The power of expectations are an amazing thing. And living up or exceeding expectations is a wonderful feeling. Those who know me well might know how much I enjoy subverting expectations. The fat kid who can play basketball, the big dude who likes to dance, the guy with the beard who sings Taylor Swift. I enjoy being labeled a jock, because it meant I could shock you in drama class. I enjoy being large shouldered, because it meant I could surprise you with my nimbleness. I enjoy looking intimidating (maybe just unkempt?) because I can overwhelm you with my friendliness. I love it when the expectations of me are low, because I frequently will rise above them simply for the pure joy and love I have of overcoming those low expectations.
Michigan football has the exact opposite problem.
There are these extremely high expectations set on the program. And for one reason or another, they are completely unable to meet these goals. There is a dark storm cloud of failure resting over the program, and in the player’s and coach’s hearts just waiting to move in. It moved in early this Saturday vs. Wisconsin, and it will follow the program the entire year. Bouncing back will be nearly impossible, because A) We aren’t as good as our expectations. B) We feel like we are playing for cop-out goals. Our offense is a mess, our defense needs time to mature, our system does not match our personnel. But most importantly, when winning is the only expectation, it becomes impossible to learn from a loss. When the pressure is so high, you make rash decisions, panic in tight spots, and feel the grip of failure around your neck the moment things go a little sideways (particularly on the road). Michigan and Jim Harbaugh sold their soul to get here, and it turns out the grass was not greener on the speed in space side. We don’t have the speed, and we can’t find the space. Slow and Crowded.
I’d rather be the Lions! They are playing like a team that has nothing to lose. And while I think that tie still comes back to haunt them, a win vs. the Eagles at their place is no small feat. I think we get slaughtered by the Chiefs next week, but a little luck vs. Green Bay and Minnesota this year and we have got a real chance. (A real chance to… win a playoff game? – it’s a start)
Lamar vs Mahomes did not disappoint, in fact, one of the most fun highlight videos I have seen in a while. Lamar is Vick 2.0 – and he is a football unicorn unlike any other QB in the league. Mahomes is just unfair though, he can make the perfect throw, on his back foot, while looking the safety off by winking at the cheerleader. The two of them dueling actively makes me want to buy the new Madden video game. A testament to their video-game-like prowess. Let’s run that game back in the AFC Championship.
ND vs UGA proved both teams are extremely good. A shame one of them has to lose. A fun thing happens when a non-conference matchup happens early in the year. ND fans now convert to being half-Georgia fans for the rest of the year. Hoping that by losing to them in a close one, they look really good at the end of the year. Your fan base just tripled vs. BAMA boys, Go Dawgs!
Sparty proving that Vegas knows best. They opened as more than a Touchdown favorites, which confused my little football pea brain. Don’t question the Vegas overlords, they write the script.
Auburn vs A&M – Watching these two teams play just hurts because as a Michigan fan both teams were fun. This is what fun football looks like, I just want to have fun. Watch us do stuff. Make adjustments, play to our strengths, back and forth stuff. Michigan destroys inferior opponents and gets destroyed by superior. A symptom of being unable to outcoach/outscheme our opponents but having the athletes to win against teams who can’t recruit as well as us. Why am I ranting about Michigan again…
Florida vs. Tennessee – A predictable result.
UCF vs Pitt – Don’t worry UCF, that loss doesn’t affect your playoff chances. (0)
UCLA vs Washington State – I got violently sick during this game and yakked like 10 times. It was still more fun than watching Michigan. It all comes back to Michigan doesn’t it Mike. You sick- freak- AGHHHHHHH.
I’m so depressed.
Don’t panic in Cleveland just yet, as they took one of the best teams in the NFL to the final play. It is going to take time.
NFC North might be the best division in the NFL with all 4 teams in the top half of the power rankings. (Source: MHPRIMUTPAP)
These gamenotes are not fun. I’ll admit it. It’s like for some reason you have to go through a woman’s bathroom and it turns out it really is just stalls and sinks. Nothing to see here. See you next week. Maybe.