Michigan’s Unhealthy Obsessions

Michigan's Unhealthy Obsessions

Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
January 4, 2015

The Bruce Springsteen song “Glory Days” is a melancholy story about a group of people whose quality of life basically peeked in high school and has been sliding downward since. They all seem fully aware how pathetic it is to be so relentlessly nostalgic, but better that than face a joyless future. Of course it is a catchy, upbeat song so most listeners hear it as a celebration of glory days and sing along just like the sad people in the story. Maybe that’s how Bruce intended it — his little joke.

And so University of Michigan football fans sing along with the hiring of new coach Jim Harbaugh. I wish them well. But I really, really hope the enthusiasm is more about building a new competitive and honorable program, and not about trying to recapture the Bo Schembechler glory days. Nothing more annoying than wistful U of M fans. Have you ever seen “The Big Chill”?

1 Comment »

  1. Jim said,

    January 6, 2015 @ 9:39 am

    Right on John. It takes years to build/rebuild a top-notch football program. During the last two (arguably three) coaching stints U of M fans have not shown the willingness to be patient with their coaches. Jimmy H. is so unpredictable it’s hard to imagine how he will handle media and fan pressure if indeed it becomes a long road back for them. If he can bring them back quickly then “Michigan fan” will be overjoyed and be once again insufferable.

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