Monday, September 08, 2008

Michigan vs. Miami (OH) 6 Sept 08

Well, its game #2 of the season and we're facing the Miami University (OH) Redhawks. Woohoo. I'm having a really hard time getting excited for this game. I'm not really sure why, but I'm not.
Anyway...Miami is also 0-1 coming into this game, and as we learned last year, its best not to overlook a small school just because they're a small school. MAC, 1-AA - they have absolutely NOTHING to lose if they go to a Big Ten, SEC, PAC Ten or ACC school and hand it to them.

I can't help but wonder - WWBD? What would Bo do? Who would he root for during this game? He went to Miami and coached there as well, prior to coming to UM. Would he root for his Alma Mater or the school he devoted most of his adult life to? I'm guessing he was looking for great defense from both teams and he would have been happy!

So...onto the game. Our theme this week is "Burgers Gone Wild" with an array of different types of burgers after the game - chicken, hamburger, turkey. Along with "fire fries" it will make for a great post-game meal. Our buddy Dennis and his cousin came by - time to give the "Call to Jager" just for him! It was great to see him - we miss him and the others from our old 'hood.

While tailgating, we saw men with briefcases, wearing suits and carrying laminated charts with both teams listed on them. I figured they must be important so we offered food and drink (which they politely declined) and I took pictures of them. As I'm taking photos, I hear Reggie say "That's Andre Ware." Apparently the ESPN2 crew had to go through the tailgate area to get to the stadium - not sure how that happened, but it did. Anyhoo...we were joined by Scott for pre-game and for post-game by Sarah and David and Scott as well.

We were able to establish a running game this week - we had double the yards of last week by the end of the first quarter. We're going to need that when we go to South Bend next weekend. Too bad our passing game isn't as effective...could we hit an open receiver for the love of football? For goodness sakes! Anyway...our offensive line is...well, offensive. Could we make a block? Could we not have to have our QB scrambling for all he's worth? We also need someone to return a punt. To our next punt returner, please run north/south - NOT EAST/WEST!!! You're not getting too many yards by running in place and running SIDEWAYS TO THE SIDELINE! Thank you. I think if we can hit some receivers, get some good field position and some protection to our QB and RB I think we have a shot at ND. However, if we continue to play in the fashion we played during the first half of the first game, we'll come home on the losing end of the game. That being said:
"TO HELL WITH NOTRE DAME." Bo Schembechler
Bill FINALLY gets the satellite working - it was having technical issues
The food area

The Michigan Stadium construction
Group shot: Lora, Bill, Reggie & Bonne
Andre Ware rolls by the tailgate. He declined our food/water/gatorade offer
Someone other than Reggie helping out on the grill
Reggie & Scott work on the pre-game food

I wonder what time it is...
Group shot! Front: Austi, Lora, Bonne & Reggie
Back row: Dennis' cousin, Scott, Dennis & Bill
Reggie & Dennis chatting it up
Bonne & Dennis
Our Boy Scout plays a "Let's Go Blue" chant for us!

Reggie makes like The Captain
Austi looks spiffy in his UM bandanna
Superfan uses the cowbell to get the fans riled up

Here comes the Michigan Marching Band

The Field Commander starts the day off right
The team takes the field
Michigan is ready

Wright kicks the ball

Threet makes a run for it
Mesko punts
The MMB gets down during halftime to the Boy Bands of the '90s music

The defense gets to work
Getting a big cheer from the Big House - our archrival is LOSING to a MAC school
The student section looking good in Maize
A balloon floating above the stadium - ribbed at that.
The Michigan D at work

Swoop the Miami U mascot
The 210th game of attendance greater than 100,000!
Today's Attendance: 106,724
Handoff to McGuffie
Handoff to Minor to set up the TD
Lopata misses the PAT

Handoff to McGuffie
Rich Rodriguez gets his first Michigan win!!
The team sings "The Victors" with the students
Andre Ware walks by the tailgate...
...and he missed out on "Burgers Gone Wild"

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Beginning of the 2008 Season - A Season of Change

Well ladies and gentlemen, we are on the cusp of the 2008 football season. This is going to be a season of change for the University of Michigan Football Team. We have a new coach for the season, Rich Rodriguez (formerly of WVU) and we have lost some of our players (Henne, Hart, Long, Manningham, Arrington, etc.) Some to graduation, some to NFL opportunities, some who became traitors to our rivals in the south. (Yeah - I'm talking about you Boren.)

Not only are there changes on the field, there are changes with our tailgate as well. We have moved from our location at Hoover and Division to Pioneer High School - right at gate 5. We had concerns about the move - would we like our neighbors as much as before? How would the environment be? What's the bathroom situation? We needn't fear - things look well for us. We made friends with the security guards at our gate - feeding them and providing drinks as well. We also began to make friends with the people around us. They seem nice. That doesn't mean I miss doing the "Call to Jager" for our neighbors to join us - though I did give it via phone to Dennis!

We had most of our core group this week - Reggie, Bill, Chris, Laura and me. Lora was attending the Tigers game and she didn't make it this week. We were also joined by Chris' friend Al and our friends Mike and Sylvia from London, Ontario. They joined us last year for the Minny game - it rained then and for Saturday's game it was hotter than Hades - maybe it will be nicer for the Toledo game...We were also joined by Dan (The Hat Man) and his girlfriend Dana and intermittent Utah fans. See, we can play well with others! To the Utes - you are more than welcome to join us anytime. Just leave your offense at home, 'k?

The game was a matchup of a defensively strong Michigan team versus a Utah team that was returning around 20 players from the season before. Our QB hadn't thrown a college pass and most of our receivers and backs were new as well. It had the makings of a very long game. They didn't disappoint! The defense needs to realize there are 4 quarters in a game - not 2. They did make adjustments in the second half - which is what we wanted to see - but if they'd done it the entire game, we may have won! Anyway, we lost 25-23. The team lost the fans in the 2nd quarter but got them back (those who were still in the stadium anyway) in the 4th. Too little, too late, but hopefully they will continue with their never say die attitude and improve throughout the season. What else can you ask for?

FWIW - Chris officially hates RR and wants Coach Carr back. Yes - had to put it down and see how he feels at the end of the season!

We are 0-1 heading to the Miami (OH) game. AKA The Cradle of Coaches, Coach Schembechler's alma mater. Hopefully we will have enough adjustments to bring it this week. Hey - a girl can dream, right?
Laura receives her very own Sheriff Badge
Howdy Sheriff Laura!
The Bar Area - complete with homage to the Captain, Jager and Red Bull - our 3 staples for tailgating!

The food tables
My birthday cake
Sitting in the "living room" watching Sports Center
Our new sign
We continue to honour our servicemen and women fighting for the freedoms we enjoy daily.

Reggie cooks breakfast as we ALL look on
Our new nifty little jager station
Our corner at Main and Pioneer
Laura - you crazy gal!
Our lovebirds - Chris and Laura