Sunday, November 25, 2007
Mmmm, losing, how it has consumed my football.
I of course attended the Michigan/Ohio State game, which was a disaster. A total disaster. It was freezing cold out, but just warm enough to keep the rain rain and not snow. I don't know how it was possible for the air to be as cold as it was while we were still getting rained out, but apparently Ohio State bewitched the air to make us just that much more completely miserable. I was soaked through by the end of the game, and I had rain gear on. Some people were worse off. And of course there's no shelter in the Big House.
Part of the problem was that, while the game didn't ever really 'feel' close, and even though it definitely never seemed like Michigan (and more especially Chad Henne) was going to make a comeback, the score technically WAS close enough to keep most of us in our seats. Of course leaving a ballgame early is despicable behavior, but in this case it would have been perfectly justified by the soul-destroying nature of the loss and the potentially health-destroying nature of the weather, and if this had been a blowout I would've been out of there before you could say, "Jim Tressel eats babies."
ALAS, IT WAS NOT A BLOWOUT. The score at the end was only 14-3. That's a surmountable score even in the NFL, and it's easily surmountable by college football standards. Hell, I've seen Michigan overcome much bigger deficits in that very stadium. You can't leave a college game when the score's that close, you just CAN'T, because if the losing team makes a comeback and you aren't there for it you can NEVER FORGIVE YOURSELF.
I mean, look at that MSU game in 2004. We were down by 17 with 8-some-odd minutes to go in the 4th quarter. As the game wore on, the mid-70s temperature of the daytime gave way to the mid-30s temperature of the night, meaning that we had all showed up wearing tshirts and were literally freezing. It seemed like the perfect time to leave, and Michigan ended up coming back and winning in triple overtime. It's one of the most epic games in recent memory and a classic in the UM/MSU rivalry.
Can you imagine being at that game and leaving early? Lots of people did. (I almost did, but my seatmate said we should wait for at least the 5-minute mark, and Michigan started the comeback around the 6-minute mark). I know some people who left. THEY HAVE STILL NOT FORGIVEN THEMSELVES.
So, with Michigan only down by 11 at the most, I just couldn't leave. Not even with the pervading air of hopelessness, not even with the weather that threatened to end both me and my camera. This time around, Michigan did not reward me with a win. The defense played well (witness the fact that OSU was held to 14 points), but the offense doesn't even rate mention. Suffice it to say that the offense was Bad, and the capital B is intentional.
Photos from the game are here. I went early to take a bunch of stadium shots, as it's my last game as an undergrad. Thankfully the rain did not start until the game did. I got some nice player shots from warmups too. Not so many good shots during the game, due to the aforementioned and much belabored weather. YOU CANNOT UNDERSTAND HOW TRULY MISERABLE IT WAS UNLESS YOU WERE THERE. The weather for that game: also Bad.
In happier news, I was also at the Thanksgiving Day Lions game! Oh wait, did I say 'happier'? I meant 'equally sad but less overtly miserable because at least the Lions play indoors'.
This was, by far, the highlight of the game. Dippin' Dots. In a miniature Lions helmet. I think you will agree with me that this is awesomeness made solid and incarnate, yes? Yes.
As for the game itself, whatever. I literally spent parts of it thinking to myself, "Hey, this isn't half as bad as the Michigan game! I'm inside! It's climate-controlled! I have a real seat instead of a small section of bleacher! The Lions are playing with some hope here at the end! I have Dippin' Dots! Altogether a superior losing experience!" And all that was TRUE. It made the Lions game just seem so whatever-esque. Brett Favre and the Packers are on a streak of vicious football prowess. The Lions have been winning, with the exception of the Denver game, by the skin of their pointy feline teeth. Whatever! At least it wasn't an absurdly bad blowout like the past two Thanksgivings. This game was close! So, whatever! See?
Photos from that game are here, in addition to some shots from before and after, as we trotted around the city.
At least it looks like the Patriots are going to win this game. If you listen carefully, you can hear my feeble, beaten-down cheer as I muster the little enthusiasm I have left for football right now.
Oh, and PS, check out this downtown Detroit bar:
Yes, it is called "Jacoby's". I had to take a photo of that. Who wouldn't?
Labels: Buckeyes, football, Jacoby Ellsbury, Lions, loss, NCAA, NFL, OSU, rivalry, terrible, Wolverines