Sunday, September 07, 2014

End Game

Khalid Hill has a great barber.
Khalid Hill has a great barber.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
I loved the shutout streak.  Drew Hallett and I bonded on Twitter over tracking it.  It was the last thread that connected most of my life of Michigan football, from Bo to Mo to Lloyd to Rich Rod to Hoke.  Michigan may not always win, but dammit, they at least scored points.

When Wile missed the second field goal, I started to worry about the streak.  Slowly, but surely, other people on Twitter began to realize that the streak was in jeopardy!  So when Michigan went four it on fourth down and was stopped, that was it.  The streak, 365 games, nearly 30 years old, was over.  Notre Dame had just stomped Michigan 31-0 and all I could think about was the streak ending.  I was ready to be wistful about the end of the Michigan / Notre Dame series, about how I had hazy memories of Rocket Ismail ruining my day in 1989, about Desmond, about Remy, about the 97 defense, about 09-10-11 and the era of miracles, and Under the Lights.  But with the Streak ending, it's like the fall of a symbolic era, looking shambolic and lost when faced with a talented team.

Part of that was because today felt all too familiar.  As the storms began to pop up on radar Friday night, I thought about Devin Gardner.  I read John U. Bacon's Wall Street Journal piece about Gardner last night while waiting for pizza and my thought was "Man, I hope Devin Gardner doesn't become John Navarre 2.0"  But after last night's performance, it's going to be clear that Gardner will be a lightning rod for criticism of this team.  He probably deserves some of the criticism, but not all of it.  But he's the quarterback, he's wearing Tom Harmon's 98, he's going to get the scorching hot takes launched upon him.

I really don't have anything else here.  I'm tired, I'm sad, I'm frustrated, and I'm hoping against hope.  Maybe when you don't have anything else to say, you just stop talking.  So until next week, we'll just try to move forward together.  We fight for better days.

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