The Laurie Report

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It’s Sunday morning.

In college football, that either means a day for seeking redemption OR….a continuation of the victory celebration from the day before.

And on certain occasions, when there’s a win that came with a price, the day can represent a little of both.

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I went out last night; had dinner with friends. So no, I didn’t see the Texas-Arkansas State game. I only went into the bar of the restaurant once to inquire about the score of the contest. I watched TV for a second, but got bored as the commercial break entered its fourth minute. So, I went from table to table asking patrons if they knew the score and finally, the last table I asked knew. Thank God for astute, beer swillin’, Longhorn football lovin’ Lesbians!

At the time, the score was was 20-3…Texas

I got home later.. The game had ended a few hours earlier, so I flipped on ESPN and found out Texas had won.

Read this:

By JIM VERTUNO/AP Sports Writer
September 1, 2007
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — It was ugly, ragged and a bit embarrassing. In the end, it was a win and the Texas Longhorns got to go to bed without the same sick feeling that must have hit the Michigan Wolverines.

Colt McCoy threw two first-quarter touchdown passes and the No. 4 Longhorns survived a sloppy 21-13 season-opening victory over Arkansas State on Saturday night, narrowly avoiding yet another huge upset on the day.

“It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t the best,” McCoy said.

(Wow! You said a mouthful, young Colt. He then went on to say), “But we’re 1-0 and moving on.”

Texas, which hopes to contend for the Big 12 and national titles, was an overwhelming favorite over the Indians, but found itself fighting to hold on in the final minute.

It was scary enough that the Longhorns were thankful not to be lumped into same category of shocking upset victim with No. 5 Michigan, which lost 34-32 at home to Appalachian State earlier in the day.

And what about that game?

For at least the next 1.5 weeks, people will ask what happened? What went wrong? And invariably, a new phrase will be added to our lexicon. One that will aptly apply to someone who fails, then falls well beneath their own skill level, “You got Michiganed”.

Was it the biggest upset of all time? Not for Appalachian State. That big win left the Mountaineers high-tailin’ it back to Boone, N.C. as happy as inbred cousins being allowed to date outside the family for the first time.

They reality is this— on any given day, a football powerhouse can loose a game to a relative unknown who can on any given day, rise to the occasion to win ”
the big one”. In the case with Michigan—a school with an incredibly storied football past, the Wolverines were simply outplayed. And maybe Michigan lost the game more so than Appalachian State actually won it.

That happens sometimes, too.

I’ll say this in closing: I’ve watched a lot of football in my many years as a sentient, thinking bi-ped. I’ve dated a lot of guys…several jocks, in fact and I know how they think. I’ve seen them lament the loss of their fathers. I’ve seen them weep over a dying mother, but nothing…I repeat…NOTHING can replace that ashen, mournful, sorrow-filled, grief-encompassing look of a football player–from Pop Warner to veteran NFL Linebacker– who’s trying to cope with the loss of a big game as the clock winds down. Usually it’s a look usually reserved for the last minute or so and captured so well by the TV cameras as players sit on the bench and process what’s happening and all it represents.

The look says it all…the true agony of defeat.

Consider the rough, tough jock’s mindset: a loss makes them feel that EVERYTHING they worked for even this early in the season–in their lives–is now futile, pointless.

Moot.

They couldn’t be more wrong. Still, a jock takes a loss personally. With good reason, I suppose.

If they’re pros, a losing a game means forfeiture of that big victory bonus. That’s money that would keep the wife and the mistress in implants .

For collegians, a loss is exacerbated by the disappointment of realizing there were NFL scouts in the grandstands and they left halfway through the fourth quarter after they’d “seen enough”.

Ouch.

For the high school ball player, there’s the possibility that the nice, four year football scholarship to the University of Somewhere that would make Daddy so proud, could’ve been lost, along with the game.

For kids in Pop Warner, a loss is the first life’s first big ass kicking lesson. Yeah, get used to it, kid–losing sucks.

There’s nothing like “that look” and it was all over the faces of Michigan players Saturday.

mich1.jpg

Heads down, eyes gazing downward, helmets still on–that hides tell-tale signs of overt weeping from probing TV cameras.

Michigan fans fared no better.

mich2.jpg

GO BIG BLEW?????

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And what about Head Coach Lloyd Carr?

After this egregious embarrassment and losing as many bowl games as Michigan has in recent years, could he be a Dead Coach Walking?

He’ll probably survive this–probably– but can you imagine the distress in his lower G.I. tract today?

I’ve got four words for you Big Daddy: Im-Mo-Di-Um.

Oh yeah…Texas A&M and Virginia Tech won their games.

Next Sunday, I’ll recap the Texas/TCU game and I’ll take a closer look at LSU, Florida and I’ll examine the Trojans to see if in fact, the ribbed ones have been made for my pleasure.

Oh yeah…I’ll review USC, too.

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5 comments

  1. Wow. You know football?! I’m in a trance. As a Big 10 fan(Univ. of Iowa) living in Minnesota and watching the Golden Gophers get trounced by the Hawkeyes regularly is like eating the best damn clam chowder on the planet. LOVE IT!

  2. They look so sad though…
    Hey, I want to be a hot football chick too! Actually can I take basketball? Or actually, I may take roller derby. It’s a big hit over here.

  3. I actually wasn’t all that shocked by the loss…app. state is back to back Div IAA Champs. There’s not much difference between IA and IAA except the players in IA are normally a little larger and more athletic since they can get scholarships to play (IAA is non-scholarship). I went to a IAA school and the football was very competitive. Not to say we would have beaten Michigan by a long shot (considering we got crushes by the likes of Fordham and Lafayette)…but the better IAA schools (App. State, Youngstown St, etc) are right up there with the best IA schools in the land. If Boise St. can knock off Oklahoma in a bowl game then anything is possible.

    Sorry to go off on a sports tangent…don’t get to do that nearly as much as a should considering I used to be a sports editor (before I learned the value and need of a consistent paycheck!)

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