Monday, October 5, 2015

D-Licious Durkin Donuts and Other Week 5 Delights

It was another great week to be a Michigan Wolverine! As cheesy as it may sound, I'm really starting to believe that nobody has it better than us. That's not me just being a super fan. Just look at all the insanity that took place inside the Top 25 and you'll know what I mean. So many top teams looked weak against "lesser" opponents (Hello, OSU and MSU!) and I'm really starting to get a feeling that Team 136 could beat just about anyone out there when they're hitting on all cylinders. These guys are hungry and relentless, which goes a long way in overcoming some of their imperfections. I still see steady improvement every week and the players' capacity to learn from their coaches is evident. A few of my thoughts from Week Five:

High Pressure System Pushes Hurricane Joaquin Out to Sea

Hurricane Joaquin, originally expected to hit the U. S. East Coast over the past weekend, took an unexpected right turn and headed out into the Mid-Atlantic after encountering a strong high pressure system pushing offshore from the Great Lakes. Though Joaquin had the power to move football game kickoff times and change flight plans all over the Eastern seaboard, it was not able to overcome the meteorological anomaly driving southeast from Ann Arbor. High Pressure system "Harbaugh" very likely saved millions in property damage and hundreds of lives, while racking up a nice victory over the Maryland Terrapins. No thanks required, East Coast. Our coach is a documented first responder/hero. It's just what he does.

This game wasn't always pretty, but it worked out and with last week's win, gave the Wolverines' their first back-to-back shutouts since the 2000 season. The offense had some ups and downs, but they were supported from beginning to end by our beastly defense - and oh how good it feels to say those words! It illustrated yet again that this is not a team that quits or lets down in any way. In spite of a few miscues and mess-ups, it was fun to watch, especially when that defense was killing it. Tell me those guys aren't niggling at the minds of our foes to the north and south! Another tasty Durkin Donut and yes, those calories are lookin' good on the team!

The Michigan State Feelings Status Meter

This week's Spartan Feelings Meter sees some changes. As we all know, the #2 Spartans played and beat Purdue this week with the same level of shock and awe as they have their four other games, which is to say "not much." It was a strange week in college football for the entire Top 25 and for Michigan, it couldn't have been better. While the "mighty" struggled for wins or got knocked down, Michigan kept its slow, steady progression upward -- in the new AP poll, up to #18 while the Spartans dropped to #4 after winning their 5th game to remain undefeated.

I actually heard several rational Spartans admit "We're not a #2 team" after the game. It's because of the rational MSU fans that I've downgraded this week's Disrespect Feelings Score. After four weeks of "Meh." even their own fans are owning up to it now.

The attention being given to Michigan's defense and their slow climb up the rankings still has less rational Spartans groping for explanations about Purdue and other should-have-blown-them-out foes ('we have a history with Purdue', 'we play down to our opponents', etc). This leads me to raise the fear factor this week. It's clear. The Harbaugh is getting into their heads, right where we want him - pushing them near the edge of the Safe Zone.

This leaves us with a Feelings score of Aggravated+/Apprehensive+ with less than two weeks to go before the big meeting of minds between Harbaugh and Dantonio. If you include the anger and disrespect Spartans endured after being assigned Beth Mowins for ESPN's play-by-play, this trends toward Upset again. Note: It's not that I don't want to see more women in traditionally male broadcasting roles. I don't want announcers of any gender who confuse Michigan and Michigan State and who don't know all the players' names. Calling one school the other is a gut-punch to both and she does it all the time. (An equal opportunity critic, I'll also call out Brandstatter and Dierdorf for teaching us that long runs "inflate your rushing stats" after Chesson's 66 yd carry. I would never have thought of that, but am the better for knowing it.)

YES, I-275 Spartan Slappy

I espied this beauty the other day and made the MGoMan slow down and pull behind so I could get a snap. Isn't this a gorgeous testament to Spartan fandom? I was first awed by the firm grasp of primary and secondary colors. As to why he's calling out the media rather than Michigan fans themselves I don't know, but clearly this guy's more concerned about OUR ranking than his own. (By the way, do these look like DIY printable magnets from Staples?) As we drove by, I couldn't help but peer inside to see who would do this to their car. I didn't look too long. It was angry old guy wearing so much old school Spartan kelly green that I was nearly blinded "Yes, yes yes!" to your question, angry, made-your-own-magnets Spartan dude. And we'll catch you on your way down.

Photo of Michigan State van with sticker asking if Michigan is in the Top 20 yet.

And so, I think that's it for now, my friends. I'm busy getting ready for our 24th Annual Girls Weekend in Up North Michigan. I wrote about our somewhat un-Girly weekend last year not long after I started this blog. I remember sitting in a corner, watching my friends watch football, analyzing the games, drinking beer, shouting at the refs, coaching from the couch, and other things you guys would not imagine we do on when we're away from you for four days and have the option not to choose sports/beer over pedicures/Cosmos. I can't wait to see what this coming weekend brings. I'm sure it'll be more football, more beer and wine (a Short's visit is planned and the Harbor Springs Beer Festival), and yeah, maybe some shopping and a little girl talk, too. We still do that, too! I'm sure you'll hear about it next week.

Until then, have a great Wolverine weekend and Go Blue! Beat Northwestern!

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