Sunday, October 12, 2008

Little Things

This is not what many of you want. This is not a call for calm, nor is it a call for panic. This is not a an attempt to rationalize, nor will it be a woe is us and unto our program. No, this is just a moment of Zen, courtesy of Gavin Rossdale and Bush.

As a fan of Sirius' Lithium 24 channel, it was on every time I got in car yesterday after the game, and each time, a song by Bush was playing. Back at the parking garage, it was "Little Things". Having dropped off my future brother-in-law at his house, it was "Machinehead". Having finished eating at Big Boy, it was "Everything Zen". I knew I had my hook (particularly after "Hang on Sloopy" was playing at Big Boy. I mean, I know its not their fault, but seriously...) for this column.

"Little Things"

Going up
When coming down
Scratch away, way, way, way, way
It's the little things that kill
Tearing at my brains again
Oh, the little things that kill
The little things that kill

The reality is, this is no longer "not a very good football team." This is a bad football team. The difference, well, when you can't tackle and you can't block, you're not going to win very many games. I'd love to be angry at the defense, but let's face it, they allowed six points. Six. That's it. Two field goals, one of which was a 49 yarder that hit the crossbar and bounced over. (Admittedly, Toledo missed what I called a gimme at the time. That was probably a mistake on my part.) And yet all Michigan's offense could muster was a total of three points (the touchdown scored negated by the touchdown allowed.) Sure injuries didn't help, missing Odoms, missing Graham, missing Warren, losing Threet, certainly that isn't a great moment, but you know what, injuries are a reality that must be dealt with. You scored ten points on a team that had allowed an average of 35.8 in its five previous games. You're not going to win when points don't go up on the board.

The bigger you give
The bigger you get
We're boss at denial
Best at forget
Cupboard is empty
We really need food
Summer is winter
And you always knew

But in the end, it was the little things that were killing me. Why all the personal fouls after the play (at least two I remember for sure, maybe a third)? Why the holding? (Actually, I know the answer to that. You hold because you have to.) What was with the clock management at the end of the game. (Not that I was confident that Michigan could win in overtime. Then again, they had not allowed a touchdown, so...) Couple that with a turnover deep in your own red zone which becomes points the other way, and well, it is the little things, the fundamentals, that kill you. (Positive note: No lost fumbles today.)


Deaf dumb and thirty
Starting to deserve this
Leaning on my conscience wall
Blood is like wine
Unconscious all the time
If I had it all again
I'd change it all

I think the hardest thing to avoid right now is rationalization. It would be so easy, it is so easy to do so, and yet, it doesn't get us anywhere. The reality is that there have been down times, though very few and we would prefer to ignore them or forget them and hope for a better tomorrow. The reality is that we're halfway through a bad season which is only going to get harder from here. All of our beloved streaks are likely going to fall by the wayside this year, and we must deal with that, because it is the reality we are facing. Right now, all we are left with is hope, but not even hope for this season, hope for next year and for the future. For the first time in a long time, Michigan fans are going to need to be patient, and that's not an easy task, considering how good Michigan State looks and how we had such high (if unfounded) hopes for this year. It will come, and good things will emerge. Running on momentum for forty years is like running down hill with a snowball chasing you, you better stay ahead of it, but remember that the longer you run, the bigger it's going to be when it finally catches you.

"Everything Zen"

Try to see it once my way
Everything zen
Everything zen
I don't think so

There is much discontent in the realm of Michigan fandom, and I'm just one guy trying to figure out how I feel about this. I'm going to try and get through by looking for hope for the future in the wreckage of now. How each of you deals is up to you, but I ask you this. Weather the storm. Be what we have always wanted to think we've been, fans through it all. We know Michigan fans can handle the thick, and now we're being asked to handle thinner than we thought was thin in the past. Deal as you see fit, but fight the good fight.

1 comment:

WhiteSpeedReceiver said...

It gets better. Trust me. It gets a lot better. Sirius 24 does help, though. So does hockey.