Wake up Big Ten, Big Ten
Coach Fresh, Coach, by himself he's so impressed
I mean damn, did you even see that '16 class?
You got Garys, muthafucka DB's, Jabrill Peppers
And his ass didn't allow a catch on any pass
Worked out all summer, passed every single test
I guess, this is M's dissertation
Homie this shit is basic, welcome to Graduation
Good morning, on this day we become legendary
Everything we dreamed of
Harbaugh's like the fly Malcolm X, buy any khakis necessary
Got that Maize and Blue cleaned up
From the streets to the league, from a quarter the whole game
But you graduate when you make it up outta the streets
From the moments of pain, look how far Big Blue done came
Haters saying you never change, now you doing your thang
Good morning, look at the valedictorian
Ain't scared of no future, hop in the DeLorean
They scared to face that D-line, complacent career student
Buckeye people graduate, get drafted, but be still stupid
They tell you read this, eat this, don't get a tat
Just peep this, preachers, teach us, Jesus
Okay look up now, they done stoled yo' streetness
After all of that you received this
(Hustlers that's if you're still living, get on down)
Tomorrow we hear it's football, good morning!
Most albums have a clear peak. A song that just knocks it out of the park and justifies a dozen other tracks. But most albums don't have consistency. Top to bottom consistency.
The great ones do, though. Track after track after track is straight gold. On some albums, like Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago or Jimi's Band of Gypsys, they have a feel that's consistent and career-defining. It's almost hard to pick out individual tracks. But every. single. song. is. fire.
Pick any song from Kanye's best album (2007's Graduation) and you get that feel. Sure, it's got Stronger and Flashing Lights and Good Life but pick any song and they're all great. Pitchfork reviewed Graduation and happens to agree with my humble take, saying Graduation...
is both his most consistent and most enterprising yet, indicating that he might actually deserve the legendary status (Kanye) constantly ascribes to himself.
It's here where I make the cumbersome turn to talking about Michigan's 2016 season. I haven't mentioned beer yet in this article, so, mercifully, this will be short. But Kanye came on shuffle this morning and I realized about four seconds into the beat of "Good Morning" that, yeah, this is wakeup time for all of us who care more about football than anything else. We get something like 40 hours of football a year. 50 if we're lucky. Tomorrow we get football again after eight months of the Long Cold Dark. Tomorrow we get to see what all that work we've been hearing about will turn into. All that coaching and the heralded talent and the Harbaugh Effect. Michigan's got 40 hours to put everything they've got onto a football field and build a resume for the Playoff Committee.
"I guess, this is my dissertation."
For the next fourteen fall Saturdays, every time we wake up, Michigan's got a chance to become legendary. And it's really fucking good to be back. Admittedly, Michigan may stumble. This may not be their year. I happen to think it is. But damn if isn't the best feeling in the world to look forward to tomorrow and greatness and maybe, just maybe, becoming legendary.
Your Beer of the Week
There is always beer to be had on a college football Saturday, and tomorrow is no different.
Every year this column gets easier because there's so much good new beer out there. And it's easy to find. And it's the best time of year for beer - the fall stuff is out but it's warm enough to drink whatever you want. Sours? Sure. Hoptastic IPAs? Sure. Shitty pilsners? Fine, go for it. Whatever.
This week's recommendation comes from Birmingham's own Griffin Claw Brewery. They've expanded a ton in the past year, broadening from their flagship IPA to about two dozen different beers. And some of them are pretty good. Their sours are saison-based, so if that isn't your thing, fine, but they've got an extremely drinkable Amber Ale called El Rojo, and that's your beer of the week. It's crisp enough to drink in the summer, and versatile enough to drink whenever you want. Hold off on that pumpkin stuff as long as you can, fam. Please.
Until next week, Cheers, Michigan Faithful!