Ugh. What a roller coaster of a day.
First the good: 1) Mid-construction stadium. Easy to manage if everyone continues to use "their" gate and avoids walking the concourse. North concourse editions are beautiful---new MDen, big concession stands out of the way of traffic, and two new, for now, 'secret' extra women's restrooms (NO waiting!!!!). Inside the stadium the additions are perfect! They don't intrude on the character of the bowl, and in fact, add nicely to the interior intimidation factor. Sunset did come early, but given the wok-like nature of the bowl in a cloudless 90 degree day, I don't think that is a negative. Talk to everyone in November. It'll be freakin' freezing by noon!
2) Crowd noise. Really. Especially in the 3rd quarter when everyone was down in the mouth and the heart about the missing defense and the high-school caliber offense. I like that the team didn't quit, nor did the fans (at least those who could stand the heat---literally/figuratively).
3) The band.
4) At least now we know what we have and can make adjustments/coach kids up?????
The bad: 1) The defense---supposedly this year's savior???? I'm missing Ron English right about now. I'm sorry, but a new scheme that is supposed to be used to seeing the spread in practice SHOULD be able to stop the damn thing. The only thing that I can think of is that it's the players....I mean these are many of the same guys as before. Seriously---Morgan Trent? a force in the secondary??? please. And I can't tell you how many times Obie Ezeh had his BACK turned to the play, took the wrong angle, or just got plain pancaked. I'll be very interested to see Brian's UFR
2) Play calling. After the first quarter I too could tell what was coming next.
The ugly: 1) Quarterback. Either one of them. Inaccurate, immobile, inexperienced, in trouble. I know they are young and that they are total noobs, but I at least thought their mechanics would be better than they were.
2) Overall execution. bleck.
Overall: I saw flashes of fun and brilliance if we had the right personnel. I saw Rich Rod's stubbornness and gambler mentality. But, um, why doesn't he talk to anyone on the sidelines??? Like does he coach via headset??? He rarely spoke with the players. Weird. I didn't expect a win and I don't think we got drubbed. I just think it's gonna be a long ride this season and it will still be fun a lot of the time and really frustrating many times. Change is hard......I just want to see improvement at this point.
Sweetest moment?? After Lloyd Carr received his award at half-time he chose to walk up and out of the stadium thru the student section. The students gave him a rousing welcome and Lloyd returned the love by pausing to take pictures, talk, sign things etc---I think it took him another 10 minutes to get out of the bowl.
Cool moment??? The flyover. All pilots were Michigan Grads. Air Force bitches. Air Force. oh--and they looked REALLY hot on the sidelines in their jump suits with Michigan hats. mmmmm men in unis.......
And finally, new tradition: In honor of the shotgun, we did (and will) shotgun beers before heading to the stadium.