I promised you more about the Minnesota game and here it is.
I was there, in the stands, grinning like Ruprecht the Monkey Boy at the end of the first half. And then the Firecrackers came out and jumped a lot of rope in crazy impressive ways (btw, you should go to their website, find out where they will be performing and go. You’ll thank me). I was very happy. I even had a hot dog, and who can be sad with a hot dog? Not me, that’s who.
Then the second half started.
And the second half was like Treme. David Simon followed up The Wire, quite possibly the greatest TV show of all time, with Treme and Treme left people a little cold. It was a much slower show, it wasn’t nearly as funny. People weren’t quite sure what the plot was. It was a good show, but it wasn’t the greatest show in the history of TV, so people liked it even less than was probably warranted because of the greatness that was The Wire.
Alternate analogy, the second half was like that Taylor Swift video for “You Belong with Me.” that won the MTV VMA for Best Female Video, but unfortunately for us (and Kanye) the first half was like “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!
It’s hard to compete with the Wire and Single Ladies. Everything else pales in comparison. Most of the second half was fine. It wasn’t as good as the first half, but that was one of the best halves of all time. One of the best halves of all time!
Plus, Minnesota is a very good team and their head coach, mustachioed former RNC Chair, Michael Steele wasn’t about to let them keep up their first half play and lose by 40.
So, Minnesota tried hard, we got a little complacent and sloppy. The crowd started watching the clock almost from the beginning of the second half, just hoping we wouldn’t give it away, but not really cheering actively. It was a combination of disinterest in a 20 point game and a nervousness that it would get uncomfortably close.
And you know why we all felt kind of nervous. Because, to quote Snoop Dogg (radio edit) this type of thing happens all the time.
Case in point. Did you see the Michigan v. Ohio State game from Sunday? Same exact scenario. Home teams goes up big against a very good opponent. Opponent comes back. Home team pulls it out. You know the difference between those two games? About 60 total points.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m baffled by our use of the 2-3 Zone that we don’t seem to be any good at. I’m confused about the decision to keep Christian as the inbounds man against the press when he couldn’t get the ball inbounds. And having Cody and Cristian try to bring the ball up the court against pressure while Jordan and Yogi were both on the court in back to back possessions seems insane to me.
But those are all things to work on. And I know we will.
In the meantime we have a game against Wisconsin for sole possession of the lead in the Big Ten. And Wisconsin is the last demon we need to exorcise. We haven’t beaten them since Sampson’s first year. I can think of no better time to get that first win than when it would give us a game up on everyone in conference.
And not to get too far ahead of ourselves here, but if we win tonight, and keep winning through January, the February 2nd game against Michigan could provide us the chance to go two games up on Michigan, which would be a very, very good thing.
First thing’s first, though. 40 good minutes against a tough Wisconsin squad.