Monday, November 2, 2009

Stop Error

Illinois 38, Michigan 13; 5-4, 1-4 defines the Blue Screen of Death (or stop error) as such:

Definition: a bright blue screen displayed by the Microsoft Windows operating system when it cannot recover from a system error; abbreviated BSOD

Example: The blue screen of death almost always means the computer has frozen and requires rebooting.

The parallel I am making is obvious. Michigan football is Microsoft Windows. And a system error has caused it to freeze, crash, and reboot. The problem is, stop errors aren't random, flukey occurrences. They happen when something has become fundamentally broken or corrupted, and they continue to pop up until you go in, spend an eternity sifting through your computer and find what's fucked up and fix it.

Michigan experienced a horrifying stop error on Saturday. Against a team that had not stayed within 10 points of any I-A opponent, Michigan lost by 25, and in a sport full of subtleties that often escape the eyes of those untrained to watch for them, the turning point on Saturday was blatant, obvious, and horrifying. Failing to obtain one yard on four straight plays cannot be pinned on coaches, on players, on training staffs, on playcalls. It is pinned on all of the above. It is a fundamental failure on all levels of football when you have four chances to get three feet and fail every time. It's an indictment on everything you've done to prepare yourselves for the moment. It's an indictment on Roundtree for being inexplicably caught from behind, it's an indictment on the offensive line for not being able to create one measly hole, it's an indictment on the running backs for not being able to push the pile 36 inches, it's an indictment on the coaches for waiting until 4th down to put the power back in the game, and it's an indictment on everyone for what transpired afterwards.

For the past 22 and a half months, I have had a spot on the Board of Directors for the Rich Rodriguez Defense Corporation, somewhere next to Brian Cook and Rick Leach. I've shouted down naysayers at Michigan Stadium, played the e-bully on the internet toward people who micromanaged and nickeled and dimed every little fucking thing. I've constantly linked to material from MGoBlog which perfectly illustrates how the predicament we're in cannot be pinned solely on Rodriguez but on like a dozen different people over the past five years. I've stepped back when I needed to step back because wolves have to have a deer to hunt, and I've lashed out when I needed to lash out because sometimes ignorance must be called out for what it is.

At some point, "all in" becomes blind devotion. At some point, all true believers find themselves questioning that in which they have invested so much. For me, I reached that point some time around 6:00 Saturday evening, sometime between Illinois's 70-yard touchdown and Michigan's 10 trillionth fumble in the last 21 games. So now I'm stuck in no man's fucking land. I'm not about to plunge myself off the cliff and join the people I've spewed virulent hatred at for the past year plus...but I may need to take a leave of absence from the Board of Directors. I keep telling myself about the freshmen at QB, the walkons on defense, the abysmal linebacking situation, the absence of depth in the secondary...and it offers no comfort, because we just lost by 25 points to a team whose only prior win was against a 4-4 I-AA team. When faced with that reality, there isn't much to say that will make anybody feel better.

I'll be at the game on Saturday against Purdue, and I hope like hell that we win, because 6-6 seems like the best case scenario at this point, and good luck getting to six against Wisconsin and Ohio State. Other than that....whatever. I got nothing to say.


dr eng1ish said...

Ugh. Agree with pretty much everything you wrote. All I can say is I hope to God we win Saturday.

BluCru said...

Come in off of that ledge, big fellah. Do you remember Illinois last year? Juice killed us last year, and killed us again. It sucked. As for the goal line stand, you are reading waaaay too much into it. That kind of thing happens in the sport of football. It's been done to us and we've done it to people. We had a fullback in there to block and a tailback behind him. Teams do it all the time, because it generally works. Every time this happens, the geniuses of the internet say we should have gone wide, but when you go wide, you risk a negative play. The percentages favored doing exactly as we did. Unfortunately, it didn't work. The bigger sin was letting them off the hook from the 1 foot line. Most of the time, you get great field position there and you punch it back in.

RR's resume is not an illusion or an accident. I want to be on the side that has the patience to see it through. This team is thin-thin-thin on defense and the offense doesn't give them much of a rest. Tate has some capabilities, but he is not a dynamic runner and seems a bit beat up and tentative at this point. We need better players, more of them, and more time to coach them up on the system before this is really going to work. All the scheming and playcalling brilliance in the world can't fix that this year.

It's good to value winning again. Michigan fans have been pretty jaded. I am just trying to enjoy the good moments, since the final scores are a little hard to take. I will let myself be pretty pissed if we don't make a bowl game, though. =)

Lankownia said...

I still can't believe that (less than) one half of awful football can flip the switch from "all in" to "leave of absence". Did you really think this team would never have moments like this? Was 2007 really expected to be the last time we lost to a team we beat?

Its not blind devotion to remain supportive during a march forward, even with stumbles along the way. Those should be expected.

bouje said...

TOB, Last week you told us all to calm down. Now you're on the ledge. Back up. Please.

You were one of my favorite bloggers and one I thought had the same ideas as me who could produce my ideas more eloquently than I ever could.

My opinion is that no matter how bad that this year goes you cannot fire him this year. If you do then it shows that we are a program in turmoil and will go the way of Nebraska/ND/et al. We would practically negatively recruit ourselves.

It's a bad situation but I think that you have to stay the course for 3 or even 4 years before you can make a fair assessment of this team.

jj said...

Chin up there young man. Hold your head up high, you're a Michigan Man. That means a hell of a lot. Pride and support for the team in the face of adversity builds character.

Enjoy Saturday's game.

Go Blue.

Anonymous said...

Is there a bigger Michigan message board whore than Bouje? Guy is like an out of control, cancerous tumor. You don't have to post on every single Michigan forum on the interwebs. Get a life, dude.