Never before has there been a year as unpredictable and unflattering in Michigan athletics.

The football, men’s basketball and hockey teams all failed to make the postseason. Now, one of the few bright spots at a time when even Congress possibly had a better year is the men’s swimming and diving team, which finished third at the NCAA Championships this weekend.

It’s a crazy time to be a fan in Ann Arbor. So much is changing and happening, so many feats have been reached that even the most seasoned fans aren’t quite sure what to expect. The one constant, when the athletic director, football coach and even PR staffs have been replaced in the same offseason, are the statements everybody hears time after time.

The “We just didn’t execute” and “I have to do a better job coaching” after losses. Or after wins: “We played great one-pitch softball.” Even, “We’re not looking ahead to Ohio State.”

But some sentences have never been uttered in the history of Michigan athletics. Some of them are just as strange — perhaps worthy of Rick Reilly’s ideas in the back page of Sports Illustrated — as the year going on right now:

“I’m not sure Jim Harbaugh is the right guy for the football program.”

“Guys, finish your drinks, we’ve gotta get to the field hockey game.”

“I’ll say it again, Red Berenson is ready to rock the cover of GQ.”

“Gee, I’ll tell ya, I don’t know how they’re going to fit all the students into the student section at the Big House this year.”

“I’ve never been intimidated by Hutch. I mean, I just don’t understand how she’s supposed to inspire her team. Maybe she’s past her prime?”

“I don’t know what makes these gymnasts so special. Anybody could stick a Yurchenko one-and-a-half, right?”

“There goes John Beilein on another one of his loud, uneducated tirades again. Guy can’t control his temper.”

“Are you going to head to the men’s golf invite right after class, or are you going home first?”

“Nah, the hockey team said they were tired of Rick’s. Think they said they would rather stay in, maybe watch a movie.”

“Yeah, Adam Coon, I’m talking to you, all 6-foot-5, 285 pounds of you. ‘You’re soft.’ ”

“Crap, there aren’t any tickets left for Saturday’s women’s rowing regatta.”

“I’m serious, we’ve gotta hurry if we’re going to make it to the field hockey game on time.”

“Don’t worry, I should definitely be back in time tonight after the baseball team’s doubleheader. They don’t run very long.”

“Sometimes, I think there are too many people covering women’s water polo. I can’t even be on Twitter for 10 minutes without someone talking about it.”

“No, Mr. five-star recruit, the weather doesn’t get that cold up here. You really won’t notice.”

“Time Magazine’s 10 most secure jobs today: Michigan Athletic Director.”

“What do you mean you didn’t go to the soccer game? It’s so close to everything on campus.”

“Do you ever think that sometimes the Michigan communications staff gives the media too much access?”

“How are the men’s and women’s track and field teams always shattering attendance records?”

“No mom, I was just sleeping in before the football game. It started at noon, after all.”

“Yeah Alejandro, I’m telling you, the Michigan volleyball team was absolutely checking you out.”

“I get all my gear from the M-Den, since everything is so appropriately priced.”

“Has anyone heard anything good about this guy Jabrill Peppers?”

“Yeah, I think Spike Albrecht definitely has a chance to go out with Kate Upton.”

“I don’t know about you, but the Maize Rage would probably be better if it wasn’t in the lower bowl.”

“And for the sixth consecutive time, the State News has defeated The Michigan Daily at football. The better journalists win again.”

“I’m not sure Michigan has enough depth at quarterback this year. It should probably get another one before the season starts.”

“The basketball team can’t win unless it recruits like Duke or Kentucky. Beilein can never make it work.”

“I’m tired of the women’s basketball team always being talked about. Why do they get all the credit?”

“Alright, last chance. We either get to field hockey before the gates open or we don’t get in at all.”

“One of these days, the men’s swimming team is bound to win a conference championship.”

“God, where can a man find some khakis in Ann Arbor these days?”

“They upgraded the lacrosse facilities again? Geeze, they get all the nice stuff.”

“Do you think there will be enough time to drink before this year’s night game?”

“Don’t forget, today’s guest lecturer on e-mail etiquette, Dave Brandon, is speaking at 12:52. Don’t be late.”

“That Garno kid sure seems like a well reasoned, thoughtful young man. I don’t know if I’ve ever read something of his I didn’t like.”

Has something in here actually been said? You can tell Garno at ggarno@umich.edu or on Twitter: @G_Garno. Complaints can be sent to @jakelourim.

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