Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Michigan To Play Thursday Night Game Sign of the Apocalypse

ANN ARBOR, MI--In a release sent out earlier today, it was announced that Michigan would be playing a Thursday night game (HT: MGoBlog*) for the first time in its long and storied history. The Wolverines will travel to Utah to take on the Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium, a rare weekday darby for a program that prides itself on tradition and honor and noon kickoffs. This is a sign of the imminent Apocalypse, to be sure.

Michigan has in fact played weekday games before, most memorably a Friday night contest in 2003 against Minnesota in the Metrodome. However, playing on Thursday has never been done by a Wolverine football team. Naturally, concerns abound as a result of this controversial move.

Given the Michigan fan base's voracious appetite for the traditional, we went out into the field to do some crowd sourcing, asking Michigan fans the most obvious and salient questions: is this the straw that broke the Universe's back? Is it officially time to lose all hope? Will it be possible to complain about Dave Brandon in a world which no longer exists? Will Michigan fans be able to continue a carefully nurtured brand of lifelong sanctimony in what could quite possibly be a lawless and anarchistic post-apocalyptic society? In light of this news, these are the important questions of our time.

"This is simply the worst possible outcome. Murphy's Law indeed, ha!" said Winston Tweedington, 52, a wealthy Michigan alumnus and man of great importance. However, Tweedington's tone instantaneously shifted from playful to somber. "It's a slippery slope, to be sure. Next we will find ourselves side by side with the medicore hoi polloi," Tweeington muttered with undisguised disgust. "The...Mid-American Conference. Bah!"

Tweedington picked up steam. "First it's Thursday night games, and next thing you know...that's right, my journalistic fellow. We'll begin to admit athletes solely on the basis of their athletic exploits as opposed to the strength of their body of work on the gridiron of scholastic pursuit! I worry whether or not Michigan will find itself out of place with its similarly-minded peers: the Ivy League, Northwestern, Stanford, Vanderbilt, and so forth," Tweedington said, with no hint of irony to be found in his tone as he languidly held a glass of scotch and played with the lapel of his smoking jacket with a carelessness that verged on noble apathy.

Based on our brief interview, Tweedington seemed to be tragically resigned to a fate that was, in his mind, beneath him; however, we here at the Generic Horrible News Network often marvel at the vast spectrum and the many different manifestations of fandom that can be found at a football institution like Michigan.

John Smith, 44, of Eight Point Buck, Michigan had his own concerns about this development. "Football on a Thursday?" Smith asked. "Heck, that's no good for me. The folks walkin' into Walmart ain't gonna greet themselves, you know? Man's gotta work," he said, wiping a fleck of Costco hot dog from his $3 shirt that he purchased in 1984. Adjusting for inflation, this shirt was worth approximately 92 cents when purchased, which Smith proudly admitted to paying for with a sack of pennies and expired Big Boy gift certificates.

"I didn't go to Michigan, but hey, football's football, right? I don't need some fancy Wall Street guy to tell me when to watch. All I know is, I'll be parked on that couch over there at noon that Saturday, telling everybody in the house not to breathe for three hours...on account of the reception on those rabbit ears getting all sorts of messed up," Smith explained. Whereas Tweedington saw this as a grave setback, Smith appeared to take the news with a charmingly folksy resolve. Nothing would stop him from watching the game on Saturday, even if it meant not watching the game at all.

Variety is the spice of life, they say, and there is certainly no shortage of variety with respect to this Hungarian Wax Pepper of an issue.

In order to hit the youth demographic, we also spoke with several current Michigan students. An LSA sophomore, who asked to be referred to simply as "The Chad," had his own unique take on this new territory for Michigan football. "Thursday? THIS THURSDAY?? BRO. Something's going down and nobody told me? Check this, I'm about to send the illest angry email to the house listserv bro," said The Chad, plainly upset that no one had told him anything. The Chad pulled out a laptop emblazoned with the symbols of youth culture: stickers "repping"--as they say--Entourage, obscure unlistenable house music, and a context-less quote from The Boondock Saints. 

Upon informing The Chad that nothing out of the ordinary was in fact going down this Thursday, and that the Thursday in question centered around a football game taking place in 2015, The Chad remarked, "Football? Is that that thing that comes after the drinking?"

We also spoke with a junior majoring in engineering student who was surprisingly ecstatic upon hearing this news: "Great, now I don't have to set aside time for watching football. All that time spent in the Big House or at road games on Saturdays is just plain inefficient," the remarkably Vitamin D-deficient junior explained matter-of-factly. After a few moments, the student went on to ask, "Wait. What's football?"

Finally, we took the liberty of entering a crowded lecture hall--assembled for the esteemed Linda Gregerson's "Shakespeare's Principal Plays" course--and asking several students for their thoughts. We approached one student, near the back of the cavernous East Hall lecture room, who seemed half asleep and had his laptop open to a blank Microsoft Word document. The black progress marker flicked in and out of existence on the empty page, a startling reminder of the ever constant nature of change, of birth, death, and rebirth.

We not at all disruptively made our way down the row, forcing everyone to stand up--and giving acerbic glares to those who didn't--as we made our way toward the student. We sat down next to him and carefully poked him out of his probably unsatisfying semi-slumber, which caused him to jolt up and  sleepily say "Yeah man Hamlet, sucks for that guy that he stabbed," before trailing off and noticing my presence. "Who are you?" he asked, startled.

I asked, "What do you think about Michigan's schedule Thursday night game against Utah to be played in 2015?" Gregerson noticed all of this and audibly sighed at the podium, continuing with her lecture on the basics of iambic pentamter, Hamlet's existential crisis, and how Shakespeare totally didn't have a team of probably underpaid ghostwriters.

The student, an undeclared LSA freshman, perked up at the question, turning to his laptop and pointing to the website displayed on his browser,""

He began, "Well, on MGoBlog, the best source of news on Michigan sports anywhe--," he said, before we cut him off, took his Mountain Dew, and dumped its contents on his head.

"THATS WHAT YOU GET FOR READING BLOGS, IDIOT. TRADITIONAL MEDIA RIDE OR DIE!"At that point, we were forced to leave, but not until many passive aggressive Shakespeare verses and tawdry pun-based epithets were hurled at us while we were sent on our way.

Unfortunately, Dave Brandon was unable to be reached for comment, as he was at the Anti-Tradition League's annual Anti-Tradition Cosmic Bowling tournament, a philanthropic event whose proceeds go directly to Michigan's burgeoning Advertising and Marketing Budget.**

We were, however, able to reach Terry Schmidt, Brandon's lead marketing guru and assistant to the AD.

"We're really excited about what we've got in store for that Thursday at Utah. Let's just say we've got some pretty revolutionary ideas cooking up there in the ol' noggin', some things that will really get our principal market demograpics goin'," Schmidt said, somewhat ambiguously pointing to the box of pizza on his desk and then to the Michigan jersey on the wall.

We returned to Tweedington to ask if he had any thoughts about what Schmidt had told us. Tweedington sighed dramatically before walking over to the gramophone in the corner of his study and playing his vinyl copy of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata", which was notably scuffed, bearing the telltale markings of overuse.

Some fans are dealing with the news differently than others, but make no mistake about it: whether it triggers the end of the world or not, change is coming. Clear your evenings on Sept. 3, 2015, Michigan fans. You're going to be watching football, whether you like it or not.
*A traditional news outlet HTing a blog...ha! It's almost as if this post is facetious in nature!
**Brought to you by Arby's.

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