Monday, January 9, 2012

A football week to love

I am asking for forgiveness now.  I am all over the place this week.  Between my beloved Wolverines winning their first bowl game since 2008, a crazy weekend of NFL playoff games and the Allstate BCS NationalChampionship game happening tonight, there is a lot to talk about in football.  Forgive me.

AMAIZEING all right
Last week Michigan Football got a boost with a victory over Virginia Tech in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.  While the football world declared that a win showed that Michigan was back; Head Coach Brady Hoke, said that, “Michigan never left.”  Gosh it is so nice to have a Michigan Man back at the helm of this program.  I know, this seems a little arrogant, but there is a difference.  It is not about growing up in the state.  It is not about being an alum of the university.  Coach BoSchembechler who started the designation was not either.  It is about understanding and respecting a great tradition with a very proud history.  It is about loving Michigan football.  I hate to seem corny as if I don’t have a life outside of Michigan football (I do, really); but it is the truth.  When you have that knowledge and passion, you lead with enthusiasm and make everyone buy into your system.  This is what Coach Brady Hoke did.  Yes, he had experience coaching at Michigan, so he had the trust of the university’s community.  However, he did not come in and make a mockery of the most winningest college football program by saying things like running out of the tunnel into the largest football stadium in the world would mean nothing to him.  Who would jump up to support someone like that?  Not me.  It is ungrateful.  Hoke also understood what was important to his audience.  Win a Big Ten Championship.  He reiterated this several times to the media throughout the season, so you know that he believed this to his core and would work hard to make it happen.  This is a leader that you get behind.  If I feel like this as an alum over 600 miles away from Schembechler Hall, imagine what it did for the guys inside in the locker room.  This is why I agree with Coach Hoke, Michigan never left.  We are the same program, with great talent and a desire for excellence.  We now just have a coach who understands this.

O…M… Tebow
Wild is really not descriptive enough for the way the first weekend of the NFL playoffs ended in Denver.  Tim Tebow, who many criticize for not having an arm to be a NFL quarterback, completely dismantled the Steelers defense, with his passing game.  He threw 316 yards and had two touchdowns to take out the tough Steelers.  The passes were not short either.  One of touchdowns was an 80-yard pass in overtime that finished the game on the first play 11 seconds into overtime.  It was historical because the NFL used to play sudden death in overtime, so the first team to score won the game.  Now in playoff games, if you don’t score a touchdown, the other team has an opportunity to get the ball.  Tebow eliminated that option by going all out on the opening play of overtime.  I am still in awe.  Now Tebow will have to travel to New England and work his magic against Tom Brady’s Patriots.  I can’t wait.

Allstate BCS National Championship
Tonight’s BCS title game will feature two schools from the same conference for the first time.  LSU (#1) and Alabama (#2) are rivals in the Southeastern Conference.  They are playing for the second time this season.  Neither team scored a touchdown at their meeting during the regular season.  The game should be good because of the defenses.   I am going to give the edge to LSU because they have home-field advantage and cornerback Tyrann Mathieu.  He is the only corner to since Charles Woodson to get national attention at that position and be nominated for the Heisman Trophy.  Catch the game on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Heels & Helmets®

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