A special thanks goes out to Adam Jacobi for reminding me of this game. Also, any mention of this game calls immediately for this link. Read it. It sums up that game and a whole lot of things better than I could.
I was a junior at the time, living in a broken down house off White St. that would, months later during exam week, experience a rapid heating and then long freezing spell as the boiler in the basement burned itself up one Sunday night. The house was nearly 80 years old. Our landlord told us that. She knew because she was over 80 and it was her childhood home.
One of my roommates had a friend from Penn State. She drove up to Ann Arbor for the game with three other friends in tow. They stayed on our couches in that broken down house one special weekend in October, 2005. They were shit-talkers, but affable, and that Friday night I ended up roaming the town with them, drinking, and playfully talking trash while trying my best to avoid harsh stares as the interlopers yelled "We Are..." in unison. We had a great time.
The next day after breakfast we all hit the tailgates and then the game. The game. It was one of the best moments I have ever experienced in Michigan Stadium. The season felt something like a hopeless mess up until that point, and even knowing now how the rest of it would play out, nothing can take from me the joy of that moment.
My new Penn State friends stayed in that Saturday night. They were hungover and tired and emotionally wrecked in ways that I would understand all to well at a later date.
I drank and partied and sung The Victors with anyone who would join me in it.
Two more weeks until we get college football back...