Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Walking Dead

I used to like that show.

The Walking Dead was a pretty solid show there for a while; compelling characters, motivations, and personality clashes, not to mention a healthy amount of cable TV gore. All the while, though, a durable consistency in strategy and dichotomy: different location each season, viable team members coming and going, and plenty of attention paid to the psychological condition brought on by a Biblical apocalypse.

One might argue that Michigan football was once the same - great coach(es), talented players, fiery toughness (which came via the trickle-down effect, if I knew what that meant), and all the while a consistent, cohesive through-line in regards to the mentality and competitiveness inherent to being part of something greater than oneself.

I don't like that show anymore. 

While we're breaking down this TV-sports metaphor, let me address that there are a myriad of other programs to which I could compare my alma mater's current excuse for a football program: How I Met Your Mother, The Office, the currently socially reprehensible organization that parades itself as the NFL. Nonetheless, The Walking Dead fits in this example mostly because of the massively figurative qualities of its main 'villains': their dead-ness.

Much like the show's titular zombies, Michigan Football is dead, yet moving. And hungry. Michigan football will never truly die, because even when it is no longer living, its minions will still wander the wasteland, desperate for anything; content, merchandise, appearances from members of the Glorious Past, the Great Before, and the Neverending Once Upon a Time.

But this is not life.

The Walking Dead got annoying when its formula became too easily dissected. This season, there will be a NEW place that we basically treat as "home base." There will be a NEW bad guy character, probably! There will be a NEW romantic conflict! There will be a NEW set of OLD characters who DIE from ZOMBIES or WHATEVER fuck you!

Such is Michigan football right now. Every year cannot get worse than the one before. Yet it is paraded as having NEW personnel or NEW confidence gains with a NEW sense of collective self-worth and a NEW offensive and/or defensive scheme that will make the team NEW and feel NEW whatever fuck you!

And every year gets worse than the one before. Every year is a new worst thing. Save for the ever-increasingly enigmatic 2011 season, every year since 2007 has some horrific awfulness: a historically bad defense (2010), a historically bad special teams (pick a year), horrifically mis-handled offense (...pick a year). This year's model easily feels the worst. 135 years of American football without a third loss before October. Imagine literally ANYTHING happening for 135 straight years. Then imagine the HORRENDOUSNESS that comes with breaking the streak of something that was otherwise nonexistent for BOTH OF YOUR GRANDMA'S LIFESPANS COMBINED. HOLY SHIT THE WALKING DEAD IS SO BAD AND STUPID.

I've probably let this comparison get away from me, but the chaos theory reigns supreme and if the subjects about which I write can't be bothered to care, then neither shall I.

The point is this: for all the lame bush league that The Walking Dead became, at least it kept true to how you can take down the bad guys.

Michigan football needs to be eliminated so it can truly cease to be such a sucking, all-consuming, never-resting drag on an otherwise enjoyable life. This zombie of a program will only truly cease (and thus be a candidate for rebirth, if you subscribe to that kind of dogma; whatever, I don't care) if the head is in some way compromised.

The metaphor here is that Brady Hoke and Dave Brandon are the zombie brain that keeps this suppurating black hole alive. Remove the head, and the rest can return to the soil and rise again.

Dave Brandon has consistently stolen the spotlight, like so many ZERO successful Athletic Directors before him, while alienating fans, alumni, and former players alike. Brady Hoke, for all his early "aw, shucks!" likeability, has proven himself overwhelmed, out-coached, and, just recently, wholly ignorant of his players' on-field well-being.

I've spent the past couple years fighting anyone who says Michigan needs to fire Brady Hoke. Fighting them with the swords and brass knuckles of hope. I've been frightened of another godforsaken transition period; I hated it when RichRod transitioned from Lloyd, and I hated it when Brady transitioned from RichRod.

But this next overturning will not be a transition. It will (or at least should) be a house-cleaning. A house cleaning that begins with cleaning the highest of houses, who have for so long dodged housekeeping.

Michigan football will probably suck for at least another several years. I'm fine with that, so long as we don't do it so embarrassingly, with such blind pride and stupidity. It's one thing to become a losing program - it's a whole other beast to become a losing program that goes about such business with wanton disregard for its players, its fans, their respective well-beings.

HEY REMEMBER THIS WAS ABOUT ZOMBIES

Oh, right. Yeah. Um...Kill the zombie in the face and end this farcical, fart-sicle excuse for a football program. Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke are not smart enough to realize this and do the right thing, but maybe if enough of us write angry half-baked allegories and post them online, they'll take the hint and remove themselves from our lives.

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