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Monday, June 20, 2011

The Doldrums of Summer

As Michigan fans and students, many of us look forward to the annual spring game with a bitter sweet feeling. Bitter because we realize that it's the last time we'll see any of the big three sports programs in action until September, but sweet because we are able to dedicate an entire day to our Michigan football team. No outsiders, no trash talking, no opposing teams or bands to worry about. In actuality, the spring game should hold a special place in every fan's heart. It is one of the few times that a fan can view the school and a major athletic event through "maize and blue" glasses without stressing about the result. Everyone can set high hopes, but know that little actually depends on the outcome.

In the same sense, it signals the end of the school year for students. Sure, the horror of final exams proceed and follow the game, but it is the last event that the entire student body has to enjoy together before splitting up for the summer, and in the case of seniors, for life.

Last year, I remember several of my graduating friends commenting on the fact that this is the last game they would see in the Big House as an undergraduate student. Though they would return in a few weeks for the graduation ceremony, entering for a game and a graduation ceremony is an entirely different experience, and I'd imagine the difference is even more substantial for a graduate.

Now, to get a little back on topic, it has been over two months since we last saw the football team in action. I know I am not alone in saying that it has seemed far longer than simply two months. It seems as if everyday I search the Internet in a vain attempt to receive some detail that will hint at the football season to come, but instead receive little, if any, information pertaining to next season.

Sure, we have the recruiting updates and commitments, but for the most part, it seems as if this is the plague of college football. Fans are absolutely overwhelmed for a five month period, then left to the doldrums for the remainder of the year.

I think what I'm trying to say is don't be frustrated with this time, embrace it because in a few months we'll either be trying to study and go to football games or attempting to switch shifts for work so we can make it home to watch the game. Then of course we have basketball, hockey and the spring game to look forward to as well.

But in an effort to curb the "doldrum effect" of the summer, I'm going to try to break down what I think could be the biggest differences of the 2011 football team in comparison to the 2010. Sure, we all obviously know that Brady Hoke brings a lot of changes to the table, but what players are going to improve the most? Which new recruits will be able to make an impact out of the gate, and finally, what injured players could have changed and will change the team's dynamic. Look for it in the coming days,

It's Great to be a Michigan Wolverine,