Welcome to the Big House
Greetings fellow citizens!
A very happy and very cold December morning to you all. :-) The hiatus is over (now that Thanksgiving and other shenanigans are aside) and I can finally return to my blogging thoughts.
I am a huge college football fan! I wouldn’t go so far as to describe myself as a fanatic, but the crushing grind and bone-shattering impacts of the collegiate gridiron offer up too much good stuff to be ignored. It’s great that the 49ers slid past the Seahawks, but hello people, did you see Auburn vs. Missouri or Stanford vs. Arizona State or Michigan State shut down Ohio State like they were taking candy from a large, corn fed baby? It was freaking AWESOME!
Every few years, I seem to stumble upon a legendary football game that not fully encourages my healthy obsession, provides a ridiculous jolt of adrenaline, fond memories I will hold with me for the rest of my life, and the warm, fuzzy feeling that I’ve been part of something great and historical. The all-time, single greatest football game I have seen was Nevada’s 2010 ousting of Boise State in overtime. Freaking unbelievable, plus I had my family in Reno helping to celebrate Thanksgiving. It doesn’t get any better than that!
This year’s Thanksgiving was special for a myriad of reason. Reuniting with my family who no longer live anywhere near me, seeing distant family I had rarely seen off and on since 2000, and getting to celebrate my dad’s birthday in the mother lode of football stadiums, the home of the Victors, the arena in which the wolverines prey on their unsuspecting foes: The Big House.
Ever since I can remember, my dad has been a diehard Michigan Wolverines fan. And ever since I can remember, we have NEVER gone to a game in Ann Arbor or in Knoxville, Tennessee (Peyton Manning essentially played football in my backyard for four years at UT). The time of the Aaron’s missing epic football had finally come to an end, and in what glorious fashion! We surprised dad with the biggest, baddest, most badass tickets of any rivalry: Ohio State squaring off against the Wolverines in The Big House. That just screams epic!
Sometimes the greatest endings have very feeble beginnings, and as any Michigan fan knows, the Wolverines have tripped, stumbled, and fallen over themselves all season. Unfortunately, the stars and 17 moons were aligned properly, and this was THE game and THE season we would get to participate in the football madness. For dad’s sake, I simply hoped it wasn’t going to be a thrashing. Not only were we in for a surprise, but one of the best football games I’ve seen.
The opening drive saw the Wolverines clawed through Ohio State for a turnover on downs and powered down the field to nail the first score of the game. I never really understood what it meant to have 113,000 people in the same football stadium, but holy cow did that place erupt! It was a shootout from there on, as the Buckeyes exchanged potshots with a Michigan team that was scrappy and searching for blood.
Enter the 3rd quarter, and the Buckeyes lead 35 – 21 and dad begins to give up hope. Granted, it looked bleak, but I took a page from my friend Priscilla’s book and said POSITIVE VIBES! We must send positive vibes! And sure enough, Michigan tied the game with five minutes remaining. WHAT A GAME. The outcome boiled down to the final minute where Michigan scored, setting up for the tie, but chose to go for a 2 point conversion to win the game (a solid decision in my humble opinion). The pass was intercepted, and Ohio State squeaked away with the victory, but it was one for the legend books, let alone Aaron lore.
I wasn’t disappointed, pfff I was elated. Dad was a little down (understandably) but dang was that a doozy of a football game. I was shocked that Michigan competed, gave us hope, and entertained, thrilled, and put their nose to the grind stone. And there were Thanksgiving leftovers to be had somewhere :D
Thanksgiving, family time, and just life in general are constructed around your time spent with those you love, those you cherish, and those you may have to try not to strangle from time to time. It’s vacations, even single events, like this that make me thrilled to be part of my family and yet pine for the “good ol’ days” when things were different. I’m sure they weren’t as good as they remember, but time turns even the most gray memories into a fantastical, colored dream filled with food, laughter, and fun.
For many, the holidays can be a drag, and an unrestful one at that. This year, I’m choosing to just make it awesome, and awesome it shall be! Good enough for me ;-)