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Westsider Rider

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Turnin the Corner

My regular 8-6 M-F work as a Customs broker will be coming to a close soon, my dad told me that I'm being transferred to the warehouse in a few weeks where I'll soon have to work late, on weekends, holidays and whatnot, I guess I'll understand what I bankers go through and it's gonna suck. Not sure what I can expect when I get moved out, but it's a move I got to make and we'll see how it goes. I'm looking at it in a disappointing negative way because of the hours that I look at I'm going to have to work but I doubt it will be as bad as my worst case scenario. I also have to stop being so much of a bitch and do some hard work in the workplace, granted not like what I've been doing is ridiculously easy, but my dad went through a lot of shit to build our company to where it's at today. Hopefully I can carry it on and make it even better.

Football season is almost upon us. I'm getting e-mails daily regarding fantasy football leagues and I can't wait to get it going. Last year I joined 2 College Fantasy Leagues as well and they were a lot of fun. This should be a very exciting season for my two teams which if you didn't know are my alma mater, the Michigan Wolverines and the Oakland Raiders. When I first went off to college at Michigan I was looking forward to 4 years of Rose Bowls and National Championships. I came back from Michigan with none. My freshman year was the Tom Brady led squad that somehow lost to the sparties when we had the dual QB system with Drew Henson and then also somehow blew an 18 point lead at home to Illinois. Instead of heading to Pasadena where I had always dreamed of going since it was so close to home yet I had never gone we were sent to Miami and the Orange Bowl. Although I wanted to go I didn't want to ask my parents for that kind of money and I figured hey its my freshman year this is just the tip of the iceberg. So that New Years I sat at home with some friends and watched one of the greatest games I have ever seen in my life and I was ready to go onto season 2.

That next year Drew Henson was ready to take over until he broke his foot in the preseason and John Navarre had to step in and lead us over such difficult opponents as Bowling Green and Rice. Navarre looked all world until he had to head out to Pasadena against UCLA and played ok but ok doesn't get it done on the road. Sure there were some other things that happened, including Julius Curry's INT that was clearly inbounds but the refs ruled out of bounds but shit happens. Then we blew the game at Purdue followed by the 54-51 game vs Northwestern where the A-Train inexplicably got stripped by the air and dropped the ball to give the wildcats another chance which they capitalized on. So another 6-2 Big Ten season sending us to the Citrus Bowl. Drew Henson and David Terrell ripped it up in the Citrus Bowl vs Auburn and we seemed ready to finally make our run to the National Championship.

Then the year I would rather forget, Henson leaves early, not for the NFL but for the Ohio State backing George Steinbrenners New York Yankees. Terrell also left early for the NFL and now we're left with John Navarre a year way too early and Marquise Walker. Walker had a hell of a year but John Navarre was just not ready for it and we ended up with another 6-2 Big Ten season with a heartbreaking loss at Washington at the beginning of the year, clockgate in the middle of the year vs the sparties and somehow spotting Ohio State a 23 point lead in the first half to end up coming back just short of the win. Can't forget the most embarassing bowl loss to Tennessee and it was just an awful year.

Finally my senior year, the year that everything was supposed to come together. John Navarre is now experienced, Chris Perry should be ready to step up and National Championship here we come. We open up the season with one of the best games I've seen in person vs Washington with Phil Brabbs kicking the GW FG with no time left after Washington decided to have 12 men on the field after a penalty. Then to follow that great game up, what do you know we blow another road game to a Notre Dame team that was nowhere near our level. Had another great game to watch vs Penn State in overtime and then we head into the showdown at home with Iowa and get manhandled by Brad Banks and company, couple that with the fact that I had one of the worst hangovers of my life that morning that probably ranks up there in the worst days of my life. We bounce back and get ready to storm into the Horseshoe with the undefeated Bucknuts and we're ready to take them down. We go down there and dominate in every way possible except on the scoreboard. We get 3 first half FG's and that's it. I was in the corner where the ref called that BS PI on Braylon and our offense consists of 9 points. The Bucknuts win and we head back to Ann Arbor with another 6-2 Big Ten record and even the Citrus Bowl doesn't want us anymore so we get the Outback. The beauty of the Outback Bowl, an 8 am start on New Years Day in California. So I head out to a party get home by 4, sleep for 4 hours and start watching this game in bed. We got the win thanks to Ron Zook's ineptitude and going for 2 early in the game when anyone considering doing such a thing should've been shot.

Man that was a rant, but anyways my point was that I left Michigan with 4 years of 6-2 in the Big Ten after thinking that we were to be playing for National Championships every other year. It's amazing to think how much talent we have at Michigan and our last NC was in 1997. I think all these years of living and dying with Michigan have gotten me to realize that we will always underachieve under Coach Carr, he's a great man off the field, although he supposedly gave me a "you stupid Asian" look when I almost got into an accident with him, but on the field he has yet to bring back the elusive NC. He's gotten two straight Big Ten Championships and two Rose Bowls, these past two years but look what's happened we've lost both of them. We can't stop a mobile QB either and it's just frustrating. So this year I enter the year with some more realistic expectations. I'll have those along with my preseason top 10 or 20 list, depending on how much time I have, when it gets to August. I would give almost anything to win the NC this year in Pasadena, third time's a charm but I highly doubt it.

The Oakland Raiders will be another interesting group to watch with the addition of Randy Moss. It gives the Raiders, I believe, the best WR trio in the NFL, I know most will say the Colts with Harrison, Wayne and Stokley but I'm gonna be a homer here. Randy Moss, hands down best in the game, Jerry Porter who broke out last year and would be a very good #1 but now he becomes a #2 which will give him so much more opportunities considering the D will always have to keep an eye on "Straight Cash" Moss. Rounding out the trio is Ronald Curry, the former #1 player in the country in football and basketball who is now bulked up and had one of the best catches of last year in the NFL vs the Donkeys aka Broncos, at Mile High. Lamont Jordan is added to bolster the running game and I believe he will have a breakout year finally out of Curtis Martin's shadow. The D will still be a question and we're going to have to turn into a Colts type offense where we will need to outscore our opponents to win some games. Either way I'm very excited to see where both teams will go this year and it's just around the corner.

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