What’d you do last week? Well, it was Welcome Week here at Michigan, so I think it’s pretty safe to assume that 90-100 percent of this university was out partying, getting all kinds of nuts. That’s completely normal — we are college students after all. But did you see Michigan coach Lloyd Carr out at all Saturday or Sunday night? Because I think there’s a chance he was out living it up as much as anyone.

Jess Cox

Let me explain. In Monday’s press conference Carr said he hadn’t slept in two nights. I didn’t think too much about it until I talked to him in the parking lot after the presser ended.

Me: I know you didn’t want to say this in the press conference, but you weren’t getting sleep because of all the Welcome Week stuff going on right?

Carr: What’s that? (Probably trying to be coy.)

Me: You were partying and stuff instead of sleeping.

He gave a classic Carr chuckle. He was partying too much.

As I walked away, I thought about what that would be like. Would Carr hit up the house parties like it seemed the whole campus did? Or would he return to his fraternity roots, since during his press conference he said that the only hell week he could think of was when he rushed a frat. If beer bongs were involved, when he was done with one, would Carr give out the ole’ “tremendous” or “outstanding” line? If not beer bongs, then maybe Carr would take part in some old fashioned flip cup and beer pong. Then I thought, well, Carr has a little more cash than the average college student. It’s really a better possibility that he would have gone for a bar crawl and bought a few rounds for the entire place. The end of the nights would have been the best part. Would he have to have a coach, maybe defensive coordinator Jim Herrmann, pick him up? Or would he just crash at somebody’s place and worry about it in the morning. The possibilities were endless, but, alas, I knew they were all a fantasy.

First, I came to the realization that Carr is 60 years old, two years younger than my dad. I know that at that age you can’t party like an ‘80’s rock star anymore, no matter how young you feel. Secondly, I heard that Nick Lachey has been here in Ann Arbor partying it up. Through the grapevine, I found out he was at Buffalo Wild Wings and then playing beer pong at a frat. I know this because I heard so many people talking about it. In the rest of the country, Lachey is about 10,000 times more popular than Carr, but here in Wolverineland, it’s not even close. I’m pretty sure there would’ve been a riot-like stir if Carr were out partying it up (sorry Nick).

So, with partying out of the question, I went back to my recorder to see why Carr was sleepless, and it was quite simple. Notre Dame is a bigger challenge than many thought they would be, and the Wolverines did not play as well as they should have.

“One of the challenges of any season (is that) there are things that aren’t going like you want them to,” Carr said. “There are always issues on any team. We’re going to try to deal with it in a way that can help us get better.”

It’s obvious that the coaching staff, after reviewing the Northern Illinois game tape, is concerned about the defense going into the Irish tilt.

I am too, but something else is bothering me even more about the game. I think that I might be a traitor in some way. I hate saying this, but I kind of like Notre Dame.

I justify it by saying that I’m Catholic and went to a Catholic, military high school in Minnesota. Furthermore, in my life, I’ve just never had that much of a problem with the Fighting Irish. I have friends that go there, and in high school, I even thought strongly about attending the school. I would never have revealed this publicly until I had a revelation Tuesday morning.

I woke up, got ready for class and checked my e-mail. Some school stuff, Daily stuff, and then a little message on the facebook from a friend who evidently believes that the Irish are back on top of the world.

“ND/Michigan this weekend biatch. Get ready for the Irish invasion.”

Memories of the Wolverines losing to the Irish back in 1998 came flooding back. My disappointment after we lost to them in 2002 and 2004 popped into my head too. I didn’t actually like Notre Dame, I just felt bad for them. I was in the small minority of people that didn’t love the Irish and also didn’t hate them.

They were a fallen program (and probably still are at this point, ask me again after Saturday). I wanted them to be good because it made college football more fun. It’s like the Florida schools having players get arrested in the offseason — it’s just more enjoyable. Thankfully, Florida State and Miami have filled that void for so many years, and the Irish look like they are on their way back. It appears all is well in college football and my allegiances. For Michigan’s sake, let’s hope Carr gets some rest before gametime Saturday and then is happy enough with the team’s performance to maybe even go out that night.


Venegoni would like to thank Lloyd Carr for having a good sense of humor. Also, if Nick Lachey happens to read this and wants to party, just let Venegoni know. Matt loves mail, he can be reached at mvgoni@umich.edu.

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