The Weekly Report By Tuggy: October 16, 2002

Isn't it a much better workweek following a win? It is especially nice when the win comes in overtime over a quality opponent on a beautiful evening. Excuse me if my weekly homily is a bit verbose but hear me out.

Even though it is still football season it would be remissive of me not to begin by wishing the great John Wooden a happy 92nd birthday. I realize all of you are not basketball people but the wisdom and insights of the "Wizard of Westwood" transcend all human demographics. He is most likely the greatest coach of all time and continues to be a marvelous teacher of life lessons. Mr. Wooden believes sports can teach people a great deal about life and says, "Sports show us so clearly how to work together with others to get the best results. They show that you must think of the group as a whole rather than just of yourself as an individual." It looks like all of us have learned quite a bit in this area as we have put together one hell of a tailgate team. Everyone helps one another eat and drink as much as possible and we are all very unselfish. I think the old coach would be proud of us!

Speaking of teams, I am very confused and concerned about the effect "fantasy teams" are having on our nation. I consider myself to be a rather laid back and easy going fellow but as of late I have been drawn to wish injury upon other humans just to better my "fantasy" status. Even worse I have developed actual hatred for people because of their "fantasy" success and "fantasy" attitudes of superiority. Now we are watching games just to see how our "fantasy" players perform, does anyone else think this is an ingenious marketing plan by the networks to get us to watch more TV? And how about the merchandise it is getting us to purchase, I damn near bought a Deuce McAllister jersey the other day, what is going on with this. I tell you what, men are taking it way too serious, I saw a guy the other day who won his baseball fantasy league and proceeded to post the final standings on his wall much like one would post a college diploma if he had one. We have got to check ourselves. With that being said, Guess who won this week!!!

I know you will all be saddened by this news, Michael Westbrook was inactivated by the Cincinnati Bengals. Too bad we couldn't have inactivated him about 8 years ago, finally we get a slight payback. How about the Spartans, talk about not showing up for a game, it is truly amazing. It seems like the E. Lansing folk were too busy worrying about dropping Coach Izzo from the roof at Midnight Madness instead of winning a football game. Although if the gridiron bunch continues to underachieve, they may be hanging another coach from the roof, and this time it won't be for fun. My suggestion Bobby, start beating somebody. And since execution has come up, how saddening this sniper issue has become. If only innocent victims could be replaced with deserving animals, a good start would obviously be Terrell Owens.

What a grand tailgate event we had this weekend, tons of great food, beverages, and as always, great people to spend a Saturday with, even if the time together did exceed 12 hours. I do want to clear one thing up that I am sure has been bugging the tailgate members that I hold nearest to my heart. You know it is great that some new members were retired to the UMTailgate Hall of Fame, they have definitely put forth an effort of loyalty and support for the team over the years. Let us reflect, what a commitment it is to make such a daring decision as to watch football every Saturday, eat as much food that others prepare for them, and on top of that get all boozed up before and after Michigan games. Wow, what an awesome work ethic these fine men have displayed over the years! I mean come on, what guy in this country wouldn't dream of that schedule, the people whom should be commended are the women who have permitted this behavior to take place. Obviously they have made the greatest sacrifices and have the hardest job I have heard of. They drive, cook, clean, and account for these guys every weekend. I have the utmost respect for all of you and I hope the four gentlemen in question give you extra special thanks and praise real soon, you deserve it. So when I wake up at 7:30 on a Saturday and arrive to see the UMTailgate flag blowing beautifully in the sky, what I see on the flag is not the names of the 4 SOB's that were inducted, but rather to me it reads more like this; Mrs. Dogan, Godmother, Mrs. Captain, and Mrs. Madhatter. You four are the Hall of Famers in my book! And you guys are damn lucky.

Speaking of lucky, we all have hit the jackpot with Frankie's New Red Grill. Pepper cheese filled burgers this week, brats the week before, we are without a doubt moving up to a more advanced level of tailgating. Many props go to The Webmaster and his new portable propane preparer. Speaking of food I am very appreciative of all whom took time to wish me a happy birthday and give me a lovely card, it was very touching. Special thanks to the Godfather whom claims to have prepared and decorated such a daedal cake for me.

How about people making such a to do about Andy Rooney's comments on female sideline reporters at football games. Now I am not too familiar with Rooney but since I am old fashioned I am going to say that I would probably agree with much of his thinking, am I right Steph and Mr. D? But either his Viagra prescription has run out or he likes Lynn Swan's ass because who cares who gives us 20 second updates on pre-scripted topics, as far as I am concerned the hotter the girl the better. I know Swanny was a great receiver and all but right now Melissa Stark seems to be much more valuable to my needs, especially if you have the TV on mute anyway!!

And it is time to begin preparing for this weeks epic battle. As the myrmidons of UM football that we are, we are heading to West Lafayette. It seems that in recent years we have not been faring so well on the Boilermaker campus. Now I personally haven't been to Purdue for these tragic losses but it does appear to be a problem. Could it be that some of the tailgaters whom usually focus on the game at hand are being distracted by, shall we say, visions of sugar plums, the night before?? Lets make sure we get the job done this time fellas.

Finally we have what could be a rivalry rising within the tailgate itself. This Sunday the Lions welcome the Chicago Bears to the new Ford Field. Now us UM fans love the fact that the Ann Arbor West Bears have courted some of our talented stars in the pros but we are Lions fans. We still are proud of the recent heroics the A-Train displayed as he stopped his car and pulled a burning from their car on the Chicago expressway. But he is going to need a lot more strength to stop "Joey Ballgame" and the upstart Lions. Sorry Godfather, Frank and your crew, but I am predicting a big time blow out!

I want to leave you with a little quote that the great pitcher Satchel Paige once used to describe aging players in professional sports. He said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter, if you don't mind then it don't matter.  Now it doesn't really affect me in the area of sport but I have extrapolated this idea into other areas of my life and now I feel much better. May you all have a blessed and enjoyable week!

XOXO, Tugboat J, Draggin you all the way to Purdue.