September 23, 2007

Hail. Hail to the Victors.

OH, JOY AND RAPTURE. My Michigan Wolverines DID open Big Ten conference play with a win yesterday afternoon over the Penn State Nittany Lions, and DID step up on defense, and DID prevent Penn State from scoring a touchdown in the Wolverines' 14-9 victory at Michigan Stadium. Truly the football gods are merciful, and truly does Anthony Morelli suck.

As it happened, the game showed conclusively what I had been saying all week -- that Michigan's secret weapon in the game was none other than Morelli, Penn State's wretched quarterback. For Morelli stupidly fumbled the ball at Penn State's own 10 yard line and Michigan recovered, allowing Michigan's backup quarterback to walk the ball into the end zone just two plays later. Despite this and many other amazing displays of incompetence on Morelli's part, Dad actually kept his composure throughout the game and gave the quarterback credit at the end of it all for playing what he described as a pretty good game. Had Morelli not fumbled the ball here -- and had not Penn State fumbled the ball on Michigan's 10 yard line a while later -- the outcome of the game may well have been different. But in the end Michigan won -- the ninth such victory over Penn State in as many games. Oh, joy!

This game also serves as proof that Michigan plays its best football, and will almost always rise to the occasion, when it is given the chance to ruin other teams' seasons. Speaking of, where the hell is "Wofford" and how did it beat Appalachian State? Also, does this mean "Wofford" could beat Michigan in the Big House? And why does it have a yappy little dog as a mascot?

Anyway, it was great to watch the game with my parents too. There was plenty of back-and-forth between me and my father as we teased each other about each school's respective setbacks on the field, but I have to say most of our ire was eventually directed at the awful commentary. I mean, my God. By the end of the first quarter both me and my Dad were kinda like, "Gee, I think I'd prefer having Musburger here." Yeah, it was definitely a footrace to the bottom with ABC's C-team doing the announcing.

I don't know, maybe this is some kind of punishment for starting out the season 0-2 -- we ended up with the scintillating broadcast team of Brad Nessler, Bob Griese and (God help us) Paul Maguire. Oh, swell. About the only smart thing they did during the game was give a plug to the original Cottage Inn. Dad was annoyed with Griese, who in Dad's opinion spends most of his time trying to make himself look smart, and particularly annoyed with Maguire, whose barely-coherent babbling only serves to point out the obvious.

For instance, after one play, Maguire spent a good thirty seconds praising the skills of a Michigan player because -- wait for it -- he shifted the ball from one side to the other during a run. This is, of course, standard operating procedure for any football player on a breakaway, because it protects the ball from opposing players. However, to hear Maguire's rendition of this play, you would have thought the guy successfully turned the corner on a double-reverse, spinned around two Penn State players and jumped over a third, got thirty yards after that, then went over and kissed a cheerleader, and then body surfed around the student section for two minutes.

Plus, there's the fact Maguire -- who was a punter, for Christ's sake -- is the real-life football version of those two old guys on The Muppet Show whose sole purpose was to criticize the show on the field, except he's more ornery because a tarantula crawled up his ass and died back in 1963. Crikey. Can't we get announcers who don't suck? Oh, speaking of announcers who suck, could someone please call ESPN and tell the idiots who called the Syracuse-Louisville game that although the Syracuse-Louisville result was a huge upset, it was NOT an earth-shattering great upset worthy of recognition for all time? (Trust me, as a Michigan fan I know about these).

Anyway. Michigan won, Penn State lost. Sweet! Oh, Georgia beat Alabama (yay), Mississippi came so close to beating Florida (good try), and Ball State was oh! so! close! to beating Nebraska. Oh, how I wish that had actually happened.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at September 23, 2007 07:03 AM | TrackBack
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