For many, these past few years have been a dark time and scary time. Everything we had come to know of Michigan football has been turned on its ear. We grew tired of the M standing for mediocrity. We grew tired of the solidarity of Fort Schembechler. We grew tired of zone stretch left until we either punted or scored. We needed a shake-up. Some new blood. We wanted a new Schembechler.
Sitting here after two years and looking back, alot has changed. Alot of embarrassing losses. Bad publicity. Fighting within the fan base and even in the athletic department. For the first time, Michigan has committed "major" violations.
We have heard it all from rivals who we used to routinely smash mercifully. We have heard it from fans that want to go back to the ways of old. We have heard it from former players, trashing the university that we love because the change was difficult.
It hasn't been easy. It hasn't been pretty.
We have all had time to sit back and reminisce about the last few years. The shocking upset by Toledo, the first ever loss to a MAC team. Getting pummeled by OSU. Losing to MSU. Struggling to even comprehend how bad the attrition had gutted our beloved Wolverines.
Then we remember the promise of 2009. We had the Saviors of the program in two young pups. One experienced beyond his years, and the other so raw, yet so breath-taking every time he touched the ball. We saw the transformation of Stevie Brown. We saw a high-motored freshman step in day 1 and start in Craig Roh. We saw the maturation and flexibility of Troy Woolfolk. We witnessed Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown go out week after week, trying to help this team, yet so physically broken that it was almost impossible. We also had the honor
and privilege of watching one of the greatest players to ever wear the Winged helmet in Brandon Graham. His leadership, will, and dedication to the program will live on far past his time in Ann Arbor.
2009 saw us back to thumping directional schools. Back to being a big game football team on that glorious afternoon vs. Notre Dame. Back to Hail to the Victors when our young QB led us back against ND and Indiana.
Then it happened. First road game on a big stage for a very young team. First game vs. a conference rival. A rival that would give up a spot in the Rose Bowl for a win against their arch-rival Michigan.
But even while MSU thoroughly dominated the game, we saw much from our young team that day. We saw a defense that bent but didn't totally break. We saw a offense that struggled to move the ball in a monsoon. We saw a explosive Daryll Stonum make a huge catch and run to get us back into the game. We saw a broken Tate Forcier muster all the strength in his body to put together a final drive to seal a overtime chance with a dart to a promising receiver named Roundtree.
Looking back, it probably wasn't fair to expect so much from such a young team. Most of these kids were sitting in the back of a high school class room not even a year ago, dreaming of strapping on those winged helmets, wearing those Maize and Blue jerseys proudly. We shouldn't have put so much pressure on kids that should have been thinking about what to wear to prom instead of checking off coverages. We should have seen that we were going to take our share of thumping's.
But here we are. In the eye of the tornado. The calm before the storm. Waiting eagerly for a chance to prove ourselves. A chance to redeem ourselves. A chance to return to beingthe most storied program in college football history.
Keep your head up everyone. It has been a tough few years, but better/fun times are just around the corner.
- The Hulk