Monday, July 11, 2011

Tears of Unfathomable Sadness


Yes, things are that great.

So, things are going pretty well these days. As I stewed in silence following the Gator Bowl, I probably would've called you insane if you said we'd have a top five recruiting class, a by and large happy fanbase and the beginnings of an NCAA process that could send OSU's program to sit in the corner and think about what it's done. Like George Costanza gaining employment with the Yankees, it all seems a little miraculous that everything has happened the way that it has. The recruits, the media support, the OSU schadenfreude...what  a difference six months can make. 

Kalis Goes Blue: Recruiting the best in Ohio has always been a zero sum game: our recruiting victories there also double as crippling blows to the overall dominance which the Buckeyes had on the elite talent in the state (a state which, as we have seen, Michigan needs to have a presence in). The commitment of Brobdingnagian lineman Kyle Kalis is another point for Michigan in that department. This is a huge get in and of itself, but getting a former Buckeye commitment is directly taking a probable future starter from them and putting him in our lineup. 

From an on the field perspective, offensive line is somewhat of a crap shoot in certain respects, but he seems to be the real deal. Kalis is enormous and surprisingly quick for a guy his size. Although some scouts seem to hint that a move inside may be in his future, the thought of a 6'5'' 300 pound pulling guard smashing Big Ten linebackers is not exactly a terrible one. In any case, this bring's Hoke's offense one step closer to executing the power play down the road when Denard is gone (a sad thought to be sure) and Michigan will truly ramp up the de-spreadification of the offense. 

Meanwhile, in Columbus: Some people should definitely not have access to computers and the Internet: these are examples of such people. While a part of me is a little hesitant to go digging through old Boren threads for fear of what I might find, I can say with little reservation that this is much, much worse than anything that has ever come from even the worst Michigan fans. How somebody can wish injury on a 17 year old kid is beyond me, and I'd rather not know what path in life led them to be so unabashedly bitter and without perspective. Insert the standard caveat about generalization, but anybody who has been to games in Ann Arbor and Columbus will speak to the differences in each group of fans. Add this to the next edition of the Infinite Jest-sized compendium of "Reasons I'm Glad That I'm A Wolverine and Not a Buckeye."

In The Two Towers, Theoden asks: What can men do against such reckless hate?" Aragorn responds: Ride out with me. Ride out and meet them. Imagining Hoke's recruitment of Kalis along these lines? Awesome. Yes, OSU fans are, of course, orcs. 

Denard...still awesome: Although everybody ate up Mike Hart's canonization of "Little Brother," Denard's humility has been refreshing and has endeared him to Michigan fans in an equal but different manner. Denard, Courtney Avery, and Marvin Robinson participated in a youth football camp over the weekend in Lexington, and all three impressed with what they had to say. When asked about what OSU's 2010 victory in The Game being vacated means, all three produced answers that exuded the maturity we've come to expect from our Wolverines. Denard weighed in:
"C'mon man," said Robinson, grimacing as if someone had told him to tie his shoes. "Who really wants to take a win like that?"
Marvin Robinson:
"We'll definitely take that win," Robinson said, smiling, "but the streak isn't over until we actually get on the field and win the game." 
"We wish the best for those guys," Marvin Robinson said. "They've got great talent on their team. I enjoy playing them; it's a great rivalry. We just hope to keep it how it used to be - a great rivalry, a great game." 
Courtney Avery even offered the Buckeye players some advice:
"You can't control what can happen," Avery said, advising OSU players not to let the slow-turning wheels of NCAA justice serve as a distraction. "If you can't control it, you can't worry about it. Whatever happens is going to happen anyway."
Odds that Buckeye players would respond in the same way if Michigan was in serious NCAA trouble? Slim to none. All of the aforementioned is great but expected (which is, in and of itself, a testament to the level of character that Michigan recruits vis a vis Ohio State). The best part of the entire article:
The Buckeyes in attendance, including quarterback Kenny Guiton, running backs Jordan Hall and Jaamal Berry, and defensive lineman Dalton Britt (a Clear Fork grad), were instructed by Ohio State not to talk to the media in the wake of Friday's decision to pretend the 2010 season never happened.
Further elaboration is unnecessary. 

Wolverine Historian: Back when playing Illinois wasn't a coronary-inducing event.


Breaston being Breaston, Tim Bracken and Alain Kashama sightings, and ESPN Plus...memories. As a Bears fan, I would like to take this opportunity to say that yes, Ron Turner--the 2001 season notwithstanding--was that horrible.

More OSU QB Talk: Johnny at Eleven Warriors says that Braxton Miller "needs to be the starter." I agree. If Miller hasn't developed enough throughout the spring, summer, and fall camp to take the first snap against Akron then the Buckeyes are looking at an offense that might have some trouble moving the ball. Assuming that OSU will get more than a slap to the wrist added to their existing self-punishment, there's really nothing to lose by starting the freshman.

Larry David on Golf: Not really relevant to anything but Larry David talks about his golf game in The New Yorker:

Then it hit me. According to Dr. Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross’s book “On Death and Dying,” Acceptance was the final stage of grief that terminal patients experience before dying, the others being Anger, Denial, Bargaining, and Depression. I was in the final stage! When I started thinking about it, I realized that I’d gone through every one of those stages, but not as a terminal patient . . . as a golfer.
As a fan, I'm pretty certain I went through each of those stages at one point or another throughout the duration of the 2011 Gator Bowl.


                                     (HT: Mike DeSimone)

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