Growing up as a fan of Michigan football the following quote was ingrained in my consciousness:
Football is religion and Saturday is the holy day of obligation- Bob Ufer
One of the great privileges of covering Michigan football is the opportunity to pass through the Michigan Stadium tunnel. You can imagine the great Wolverine teams of the past heading down onto to the field. Harmon, Howard, Woodson, Brady- they all made that same walk down to the hole that Yost dug, Canham carpeted, and Schembechler filled.
So imagine my chagrin to hear the Purdue players whooping and hollering in the Michigan Stadium tunnel following their 38-36 victory over the Wolverines.
The tunnel is holy ground for Michigan football. And all too often rather than lambs to the slaughter, opposing teams have been all too happy when passing through the tunnel.
Appalachian State, Toledo, and Purdue- not exactly a roll call of gridiron glory- have all shocked the Wolverines in recent seasons.
Mystique = an aura of mystery, power, and awe that surrounds a person or thing
It used to be said that the Michigan helmet was worth 10 points. But the Michigan mystique is evaporating. Right now teams are still excited about beating the Wolverines. But the hammer and nails aren’t rivals- and the Wolverines are looking a lot more like nails lately than hammers. No amount of Stadium expansions or new practice buildings will matter unless the Wolverines starting winning on the field.
Right now Coach Rodriguez and his staff are at the pivot point here at Michigan. Prior to the Penn State game it appeared that the program was on the upswing. But blowout losses to Penn State and Illinois have shaken the belief of many fans. The latest loss to Purdue adds to the misery of the Michigan faithful.
Can the Wolverines bounce back from three straight disheartening Big Ten losses?
Coach Rodriguez’s tenure may depend on it.
You can be sure that Michigan’s next Athletic Director, whomever it may be, is watching…