Football Saturday. A mere 48 hours away.
For many, the return of football marks the immutable march of time, sweetened by memories of years gone by, and held firm by familiar traditions, linking together into an unbroken chain of time and emotion.
Like confirming "your" tailgating/parking spot. And who brings what. Time to pack up the grill, check the utensils, find the power cord for the 6 foot tall inflatable football/wolverine/Michigan thingy. Time to rally the troops and double check who's got salami, who's got beer, who's got the ice, who's got dessert, and "how many are you bringing?".
Time to check the weather to see what to wear, and time to check the paper to see what to TiVo.
Time for the last minute scramble for "who's got extras!!!?!!!".
This year, the time to pack up for the stadium will be earlier as we all figure out how best to manage the new environs (and exposed iron) of The Big House.
The March of The Band from Revelli, down Hoover and up Green.
A Mich-i-gan Wol-ver-ine.....
New/Old for this year, a restart of a tradition not seen since the 1970s----the football team will once again take Bo's "Victor's Walk" to the stadium, beginning at the Public Safety building near Crisler to follow the band in to the locker room where pads and helmets and pants await.
No team captains this year, until the season is done. Each senior will be eligible to be chosen week by week until the final choices before the brawl in November. And, the addition of honorary captains for each game, culled from each era of Michigan Men.
For Utah---1940's halfback Bob Chappius, 1950's end Ron Kramer, and a member of the 1969 championship team Dan Dierdorf, O-line.
New too the Coach, the team, the scheme. Gone will be OUR complacency given that we used to all be able to tell the play simply by the personnel and formation. NO, now we too will have to be alert, amazed, astounded and confounded by this new offense and the re-worked defense. Here's a little reminder of what we're gonna need to understand......
So, once again, that magical time is upon us, replete with memories and moments. Chip Loehmiller (bastard!), "Remember the Florida State Game!", 1997. Your first game as a student. Your last game as a student. Road trips. Home games. Hibachis. Breakfast beer. The crowd's cheer--Des-Mond How-ard, Des-Mond Howard.
All that will come with you on Saturday, yet everything will be new again. Using the cheap newspaper program handed to you by that "hey want one of these" guys as a fan to cool you and as a map to inform you. How big is their #60, he's gotta be like 6'7" 300, right? Is our guy a redshirt freshman or a sophmore? Who's number 12 again????
Oh yes, friends, it's gonna be grand.