SportsMonday Column: This only comes around so often
Good morning, Ann Arbor.
If you haven’t heard, your Wolverines won another basketball game Saturday night. They only have one more left. It’s kind of a big deal.
Just how big of a deal?
Well, the Ann Arbor Police Department closed down South University Avenue after the game. People were rioting. Police cars were out and about. Someone climbed a light pole outside Cantina.
I, for one, was at Skeeps again. After the game ended, I watched five grown men take their shirts off. They had a surprising lack of chest hair.
But I’m not planning on making you suffer through another detailed account of my own drunken escapade. Instead, I’d like to provide a predictive anecdote.
A chance to experience a national championship in men’s basketball only comes around so often (unless you go to North Carolina). I want to make sure you do this thing right. So, shall we begin?
9:30 a.m. — Wake up. What’s that? You slept through your 8:30? That’s ok, I’ll cut you some slack. It’s basically a national holiday.
9:35 a.m. — Just so we’re clear, the United States isn’t recognizing today as a national holiday. That means your professors won’t either, unless they do, in which case I’d like to know their name. I’ll buy them a small gift.
Anyway, you can’t be a complete degenerate. Get in the shower. You’ve gotta make your 10 a.m. Sing “One Shining Moment” if you want to set the mood.
10:09 a.m. — You get to the MLB. You wonder how this building hasn’t been condemned yet. You take your seat in a lecture hall. The professor asks if people will be watching the game tonight. Everyone rolls their eyes.
The only thing keeping you alive is the thought of Jordan Poole’s buzzer beater against Houston. Literally. You’ve watched it 177 times in this lecture alone.
11:35 a.m. — Your class should be over, but your professor has zero respect for Michigan Time. They joke about making sure that paper is done by tomorrow morning. No one is laughing.
11:40 a.m. — This is where it gets tricky. There are two types of people. Choose wisely:
Person A. You have another class. You’re already late, so you don’t go. Or you couldn’t focus in the last one, so you don’t go. Or lunch sounds really good right now, so you don’t go. But really, your friends have been texting in your group chat all morning and are going to (insert bar here) at noon. Either way, you’ve missed your second class of the day.
Person B. You go to the second class. Your next professor makes the same jokes. You go to the gym after, and plan what’s next. Person A is already drunk. They might not remember the game. Keep that in mind.
1:00 p.m. — Regardless of your path, you’ll need to do some pregame reading. What’s that? You don’t know what to read or where to go for it? Lucky for you, I know some people.
Read about Michigan being an underdog. Read about Zavier Simpson’s matchup with Jalen Brunson. Read about the losses that the Wolverines took to get here. Read about how Michigan knows it took a bit of luck to reach the title game.
Read it all on michigandaily.com. Shameless plug.
2:00 p.m. — Get lunch. Buy a coffee. You’re gonna be up late tonight.
4:00 p.m. — If you’re Person A, you’re already drunk. You look outside and see a line of people down the street who will never make it into the bar for tip off, or will have to pay to do so. You smile to yourself. Skipping that class was worth it. You reward yourself with your second — or 11th — pitcher.
If you’re Person B, you scramble fervently to finish your schoolwork. You didn’t go out Friday. You wanted to save money so you could skip the line.
5:00 p.m. — Person B throws on some Michigan gear. You get to (insert bar here), and pay that line-skipping fee. As you’re walking inside, you see someone stumbling out of the bar with the help of two bouncers. That’s Person A.
8:00 p.m. — Person B is with their friends, getting settled in for the game. Person A wakes up in a panic. They can’t remember what happened, but they’re oddly buzzed. They walk to their friends’ house for a viewing party.
9:00 p.m. — Go to the bathroom. Get a beer. No, you can’t do both at the same time. I know those two things are counterintuitive, but this is the last chance you have before halftime. Don’t risk it during the commercials, especially if you’re Person B.
9:20 p.m. — The game starts. Breathe.
11:50 p.m. — I’m estimating here, but the game is over.
Maybe Michigan wins. You riot and don’t go to bed.
Maybe Michigan loses. You riot and then you go home and wonder what could have been.
Maybe you were Person A. Or Person B. You could be Person C through Z, too. It doesn’t really matter.
So again: good morning, Ann Arbor.
You want the truth? It doesn’t matter what you do today.
You’re going to remember this for the rest of your life.
Santo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Kevin_M_Santo. Just remember, the couches have families.