DETROIT — It’s a routine that
plays out with way too much regularity in my life. 4:30 a.m.: Teeth
brushed and homework still undone, I get into bed a man on a
mission. Thinking I’ll get up before my 11:00 a.m. class and
do work, I set my three alarm clocks (one being the cell phone) for
8:45 a.m. Bold move, but somehow, I honestly believe that my
sleep-deprived body will accept the four-hour siesta I’ve
presented it with.
8:45: Pandemonium! All three alarms sound off, creating a
smorgasbord of sounds that range from scrambled-out country music
(still don’t know why that station’s set) to the
annoying chimes of Sprint PCS. I quickly terminate this
crack-of-dawn (at least in my world) disruption by smacking each
snooze bar with a series of blows that would make Todd Bertuzzi
blush (yeah, I went there).
8:55: Shania Twain kicks into wakeup-call tune. “Man
… I feel like a woman.”
Quick snooze bar.
9:05: Usually the third series of alarms is the one I sleep
through for a bit. But my roommates, Kaegi and Kreidler,
don’t let this last long — “Gennaro, wake the
(expletive) up and turn off your (expletive) alarm.”
9:15: snooze bar … 9:25, 9:35, 9:45: snooze bar, snooze
bar, snooze bar.
1:05: 4 1/2 hours and 27 snooze bars after the targeted wakeup
time, I’m finally on my feet. First action taken? An
apologetic email to both GSIs whose discussions I’ve
To tell you the truth, though, I’m not too upset and
don’t feel guilty writing this
rubbish. Laziness and snooze bar smacking are as much a part of
college as beer pong, and the GSIs know this. Usually they accept
Everyone snoozes — just ask the Michigan hockey team.
Following a weekend sweep of Bowling Green a month ago, the
Wolverines had a four-point lead over second-place Miami with two
weeks left in the regular season. As the season played out, one win
in these final two weeks would have clinched the CCHA title for
Michigan. Unfortunately, this is when the snooze bar reared its
10:15ish, Friday night, Feb. 27: Wakeup call No. 1.
Michigan had just finished off its worst effort of the year, a
4-1 loss to Notre Dame. The Wolverines looked completely uninspired
on the Irish ice, exhibiting a degree of effort that would have
made Rudy spontaneously combust had he been in attendance. Players
donning maize and blue called the performance a disgrace —
alternate captain Eric Nystrom questioned the Wolverines’
manhood. Everyone hoped that this “wakeup call” would
serve to jumpstart the team. Not quite …
10:15ish, the following night: Wakeup call No. 2.
Michigan came out with a bit more fire, but dropped a 5-2
decision to Notre Dame. Coach Red Berenson said of the winless
weekend: “I think it’s a wakeup call for our
team.” This is true, Red. But was it an effective wakeup
10:30ish, Saturday night, March 6: Wakeup call No. 3.
Michigan failed to take care of business, losing to Michigan
State. While the Spartans celebrated their victory (which came one
night after a 4-4 tie against Michigan), the Wolverines were forced
to sit around and wait for the result of the Miami-Ohio State game,
which now served as the deciding game in the race for a CCHA title
that once sat in Michigan’s back pocket. Ohio State won,
crowning the Wolverines the regular season champion. But there was
no celebration on the Michigan side — the Wolverines were
just relieved that Ohio State had … (gasp) … helped
them out. Jeff Tambellini even admitted that the team had been
snooze-barring it for the last few weeks, saying: “I think it
might have hurt us knowing that (prior to the weekend series
against Notre Dame) we had four chances because it’s,
‘Okay, we can pass this on and pass the next one on,’
and it came back and got us.”
Having relied on others, including Brutus, to help them hoist
the regular season trophy, the Wolverines had to wake up,
10:30ish, Sunday night, March 14: Wakeup call No. 4.
Definitely the most jolting alarm of them all. This was like my
roomies yelling obscenities at me. The Wolverines had just escaped
becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose its first round matchup with
the No. 12 seed since the current CCHA playoff system was adopted
in 1983-84. And they did it in heart-attack fashion, overcoming a
2-1 Nebraska-Omaha advantage entering the third period of the
series’ definitive third game, and winning 5-2. I could
picture Michigan captain Andy Burnes yelling at his slumber-rich
teammates: “WAKE THE (EXPLETIVE) UP!”
10:00ish, last Saturday night, March 20: Wakeup call No. 5.
Michigan players trudged to the bus outside Joe Louis Arena,
heads down, while, in the next room over, hugs, hats (boasting
champion status) and the “Buckeye Battle Cry” reigned
supreme. Ohio State prevailed over the Wolverines 4-2 in the CCHA
tournament final. But, it wasn’t the loss that upset anyone
on the Michigan side, rather the lackluster attempt the Wolverines
had displayed for most of the game.
“I don’t think we gave it our all for the first two
periods,” junior Jason Ryznar said. “The second half of
the third period, we picked it up and played our kind of
Sophomore Jeff Tambellini echoed his words: “We
didn’t show up the first 40 minutes. That was embarrassing to
be down 3-0 like that.”
Tambellini again recognized that snooze action had been in full
“Usually before the games, you can tell what kind of
effort is going to be put forth,” Tambellini said.
“Some nights, the guys are really intense and you can see
that right in the first period. When the puck dropped (Saturday
night), we didn’t have that edge and that confidence about
So, what’s next? Snooze bar? It’s hard to say. The
Wolverines seem to be in a pretty deep sleep. I hit the snooze 27
times, while Michigan has done so just four times. But, with a
first-round matchup set for next Saturday against New Hampshire in
Manchester, N.H., one more snooze tap and the Wolverines have
officially slept through the final third of the season.
So will they get out of bed or attempt to sneak in a few more
Z’s? I have no clue. But, I’m pretty sure of one thing.
If they do option for another strike of the snooze bar, I find it
hard to believe that the thousands of Yost faithful
(Michigan’s most intense and loyal fans) will accept an