Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chilly Con Carnage

I borrowed the title of this post from the Detroit newspaper - I thought it was very, very clever - and it's hard to find anything else good about today's game.

First of all, it rained steadily in southern Michigan from the time we passed through Lansing on Friday until late Saturday night. It was a relentless drizzle - cold, cold, cold and very damp. We thought we were well prepared to sit out in the Stadium and enjoy the game - we had layers and layers, warm sox, rain jackets, a blanket, hats, and ponchos. We were soaked way before the game started. Most of the friends who sit around us did not come to the game, and they were the smart ones. We sat there and just got drenched. The rain would turn to snow, and then alternate for the rest of the afternoon.

I was shivering by half time, and really couldn't even take pleasure in the fantastic halftime show. I don't know how those band kids do it - I think it's Youth!

The bottom line is, we were cold, wet, shivering, and losing - not a fun combo.

Ask me what I think of Coach Rodriguez. I think he's a real record-breaker. After 129 years of the University of Michigan football program, today is the day we clinched eight (8) losses in a single season for the first time ever. This new coach has broken several records in his brief tenure.

l. Historical first 8 loss season in 129 years of Michigan football;

2. First loss ever to a MAC school - (and Toledo is only a mediocre MAC school);

3. First loss to Penn State in 12 years. Michigan had won the last 9 consecutive games until this year. The last time Penn State beat Michigan was in 1996;

4. Not going to a Bowl game for the first time in over 30 years (we'll have to watch the 2007 Capital One Bowl game against Florida over and over again);

5. First season with no winning streak - not even two in a row;

6. First time a Michigan coach blames the team for everything.

There are probably more I could add to that list, but just thinking about the whole season is more disheartening than I have the heart for. One of Dick's favorite sayings is "...from the penthouse to the outhouse." That is the 2008 football season in a nutshell.

This coach's remarks are also a disappointment. He began the season by calling the Michigan players "soft". After all of this year's losses, his remarks usually contain a noun, a verb, and "execution" (to paraphrase Joe Biden). In the article about this Northwestern game, he said that the players played and competed - well no kidding. That's like saying that they were breathing and their blood was circulating. Inspirational he is not. Motivational he is not. Effective he is not.

He also said that he appreciated so many people coming to the game in such bad weather. What did he expect? I don't understand his attitude, his program, his performance, or his expectations. I know what I expect from the Michigan football program, and this isn't it.

U-M Drops Rain-Soaked Affair to Northwestern on Senior Day
November 15, 2008
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Michigan Stadium)
Score: Northwestern 21, Michigan 14
Records: U-M (3-8, 2-5 Big Ten), Northwestern (8-3, 4-3 Big Ten)
Attendance: 107,856
Next U-M Game: Saturday, Nov. 22 -- at Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio), Noon

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan football team played three solid quarters of football, holding Northwestern to 80 yards of offense in the first half and building a 14-7 lead, but Wildcat quarterback C.J. Bacher threw for 146 yards and two touchdowns in the third quarter to seal U-M's fate in a 21-14 loss Saturday (Nov. 15) at Michigan Stadium.

Our weekend stay at Snider's was fabulous. Their home is so comfortable, and we just feel like family when we're there.

Jan and I doing a game post-mortem in their newly redecorated kitchen! (As if Jan really cared)!

We had a great time. The food is good, the gas log is warm (ooooh that felt good!), the hospitality is awesome, and the conversation is interesting and fun.

They're heading to California for Thanksgiving at Hank's, and then they'll come back to Michigan to have Christmas with their kids in Canton. We'll all be in California in January for Adam's Bar Mitzvah.

Here's our new Toyota Rav4 in Bill's driveway. I'm always miffed when we pull up behind Jan's car because her license plate holder says "My grandkids are cuter than your grandkids"! Such nerve!