Wednesday, October 31, 2007

WTI: Spoilers for 300

Geoff: Welcome back, everyone, to another edition of WTI.
Craig: It feels good to be back... Which, I suppose, could be a larger metaphor.
Geoff: So the Minnesota game was kind of weird. We went down 10-0 and then rattled off 34 unanswered points.
Craig: Yes, it was very strange, but in a way, completely expected.
Craig: Two Michigan games have been absolutely textbook this year: Purdue and Notre Dame. Even if Joe Tiller wrote "Tiller RULEZ" into said textbook with Sharpie late in the game.
Geoff: No, Joe Tiller's book says "DIABETUS".
Geoff: Ryan Mallett rained death and destruction on the Gopher secondary, Mario Manningham had a circus catch, Arrington did that thing where he lays out like the second coming of Anthony Carter, and Carlos Brown busted what has to be the longest run from scrimmage Michigan's had in 4 years.
Craig: Carlos' run was, well, electric. Like the thing at midfield at halftime: We don't know where that came from, and we're not sure what it was doing there, but we made noise for it nevertheless.
Geoff: That thing was weird. I assumed it was some sort of sound-level thing, but still.
Craig: But the Minnesota game, while perhaps mildly more dramatic than needed, is another case of the scoreboard lying.
Geoff: It was full of lies, damn lies, and statistics?
Craig: Yes. And one of those lies is that anyone can see Milano let alone tackle him. I swear, we can play 12 on the field if he's out there, the back judge will never spot him.
Craig: Michigan covered, but it gave up 10 points, but it really only gave up three when you look at it.
Geoff: It was really weird. And the score was even closer throughout much of the game.
Geoff: Anyway, we had my favorite pregame of the year last Saturday: The Cake! (Which we will have more on later in the week)
Craig: The Cake was tremendous, and moist, which, while usually a good thing for cake, was not necessarily good for The Cake.
Geoff: The Cake on FieldTurf >>>>> The Cake on muddy turf.
Geoff: Note for those of you playing along at home: By the year 2017, the music now known as the blues will exist only in the classical record department of your local public library and our blues band is led by "Scottie B".
Craig: You know, I can remember when the blues would only be in the local public library by 2006.
Geoff: Yeah. I was excited to be in the stadium when Carl had to change his script. He bumped it up to 2010 last year.
Craig: Indeed. He's buying time!
Craig: But Saturday was all kinds of a crazy double.
Geoff: Right. You headed over to Yost for that hockey game against BU.
Craig: Which, in all of my years, I had never done a double, in part because they try to avoid the double.
Geoff: I've done that before. Definitely after the Iowa game in '04.
Craig: But let me tell you, Yost was ROCKING on Saturday. Best crowd in years.
Geoff: I love it when it gets like that. I was there for the BC game a couple years ago, and that was tremendous.
Craig: Granted, the winning and the post-football buzz and the costumes may have had something to do with it, but it was just fun. And having really gotten my first good long look at this year's team, I find myself...encouraged?
Geoff: I'm jealous you got to see a band director dance.
Craig: Well, it's what happens when you hire mercenaries. And he danced with vigor AND gusto.
Geoff: I feel a lot better now about keeping up the streak of NCAA appearances.
Craig: As do I. It's a young season, a lot of teams are still finding themselves, a lot of teams will improve, but I also think Michigan, while having room to improve, is already playing like a team. And, by Jove!, they shoot! For the love of criminy, they shoot.
Craig: Which removes one of my single biggest frustrations of recent years, a team that seemed to be looking for the perfect shot.
Geoff: I think we need to see more of what Sauer looks like this season, but it's nice to know the cupboard isn't exactly bare on the other end of the ice.
Craig: Yes, I am worried that Sauer will be live up to his nickname of "Sweet and". But if he keeps playing like this, again, he's doing what he needs to do to make sure that Michigan is in the game.
Craig: Tough tests loom. Miami, Notre Dame, Michigan State, and Ohio State, no slouches in that bunch, a lot of tough conference games. But I think this team is going to be a lot of fun to watch.
Geoff: Yeah, the CCHA has some real programs to watch out for.
Craig: And, a note to the student section: Keep up the good work. Saturday night is great proof that you can be clever, loud and proud without being profane. It was a great balance of clever and classy.
Craig: Then again, Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip Yip may not be able to be replicated again ever.
Geoff: That's just taking what the other side gives you.
Craig: Not since Colgate's Whitecotton or the Dirty Hobbit of Lerg was there such relentless torment of a single opposing player.
Geoff: I'm so proud that I was part of the first Dirty Hobbit game.
Craig: And speaking of Dirty Hobbits and what they other side gives us...
Craig: It's Michigan State week ladies and gentlemen!
Craig: Like you needed to be informed...
Craig: I am sure your Sparty colleagues and co-workers have already been puffing the chest a little bit this week, mentioning the Horror and the Beatdown with glee at every opportunity, and trying to use the word "Ringer" like it's Ni!
Geoff: I will, by the way, be taking in the game firsthand.
Craig: Oh, wonderful, meaning that you will have a Big Ten of games this season.
Geoff: Yep. And this is my first Michigan/MSU road game since...2001.
Craig: And sadly, the worst part of the issue is that of the last ten games, the home team has won eight of them. Now, granted, one of those was won in unsanctioned overtime...
Geoff: Kickoff is six years to the *minute* from that travashamockery in 2001.
Craig: Gentlemen, the clock is ticking and as of now, we are keeping score.
Craig: (No one delivers a cautionary instruction quite like Michael Ironside)
Geoff: The Spartans tried to set theirs going, but it got stuck at 00:01.
Craig: You know, if Michael Hart is rested and ready to go, I'd love to see him decide he's going to win the Heisman this week.
Geoff: He's been studying film of Chris Perry from 2003, thinking "I can do that."
Craig: One can only hope. And then someone slipped Donovan Warren the 1997 game film.
Geoff: Our guys are going to be ready to go, I know it. I just hope that our linebackers are up to the task of taking down Ringer and Caulcrick before they get up to speed.
Craig: Well, State abandoned the Communist offense and Michigan knows how to defeat straight up facism!
Craig: "Dantonio, you magnificent bus stop, I read your book!" --Ron English
Geoff: I don't know what to expect from the offense anymore. But I do know that Michigan State will give up some points. 34 to Iowa?
Craig: I expect Henne to be on target and focused. I think, maybe secretly, he loved the praise for the effort against Illinois and he wants to hold on to that feeling, and his focus will be at an exceptionally high level. Beating Michigan State four straight, bookending his first victory against the Spartans with another great day would be a wonderful feather for him.
Geoff: I expect the line to pass-block like he's made of antique porcelain.
Craig: And if Hart's back, that's one more exceptional pass blocker. I wish someone would put together a Jaworski-like breakdown of Mike Hart's exceptional pass blocking.
Geoff: I was re-watching the Purdue game last night and he had some terrific ones to keep Henne clean.
Craig: Also, you know DeBord has some pages in the playbook that are in mint green just for this occasion.
Geoff: That's his M.O.
Craig: The reality is, and Michigan fans know this all too well, anything can happen upon the banks of the Red Cedar, games are closer than they should be and when Sparty has made this their Thermopylae, they will likely be well motivated. What the Spartans forget is that all but one of the 300 died at Thermopylae.
Craig: Bravery and heroism are wonderful things, but, to go back to another Patton reference. "The Spartans are the enemy. Wade into them. Spill their blood. Shoot them in the belly!"
Geoff: Ol' Blood and Guts is a fine way to end this one, I think.
Craig: Agreed. Until another time, my friend. I'm Craig...
Geoff: And I'm keeping a low profile until I get out of there alive.
Craig: That's a good plan, Guy Incognito.
Craig: Or for football's sake, Richie Incognito
Craig: Game on!
Geoff: Go Blue!

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