The Maize and Blue took to the field on Saturday in their final spring practice of 2004. In a rudimentary scrimmage format, the first-team offense matched up against the first-string defense. Fans that arrived early had the pleasure of watching Sophomore standout Steve Breaston return a couple of kickoffs without getting touched. Matt Gutierrez and Clayton Richard shared time at the helm, reminding Michigan fans what a normal release and a roll-out looked like. Meanwhile Jerome Jackson, Tim Bracken, and David Underwood took turns filling the shoes of NFL prospect Chris Perry.
Noticibely absent from the tailgate were the Hall of Fame tailgaters, but sons, daughters, and friends filled the role in what could only be called a "next-generation" tailgate. The Godfather's daughter (Kelly) presented me with the "Team Leader" award for running the 2004 UMTailgate.com tournament challenge. Goody poured the Captain and cokes, and the Godfather's other daughter (Sarah) unveiled a pile of cheesy potatoes sent by the Godmother. We never missed a beat.
The Final Four, and A Banner That Counts
Yes, they are a week late, but the pictures are now up from our trip to San Antonio for the 2004 Final Four. The UCONN Huskies, much to my delight, disposed of the Duke Blue Devils before annihilating the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets and capturing the title. Just four days earlier, the Michigan Wolverines defeated Rutgers to win the 2004 NIT Championship, and become one of just two teams to end the 2003-4 season with a multi-game winning streak.