Wednesday, October 15, 2008

WTI: RickRolled

Craig:  Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Whatever This Is. I'm Craig Barker, and I am holding myself together way better than a majority of our brethren...
Geoff:  I feel like I'm making progress. My therapist says I'm doing well.
Craig:  Did you get your shoelaces back yet?
Jeremy:  I don't want anyone to die or be fired, and judging from everyone else around me in the stands, I feel like I'm in the minority there.
Geoff:  There's a clear difference between being unhappy with the present and not believing in the future.
Craig:  Exactly. I'm not thrilled about now, but I can accept that this is the reality and wishing it better doesn't make it so.
Craig:  All right, let's talk about the Rockets' Blue Glare. Hats off to Toledo, they beat Michigan by making the most of their opportunities, a wee bit of luck (how does that bounce in?) and some just plain awful from Michigan.
Geoff:  It was awful to see the defense picked apart on those little 6-yard routes.
Craig:  And yet, you're right, it was, but it was a defense that only allowed two (ok three) field goals. If your defense allows six points, short of actually scoring the ball themselves, what more can they do?
Geoff:  I would've been fine with that output if we could've forced Toledo off the field earlier on their final drive or if I'd seen some better adaptation of the game plan. Example: Toledo kept showing us a formation with two receivers split wide in a sort of stack. Six times they deployed that formation, six times it was a run, and (if I'm not mistaken) it led to 5- and 8-yard gains late in the fourth quarter. The first time I saw it, I called "run". If *I* can see that, why can't we stop it?
Jeremy:  But among those two camps, I'm in the "but 350 yards and 20 catches" camp. That coverage was pillowy soft. We're now deathly afraid to give up the big play, since we saw how that worked vs Illinois
Craig:  So basically it's either gaping stab wound, or death by a million cuts?
Jeremy:  Yep. Lose like it's 2005 or lose like you're playing Illinois
Craig:  I was killed by the five penalties, three idiotic personal fouls and two holds. Those things are just glaring execution errors. I can see where people can use that as evidence of RR doesn't have that team in line yet. I could also see it as frustration
Craig:  And, let's face it, I am not sure Toledo's receivers did not have jetpacks on during that game. Seriously, did people see how they skied for some of those balls?
Jeremy:  How come their Tacopants helps them out?
Craig:  They clapped harder for him to come to life than we did
Geoff:  A lot of good teams also take a lot of penalties, but the problem here is that our offense is so poor that a holding penalty is an absolute drive-killer.

At least the band won halftime.
Craig:  I thought the band sounded really good this week. And this doesn't even count the RickRoll.
Geoff:  Jeremy, like you said: You called it.
Jeremy:  I was delighted. I'm sure 80% of the people there had no idea what happened, but those who did loved it.
Craig:  It took me about three seconds to realize that wait, that's Rick Astley's music!
Geoff:  The show itself was a good one. I liked the "Paralyzer" arrangement the best.
Jeremy:  The drill was good too. I saw lots of rotating blocks, which are difficult to maintain and preserve as they move.
Craig:  I thought it was fantastic. I will say, I thought that Toledo sounded solid. There was a Buddy Rich joke I had, but it only works if you know about his legendary rants.
Jeremy:  Toledo's band announcer was exceedingly polite, as if begging for our sympathy.
Craig:  Well gentlemen, we do this every year, the half way post-mortem.
Jeremy:  Their incessant stands cheer sounded like "Buckeye Battle Cry" from a distance. With all the annoying repetition of USC's Fight Dirge (oh yeaaaahhhh!).
Craig:  Where are we now and where do we see us in six weeks.
Geoff:  We suck, we will continue to suck. We might beat MSU on a "Sparty, no!", but I don't expect it.
Jeremy:  We didn't expect it in 2004, 2005, or 2007 either.
Geoff:  I think we have a shot at scratching out a couple of victories, but Toledo was the must-win to keep the bowl streak alive.
Craig:  I moved from "this is not a very good team" to "this is a bad team" this week. Right now, I just want to get out of the season relatively injury free and with two more wins, just so we have four. Anything after that is gravy.
Jeremy:  I'm reduced to banking on Spartan Collapse to save face. And I'm sure that, come OSU week, I'll talk myself into thinking we stand a chance.
Craig:  I still believe the Curse of Eddie Brown may save us yet.
Jeremy:  For example: all their wins have come on blocked punts and punt return TDs, and since the Space Emperor is far and away the best player on the team, we'll be fine.
Craig:  Wow, that is epic rationalization. Tremendous work there.
Geoff:  Unfortunately, it looks like the streak against Penn State is on life support. (Streak: "I'm not dead!" John Cleese: "Well, it will be soon, it's very ill.")
Craig:  But it has been an amazing run. 9 straight wins, 11 years without losing to Penn State. It's nigh unfathomable, really.
Craig:  So let me ask you this gentlemen: What was your favorite win in the streak, and why?
Geoff:  There are a couple ones that are neck and neck for me, but I have to go with the epic Judgment Night victory from '97.
Craig:  That was Dave's (my college roommate and friend of the blog) choice as well. He claims that is his favorite Michigan road win of all time.
Geoff:  To go on the road to the #3 team in the country and just bludgeon them like that, it's beautiful.
Jeremy:  2002 was special, as it was the first OT game in Michigan Stadium...
Craig:  2002 was my vote, but I am biased because I got to hang in the Regents' box that game
Jeremy:  I'd have to say 2005. It meant so much for our season at that point (avoiding 3-3), and it salvaged a glimmer of hope in my otherwise dismal senior year in the band.
Craig:  2005 of course is the legend of The New Math 86=1 and handing Penn State its only loss during that year. And yes, it did salvage the Year of Infinite Pain, didn't it.
Craig:  2002 and 2005 also share the "in the gloaming" aspect, where the win comes when it's dark, making it somehow more memorable.
Geoff:  2005 was my #2. It doesn't lead to glory, but on its own it's an awesome game to behold.
Jeremy:  Plus in terms of pure schadenfreude, it was an incredible toe-stubbing on PSU's part. All they had to do was one of these two things: Don't kick to Steve Breaston, or stop the worst Michigan team in 20 years from scoring a TD on the last play of the game.
Craig:  I actually have a soft place in my heart for 2007, which I call the Mutated Sea Bass Game.
Jeremy:  The game was a hard-fought defensive struggle in the first half and a shootout in the second.
Craig:  Because it got us back to .500, we realized that we still had a chance at the Big Ten championship, and it was a return to normalcy after The Horror and Oregon.
Geoff:  The 2006 Quarterback Massacre was also special, especially coming on the heels of the Ordonez walk-off to send the Tigers to the World Series.
Jeremy:  The "let's go Tigers" chant was almost as fun as singing the Victors on the concourse of their stadium that night.
Craig:  And Michigan staving off a five-goal Connecticut rally to beat the Huskies at Yost (Last time I ever buy fall hockey tickets for a road game night with the new ABC Saturday Night Football in place).
Jeremy:  Also:
Craig:  It's been just amazing, truly amazing run, one I am going to miss when it is gone.
Geoff:  It's been great while it's lasted.
Jeremy:  I wonder if the students will rush the field if they win.
Geoff:  That would be sad. For them.
Jeremy:  it would be validation that we mean that much to them.
Craig:  I really wanted the T-Shirt that said "We Are....Ten Straight". But, it was not meant to be, which is probably for the best.
Geoff:  Anyway, thanks for tuning in, everyone.
Craig:  And please, remain calm, remain rational, and know that the present does not guarantee the future.
Craig:  We'll be here through it all, we hope that you can make it back next week.
Jeremy:  Keep cheering, and to quote Mr. Arnold in Jurassic Park: Hold on to your butts.
Jeremy:  Go Blue.
Geoff:  Go Blue.
Craig:  Go Blue.

1 comment:

SyracuseWolvrine said...

yes, but which is more annoying? Toledo's incessant stands cheer, or the Michigan Tech "penalty" song? (you know, the one they play through the whole penalty ... dada dada da duh duh duh dada dada da duh duh duh)