Strap your hands across my dreadlocked engine

Denard Robinson stepped in for his first official snap at QB. Michigan false-started. He lined up again, took a snap right off his hands. The ball was on the ground.

109,000 Michigan fans gasped because for the past two decades or so this was instant loss. John Navarre, bless his soul, wasn’t going to pick that up and make something happen. Sherithreet would have been pummeled by six defenders before they even had a chance.

Robinson collected the ball, evaluated his surroundings, made a cut, and took off. Western was baffled, Robinson broke a tackle, cut back, and then he was off. We screamed when he started up field. When he crossed the goal line, I think I came a little and hugged everyone I could get my hands on.

Not only can Denard turn a fumbled snap into a 40 yard touchdown run, he has dreadlocks. And united shoes. He has enough SWAG in his locker to pass it around and move Moosman to positive digits on the SWAGometer. That’s something new – something no one at Michigan has had since Woodson. I’m not talking the cliché sports writer “this team has swagger” vibe that comes from winning, I’m talking SWAG. A only partially definable quality that makes kids pretend to be you and man-children like myself stare in awe as if watching a master at work. Braylon, yeah, he had it at times. Henne, too much of a robot. Hart? Too conventional, too boring of a running style. Robinson has it, though. 


University of Michigan QB Denard Robinson races into the end zone with their first TD against Western Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI on Saturday, September 5, 2009.


Maybe a 1st half TD in a blowout against a MAC team in the season opener didn’t use to cause reactions like that, but times have changed.

We have a hard time admitting it, but 3-9 might be on the best things to ever happen to Michigan. When I was a student, early season MAC games were taken for granted, people skipped them, whatever. Now we find raucous joy in beating Western Michigan. I think that’s a good thing. You get precious few chances to see Michigan every year, and we shouldn’t dismiss any victory as routine. To see 109,000 embracing this new team and cheering like it was The Game, in early September, was beautiful.

There’s so much to say about this game, but I can’t articulate any of it. As much as part of me wants to stand on a virtual e-table, whip out my balls and piss on the non-believers who said the team would “fall apart” at the first sign of adversity or the doubters who couldn’t see the future in the fail of last year, my heart just isn’t in it. Be assured, I’ll always remember who you were and any high-five you get from me during future inevitable M success will only be half hearted.

I can’t adequately explain how happy I was walking out of the stadium. Even a douchetastic bald man angrily waving a finger and exclaiming that the performance in the 2nd half was “UNACCEPTABLE!!!!” wasn’t able to phase me. Now that the team is arriving, the team we have predicted, it’s easier and easier to ignore the Chicken Littles. Soon the evidence will be fully on display, laid out in front of them on the field, and they can take it or leave it. Saturday, most of them bought in. Those that didn’t probably hand out apples on Halloween.


University of Michigan Mike Martin gets to Western Michigan QB Stevie Brown for a sack during UM's 31-7 win in Ann Arbor, MI on Saturday, September 5, 2009.