Shit. What a goddamned dumpster fire Saturday was, eh? Eff me.
At any rate, I think I’ve finally emerged from the permabrood enough to again become a ‘productive’ member of the blogosphere. I’m still in uber reflective mode though, so eff off If you’re not interested in a pensive, stream-of-consciousness screed.
I’m just not sure where it all went wrong, both with the team and me. In my case, I felt like I did all the right things: I set a low win total for the season (between three and five); I bought part and parcel into Kill’s statements that the Gophers were lacking depth and talent at multiple positions and that it would be a long road back to respectability; I even calmed the hype of some casual fans who thought we were B1G contenders after a strong second-half showing against USC. Let’s see how they play this week, I said. The Gophers have a penchant for losing these sorts of games, I continued.
I didn’t really believe it, though. I mean, we’re talking about New Mexico Effing State. They’re awful, pathetic, a disgrace of a program…no way we lose that game. Derp.
I felt what a crack fiend must go through when he knows he’s got another eight ball wrapped up in a sock in the glove compartment, only to realize he smoked it in a Robitussin-filled bender the night before. The fiend’s surety of pleasure that comes from freebasing that last rock of 95% baking soda is replaced with the knowledge that he will now have to blow dudes in a damp, dimly-lit back alley to get his next hit. Enough despair and regret to leave him a broken and bitter shell of a fiend. That’s how I felt at 6.30 on Saturday evening. Minus the blowing dudes, though, you guys.
Of course, all of that is my own fault. Based on the wins over Illinois and Iowa last year and the competitive nature of the USC game, I felt we were inherently better than NMSU: we had more talent, we had better coaches and we had all of the resources available to a BCS-conference school. Hubris won out over reason and I set myself up for abysmal disappointment when the upset was pulled.
So, finding my fault in the madness is pretty straightforward, I guess, in that I bought into the quark of hype around the program and got burned.
A bigger question, though, is where it went wrong with the team. Meandering through the Gopher ‘tronz over the last few days, blame has shot about like an errant jizzbomb. Reasons for the embarrassing result include: the coaching staff for dreadful play calling, the players for taking NMSU too lightly, MarQueis Gray for being indecisive, Tim Brewster for being Tim Brewster, the offensive line for ineptitude, Glen Mason for the 2006 recruiting class, TC the Bear, Maturi, the defensive line for historic ineptitude, NMSU being much better this year, the players for not caring, the student section for non-attendance, the CBs for playing with too much of a cushion and Raiden from Mortal Kombat.
Now, I don’t really have the expertise to opine on any of that stuff and most of the game was a drunken haze for me, so I’ll leave my thoughts at this. From top to bottom, coaching staff to kicker, the team looked awful on Saturday. The Gophers seemed ill prepared for the schemes NMSU threw at them, the fundamentals of blocking and tackling were poorly executed and the coaches made some very questionable decisions in key situations. Suffice it to say, there’s plenty of blame to go around to all members of the Gopher football organization.
There’s no excuse that makes a loss in that game acceptable. But it’s not the end of the world, either. We’re game two into the Kill regime so I reckon it’s a wee bit early to declare his tenure at Minnesota a failure. Other than brutally slaying the interest of casual fans like a hooker and the extermination of my liver from the post-game hatewaste, there really aren’t any negative long-term consequences from this loss. We all know the team has to get better and, frankly, we have no choice but to trust the coaches to make those improvements. Ain’t no one getting canned, regardless of how the team does the rest of the year, so we may as well just sit back, enjoy the tailgating and drink more if the pain becomes too intense to bear. And the next time I start to feel the slightest bit good about the Gophers, I’ll kill it with fire.