Let me tell y’all a story….
As I sit here this morning hangover and intent on doing NO work, I am painfully reminded of the mid 2000s when my team, a perennial power like yours, was fading. Fading fast.
The parallels are, sadly for you, strikingly similar. I'm going to lay some truth down on y'all. It might hurt a little. But like bandaid on a scraped knee or duct tape over a mouth, ripping it off is going to be easier than slow and painful.
You may be in for a long few years.
It WILL get better. Its not your fault.
Why don't you have a seat over there…….
Scene: 1998. Grainy TV Screens. Kirk Herbstreet is a pipsqueak baby faced ass rag. Lou Holtz can string more than 3 sentences together.
The story begins in 1998. Some of you will remember my good buddy Lloyd Carr. Lloyd, like Mack, was a coach from a different generation.
Friendly. Grandfather like. Soft.
Like Mack, Lloyd won a "National Championship*". He beat our rivals (at least, to begin with). We had a few great years. We won Rose Bowls. We won Heisman trophies.
The people rejoiced.
Then, like a buckeye doing math, things slowly began to change. In 2001, a relatively unknown coach from Youngstown State was hired at O$U. This sweatervest wearing Mr. Rodgers-Lookalike had the audacity of guaranteeing a win against us. We laughed. Then we cried.
This signaled the beginning of the end.
In 2002 O$U beat Miami for the National Championship. This was the second year in a row they’d beat us.
In 2003 Michigan won a Big 10 Championship and beat O$U. We lost to USC, but maybe…just maybe…things were right in the world.
What we didn’t know is that would signal the start of 4 consecutive bowl losses (I’m sure you’ll remember 2005) and a 1-11 record against our rival.
Finally, in 2008 our fans demanded a change.
If only we’d known
Scene: $#@! Rod’s West Virginia Office. Some busty coed sitting on $#@!Rod’s Lap. [Phone Rings]
My concerns began with the whole buyout scandal. At first they were small, but like a couch burning in the night, they were there. Mark Dantonio was gaining steam at MSU and we were hiring a coach with a gimmick offense ill equipped to succeed in Michigan in late fall. Players….no not just players…..GOOD players were leaving. Like the Zombie apocalypse, things would get out of control and get out of control quickly.
Perhaps y’all remember my boy Sam McGuffie. That mother $#@!er could jump people like I could eat hot dogs. He was PERFECT for $#@! Rod. And he was white (no racist), which was kinda cool I guess. Plus, our star incoming QB had his own WEBSITE ( qbforce.com )
Things didn’t go as planned.
We went 3 – 9 the first year. We missed a bowl for the first time in 33 years. There was much crying and gnashing of teeth.
2009 would be our year.
We started 4 – 0! We were back! By golly Tate Forcier for HEISMAN!!!! We were happy again.
Then the wheels fell off. Over the next few years, we were investigated and punished by the NCAA for the first time in history, our coach cried and sang Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” at a senior awards dinner(http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=5877414 ), and our quarterback ended up transferring and hanging out of the window of his girlfriends house drunk and threatening to jump. The cops were called. We were embarrassed. McGuffie had transferred. I stopped watching football.
Scene: Michigan has just won the Sugar Bowl. Denard Robinson is smiling. Brady Hoke is smiling. I’m smiling.
There is now light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not willing to say Michigan is back. We’ve got a long way to go. Our coach could die of a heart attack at any point in time. But, for the first time in 5 years there is HOPE. True, legitimate hope, that we can be back.
$#@! Urban Meyer.
My advice to you, my Texas friends I have come to know and love, is this:
Take these next few years to begin to enjoy life again. Pick up a hobby. Learn how to brew beer. Smoke an entire cow. Make a lapshade out of your Aggie neighbors. Stop stressing about college football. It could be a long few years. You could hire the wrong coach. Aggie could SEC!SEC! their way to victory. You might actually find your life is better for it.
At the same time, DON’T GIVE UP on the players. There WILL be little moments of joy. I got to watch Denard Robinson. He can’t throw a ball for $#@!, but he is still one of the most electric players to watch and, to top it off, seems like a really, really nice kid. He seems to truly love playing the game, which makes me truly love watching him.
When this debacle ends, and IT WILL, and Texas is back on top, I can PROMISE you this:
You will appreciate your team more than ever.
Best of luck to you friends.
tl/dr: going to be a tough few years but you'll get through it
*$#@! you Nebraska I don't wanna hear it