I've been dwelling on the High Holy Day that will once again descend upon us this Saturday. I use the word "dwelling," because it captures the bad mood that such reflection has put me in over the course of today.
If you aren't a fan of Michigan or Ohio State, you probably don't see Saturday as anything more than the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
For us, it is a crucial day. A sacred day. A day of Super Bowl proportions. And this particular year couldn't be bigger with pretty much everything on the line: a Big Ten championship, a National Title game appearance, bragging rights.
I myself have had to endure The Most Insufferable Fans in the Land for three years running now. I can't avoid it. I live in their state. I pastor 200 of them or so. They all have my phone number. I can't call off the day after the game.
Michigan is a different team this year, this is true. They're mad about last year's craptastic season and the flak that Carr is getting. And Hart is healthy. Manningham isn't so much, but Hart is. And Henne has improved.
Then those other guys have Zwick...haha, sorry...Smith, who is putting up Heisman numbers and a couple offensive guys and special teams guys who are nuisances.
This is how I console myself: this is the same way I felt before the Michigan-Notre Dame game. Michigan destroyed them (of course, Notre Dame is also overrated). This is also the same way I felt before the Tigers met the Yankees in the playoffs...and then when they met the Athletics in the playoffs. I felt this way when the Tigers played the Cards, too, but we won't talk about that.
It's a huge game this year, probably the biggest it's ever been. Michigan has been defying expectations and bulldozed its way to the number 2 spot.
And now here we are again.
Since I'm writing about it, let me share something that I've been wanting to get off my chest. Buckeye fans love to tell the legend of Woody Hayes, how he ran out of gas in Michigan and pushed his car over the state border rather than get Michigan gas. They think it's the most hilarious thing ever. Let me list all the ways that that legend is a bunch of crap: while he was in Michigan, he ate Michigan food, drank Michigan water, peed in Michigan toilets, breathed Michigan air, walked on Michigan soil, and talked to Michigan residents. Hate to be the one to break it to you, but someone finally had to. Unless, of course, he brought his own Ohio water and then peed in the empty bottle afterwards, wore an oxygen mask, learned how to levitate, and acted like a complete diva to anyone with a Michigan driver's license. Possible, but not probable. There, now you know the truth.
Okay, so anyway, this game is on Saturday. I'm hyped up in a please-don't-make-me-play-sick-make-them-shut-up sort of way.
It's only a game, and if you know what else is going on in my life right now, you know this by far is not the most crucial thing in the world. It isn't for anybody.
But still, it'd be nice to hold my head high after a few years of hurt pride. Maybe after Zwick...dangit...Smith graduates. But I'd prefer it'd be sooner.