Now I’m not going to sit here and lie to you. I am in no way shape or form a Michigan Wolverines football fan. I have grown up in a home that has lived off of Detroit Sports. So when Jim Joyce made one of the most horrendous calls anyone has ever seen last summer, I was up in arms with the rest of Detroit. When Jimmy Howard used his glove to show Sidney Crosby that the Red Wings were not going to tolerate that crap, I stood up and applauded. And when the Lions went 0-16, I shook my head in disgust with the rest of you.
I am not, however, a Michigan football fan. In all reality, I am a die-hard Buckeye fan. Now, I’ve heard all of the lines before. Accusations of me being a traitor and insinuations that I somehow owe an allegiance to the Wolverines simply because I live in the state. However, as most Detroit sports fans know, once you are a fan, you are stuck with that team for life (Not that I’m complaining). Otherwise everybody would simply be a Patriots/Lakers/Yankees/Red Wings fan or would simply not be a fan at all.
As I sit here writing this post, my team, the Buckeyes are riddled with controversy after the departure of Jim Tressel along with Terrelle Pryor. Quite frankly I’m sick to death of hearing about Terrelle Pryor, for the most part simply because I do not think he was ever that good to begin with. Troy Smith was much less of a talent when compared to Pryor, but I think if you ask any Buckeye fan (especially now) they will all tell you Smith was by far the better quarterback. In any event, the Buckeyes will now move forward with Luke Fickell at the helm.
The Wolverines just got themselves a new coach in Brady Hoke after the disastrous experiment that was Rich Rodriguez. Hoke is a Michigan man who worked under Lloyd Carr. This is truly Michigan going back to their roots and ignoring all of the spread nonsense that Rich-Rod tried to implement.
So for the first time in my lifetime, both the Buckeyes and the Wolverines have new head coaches. I do not need to remind Michigan fans how long its been since they (actually) beat the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes under Tressel have absolutely dominated the series over the last decade. And to be honest, it has clearly diminished the importance of the third week in November. No longer is Michigan-Ohio State the must watch game it used to be. A couple of times in the past few years, one only needed to watch a short bit into the second quarter.
But I am here to say, with two new coaches at the helm, this is the perfect time for this rivalry to become what it once was. I won’t lie and say I have not enjoyed some of the whippings Ohio State has laid on Michigan, because I have (any one who is friends with me on Facebook can attest to that). But the law of diminishing returns has taken effect and it is no longer as sweet as it once was. The last time Ohio State lost to Michigan in 2003, I can remember going to bed and repeatedly punching my pillow, so frustrated that we could not stop Chris Perry and the wolverine offense. When #1 Ohio State beat #2 Michigan 42-39, I loved hearing Michigan fans gripe about how the refs gave us the game and there was no way that was actually roughing the passer. However, now all I hear is silence. Mum. A sigh that simply says “I was hoping for something better.”
Now, here is the secret. Ohio State fans are hoping for something better as well. We are hoping against hope that Brady Hoke is Bo Schembechler and Luke Fickell is Woody Hayes. We want that battle. We want these games to be full of drama, euphoria, and heartbreak because that is what being a fan is all about. We truly want Anthony Gonzalez bringing down a miracle catch inside the five with less than two minutes to go. We even, somewhere deep down in our hearts want Desmond Howard throwing the Heisman pose out there because those games meant something.
So here is to hoping that these two new coaches know how to step up and bring these programs back from the depths from which they have come. Perhaps asking for another Schembechler-Hayes battle is too much to ask for. At the very, very least, however, give us some drama.