Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sam McGuffie, Tackling Dummy

On Friday, The Free Press and other news sources reported that freshman tailback, Sam McGuffie, will be leaving the University of Michigan's football program. I am disappointed about this decision for a couple of reasons. Unspecific to Sam, this could easily be taken as a larger representation of the football program heading in the wrong direction. Not only did the team lose many games, but the players are not remotely convinced that there is a pot of gold (NFL contracts) waiting for them at the end of the rainbow. There is bound to be some dissatisfaction when a team loses so consistently, but the hope would be that Rich Rodriguez would be able to paint a picture of future successes to the team participants.

I also did not mind Sam McGuffie. There were a few plays here and there where you could catch glimpses of what made him such a star in high school. By the end of the year, he seemed to be losing some of his elusive qualities, and I think this is because...

When defenses were able to tackle him, they would tackle him HARD. Like crazy hard. I can distinctly remember four separate instances near the end of the year where immediately after the tackle, I thought to myself "holy crap that must have hurt." I don't know if it was something about the way he ran, his smallish size, or that maybe he was made of marshmallows, but I did not think it was physically possible for a human's linear momentum (mass times velocity) to be so instantaneously reversed. Two summers ago, my brother worked in Phoenix, Arizona. At the end of the summer, I flew down to Arizona, got in his car at the airport, and then we started the long drive back to Michigan. Immediately after we left Arizona, the car's air conditioning stopped functioning. It was August and we were in the southwest, and not having refridgerated air was a huge imposition. To try to manage, we opened the car windows all the way (which I dislike doing on the highway) and we tried to angle our hands and arms out of the window in such a way that we could direct some airflow down our sweaty backs. As we drove through Texas, dusk was falling and the bugs were coming out in force. I should have anticipated this, but about halfway through the state, I was shocked when a gigantic bug exploded on my outstretched hand. It stung badly and there were bug insides covering my hand. I think Sam McGuffie got hit harder than this poor exploded bug.


Ken said...

Yet again, you, Ken, have done an excellent job tying together an anecdote from your life with a pertinent, relevant story from the great state of Michigan. I only wish my life was so rich and full as to be able to make the kinds of connections that you continue to make on a daily basis. Congratulations to you and your 3 readers.

Daniel J. said...

There are no excuses. Bo Schembeckler is rolling over in his grave - guaranteed. The greatest fallacy of the University of Michigan football program was what they chose to do last spring. They decided to break a very long-standing tradition of conservative offense like a cleft *^&hole. I didn't even need to watch a single game this year because I knew nothing spectacular would happen. We don't have the ingredients for a spread offense. Model yourself after the NFL (the PROFESSIONAL football program). They don't make such drastic changes without holding uber-logical reasonings. UofM is going to have to swallow their pride and go back to the tried and true ways. Otherwise, they have a hell of a recruiting decade in front of them to completely refurbish their offense. Mcguffie would be great at an established spread offensive team such as Florida or even USC believe it or not.