Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Absolute Worst Way to Lose....Ever

A forewarning that this post is not going to be family friendly or acceptible at most work places. I thought about saving it for tomorrow when I may be more rational or have some perspective. Nope.


I mean....Fuck. It can't possibly be worse than this. There's no worse way to lose...we've set a new record. Michigan's upset of my Wisconsin Badgers is absolutely to worst way to lose in the history of sports.

Blowout...I'll take it. It's a slow, painful death. Late touchdown to seal it...fine. We didn't deserve to win. Going for the endzone down 7 and's ok. We probably should have won, but we didn't. I can live with all of those....but I don't know if I can live with this. This was brutal.

As a preface, I woke up this morning and watched the NU @ Iowa game. Iowa was driving with just over a minute to go in the 4th quarter and failed to get a touchdown from 1st and goal from the 8. The 4th down pass was batted down at the line of scrimmage, and Iowa lost. Knowing WildHawk was at the game, and that he hadn't decided who to cheer for, I texted him looking for his first reaction to the 4th down stop..."Happy or Disappointed?"


Well, that sucks. I felt bad for him, as it was homecoming and all. But it was a great game to watch, and I knew that Iowa fans probably felt horrible as they were so close having 1st and Goal. Little did I know that they would get off easy. Little did I know that I was about to watch the worst Wisconsin loss of my life.

The first half couldn't have gone better. Sure, we missed an easy field goal early, but Michigan was fumbling everytime that I looked up. Short fields, crazy momentum, a silent 109,000 fans. Life was good. The offense wasn't converting too many touchdowns, but 19 points is 19 points. And the way our defense was playing...19 should have been enough. 3 should have been enough.

The second half was a different story. Michigan dominated the TOP, as the Wisconsin defense wasn't able to get off the field. Offensively, Wisconsin got complacent. Conservative playcalling and the offensive line disappearing led to only 1 drive in the entire 3rd quarter. You think the defense may have gotten tired? They were on the field the entire 2nd half. Most of that is their fault for not stopping 3rd downs (paging Matt Schaunessy...please don't rough the passer on 3rd down...thanks). Part of it though was the offense. This is when Wisconsin is supposed to be at it's best. With a lead in the 3rd and 4th quarter, the big ugly's up front and our pounding running backs should dominate the game. Turns out Gabe Carimi decided to have arguably his worst game as a Badger. Nice timing.

But none of this should have mattered. The reason this was the absolute worst way to lose was the last Wisconsin drive. After Allan Evridge's fourth (FOURTH!!) turnover, Wisconsin drove down the field. My Boy! #85 David Gilreath made a fantastic catch to get the TD, and UW was going for the 2-point conversion. Easy pass to an open Travis Beckum in the endzone...hello overtime. Ace's Bar in San Francisco was going being sprayed, the entire place jumping up and down...flag on the field. Beckum lined up in the wrong spot and covered the TE when he should've been off the line of scrimmage. Fuck.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

Can I be mad at Beckum? A guy who has won so many games for us? A player that has done nothing but give his all? A player who put himself into the game when the coaches were holding him out because, like Superman, he knew his team needed him? I can't. I can't do it. I can't be mad at Travis Beckum.

But he is the reason that this was the absolute worst way to lose ever. Think about it...your favorite team in your life has given up the biggest comeback in your opponent's storied history; they drove down the field to score a TD with a chance to tie; they tie the game on a 2-point conversion. Only, it doesn't count. The play is called back by a penalty and you lose the game. The reason this is the absolute worst way to lose it that we thought we had it was basically overtime already...only we were about to lose. The exhilaration of winning turns to the deep depression of losing with one stupid penalty. Fuck.

Bill Simmons on has already developed some levels of losing...and this is at a minimum "The Stomach Punch Game"...if not it's own new category. We had overtime...stomach punch...we lose. Fuck.

I knew Wisconsin wasn't a BCS championship caliber team this year, but this is unexcusable. For the love of Lloyd Carr even Notre Dame was able to beat Michigan. They gave us 5 turnovers in the first half...THE FIRST HALF!! And we couldn't capitalize. While there is plenty of blame to go around...Evridge's 4 turnovers, Evridge's ability to repeatedly throw behind receivers, dropped passes, defense couldn't get off the field, our O-line disappeared, stupid penalties, failure to capitalize on really comes down to one thing. Coaching.

Brett Bielema needs to find a way to keep his team into the game for 60 minutes. Two games in a row now, the Badgers have come out fired up and dominated the first half, only to struggle in the second half of football games. The offense gets stale. The defense can't get off the field. The sideline gets quiet and loses energy. That's coaching....plain and simple. Now, I like Bielema. He's kind of an asshole (dancing across the field at Fresno when we won), but being a Badger fan I love that about him. But he has some coaching deficiencies that he needs to recognize, accept, and improve...similar to the way he expects his players to improve on their deficiencies. Keep the players fired up all game. Make the necessary halftime adjustments even if you're winning. Manage the team to not get too high and not get too low.

But for now...fuck. That was awful. My mom even called me to see if I would talk to my Dad because he was having a hard time getting words out. I was too. I couldn't even begin to describe the feelings of thinking that you had overtime...and then having a loss. Terrible. Absolutely terrible.

At least we get Beanie Wells and Terrelle Pryor next week.


1 comment:

  1. Dan, Dan, Dan....well, I would agree. That IS the worst way to win. But I have to give credit to my boys in Ann Arbor...what a comeback! Too bad our bet wasn't for the loser to wear a jersey at the office...that would have been fun to see. But the shots and beers last night were just fine. Just remember that I bought those really expensive Jello shots! Ha.