Seven years ago I traveled to the Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan for a football game as a Birthday present from my wife and to myself. The trip was great, not a flaw or minute’s problem with any of it, except for the ballgame. Michigan was upset that day by a good Appalachian State team. Now it’s the not the upset of the century that people think it was as AppState was a good football team at that time, three National titles in a row in their division and about seven future pro’s on the team. But that’s subject for another debate.
Back in July I decided I had to go again and this time around was another story. It was noon kickoff which I love. Isn’t it tradition to kick at noon? Michigan started early to leave little doubt that this day was going to be theirs. They clicked on all cylinders both sides of the ball and had a 35-0 halftime lead that eventually ended at 52-14 even though they pulled most of their starters midway through the 3rd quarter. My wife and I enjoyed the total game experience, shopped, tailgated, yelled, sang “The Victor’s” a thousand times, did the wave, enjoyed the band concert after the game, took pictures of everything and a hundred other things. The weather that had been a concern all week turned out to be a non-factor, it was great, sunny, warm and NO humidity. The wonderful thing was that with the game in hand most of the way you could sit, kind of relax and really enjoy the stadium experience. Seemed we were one of the last one’s to leave. We were wandering around Ann Arbor and the campus the day before and stumbled upon the band practicing and getting ready for the opening game the next day. We stopped, got out and wandered around enjoying the sounds from Elbel Field where they practice, rightly named after Louis Elbel who wrote the fight song “The Victors”. My wife said this was one of her favorite parts of the trip.
After the game when we were returning to the car and the tailgates going on, it seemed to me to be kind of subdued. Not the usual yelling, singing, music blaring and such. There was some for sure, but most everyone was just kind of kicked back chilling out. My thought was that everyone was now relieved that the monkey was removed from our backs. The so called “Horror” from seven years ago was gone. It just didn’t seem to be the time for cheering or smack talk. I was as happy as they were, not so much from seeing a dominating game effort, but the fact that maybe the AppState back of your mind what if was finally over. Technically speaking Michigan had to do exactly what they did this day, meaning they had to route AppState. You see scheduling them again was a no win situation, but in hindsight I’m glad they did. If they beat you again, OMG! If you win close there would still be doubters. So the only way to see the chimp gone was to beat them soundly, which was nothing to brag about, but you didn’t have to listen to any nay-sayers any longer. Some say that the game seven years ago was the beginning of Michigan Football’s downslide that we have seen over these past 5-6 years, and maybe it was. With this game and chapter behind us, hopefully this can be the start of the programs resurgence and get back to Michigan Football as it once was!!!