Writing a recap for this UM MSU game is a tad impossible, especially on a Tuesday, after literally every single storyline has been written and facebook posted ad nauseam.
So I called my best friend CB from DC and complained. He had two things to say:
Graham, were you at the game? (yes)
Well then write about the human element, something you saw that made you gain faith, or lose faith, in humanity, or just the people who attended. (ok)
Ok. The human element.
We pulled up to park next to the stadium and stopped to say hello to friends. In the next five minutes, the Governor and Attorney General walked by. We went tailgating; of the 120 people who attended my wedding, probably about 1/3 of them were at this game. This was the game that the State of Michigan deserved and had waited for since 2007 - a game with natty champ ramifications, a game where the conclusion was in doubt and no one's prediction was the same. The crush outside Stadium and Main at around 320pm was overwhelming, gridlocked, packed with UM and MSU fans arm in arm, shit talking with smiles on their face.
There was something missing these past 7 years in this game that means so much to the State of Michigan. Never had the teams come into a matchup with squads that both matched the eye test, ranked squads...So yeah, you would attend the game, but it was with a caveat about the Michigan coaching staff, or the injured quarterback, or the hot seat whichever UM coach was on, or the "rebuilding year" conversation.
This was going to be pure rivalry game football; line 'em up, knock someone down, crow about it later.
There were ten seconds left in the game. The game was over, essentially. My buddy, a diehard Spartan, motioned to me "let's go, we can beat the traffic", which looking back on it now sounds ridiculous because of the tremendous traffic that kept everyone in AA for a good two hours post-game...Sitting in Section 14, Row 33, Seat 1, it sounded like a good idea to me. So we walked slowly up the steps, exiting the stadium just as Michigan punted...
Yeah. I missed the final play.
This was supposed to be about the human element, right? Well humans make mistakes sometimes, both myself and the punter. I guess I didn't know I was walking out before The Play.
It was approximately 10 minutes after the game had ended. I sat on the tailgate of a Tahoe parked next to the Ann Arbor Pioneer Orchestra and Performing Arts building...I watched the fans stream by. Emotions were predictable, as my UM friends greeted me with wordless hugs and my Spartan friends shotgunned beers.
Behind me, an overserved Wolverine leaned against the building and puked. He wiped his mouth and looked down at the ground quietly, then went back to puking.