Five straight losses to your biggest rival will do that to you.
It's not that I am lazy or anything like that. I just feel different. I am not going into this off-season with the attitude that the world is ending, like maybe I thought I should have. Let's face it, 9 losses, 6 of which were in the Big Ten has done something to me. Maybe I'm just getting older. Losses don't kill me the way they used to. It's not that I care any less, I just know it's not the end of the world.
But I'm okay with that.
I really was hopeful that the Ohio State game would go very differently. If for no other reason that maybe I thought this team was owed it somehow. But it most certainly doesn't work that way. Sports sucks like that sometimes. Not every team that tries, wins. Not everyone goes home with a trophy. And for some, it's just the opposite.
Thanksgiving is tomorrow. What a time for reflection.
Any hope that somehow we would right the ship in Columbus was just absurd. And unfortunately for me, it took a 42-7 pounding to fully understand that. The things that are holding this team back have nothing to do with will-power and effort. It was proven in more than a couple games this year that Michigan simply lacks the skill and experience.
And I'm okay with that, too.
Why? Because it will change.
I am a perpetual Michigan optimist. We could be heading into Columbus 0-11 and I'd still find at least 3 keys to victory. I'd manage to siphon some bleak advantage that Michigan has, and turn it into a 14 point swing. God help me.
But for some reason, I'm even okay with that.
It's what makes me realize that everything is the way it's supposed to be. I've been devoting way too much time to this football program over the past 15 years that it's just sick. Anyone who's as devoted to something that shows absolutely no devotion in return, has something wrong with them. The amount of time/money/calories burned for really no good reason is foolish. Yet I keep doing it. I go to games. I watch on television. I blog about it incessantly.
And I'm okay with that.
So, maybe as this week will have a slightly deeper meaning to it than I first thought it would. I hate to think that nothing has been learned from this season of struggles. But I've been a football player on a bad team. And to my credit, I've also been a football player on a good team. So it surely seems that, like they all say, you learn more about yourself in times of hurt and than it times of glory. If that's the case, by the time Michigan takes the field next season, they'll know everything about themselves that they ever wanted to know.
I could sit here and write every day for the next 9 months about how much better next year will be. But if that's what it takes for me to make it until then...then I'm okay with that.
Because that's what I do.
And that, is what I'm thankful for, right now.