Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Sermon on Thanksgiving

Oh, Hi Denard!

Though problems persist, turmoil has vanished. 
Though the memories linger, the wounds have healed. 
Though the clouds hover, the storm has passed. 
Joy has returned. 

I missed you.  I missed you more than I realized.  I missed this feeling.  I cannot even remember the last time I had it.  Complete, unadultered joy.  No questions, no fear, no complaints, just joy.  I wanted to say the 2007 Notre Dame game, but that was actually coming off of the heels of arguably the darkest darkness, so instead I'll drop back to 2006 when Michigan destroyed a #2 Notre Dame team in South Bend 47-21.  The difference today is we know better.  In 2005, we thought 7-5 was "the year of infinite pain" (and even that year had…"Henne…Fires to the end zone…TOUCHDOWN Manningham, Michigan wins!") It's different and it's better.  We've been down in the hole, and now, here we are, all of the sudden, looking at the possibility that this team could be headed to a BCS bowl.  Just one more obstacle remains.  The most important of all obstacles.  The Game.

And since I proved last week I am not above using the hoariest of cliches, allow me to now list what I am thankful for with regard to Michigan football:
  • Greg Mattison and his understanding of blitz schemes.
  • Brady Hoke and his understanding of the rivalries and his willingness to go for the throat.
  • Al Borges and his realization that he had Denard Robinson at quarterback.
  • Denard Robinson for being so easy to appreciate as both an athlete and as a person.
  • Fitz Toussaint for the way he's making the second and third cut.
  • Tay Odoms for sticking with it, even when reason and logic would have forgiven him otherwise.
  • Rich Rodriguez for the athletes he brought to Ann Arbor during his three seasons here.
  • Jordan Kovacs for doing the things that a former walk-on can do with commitment and effort.
  • David Brandon for creating the future*
  • The Michigan Marching Band for the weeks when they are not doing fanservice to the student section.
  • DTE Energy for making lemonade out of lemons.
  • The student section for getting there mostly on time and for being an auditory play clock for the team when they were heading southbound in the first quarter.
  • Nebraska fans for being classy and passionate without being jerks.
  • Jon Falk for being Jon Falk
  • The Michigan Daily sports reporters for killing it.  Every. Single. Week.
  • The awesome people in my well curated MGoTweet feed.
  • Brian Cook for saying better what most of us are thinking.
  • Geoff for, five years ago, giving me a place to say all of this that was on my mind, and for having a killer tailgate.
  • Jeremy, for doing awesomely underrated stuff on here.
  • David, for being the rookie of the year for his awesome contributions here.
So go, eat some turkey, enjoy some great games on Thursday and Friday, and then remember that Saturday, at noon, in front of the largest crowd watching a football game anywhere in America that day, only two words matter.  Two words only.

Beat Ohio.

*-No, I'm really not thankful for everything that has been done to create the future.  I just worry if I don't say it, it looks like I am ungrateful for those future creations which I do enjoy.

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