I wanted to write something after the Minnesota game, but all I could manage was to sit and stare blankly at a Word document. What could I say? I didn't even know what I felt. Sure, it was nice to see them win, but was I happy? I don't know, I guess...
But, when it comes down to it, the win didn't really mean anything. Not like the Wisconsin game, when the hope that such a great comeback would spark a return to at least respectability. At least a bowl bid... at least... something. Minnesota gave me no hope, just the sad realization that this is what we could have had this team preformed optimally all year... had the defense played how it should, how this offense can preform with a bunch of freshman and a patchwork offensive line if everything goes right.
I miss Lloyd Car, but not anymore than I would if we were 8-3 right now. We'd probably have a better record right now with him as head coach, but by how much? A couple of games? And then where would we be? At least now I know things will get better.
I'm not even sure what is getting me through this season... I don't think it's hope, maybe just numbness. Hope implies some sort of leap of faith. I don't feel that... I know this team will be better, but it isn't any comfort at the moment.
I guess numbness is the best way to put it, a state exemplified by Saturday's game against Northwestern, where I sat hunched over for four quarters my clothing getting wetter and wetter, my body colder and colder. I watched the rain pooling on my poncho and the snow swirling around and just wondered why I was still there. More than anything I felt bad for having brought my girlfriend to this hell, her first Michigan game ever. She claimed she had fun, except for the coldness, but I don't see how she could have. I certainly didn't. Yet I've never been happier with her than in that moment, even if she stayed only because she knew I couldn't leave. We sat there as we watched more and more people flooding for the exits. I have never seen Michigan Stadium so empty, yet for once I couldn't really blame anyone.
As the game progressed my priorities slowly changed, winning and losing didn't seem to matter so much... All I wanted was to get out of there as soon as possible, get away from this weather, get away from this season... It wasn't that I didn't care, if anything I cared too much. Just 3-9 or 4-8 didn't seem to make any difference. And yet despite every ounce of my being wanting to get the hell out of there, leaving never really crossed my mind. It just isn't part of my being to leave a Michigan football game. I stayed because that's what I do.