Sunday, September 16, 2012


[Editor's note: Hey, it's our 600th post.]
Sea of Helmets
Always a sucker for the sea of helmets. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Ordinary is underrated.  Seriously.  Christianity calls any of its non holiday seasons "Ordinary Time" after all.  But, if we have learned nothing else from our social media revolution, it's that there is a certain beauty and joy in the every day, in the expected, in the run of the mill. That is, as Ann Howard Creel put it, the Magic of Ordinary Days.

I've always felt like part of this has to be that we as people cannot handle constant heightened states of alert.  The part of our brains that recognize danger cannot live constantly "on".  It's part of why soldiers have such a hard time dealing with the silences after a constant barrage of artillery, it's as much physiological as it is psychological.  The combination of adrenaline and situational awareness mean that we end up on edge, we snap too easily, our bodies don't work correctly.  Ordinary is the down time we need to actually be able to function like normal human beings.

Ordinary is not facing the defending national champions.  Ordinary is not facing a triple option attack. Ordinary is not facing one of your long-time rivals in a game under the lights as they celebrate their 125th season of football.

The Funchess and the Fitz get their party on. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
So that is why I am not ever going to complain about a game like yesterday.  They are necessary and they are good for the soul.  Sure, there's very little drama, but haven't we had enough of that already this season. So if yesterday was about seven different guys running the ball and eight different guys making a catch, I'll take it.  If it's about no one getting hurt while winning by 50, I'll take it.  Because we needed a breather.  Doesn't make it a bad day, after all.  I still got a chance to watch Denard do Denard things, an occasion which is sadly dwindling down to fewer and fewer as we progress toward the end of his senior year.  I still got a chance to watch Devin "The" Funchess make a pretty spectacular play to open the scoring, Devin Gardner make an amazing dive to get across the goal line, and Vincent Smith score a couple of touchdowns by doing the Vincent Smith things he has done for such a long time.  Ordinary, perhaps, but if it is, we need to appreciate how hard it was to get back to a point where this is ordinary.

Part of the magic of working on the MVictors' Michigan History Calendar is not just walking down memory lane for the obvious highlights, it's finding those little moments in the hopes that the user will remember them as well.  David Brandon may have committed himself to creating "wow" experiences, but the Magic of Ordinary Days is not about wow.  It's about "neat" or "nifty" or "cool".  For instance, no one would remark on Michigan's 1996 game against Boston College as a "wow" game, it, in fact, was not much of a game.  But it always has stuck in my memory as the moment I earned my first Fandom Endurance III badge, and for the Battle of Britain of marshmallow fights (back in the day when we were allowed to bring things like marshmallows into the stadium.)  So a day like yesterday is going to be important for someone.  It was inevitably someone's first time at Michigan Stadium yesterday, probably a place that they had dreamed of going for their whole life.  And they're going to remember that they got to see Michigan win and that will be all that matters.  Because there is Magic in Ordinary Days, you just have to know how to look for it.

Additional note:
If you missed it yesterday, the Michigan Marching Band had a "Behind the Scenes" with the MMB leading up to their halftime show and it's really worth your time, if just to see the time and effort put in by the MMB members laid bare.

So, get ready, because we're back into the holiday season of college football known as a rivalry week.  No number of awesome puppet based videos can change my opinion on that.

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