September 3, 2005: The old setup. The old spot. Classic Luau tailgate before Michigan knocked off Northern Illinois 33-17 in the home opener. Jason Avant caught 9 Henne passes for 127 yards. Game page with some more great pics from the day is here.
Welcome back everyone. Great tailgate, great atmosphere, great Michigan victory. Recaps and pictures are available on the game page here, or by following the year by year links at the top of the page.
See you next week as we honor Gar with the first ever Gar-themed tailgate!
Looking at these pics was like being caught up in my own personal version of Memento. I just ran to the bathroom to check and see if I had anything written on my chest. And there it was, in black sharpie, written in reverse so that it would be visible in the mirror, it clearly says "Godfather did it" above my right nipple. Also, what is clear to me from the pictures is that while I was no doubt the most inebriated of the crew, there were quite a few other less-than-sober participants in Saturday's tailgate. Oh well, the game page is here, and hopefully some of these will spark some great memories of a great tailgate for you too...GO BLUE!
Humidity sucks. Of all the options in the pantheon of atmospheric events and conditions, I rank humidity dead last. Behind hurricane. Behind blizzard. Behind tornado. I had enough wardrobe changes to facilitate hosting the oscars, manned a grill slinging 63 pounds of hash, 20+ racks of ribs, and a suckling pig. The tv and satellite found a way to work, the music was playing, and all was well. But I forgot two very important things... 1) I did not take care of myself...and 2) I didn't watch the Godfather prepare my drinks. While #2 is just basic sabotage bordering on attempted manslaughter, #1 is all my fault. I didn't eat anything and I drank only alcohol. All done. I crashed not long after noon, wet towel over my head, and the only thing that got me to game #171 of my streak was my wife, who tells me I made quite a scene for those new Freshman arrivals in section 30. Apparently I was teary-eyed as we ran out and touched the banner. I made claims of impending BCS championships in the name of my unborn and un-fertilized son. In short, this was easily the drunkest I have found myself for a home game, and was, in short, the 2007 Rose Bowl without the vomit.
So, about that game? I remember some things. Devin ran one in, right? Oh, he ran two in? Ok. Reynolds made a nice catch on a pretty nice ball. The M defensive front seemed to be about a yard into the backfield on every snap, and the offensive line seemed to push Central's front about two yards downfield on every snap. I somehow don't remember the blocked punt, which is akin to the Indians not being able to see Columbus's ships. It's possible it didn't register because I've never seen it before.
Luckily, there are DVRs and torrents and stuff, and I've been able to watch the replay or at least most of it. Trenches both ways were more than acceptable. Fitz seemed serviceable, and Derrick Green moved up 4 spots on the depth chart for ND with his better than serviceable mop up duty. Devin was no world beater, forced a couple here and there. But he runs so effortlessly it looks freakish. No doubt it would take 3 to 4 Denard paces to cover the distance of one lengthy Devin Gardner stride.
Anyway, we got what we wanted out of it. No fear. No worry. Young guys played. Shane got to throw the ball around. Fun was had. It was an excellent warm-up for the pending nighttime arrival of the BCS National Runner-Up.
Great Luau tailgate, and great to see everybody again. Hey, let's tailgate for 12 hours this Saturday and then go to a football game that ends at midnight. Yes? Yes.
And please, do the one thing you would have never thought you would have to do...remind me to eat.
In my 20 year association with Michigan Football, by far the shortest tenured relationship of the over 30 crowd in our tailgate, I have never been so calm entering a season. (Please don't fact check any previous posts to disprove this sentiment as it's possible I said the same thing last year). But what is so wonderful about 1. not having ridiculous "undefeated" expectations and 2. a general calmness about our team, is that there is an air of confidence that was lacking in previous years. And that confidence is derived from a coaching staff we support, love and have faith in. When was the last time THAT happened?! It's really quite amazing. Even the Moeller and Carr years were riddled with uncertainty about play calling and overall philosophy.
There are paradigms established with the Hoke staff that create a sense of comfort and confidence. From recruiting to game management and coaching. The defense will be good and I vaguely know the players involved. Why am I so confident? Because they were good last year thus they'll be good this year. That's just how it works these days. Offense? Not sure but it will be FUN to watch! What?! Wow! Football is fun? Dare I even suggest entertaining?! Rich Rod had some entertaining moments. And then there were moments of utter catastrophe. This is not dissimilar to Carr, except Carr's fall from grace was his loss of enthusiasm for the game in later years as opposed to utter incompetence in regards to an entire half of a football team! (Well, of course, Carr did start sucking at recruiting and hiring Debord again...Oh no, I feel like I'm slipping into a Carr bashing session...wait, stop...I can't...This is supposed to be a celebration...)
However Hoke is different. And yet...the same. We love him for many of the same qualities that we love Michigan. He embodies the ideas that establish the archaic description of honor we bestow upon our great athletes, for he too is a Michigan Man. But a Michigan Man not just of the past but of the present and future. And the future is oftentimes what was missing around here. So welcome to the present and the future, and may those combinations honor our past in a victory on Saturday and a 10 win season.
With full disclose I am writing the JC CMU preview after reading Tupa's, but I really like how your mind is thinking . A lot of good ideas, however unlike Big Rob over on State, I do know this defense and its got a chance to be not good, but bordering on great. Three deep up front with quality and depth on the back side are unique to all of since long long ago. Although this is a Central preview, I am not going lie, missing two captains on the D is making me weary of next weeks night game. So use this week to study your program and #'s as we are our memories are used to only having to know 11 numbers on D and now we need to data base 30. This is a good problem!! The Offense is an enigma to me.. DG looked very good at times last year but his low release never will be accepted by me as acceptable. No good QB throws like this but then again Inktowns finest does have a "magic" aura about him, so who the F knows? Add that to a really suspect receiving core, who just lost the clear #2 receiver, who was also an unknown, and the passing game looks like Funchess or bust. Now combine that with a certain career ending injury returning as the backfield work horse, how is this going to work? I actually was going to root for Central Saturday but then my rooting interest warned me to "remember App State", so I fled that cause but still wish him well! Blue wins 41-17 but really keep it bland for us in week 1. Pork tailgate is the most exciting thing for most of us Saturday but our expectations will get the Michigan obligatory unrealistic week 1 raise and we all know that isn't good for anybody. Like Tupa I can throughly enjoy a plausible calm of progressive conservatism, a level of rediculousness in recruiting gives extra excitement but when we only win by 6 maybe we realize were still building. So in the end hold your heads high as no other tailgate in America on Saturday will likely be ingesting pork belly hash for breakfast and Piglet for lunch! Its getting close boys, get READY!
No bullshit, I just wrote like 3 solid paragraphs on this game, blasting Sparty and Kirk Ferentz in the process, but it disappeared. Oh well. I already said my peace on the season. For the game, Michigan wins 38-10. So take CMU and the 31.5 points. We aren't showing anybody anything before UTL2...and probably not even then. Let's eat pig.