Monday, August 11, 2014

It's Getting Closer!

It seems that my blog notices alert everyone to the fact that as Football Season gets closer, the end of summer is also approaching, and this year, it seems to be approaching WAY TO FAST!

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that winter lasted SO LONG and spring was so utterly lousy in Michigan that once summer got here, it was like, “Whew….”  But now, it’s almost over and we hate to think about another 9 months of what it seems like we just went through…
Never the less, time slowly marches on and it got me to thinking a little bit nostalgically about the number of Michigan games I’ve attended (I have no clue and I’m not about to try to add it up today…maybe another time) and of the ones I’ve attended, which are the most memorable and why…So, why not an “MMQ Top 10 Game Memories!”

1.     1997 Michigan vs. ohio:  Yeah, this has to be number 1.  From the tailgate pre-game to the tailgate post game and everything in between, it was an incredible game and full of memories.  It was a chilly day in November and late in the summer of ‘97, my wife had promised her oldest brother her ticket to The Game.  Little did she know that Michigan would be playing for an undefeated season.  Needless to say, I remember a lot of details about that game including the “call” by said brother in law prior to the punt when Woodson returned it for the TD.  My wife and a bunch of her friends then showed up in the stadium and had somehow canoodled their way past security and got to our seats in time for the final seconds in 4th quarter countdown.  I’m not going to say how many fifths of Big Game were consumed that day by the Tailgate Crowd post game, but it was more than 1 and less than a case…Yep, great memories…

2.    2011 Michigan vs. ohio:  First Michigan –ohio game attended by my oldest daughter and they won!  That has to be up there and will always be one that stands out.  And this photo is pretty cool, too, taken in the aftermath of the victory…

3.    1979 Northwestern:  Why?  This was my first game in the Big House.  Chris K’s old man had 4 tickets and asked me to go.  I jumped at the opportunity and I don’t know if there’s any way to describe walking through the section gate into what appears to be a much smaller structure from the outside (well, it used to look smaller!) and getting your first look at the sun-drenched field and 100K+ seats…I won’t say it was like walking into St. Paul’s Cathedral in Rome (because I haven’t done that) but it has to be a similar feeling and one that can’t be replicated and one that I’ve never felt anywhere else in all the stadiums I’ve walked into…Well, maybe the Rose Bowl.  It’s just something that sticks with you for life. 

4.    1983 ohio:  MY first ohio game.  Another high-school buddy’s dad got tickets on the visitor sideline on about the 45 yard line maybe 30 rows up.  Put it this way:  We were the first row behind a sea of red where the visiting fans get several rows of seats behind the visiting team.  We were close enough to throw snowballs at the suckeyes(because it had snowed the night before!) but we refrained, mostly because there were adults present.  The student section did no such thing, and in what can only be described as an early alcohol induced irresponsible act of hate, they started pelting the suckeye band with snowballs!  The announcer of course tried to half heartedly stop the ruckus, but it wasn’t until after all the snow was gone from the student section bleachers did the snowballs finally stop.  Michigan went on to win and beat Art Schlichter and Earl Bruce in a close one…

5.    1984 Miami:  First Game as a student…I remember a crowd from my residence hall and I getting there about an hour and a half early to watch warm-ups and walk around the stadium.  It was a huge game as Miami was the defending National Champ and Michigan had more or less had a so-so season in 1983.  Michigan, led by Jimmy Harbaugh, went on to defeat the Hurricanes in what many considered to be a huge upset…

6.    1984 Sparty:  My First Sparty Game.  This one stands out because I don’t think I ever sat in my assigned seat after the first game as a freshman which was the Miami game, and I had moved down to closer to the action in about row 10, along with some other students I knew.  I remember there had been a pre-game “kill the keg” warm-up in one of the dorm rooms and as students, we were ready for Sparty.  Unfortunately, I remember all too vividly the fumbled ball and Harbaugh going into the pile with his arms stretched out and I remember seeing him taking the hit that would break that arm.  Sparty won the game and we lost Harbuagh for the season…I was devastated.  It was a long season after that…

7.    1985 domers:  My first domer game.  I remember being really nervous pre-game.  It was supposed to be a close game and it was.  Gerry Faust was still the coach and I vaguely remember a call late in the game going against the domers and Faust went nuts.  And of course, the crowd went nuts.  Beating the domers was a great feeling….

8.    2011 domers:  Under the Lights I.  Need I say more?  If there was ever a game in Michigan stadium that had a last two minute back and forth with respect to scoring and an emotional roller coaster ride, I certainly can’t remember it.  Yes, one that I’ll never forget.

9.    2005 sparty:  Wow…I will never forget walking into Michigan stadium at 2:45 or 3:00 ish in 80 degree weather in a jersey/t-shirt combo and shorts.  And then, in what can only be described as a “Typical Michigan Fall Day”, the temperature dropped about 30 -35 degrees as the game entered the 4th quarter. Everyone was feeling it and of course the crowd was sobering up, also.  Down 17 with about 8 minutes left, SOS showed up and Michigan came back to force OT.  Edwards and Henne worked things out and Michigan pre-vailed in the 3rd OT to cap off what has to be the best game of that series.  Eann was freezing by the end of it and I remember walking out of the stadium and feeling a little warmer with each step…but it was a great feeling.

10. 1985 ohio:  My brother came up to Ann Arbor for The Game as I had somehow scored him a ticket.  I was now attending the game with Superfan and Tom H and we again sat down close to the action.  I will never forget the throw from Harbaugh to Kolesar late in the 3rd quarter that resulted in a 77 yard TD where Kolesar ended up right in front of us.  Also, something happened involving a jar of mustard...Yep, that was a good one.

Honorable Mentions:  In no particular order and because as you start to recall games, there are so MANY memories that continue to pop in there:
-Desmond Howard and the pose against ohio in 1991

-Desmond and the Interference against sparty that WAS NOT CALLED in 1990
-Michigan vs. Colorado in 1994…Yeah, I know..But I’ll never forget how quiet that stadium got….

-Illinois in 1999…And if Touchdown Tom Brady had been allowed to play that entire game, Michigan would have won!  I was not a Drew Henson fan…
-Iowa 1997 – Michigan came back and scored 21 unanswered in the 2nd half to win…and there was a pass interference on the last drive that as I remember, was kind of a gift.  Everyone from Ann Arbor owes that ref a beer whenever he’s in town!

Penn State Uniforms Announced
I think everyone knows where the MMQ stands on “Non-Traditional Uniforms” and the money grab that they have become…But if you are unable to infer my true feelings from the multiple statements that I've made in the past…

Lemme ‘Splain:  THEY SUCK!!!
However, for those of you that like this one-off memory that you can buy and say you were there…Here you go.

Judge Rules AGAINST the NCAA

In what was probably the easiest verdict to predict if you were following along, the Federal judge in the O’Bannon  Trial ruled against the NCAA and for the student athletes to own their likeness and rights to anything they do on the court – more or less telling the NCAA “Your business practices are not only illegal, but you’re full of crap, too.”  It goes without saying that this is a bigger deal than the NCAA is letting on, and will forever change how athletes will forever be rewarded for their image should the universities continue to use them.  How much it changes is hard to say.  The NCAA will continue to waste everyone’s time and appeal, of course. 
Can You Say – Trebuchet?
I had a nephew who just turned 6 and it got me to thinking about a good birthday gift.  BB Gun seemed like a bad idea; ditto the Potato Cannon.  I had some left over wood laying around and I said to myself,
"Hey!!!  What kid DOESN’T need a Golf Ball Trebuchet!!!"

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