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So victors we weren’t… November 17, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Nablopomo, sports, Uncategorized.
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Not today anyway. 

The Wolverines let us down this year (again) for the 104th meeting against OSU. And while the fans certainly showed up for the game, staying through a steady, cold rain, the team was physically there—on the field that is, but they didn’t show up mentally or emotionally.  Sure, it was raining, field conditions precarious, the ball slippery—blah, blah, blah…but that doesn’t excuse an 11-point loss to those hairless nuts—the buckeyes.  OSU really didn’t do anything spectacular, except show up. And there was no reason for the loss…except Henne and Carr. I hate to say it, since he’s been our beloved Number 7 since his days as a true freshman. But with his injured shoulder and throwing as poorly as he was today, last-game-of-senior-year or not, Carr should have pulled him out, after the first quarter-full of “Number Seven Incomplete” calls.   The man just could not connect.  By the middle of the third quarter, you could see that the Wolverines hearts’ just weren’t there. But the fans rallied on, many of us defying common sense to get in out of the rain and staying on through the bitter end.  So with a 14–3 win for OSU, they get to claim bragging rights for this year’s Big Ten title, even if we do have the better record in the history of the teams’ more than century-old meeting. 

While the clichés are flying and the tag lines for next year’s crop of T-shirts are being made, we will put this season to bed (and bury this last game) and hope for true victors and champions to return to the big ten gridiron next fall.  In the meantime, we’ll focus on Wolverine hockey.  Go Blue! 

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Copyright © 2007 Erika-Marie S. Geiss

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A Rivalry that Gets Into Your Blood November 7, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Nablopomo, sports, Uncategorized.
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Hail to the Victors, Valiant
Hail to the Conquering Heroes

Tonight my husband and I attended the reception and Michigan preview of Emmy-award winning George Roy’s HBO Sports documentary Michigan versus Ohio State: The Rivalry, at the Michigan Theater. The film premieres on HBO Tuesday, November 13 at 10:30 p.m. EST.  Among noble company (we sat near the late Bo Schembechler’s family during the screening), former players and coaches and others involved in making the film, for an hour we watched a tribute to what can only be called the greatest rivalry in sports history. If you’re wondering how we ended up there, it’s because my husband (UMich BSEE ’92, MBA ’00) is also in the film.  (He has 14 minutes left, according to Andy Warhol.) The film was excellent (and not just because my husband is in it), a fine work of documentary craftsmanship that got to the history and the heart and soul of a rivalry that gets in the blood.

Hail! Hail, to Michigan
The Leaders and Best…

There is something about Michigan football. An alumna “by injection,” I have caught the sickness. Our toddler knows the fight song and chimes in on every “Hail!” raising his right hand accordingly. The Wolverines are my adopted team, as my alma mater didn’t have a football team. (I know; it’s perilous.) Watching Michigan football gets into your blood, your skin…it is…enveloping.  And the rivalry itself is deeper than any other, no other rivalry can touch it…not even those of the Crimson v. Bulldogs or Army v. Navy can.  Roy captures this essence in the film…showing how for both teams and fans alike, regardless of the rest of the season, it’s all about one, specific game on the third Saturday in November, the last game of the Michigan and Ohio State seasons.

So, decked in our maize and blue, on Tuesday, we’ll be watching the film again, but on the small screen instead of the silver screen. And next Saturday, we, along with thousands of other faithful Wolverine fans will be wearing maize chanting “go blue!” while watching yet another chapter in a century-old football rivalry legacy, and singing loudly:

Hail to the Victors, Valiant
Hail to the Conquering Heroes
Hail! Hail to Michigan
The Champions of the West!