Friday, September 30, 2011

Who Am I, and Why Do You Care?

For those of you who read Holdin' The Rope on a usual basis (I know there are some of you out there), you may have noticed a new contributor last week and today. I am Mike Taub.

There's Fouad waving on the left and me on the right during the Notre Dame game.

What do I know about football? The University of Michigan? Michigan Football?
I've essentially been a Michigan fan since I was born. I have early memories of crying after Michigan losses in the early 90s. I've been going to games since I was five years old. During my first game, I looked around the enormous stadium, saw the band run out, sang along with The Victors, watched the team touch the banner, and screamed and cheered the entire game. I was hooked.

In the late fall of 2004, my high school football team went to a Michigan practice as they prepared to play Texas in the Rose Bowl. Coach Carr spoke to our team, and I got to meet players like Mike Hart, Chad Henne, and Braylon Edwards. The most important aspect of this trip for me was getting to meet, and have a long conversation with Bo Schembechler. Four or five of us stood in a circle, for what seemed like forever, having a conversation about everything from football to life lessons with the legend. For reasons I will never know (maybe he needed it to keep his balance), Bo grabbed my elbow and just held on to it for most of the time we were talking. Needless to say, this conversation with Bo left my friends and me with a moment to remember.

In 2006, I started applying to colleges. Three weeks after I applied, I got a large envelope from Michigan State University welcoming me to East Lansing. It was nice to be accepted, but I wasn't thrilled, I had my mind set on Michigan. On November 17, 2006, I was on a computer at school, and I clicked over to rather than do my work. On the main page, the article was about Bo passing away. I texted a bunch of my friends (clearly I was paying attention that day), and everyone was shocked. When I arrived home from school that day, there were Maize and Blue balloons on my mailbox. When I entered the house, my mom handed me my acceptance letter to the University of Michigan.

The day I was accepted, Michigan was 11-0 and ranked #2 in the country. The next day, Michigan played Ohio State to see who would go to the National Championship Game. As we know, Michigan lost that game, then lost again in the Rose Bowl to USC. I arrived on campus in August 2007, and I was incredibly excited for my first game in the student section. We were ranked #5, Chad Henne, Mike Hart, and Jake Long were returning seniors, and they were going to make up for the year before and take us to the National Championship. Appalachian State had other ideas. I sat around the 90th Row in Section 33, I was going to have a perfect view of the field goal that would keep us from losing to a FCS opponent. Instead, the kick was blocked, and I didn't even know what to do with myself. I had never seen a Michigan loss in person before. The next week Oregon demolished us. After the game, two of my friends and I just sat in our seats until security told us to leave. We couldn't believe that this had happened. We also thought this must be the worst Michigan would be while we were students. Boy were we wrong...

Of course now that I have graduated and live in Nashville, the Michigan Football Team seems to have an excellent future again. I don't have anyone here to talk about everything that is going on in the world of Michigan Football, so I have resorted to blogging. My writing is nowhere near the level of Fouad's, but I'll try to improve (if only I was an English teacher instead of a Math teacher). I'm always open to suggestion, so tell me what you think, either in comments or on Twitter (@mtaub). Hopefully you will enjoy what I write, because I know I enjoy writing about the Michigan Wolverines.

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