed so many times in a three hour period as when the Michigan defense isn't doing their job.  We probably should have warned the neighbors before we moved in that apartment 5K would be getting loud every Saturday, and then really loud for any bowl games.
     I love when Denard Robinson runs into the stands at the end of a game.  It makes me so happy to see him so happy.  He runs and jumps up, and the fans grab him and pull him up into the stands and everyone celebrates together.  And that's a huge piece of this feeling, I think.  It's about all of us in this together.  We all feel like we're part of something that is bigger than just ourselves.  I also really like Brady Hoke's speeches at the end of games.  For him, it's always about the players and their heart.  He doesn't talk about what he's doing, he talks about what the players are doing.  Also, it looked like he was really happy to get the blue Gatorade shower at the end of the game.  And not just the "ha ha, very funny guys, I'll tolerate it because I'm on TV" reaction you get from most coaches.  It was the "awww, thanks.  I love you guys."  He gave a double thumbs up as the Gatorade came crashing down over him, and really let it soak him.  I, along with many other Michigan fans, really like Brady Hoke.
     It's not just Michigan football I love.  It's the whole damn lot of it--the football, the hockey, the solar car, James Earl Jones and Gilda Radner, the space program; the list goes on and on. Cheering for Michigan makes me feel like I'm part of something bigger than myself.  Wearing my Michigan sweatshirt and my Michigan class ring makes me feel that way too.    It's where I'm from; it's the place largely responsible for shaping me into the person I am.  It's also why I think college is so damn important.  And when I say college, I mean a real one, with the word University in its name and dorms on its campus.  Does that make me sound like an elitist asshole?  Good.  Because I earned being an elitist asshole.  (This is also my thinly veiled attempt at telling my 18-year-old niece to go to college.  Rachael--you too can be an elitist asshole!)
     Hail to the Victors.  It's great to be a Michigan Wolverine. Go Blue.  Thanks for a great season, team.

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