Saturday, December 30, 2006

THE COME BACK


"Look at the last couple of years. USC and Michigan (2004 Rose Bowl), it was a huge game, and USC won, and look at where they were the next year. They were a top 10 team in the nation and went on to win a championship. “Look at Texas, they came in, and were a top 10 in the country the next year after that."

And he will return, Mike Hart, the man who subtly alludes to the notion that if Michigan beats Southern Cal it will win the National Championship the following season.

There are the hopelessly optimistic, the cautiously confident, the cocksure, the arrogant, and the brazen. And there are the purely lion-hearted, a strata in which Mike has most certainly resided his entire life. Were his vague declaration more vehement than that, one could consider it merely the pervading bitterness of a man victimized by the Napoleon Complex. But Mike knew exactly what he was saying in those sentences, and yet he didn’t speak frantically, as if he cared that the audience of journalists knew, or believed, what he was saying; this was the condition of the man, this was something he considered fact, this was a man who fought not as a defense mechanism, not to promote himself and his team – because for so long no one else had ever done it for him – but because he believed in no soul more than he did himself, and in this life he has never been afraid to.

It was President Ford that had given him the moniker “Little Mike,” and had told him so. It was Bo who used to tell him “You’re too small to play here.” Mike reminisces willingly about these vignettes; his size is not a curse, but rather an identity, something to be embraced. He’s not a small boy standing on his tiptoes so that a nation will notice him. “How can you be so short and still look down on so many people”; that’s not what he’s about. Because you realize whether he’s 5-8 or 5-9, or if he’s 5-7 and we’ve just been naïve, it doesn’t matter how tall he is. He is just much larger than us.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's annoying when people use semicolons in blogs properly. You're trying too hard dude.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Johnny said...

Thanks for reading

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Ben said...

Anonymous must be the type of guy who, unwittingly, leaves only one side of his shirt untucked because, you know, he doesn't care what other people think.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Johnny said...

Thanks a lot for that, Ben.

12:45 PM  

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