12.28.2022 – taking everything!

taking everything!
Y’all wanna win the natty?
NOW … It starts right now!

In an article today in the Athletic, How did Michigan go from rock bottom in 2020 to back-to-back College Football Playoffs? (click headline to download PDF) by Bruce Feldman and Austin Meek, the writers wrote:

At 2:57 p.m., the smallest player who had been on the field during the Michigan–Ohio State game hopped on top of the Wolverines bench during a timeout at the start of the fourth quarter. Michigan, which hadn’t won in Columbus since 2000, clung to a 24-20 lead. It’s no stretch to think that the only people among the 106,797 in Ohio Stadium who didn’t expect the Buckeyes to rally and defeat eight-point underdog Michigan were dressed in all white on the Wolverines sideline.

But what all those other people thought didn’t matter. Certainly not to the player with the gold-tinged hair peeking out from a yellow Jumpman headband known to everyone inside the Michigan program as “Mikey.”

“I want all you guys to take a look at their sideline. Look at them!” Mike Sainristil, Michigan’s wiry nickelback and team captain, yelled to his teammates gathered around him, as he pointed across the field to the Buckeyes sideline.
“They have their heads down.

We know who the f— they are!

They are exactly who we thought they are! Let’s keep our foot on the gas. Keep executing.

Don’t give them anything.

Keep taking everything.

“Y’all wanna win the natty?

It starts right now!”

Each fall, there are hundreds of speeches that players make in-game during college football Saturdays to fire up their teams. But what happened on the Michigan sideline late in The Game felt different, perhaps because what followed over that next hour best illustrates just how much the balance in the Big Ten has shifted — and why Michigan football has re-emerged as a national powerhouse.

The Wolverines went on to shock the crowd in Columbus — and to make a point to the rest of the college football world — in the fourth quarter.

They outscored Ohio State 21-3 and piled up 174 rushing yards. Sainristil made the biggest defensive play of the game, flying across the field to swat a sure touchdown pass out of Buckeyes tight end Cade Stover’s mitts on a third-and-4. Michigan also intercepted Heisman hopeful quarterback C.J. Stroud twice.

The Buckeyes were ready to break, and they did. Michigan blew out Ohio State, 45-23.

I don’t know about you but this made me cry.

And I don’t care if you believe me or not because I feel, despite the playoff, the Natty is as mythical as a unicorn and the old style of voting for Number 1, and I just don’t care if Michigan wins out or not.

But there is no myth of what happened back in November.

The Buckeyes were ready to break, and they did. Michigan blew out Ohio State, 45-23.

And that is good enough for me.

The article winds up with: Sainristil said the player-led accountability started last season with a simple commitment to clean up the locker room every day, a responsibility the players took on independently.

This year, it extended to the way players arrange their shoes in the weight room, stacking them in a neat row to conserve space.

It’s a tiny detail, but that’s the whole point.

“If you can take care of these little details and make it a habit, the habits that really are important, the ones that matter the most on the football field, will be so much easier,” Sainristil said.

And those who remain, will be champions!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s