Friday, September 9, 2011


The tunnel is dark and this is all too strange. You know those moments where you're sitting around, doing nothing or doing something (it doesn't matter), and you kind of look around and forget where you are? A dull roar from beyond the tunnel can be heard now. You forget what certain words are, but not really forget so much as their meanings become unhinged from the general fabric of your understanding. Touchdown, when said aloud, is awkward and foreign and devoid of meaning. A touchdown is an action which results in six points for the scoring team; these are the rules, the rules people made up. They're arbitrary, and if the game of football didn't exist, or if the term itself was used for some entirely different game created in some alternate universe, then what does it mean, anyway? Basically what I'm saying is that this feels out of this world, that I'm walking down this tunnel right here and right now but I'm only half there, a shadow in front of the real thing. I don't know if I've ever wanted to play more than I do right now.

The air is cool but pregnant with expectation. Have you ever had a small city of people, all congregated in one place like a mob or a parade or a rally--only this might be more radical and the circumstances more dire--waiting for your first move to erupt, elated and happy or emptily disappointed? Have you? Maybe you have, but even you'd have to admit that this is different. The sounds grow, and the closer we get the more distinct noises can be heard among the long flat-lining monotone roar from out there. Nobody's been in this place like this at this time before. Will I still be fast? I hope so.

We're getting closer and closer to the lighted dark and the feeling that I've done my best work grows, that maybe my best has already been done and that there's nowhere to go but down. You can't know how that feels like. It's not so much the pressure of the situation that bugs me, it's the possibility of it, of being less than I was, of failing when I had not only succeeded but triumphed completely and without question. I guess that's a sort of failure, though. Actually, the more that I think of it, that probably is the very definition of it. I wonder if people truly understand my situation. I run from defenders that try to break me, but my the expectations are more inescapable than any linebacker. What is Manti Te'o compared to the burden of reputation? The first time you do anything good, it's a mistake and a blessing. That's what I think about. That's what I'm thinking about right now. I have to keep things new, I have to build and build and build and don't they know that you can only build things so high? The roar is loud, near, and an answer to the question. 

Michigan Rushing
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 I don't have great memories of the night. I wouldn't say that I'm scared, but I can't say that I don't prefer the light. But I guess sometimes you have to give things a try. After all, they gave me one, didn't they?

I walked out, closer and closer to the end of the tunnel. Everything began to build now, and even if I wanted to turned around I don't think I could. Not that I wanted to, but man. Just take a look at that. 

The crowd is loud and expectant and this is all entirely new and maybe even a little bizarre. The artificial light hit the helmets near the front and spun off in vertiginous balls of light like little bright urchins. I'm not really nervous but you could say that I'm anxious; the fact that I can tell the difference between the two should tell you that I've had some time to think about this and that I actually am nervous.

Oh man -- football is football. It’s Saturday, and everybody wants to play. It’s a big game, and everybody should be ready to play. It’s the University of Michigan, and that’s what we came here for, is to play in the big games.”

B. Herron's standing next to me and he asks "You alright?" I look at him and laugh. 

When I was ever wrong? It's time to give them what they want. 

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