Saturday, November 24, 2018

Have You Seen Me Lately?

Like a Renaissance painting, one of the ones of horrible things. (Junfu Han / Detroit Free Press)

"Get away from me
This isn't gonna be easy
But I don't need you
Believe me
You got a piece of me
But it's just a little piece of me
And I don't need anyone
And these days I feel like I'm fading away
Like sometimes when I hear myself on the radio
Have you seen me lately?"
"Have You Seen Me Lately" by Counting Crows from the 1996 album Recovering the Satellites 

I wish I knew how to explain it, but then again, maybe I don't.  The price of knowledge is knowing, and I suspect that when confronted with the actual answer to how this happened, it would not make me any happier, any less confused, any more accepting of what actually happened on this day.  I can get mad at myself for once again allowing hope to creep into my soul, despite knowing well what has happened over the last two decades in this rivalry, but hope dies last.  Hope makes stupid choices because, without it, there wouldn't have been any reason to watch those seasons that are not so long ago.

I have seen suggested that Michigan is unable to get over the hump because the fanbase does not demand more of the players and coaches.  I've been trying to process that for hours.  I don't quite understand how Michigan fans failing to demand more of the players and coaches could lead to this series of results?  Would it be that we have failed to overlook systemic wrongdoing by members of our coaching staff just because they win games?  Would that be demanding more of our coaches?  Because I mean, I could see where one might think that could work.

That's really what bothers me.  As an adult, you can know just how truly unjust the world is, you need only be vaguely conscious to understand that life is not fair, that the good guys usually don't win, and that wrongdoing is rarely punished on a scale appropriate to the crime.  So if sports serve as a microcosm of life, it would only make sense that the same things would happen in the sporting world.  So it made it exceptionally difficult to hear the redemption narrative that Gus Johnson was trying very hard to peddle about Urban Meyer and Ohio State this season, that Meyer's health issues allowed those who wanted to do so to wrap them around the larger issues of Smith's systemic failure as a manager of personnel and present a veneer of "You have to applaud what the Buckeyes have overcome this year."  It was an insult to the spate of injuries Michigan suffered in the second half.

More than anything, it would have been wonderful to change all of the narratives, to make the declining empire notions tossed about seem laughable, but today was not only not that, it was just depressing as all hell.  I know damn well I should not care about this as much as I do, but I also know that this thing is a thread that has provided so many connections and moments of for me and for my family and friends.  It shouldn't matter and yet it does, and it brings me back to where we started today, I wish I knew how to explain it, but then again, maybe I don't.

See you in January.

1 comment:

SF said...

OMG, that game sucked. I'm not convinced there even is a way to understand what the hell happened, unless maybe it was a combination of being more banged up than we thought after last weekend and still distressingly thin on a number of key positions.

I know I shouldn't be, because the Internet is full of dumb, but I'm still a bit surprised at the raft of "we will never win" comments out there. We went 10-2, with both losses on the road to top 10 teams. Of course we all want better, but this would have been a good season for ANY Michigan coach in my lifetime. Three of them arguably never had a better season than this.

And as for our future prospects? Our two big question mark areas from last year, offensive line and quarterback, both seem to be much improved, and with no reason right now to think things won't be even better with the OL next year and things looking fairly good at QB as well, maybe great if Shea stays. Defense might be more of a question mark, but I sure as hell am not going to bet against Don Brown.