Setting the Bar So Low You Can Barely See It

Kickoff to the 2008 season is just less than 4 months away. But you wouldn't know that by reading the preview columns and publications that are starting to make their way onto the web and newsstands. Seems like its right around the corner. The off-season gets shorter every year.

Now I'll admit, no matter how I think Michigan will do each year, I still get totally geeked for the start of each season. This year is no different. Usually I am a perpetual optimist. I can see how we can (and should) win at least 10 games and play for a national title. And for the past couple years, why should I have felt any different? We had returning skill players in almost every position. We had a capable and sometimes brilliant defense. And we had coaches who, at least once in their lifetime, had experienced great success.

But, no one can argue that this year is totally different. Some are even willing to claim that this year could be the worst year ever for our beloved squad. While I try to part company with those pundits, I can't help but see their point of views, and at least a little bit...feel some sympathy for them.

I used to live and die with Michigan football. I was a terror to watch a game with. Every bad call, every opponent touchdown was like the end of the world. Most of my family, and even me at times, thought I wouldn't live much longer if I kept watching Michigan games the way I did.

Rant. Start.

But that all changed when I started going to games more often. I started to realize, that I wasn't alone. I was just barely into junior high at the time, but when I started to see full grown men getting so emotionally attached...and usually pissed beyond imagination at the players and what was going on...IN PUBLIC! I had one of those clarity moments. I need to stop this obsession, and simply enjoy Michigan football for what it is. A game.

As I grew up, and realized that there will be let downs almost every year. There will be games that slip away, players that fumble, throw interceptions, get called for holding... Things will usually not go the way you want them to. Sure, there will be moments of pure joy and excitement. But, not every year will be 1997.

2008 is not going to be perfect. No one will argue that. Everything is in some sort state of change. Installing a spread option offense at Michigan would have been just about unthinkable just a few years ago. Back in the days of John Navarre, the word "spread" wasn't even in the Michigan dictionary. When we played Texas in the Rose Bowl...our slow and predictable offense must have looked like an old B&W TV up against a brand new LCD high definition TV of the fast Texas Vince Young attack.

Basically, I'm not here to try and tell you that Michigan is going to be ok and there's no reason to start freaking out. Most die-hard sports fans can not be told how to feel. People already hate Rodriguez for whatever reasons they have. Michigan fans all over are cursing the program, the players, the coaches, even us cautious optimists...all for whatever reasons they may have. Maybe they enjoy it. Maybe the like to set the bar so low that you can barely see it.

I do my best to not read the comment sections of columns I read on or Even some of the trolls who frequent my fellow Michigan bloggers can too hard to bear sometimes. All I can say to them is, let's not jump off the boat just yet. This isn't Notre Dame. Sure, there are signs of tough times ahead. But give it a chance. I've come to the conclusion that there just isn't a way to make everyone happy.

Fans complain about the quiet stadium. So Michigan builds additions that will make it bigger and louder. Fans complain about Lloyd and his record against OSU. So they get rid of him. Fans complain about being slow and predictable. So they hire Rich Rodriguez, the godfather of the spread option. Fans complain that we didn't get Pryor. So Rodriguez gets two amazing recruits for 2009. Fans complain. Fans complain. Fans complain.

God forbid Bo was our coach today, we'd have run him out of town by now!

You can shut them up for a day. But you better have something great for the day after that...or else. We live in a "gimmie gimmie now now!!!" world. And as long as Ohio State keeps playing in national title games and kicking our ass, we're going to have to keep dealing with it.

Rant. Done.

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