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I sat, on my floor, with my thousand mile stare, and watched through the TV.  I wasn't really watching the TV, per se, I was literally staring through the defocused images of white, and red, and yellow that seemed to be bouncing off one another in random, chaotic spurts.  I wondered, amongst desperate pleas from the girlfriend to come back to reality, whether Michigan would ever beat Ohio State again, and where, when I chose my collegiate alliance so many years ago, I had screwed up.  I also pondered the inevitability of it all; if I could quit Michigan football, I would have - probably sometime around the Notre Dame game.  I would have just quit, said I didn't care anymore, and lived my fall Saturdays the way they were meant to be lived instead of standing at home with high blood pressure and hurling various swears at a television.  At some point in my life, Michigan football had become important enough to voluntarily go through the pain of this season.  It's sick, really.

Then, I think:

Like Mike Hart before him, Brandon Minor stayed on the field and witnessed through what I imagine to be tears of anger the Ohio State players celebrate with the student section.  My pain is not his pain.  His pain is best left to be endured by men such as him.

Brandon Graham guaranteed a win over Michigan State, and then did everything that could have been possibly asked of him to back that up.  His teammates did not live up to his expectations.  He has recently stated that he intends to return, to make amends for this, the lost season.  My pain is not his pain.  His pain is best left to be endured by men such as him.

Remember, as you sit at your keyboards, that this product, this drug that we've all become addicted to called Michigan football does not come free.  Sure, it's free to you, the benefactor, sitting on your couch, but it is paid in full by the clanking of weights at 5 AM, the soft sound of rubber meeting cement as stairs are climbed in the July heat, and the darkness of a film room.  It is most assuredly paid for by young men who are asked to do what many of us cannot.  Before we criticize, let's not forget that we are not the ones paying for this drug; it is paid by the players doing the work. 


I will be out of town, eating turkey, sleeping, or otherwise incapacitated for the remainder of this week.  Please, enjoy the holiday, and be safe.