stop your sobbing
Standing at the podium afterward, LaMarr was asked “Did this feel at all like last year, with losing the lead at the end?” And involuntarily his puffy eyes – no doubt dried and bloodshot from the anguish we want each of our idols to feel when something goes wrong – glared down at him, as if appalled that a flawless season, cobbled together only with the team’s own unflinching confidence and the sullen loyalists’ rectified optimism, could be reduced to “last year”, when Michigan slowly amputated all that we love about this game with a dull razor blade and a sheet of sandpaper. Then in an instant the notion that this team had earned immunity was scorched to ash by the flames that had inspired them to win 10 games in the first place.
Had he grumbled something close to “no,” the entourage of adoring journalists before him would have lauded the defense just the same a day later – his defense had earned it, of course, and coaches will always be vilified before the players; he was innocent if he wanted to be. But in a brief moment of introspection, LaMarr realized that sitting in the shadows only made the Truth more lethal later on; like, perhaps, November 18th, when there’s never anywhere left to hide. “A little bit…A little bit,” he said, with each syllable cleansing his team of last season’s sins – the courage to be honest brings progress. Last year he saw that his team had become the same one every
Michigan has always had a reputation of vast significance, leaned on like an oak walking stick; leaned on for so long it rotted into a splinter and gorged the hand of this program, only to go untended and finally become infected somewhere in downtown San Antonio late last December. No more than a second and a half passed between the reporter’s question and LaMarr’s answer, but he had to be thinking about that. Or maybe, in the most satisfying solution of all, he had already been thinking about it; for hours, for weeks, for months – because deep down, our greatest fear is that the athletes we root for do not care about the game as much as we do. I’ve seen this team play, I’ve seen it win, and I can’t say I feel like it’d lie to me.
For four three years LaMarr played for a Michigan team that never brought him anywhere but just short of where he wanted to be – a championship; the elite; the only place we’d ever settle for. And so LaMarr spoke not like a man who was content surviving in spite of
And I’ll be damned if I let anything but those last four words change how I feel about this team. I live an ordinary life; I have simple pleasures. I like girls in my bed, milk with my cookies, and