Monday, September 13, 2010

Michigan 28,. Notre Dame 24

Denard Robinson was impressive indeed, and the defense played pretty well too, other than being burned for a couple of long gains. The special teams, on the other hand, were awful, with punts flying every which way, missed field goals, etc.

I do worry about just how many times they are running Denard Robinson. They are not going to win many games without him, given a young untested backup and Tate Forcier acting like a 12 year old who has had his Nintendo taken away. My concern springs from what happened to the Huskies two years ago, when Locker got injured. My suggestion to the coaches: not quite so many designed running plays for Mr. Robinson, especially against the three patsies - Massachusetts, Bowling Green and Indiana - we play the next three weeks. Spend those weeks finding someone else who can pick up some of the slack in the ground game.

Kudos, too, to the Michigan band, whose halftime routine included the drill team dressed up as Lady Gaga, complete with platinum blond wigs and black spandex. They embodied the same spirit of fun that used to animate the Husky band back in the days of director Bill Bissell.

I had the good fortune to see this one, along with my wife, at Notre Dame stadium, thanks to the nice people at the Notre Dame economics department, where I gave a seminar on Friday before the game. We were at the very south end of the stadium; looking north over the rim of the stadium we could see the hands and halo of "touchdown Jesus".

I have a few comments about seeing a game in person at Notre Dame, a life experience that I now highly recommend:

First, while Washington fans are into football, and Michigan fans are really, really into football, Notre Dame fans are really, really, really into football and really, really, really into tailgating. Wow.

Second, thanks to some ND undergrads for letting me in on the fact that the words to the first line of the Michigan fight song are really "Hail to the Mastur-bators". Didn't know that.

Three, how can a school this into football not have a big screen for replays in their stadium?

Finally, and most importantly, I was amazed by the good cheer and good sportsmanship of the Notre Dame fans. I wore, somewhat nervously, a Michigan t-shirt to the game. Its only effect was to attract statements of "good game" and "congratulations" from a whole bunch of strangers, both at the game and at our hotel, after the Michigan victory. I hope our fans treat visitors as well.

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