When asked this past week by international students about our football opponent’s, um, ‘good’ness, my typical response was this:
“We always play an easy team the first game of the year. It warms us up for the next few games.”
On Saturday afternoon, I stood next to a fellow Michigan alum, a lifelong Michigan fan, and a classmate that had questions ranging from points allowed for a field goal to “what the yellow flag means”. I was happy to answer each one as best as I could, but my mind was plagued by the airhorn of disbelief: “We’re losing to WHO??!?”
Something I imagine most of my classmates will grasp in the next two years is that Michigan fans are fiercely loyal. And why not? In the age of Ivy Leagues and huge endowments and Hahhhhvahds, our public school stature is sometimes overlooked…hell, I overlooked it when applying as an undergrad (safe-ty sch-ool [clap clap clapclapclap]).
In the midst of that, sports is our outlet, and Michigan has a heaping pile of good ones. So to see our beloved Maize and Blue fall to…App-uh-lach-in’ State (AAAAAAH!!!)…it’s like daggers to the heart.
And the campus reflects that. In fact, I was somewhat frustrated that Rick’s was still hopping, The Bus went on its merry way, and all seems normal here in Ann Arbor. I almost – almost – wanted to see the whole campus shut down in mourning for our humiliating loss. After all, we’re fans. We live and die with the team, and perhaps we should mourn with them as well.
As for me, the honeymoon’s over, and it’s time to be a college student again. Four classes of homework await.