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Melanie Kruvelis: To the parade that never came

By Melanie Kruvelis, Editorial Page Editor
Published April 9, 2013

You know, I’ll be honest: I’ve never really cared much about sports here at Michigan (Editors note: Melanie’s in the Residential College). But as I sat on the steps of 420 Maynard on Monday night, just two Hamm’s deep, I realized — there’s a lot that I could’ve gotten from the game. Not as a Wolverine, not as the one-time owner of a muscle tee, but as a human being. A selfish, firework-loving sonuvabitch. Slash human being.

There could’ve been a parade. A goddamn parade. I didn’t even think of that until two minutes were left on the clock. We were down — and no, apparently a five-pointer couldn’t save us now. A co-worker turned to me, and with the saddest eyes you’ve seen this side of a basset hound said, “There was supposed to be a parade.” A parade that Greek life would’ve actually stumbled to! Can you imagine? Shotgunned Natty Lights, neon tank tops made for each block walked — National Champions at the intersection of State and Hill, okay, now at State and Monroe. The entire University, a sea of yellow and blue and whatever color best describes barfed-up, peach-flavored Burnett’s.

I bet local meteorologist Chuck Gaidica would’ve made it too: crying, lifting up his own Burnett’s in solidarity.

Dream a little dream, Michigan.

There could’ve been fireworks. Like, a lot of them. But now I stand in front of the Michigan Union, half-melted Frosty in hand, wondering if those booms are coming from stockpiled cherry bombs or sad AK-47s. Supporters of the Second Amendment have feelings too, you know.

And to think, the texts I could’ve received from my mom. “WE DID IT!!!!!” she would say. “MELANIE, I’M SO PROUD!!!!” Five excited Emojis would’ve followed — that jubilant crying face, maybe the two twins doing a sidestep. She wouldn’t have even sent me frantic texts when I didn’t immediately respond because she would just know: I was tanked. And, boy, would she have been right.

Instead? “Melanie, I have two charges from Amazon on my debit card for a nose ring and ukulele strings. Don’t you ever think about anyone but yourself?”

The helicopters circling over Ann Arbor would’ve sung a different tune. The propellers would’ve chopped “Let’s Go Blue,” the engine would shoot out glitter and exhaust fumes — screw the Federal Aviation Administration, we were champions. But now I’m not even sure if I’m walking toward the Jimmy John’s on Ann Street or downtown Baghdad.

And the Diag. Oh, for the love of E. Royster Harper, the Diag. Those five gawky engineers shouldn't be stammering through chants of “Fuck Louisville!” They should be spitting fight songs! Or, at the very least, spitting. But the final buzzer rang, Trey Burke was yanked from the Player of the Year trophy, and the only thing the 62 people watching The Michigan Daily’s livestream of the Diag saw was 20 dudes from Shady Phi pounding each other in the chest (Editors note: Don’t forget crying between ass slaps). Off in distance, the familiar sound of no one getting laid.

The whole thing’s a hard shot to swallow. After all, it has been nearly two decades since we could get Football-Saturday drunk on the Monday before finals. It wasn’t just our pride on the line comrades, but an opportunity to bring together our current students, our loyal alumni base, our diehard, non-affiliated Wolverine fans who’ve never even stepped foot in the UGLi, but always smell like stale beer and corn nuts.

What could’ve been.

But here we stand — or if you’re outside Scorekeepers, wobble — wallowing in what we bacne-ridden Wolverines like to call “reality.” No more Get Out of Jail Free cards, folks: Today marks the end of classes generously canceled by proud professors who just wanted one last keg stand. We may never know how it feels when a graduate student instructor cuts discussion short because they know we’ve all had a “rough night” rooting for the team at Rick’s American Cafe — well, unless we transfer to Michigan State.

Times are tough, I know. But when push comes to shove, we’ve got to remember what we still have. Like sophomores lighting couches on fire. Moms wondering what happened to their Pottery Barn sofas. An entire campus, drowning in faded maize and blue melancholy, debating whether the five hours spent waiting for a table at Blue Leprechaun was worth bombing another Economics final. But if there’s anything we’ve learned since the Fab Five era, it’s that together we stand strong. Like the brightest constellation in the sky or the clouds parting to reveal a magnificent, Wolverine sun, we must remember —

Wait, Athletic Director Dave Brandon owned Domino’s Pizza, right? Does that mean we missed out on free Parmesan Bread Bites?

Goddammit. Anyone got a trash can I can knock over?

Melanie Kruvelis can be reached at melkruv@umich.edu