Sunday, September 17, 2006

Revenge, served cold


I woke this morning to a clear and rejuvenating sunlight.

The hangover didn't bother me, even though it was pretty ugly. I lay in bed, some peeks of the sky visible through my blinds, focused on my breathing. I had found an inner peace from the knowledge that a good world had been restored.

It goes without saying that, yes, of course, many of us are pleased by that 47-21 victory, although it wasn't merely the fact of the victory or the score or even the pleasure of seeing a quasi-fictional media darling like Brady Quinn unmasked as a fumbling beagle who happens to have good cheekbones.

As much as anything, it was the forceful unremitting stomping, the swagger and crush, that peaked awesomely and hiliariously with that final gawky Brady Quinn fumble and the great but inelegant LaMarr Woodley running that fumble for a touchdown.

Photo snapped by a friend who was on the premises.

That whole game was like a present to my reptile brain and the slingshot to a long night of beer drinking and headbutting and bearhugging and faked efforts at faux-Frenching and general 1997-style rowdiness.

I have read some blasphemy that draws analogies to 1997, which, even as I experience this intense pleasure, I find uncomfortable. My heart has been broken too many times to become too happy this early in the season. I'm worried that Penn State is due to beat us, and that they'll be our spoiler.

I'm not thinking about big-picture issues. What I want instead is a revenge fantasy fulfilled -- the season of Kill Bill. A hero revived from the coma, who methodically eviscerates the old assassins who should've known better.

The 2005 season was a succession of humiliations, starting with Notre Dame, and then Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ohio State. They must be avenged. Yesterday's game wasn't a normal victory. It was a pyrotechnic and precise evisceration, the stuff of acrobats and brick walls. Lying in bed this morning, I began to think about Kill Bill, and the ethos of that movie:
For those regarded as warriors, when engaged in combat the vanquishing of thine enemy can be the warrior's only concern. Suppress all human emotion and compassion. Kill whoever stands in thy way, even if that be Lord God, or Buddha himself. This truth lies at the heart of the art of combat.
And as to Brady Quinn:
As I said before, I've allowed you to keep your wicked life for two reasons. And the second reason is so you can tell him in person everything that happened here tonight. I want him to witness the extent of my mercy by witnessing your deformed body.
And:
It's mercy, compassion, and forgiveness I lack; not rationality.
Charlie Weis, speaking to media afterward, displayed graciousness and humility, although after a loss like that, showing anything else might have been a PR disaster. He bows before my university:
It's really only right to give just due to your opponent who just kicked your butt. You know, they've been much maligned coming into this game. I have a lot of respect for Coach Carr and his staff. I think it's really important to understand that that team just came and just whupped us pretty good.
As much as I want this to be just the beginning, it's also possible that the rest will be anticlimax. In every revenge movie, part of the thrill is that the bad guys never see that justice is coming. The heroes administer justice, survey the wreckage, and steal a Heisman on the way out.

"Thought that was pretty fuckin' funny didn't you?
Word of advice, shithead - don't you ever wake up."

10 comments:

brian the pinup said...

First off, I'm giddy about the game. Excellent. The hangover was bad but managable. (CN, you were outta control saturday night...and I'm 100% OK with that)

But on a sidenote, sent to nbcsports@nbcuni.com

---------------

As a University of Michigan alumnus and football fan, I watched your coverage of the UM-ND football game this weekend. While I was rather pleased as to the outcomeof the game, I was quite dissapointed in your broadcast team and the decisions your producers made throughout the game. First of all, it is not terribly good form to show someone, in this case your colleage Jerome Bettis, saying that they "hate Michigan" in your pregame and then let that person -- an employee of your company -- into the broadcast booth for an extended period during the game. Might I remind you that he just said he "hated" the school supported by roughly 50% of your audience?

But I was most dissapointed in your mistake outside the booth, when, during the first half, you played the ad for Michigan State University during the game. Look, I know probably none of you went to Michigan, but it is disrespectful of you to play the wrong school's ad -- without apology (though I will admit I stopped paying much attention to what they were saying after you let Bettis talk) -- basically saying "you're all alike." What if I said I don't see a difference beteween Notre Dame and the University of St. Francis? Both are Catholic schools in Indiana, right?

I look forward to your personal apology -- as I do not intend to watch your sports coverage again for some time, so I will miss your on-air apology -- and to reading the news that you have written a check to U of M for the lost publicity.

Brian Forster.
U of M Class of '98

Crunk Raconteur said...

Hey, best of luck on your Kill Bill reenactment. There is, however, one problem. You see, that tale of bloody revenge only reached its climax because Bill decided to stop and blather about Superman for a while instead of just killing her.

Michigan will receive no such courtesy from Troy Smith.

(Oh, and in regard to NBC's coverage of Notre Dame, it's from them that I learned that Brady Quinn is just as good as Jesus in every way, only he's better looking, too...)

brian the pinup said...

I'm on a roll! Sent to SI.com's Stewart Mandell (note ass-kissing at the end in a shameless attempt to be published):

(Note -- yes I know that I mentioned the football gods immediately and was still frustrated by all of it...so I took some liberties with the storyline, OK?)

--------------------

Hi Stewart,

As a UM fan and alumnus, I was obviously very happy as to the game this week. Initially, though, I was frustrated by NBC's many pro-Notre Dame decisions. There are too many to mention, but may I highlight two? (1) Jerome Bettis, an NBC employee, was shown in pregame saying "I hate Michigan," then allowed into the broadcast booth for nearly a quarter! (2) NBC showed Michigan STATE's ad during the first half, not the excellent U-M ad featuring the "all U-M crew" of an Apollo space mission. (Full disclosure, I was a UM engineer, so I'm geeked we get some pub.)

I was annoyed by these things until I realized something. The football gods were angered by NBC/ND arrogance, and their justice was swift and just.

Just had to get that off my chest. Keep up the good (and thankfully bias-free) work!

Brian Forster.

CrimeNotes said...

(beer + endorphines) - (2005 + Heisman hopeful Brady Quinn) = out of control and HOOTING

And yes, that Michigan State ad was the product of total smartassery on the part of someone on the NBC production staff. No way that could happen by accident.

Crunk Raconteur said...

It would have been so much better if it was the Appalachian State ad, instead.

The square root of X = Appalachian State, where X = Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot.

Seriously, though, it would be awesome if you could start an internet crusade to get NBC to repay UM for the ad screwup, but I don't know that you'll have much luck with the Bettis thing. After all, it should be mentioned that the game where Michigan won that half-national-championship some years back was called by the father of Michigan's quarterback...

brian the pinup said...

Crunk, excellent point on Appalachian State.

ABC, in having Bob Griese call his son's games, was strict on having him (Bob) calling his own son by his last name and not betraying any biases. NBC, on the other hand, showed Bettis saying "I HATE MICHIGAN." You could say Bettis was a "celebrity guest" but he is employed by NBC, so thats a bit suspect.

Granted, for most of those Griese-called games, I was at the games and not watching on TV, so I'm willing to drop the issue if my impressions here are wrong.

As for the ad, as a UM engineer, I just really like our ad -- some actual glory for the engineers! God knows its rare for us. And the Sparty ad is a joke.

I realized too late that I told Stewart Mandel that the football gods' "Justice will be...just" which sounds like something A-Rod would say. Please change "justice" to "vengence." Thank you. (They give you a very small text box so you can't re-read/proof your emails without getting a headache.)

CrimeNotes said...

I remain too euphoric, exhausted and stunned to know how to respond. Prescott Burgess! LaMarr Woodley! Manningham is greatness! The flipside of heartache is the loss of discipline and self-control inspired by all of this. No, I'm not looking ahead to Ohio State, but just trying to get my perspective and balance back.

tommy o said...

Hmm, I'm holding out for the Ohio University ad during an OSU game. :)

Crunk Raconteur said...

I do have to say, even as an Ohio State fan, that the U of M Apollo commercial is really great. The first time I saw it was during OSU-Michigan two years ago (the same one where 1. Troy Smith put his first of 3 whuppings on Michigan, and 2. "Mighty" (their word) Crunk-and-Flop High was name-dropped by the announcers), and the other OSU fans and I sat there for a second afterwards, looking at each other saying, "Damn, that was fantastic."

We considered burning a couch in its honor, because that's how we apparently roll...

Flop said...

SPACE, bitches, is how we roll.

That and wrecking Heisman campaigns.