Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Oh The Places You'll Go

You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

I'm not sure there has ever been a figure that has gone on not to play for Michigan that has, at the same time, impacted Michigan in so many ways. Impacted the fans, the current team, admissions policy, and even future recruiting. The reasons for this far-reaching swath of shake-up are unfortunate and perhaps a little self-serving. However, to those cynics that will say we only care about football, I offer only my own opinion. I am certain that many will find that they share my sentiments.

Demar Dorsey is gone. It is official. He will not be suiting up for the Wolverines this fall. Instead, he will likely return close to home, back to his roots. I can only speculate on what is going through Demar's head right now. He tried to get away from it all, the bad influences and whatever else was holding him back. He could've stuck with Florida, but he made the conscious decision to pack up his life and go to Michigan,a foreign land. He was met with resistance from shadowy entities and arbitrary numbers and reasoning. We'll likely never know exactly why Demar won't be a Wolverine, but all I know is he should be, but won't.

I don't want to get into the politics of this too much. I will say that this should have never happened at all. If Dorsey was never going to be a Wolverine, he should've known this months ago. From a management perspective, the handling of Dorsey's admission to the UofM shows a significant lack of oversight and an absurd disconnect between RR and whoever was in charge of giving the proverbial green light. Any way you look at it, this reflects badly on Michigan. I'm obviously not saying that we should admit anybody simply for the fact that they've got 4.4 speed and uncanny instincts and hitting ability. I admire the fact that in the amateur sports landscape, where mercenaries are treated as legends because they know "what it takes to win." Even if Michigan wants to impose arbitrary academic requirements that exceed the NCAA's (and, for the record, I don't even know by how much said requirements exceed the NCAA's), this is a sad day.

It's easy for us to sit here and put on sad faces because many people's favorite recruit was denied admission. Yes, he would've likely challenged for significant playing time THIS YEAR. At the same time, we brought in a number of talented athletes, especially in the secondary, and, as we all know, no recruit is a "can't miss."

You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.

No, this fiasco is deeper than football. I truly feel sorry for the guy. He's never going to play for my team, and I will likely never meet him or get the chance to talk to him. If I did have the chance, I would tell him that he deserved better. I would tell him that the fact that he thought highly enough of Michigan to pick us will make him a Wolverine in my eyes, despite the fact that he'll be playing in Knoxville or Tallahassee or Baton Rouge. The fact is, this showed that you can't steer yourself in any direction you choose, that trying to change often isn't enough.

In the inchoate stages of Waka Flocka-induced hysteria, we all imagined a warrior poet safety dancing over strewn bodies in the secondary, dealing vicious hits and and making big plays with a golden smile. That, or a lockdown corner reminding us of days past, the type of player that exudes "I dare you" when he lines up across from the opponents star receiver.

All of that seems petty now in light of the current situation. Michigan has directly altered the arc of this man's life, and while I won't go so far as to villify those involved in the decision, I will say that it is unfortunate and downright saddening.
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Every Michigan loss is unique in its ability to create pain. This loss is entirely different from any loss on the field. Perhaps it is selfish of me to say, but I wanted Demar to turn his life around at Michigan. I wanted him to get a Michigan education and a chance to distance himself from his past at Michigan. And, yes, I wanted him to become our first elite safety in many, many years.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.

It's amazing how germane Dr. Seuss's words are right now. As puerile as they may seem, I hope Demar takes them to heart and moves past this injustice he's been dealt. Wherever he ends up, I plan on following his career and rooting him on, pretending that he's wearing the winged helmet. I hope that he creates more memories that he'll never forget, like that day in the auditorium on February 4th.

And will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!

(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Demar, your mountain is waiting.