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The Rivalry, Esq.'s 2009 Closing Argument - Michigan Wolverines

But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal – there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court. 

-Atticus Finch, To Kill A Mockingbird


We, The Rivalry, Esq. place before this college football court, the 2009 season of the Michigan Wolverines.  This is a proud, historic program that has come upon the worst of its times.  The debate has raged on; is it time for a rebound?  I say to you, ladies and gentlemen of the college football jury, ENOUGH!  Let this court give them the fair assessment that they deserve.


I. Case History

This isn't what the maize and blue faithful signed up for.  Growing pains sure, but not 3-9.  Not losing to Michigan State at home.  Not losing to Ohio State and Notre Dame.  Not losing to Utah.  Not losing to (gasp) a MAC team! That ain't right.  And that will not be tolerated again.

No one is expecting a Big Ten title this year, but the number in the wins column better be bigger than the number in the loss column.  Coach Rodriguez has worked some turnarounds before.  He better do it again.


II. Factual Summation

A. The Rivalry, Esq. Says

Here's some of what we've written about the Wolverines over the off-season

Spring Preview

Is Rich Rodriguez really John Cooper?

Is Michigan the new Notre Dame?

We help schedule (they ended up with UConn)

Evaluating Tate Forcier

Looking at Brandon Graham

B. Michael Jackson Says

Because all blogs are required to compare athletic teams to some random entertainment icon, we're equating Big Ten Teams and Michael Jackson songs.  The quality of the reading improves if you listed to the barely justified song choice as you continue.


I want you back!  No, not you Lloyd.  I want the success back.  I want the fear back.  I want the swagger back.


III. Emotional Plea

A. I Hate Michigan

Maybe its because he's lived too long in the South, where hatred is a tangible commodity, but Bama Hawkeye has felt his hatred for Big Ten rivals boiling.  Here's why he hates Michigan.

I hate that you stole your helmet design from Princeton and then act like it was yours all along...I hate your superiority complex...I hate that you have been so pitiful against Ohio State lately that I've resorted to rooting for you just so I can hate you both equally again...I hate you for the Fab Five...I hate that you deify Bo Schembechler, who won as many national titles as any Indiana head coach, but look at me cross-eyed when I mention Harry Kipke...I hate that Brent Musberger lives in Ann Arbor and can barely hide his loyalties...I hate that despite being the Big Ten's football bell cow, you have a losing bowl record...I hate Michigan.

B. Why You Should Love Michigan

Because no one will take the Big Ten seriously until Michigan is good again...Because they have the best law school in the Big Ten...Because they have the coolest uniforms in college football...Because they're the Big Ten team that doesn't shrivel up in a corner and wet themselves when they face an SEC team...Because they hired outside of their conservative coaching tree, which is always a dangerous thing to do...Because they're in the Big Ten.



IV. Verdict

A.The Rivalry, Esq. Calls the Games


Opponent Graham Filler Picks Law Buckeye Picks Bama Hawkeye Picks
Western_michigan_medium Western_michigan_medium Michigan_medium Michigan_medium
Notre_dame_medium Notre_dame_medium Notre_dame_medium Notre_dame_medium
Eastern_michigan_medium Michigan_medium Michigan_medium Michigan_medium
Indiana_medium Michigan_medium Michigan_medium Michigan_medium
@Michigan_st_medium Michigan_medium Michigan_st_medium Michigan_st_medium
@ Iowa_medium Iowa_medium Iowa_medium Iowa_medium
Delaware_st_medium Michigan_medium Michigan_medium Michigan_medium
Penn_state_medium Penn_state_medium Penn_state_medium Michigan_medium
@ Illinois_medium Illinois_medium Illinois_medium Michigan_medium
Purdue_medium Michigan_medium Michigan_medium Michigan_medium
@ Wisconsin_medium Michigan_medium Michigan_medium Michigan_medium
Ohio_st_medium Ohio_st_medium Ohio_st_medium Ohio_st_medium
FINAL RECORD 6-6 (4-4) 6-6 (3-5) 8-4 (5-3)

B. Bama Hawkeye Calls the Bowl Game

No way they miss a bowl again, right?  Right.  I expect the bowls to jump on the opportunity to bring Michigan (and an energized fan base) to their towns.  8-4 will get them to Orlando.  Win one more, and it might be the same city for a better bowl.

Champssportsbowl_2004_medium vs. Georgia_tech_medium

 On Appeal

Words from an SBNation blogger on their team. Dave at Maize n Brew had an inspired idea for improving game day at the Big House.  Think big.  No, that's not big enough...

As you can see, the CLOVERFIELDTRON is four hundred feet high and so large that you can't even make out the complete "Michigan" over the top of it because it wraps around to the other luxury box, not because we suck at MS Paint. Further, when football is not being played, the American Flag will be its screen saver, reminding the world that Freedom brings you cool shit like this. It will be a constant reminder to all that you should live American, breathe American and buy American (specifically GM cars. Please? Anyone?). This, frankly, is the most AMERICAN scoreboard ever proposed. What's more American than building something unnecessary and totally symbolic on the backs of migrant and likely illegal immigrant workers? Nothing. If you are against this you are against America, and probably watch men's figure skating. So why are you against America? You can't be.CLOVERFIELDTRON = America