For the second year in a row, Michigan has a finalist for the Chicago Tribune's Silver Football, given annually to the best football player in the Big Ten. Brandon Graham shared the honor last year, Denard Robinson is nominated this season. The article profiling Denard can be found here.
The whole story gives you some wonderful insight into Denard, but this is the money passage:
Robinson also packed snow into a plastic bag for his return flight.Can you, as you read that sentence, hear a slight chuckle and picture Denard smiling about it with that broad smile he has. It's goofy, but you know, he's 19, he's from Florida, and the first time he ever saw snow, it was awesome.
"Melted on the plane," he said.
We who have grown up in Michigan or the colder climes treat snow as a burden to be borne, but to someone who has spent 17 years of their life in Florida where 50 degrees is cold, this white stuff falling from the sky is pure magic. We lose the wonder because we've been there before, but if you've never seen snow, you don't have to drive in it, or plow it, or walk in it, snow is pretty awesome.
And even though it was likely known the snow wouldn't make it home to Florida, that's not the point. The point is that that bag of water even represents the magic of seeing something unlike anything you have ever seen before, something read about, or seen in television commercials, or described to you, but not actually having been in the presence of until now.
Denard's melted bag of snow is a perfect metaphor for my memories of the 2010 season. It was magical when we first saw it, and it melted, like we suspected it would in the end, but the memories that stay with us will be with us for a long time.