SportsMonday Column: Time to overreact
Michigan football is back.
Well, sort of.
On Saturday, the Wolverines held their Spring Game at Michigan Stadium, which turned out to be more of a practice with some scrimmage situations mixed in.
It was everyone’s last chance to see Michigan and all its offensive changes before the summer begins.
So, more accurately, Michigan football was back for one day before going back into darkness where you can’t find it. Like Batman!
All jokes aside, it is very easy to watch Saturday’s action and immediately overreact, because it is the only glimpse of next season’s team that you will get until next season is here. And by that point, it’s far too late to change expectations.
Many people would say it’s smart to resist the urge to fire off the hottest takes imaginable, but I am not one of them. Now that we all got a taste of football, the next four-and-a-half months without it are going to be hard, and there is no better way to pass that time than by envisioning, in maniacal detail, all the success your favorite team is going to have.
The fact that there is no real evidence to support your claims of supremacy means that there is also no evidence to prove you wrong!
Shea Patterson sure looked good on Saturday, didn’t he? The senior quarterback was slinging the ball all over the field. It didn’t seem to matter that some of his top receivers were out with injuries, because Patterson seized control and showed just how good he can be.
Patterson’s quotes after the game sounded confident, too. He pretty much completely dispelled any concerns that offensive coordinator Josh Gattis’ new offense will be accompanied by a troublesome learning curve, and he even said this year is going to be fun. Fun is a good thing!
The rest of the offense was all roses, too.
Senior running back Tru Wilson is back and gritty as ever.
At this time last year, the offensive line was perhaps the biggest question mark on the team, but now it just might be the surest unit the Wolverines have.
As for Gattis, he has changed the offensive philosophy. The tempo is up, with huddles a thing of the past. There are even cue cards on the sideline. We had cards for our offense my junior year of high school football, and we went 1-8. It wasn’t the signs’ fault. We just weren’t good. These signs are better, as is the talent on the field.
So, realistically, you should already be picking out which member of Michigan’s offense will win the Heisman and telling everyone you know.
Boom, there’s one side of the ball out of the way.
Now look to the defense.
I know my colleague Max Marcovitch wrote a column asking if the defense is going to be good literally yesterday, but I taught that kid everything he knows, so ignore him.
A lot of the Wolverines’ defensive talent from last year will be drafted later this month. That is a tough task to overcome. But Michigan does still have defensive coordinator Don Brown.
Brown once hit me in the chest during a media availability. I gave him permission first, but it was also crippling and sent the fear of God into my soul. From that moment on, I vowed not to bet against Brown.
Also, the Wolverines have overcome roster turnover before. In fact, they did it two years ago, becoming the No. 1 defense in the country.
It isn’t as if all of last season’s talent is gone, either. Seniors Josh Metellus, Lavert Hill and Khaleke Hudson are returning to anchor the defense.
So what I’m saying is that you should be getting in the comments section for 2020 mock drafts and asking why they are disrespecting Michigan.
Of course, there is the possibility that you were disappointed in the Spring Game for some reason. In that case, you can just argue with everyone who was enthused by it.
I don’t say any of this for myself. I realize, and you probably do too, that the Wolverines will have to prove they belong on the field this fall. Expectations don’t really matter.
I say all of this for you, the fan, because the last paragraph may be true, but it is also your responsibility to ignore it.
So go and put yourself out there. Social media is too quiet and calm anyways.
The worst thing that can happen is that you look dumb online, but we all already look dumb online. Checkmate, buddy.
Besides, football won’t be back until August.
The least we can do is make the internet a little bit more like the gridiron.
Persak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MikeDPersak