Monday, January 14

Why We Do This

With preemptive apologies to all the Indiana fans (sorry Joe), check this one out:

(HT: mgoblog)

I love this play more now than I ever did before. In 17 games, I was fortunate to meet passionate people from every corner of this country, all of them in love with this game. Over the course of the season, I became addicted to that passion, especially to the cheers erupting in stadiums on every big play. I miss it already.

When I attended Michigan I of course became a fan as soon as I arrived on campus. This play is way before my time, yet has been in my memory for well over a decade. I happened to watch it again the night before I drove to Ann Arbor. It was my fourteenth game of the season - my personal homecoming. Seeing the play again after everything I'd experienced this year, I latched on to something in the footage I'd never noticed, or at least never cared about. When Anthony Carter scores that touchdown, a fan, security guard or just some random dude in a yellow jacket who was lucky enough to be in the back of that endzone runs over and jumps up and down with him in unbridled euphoria.

I realized that I may get to have that same feeling, for my team this time, the following day. Sadly, Michigan didn't score a touchdown vs. Ohio State, preventing me from the opportunity for even a modest jumping-up-and-down. I'd have to wait until watching the Citrus Bowl on television, which is like so much methadone.

That little guy in the yellow jacket is the reason we even bother. That guy is all of us - at least sometimes. He's why we're in it. He's all over Louisiana right now, and come September 1st, we're all going to be looking for him within ourselves again.

I can't watch this clip nowadays without getting nostalgic. Not for this particular play, but for all the plays. The Michigan ones I saw where I got to be this guy right then and there. The countless ones I watched with random folks from around the country this year. Heck, for all the moments yet to come. That little guy makes everything worthwhile.

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