April 9, 2013

Am I Allowed to be Angry?

Over the years I have tried to mature when it came to my viewpoint of sports. Not because of what I should think, but what I used to think. I used to think they were everything; the only thing. But now, it's different. I've had a topic in my head about what sports mean to people for quite some time. I named it "What are sports, and why do they matter?" I've wanted to write it for a while, but I never got around to it. I figured I'd start writing some existential blogpost and end up accidentally hitting all the points I would've made in that piece. The reason I wanted to write it was mostly therapeutic, and it would definitely help on days like these.

When the clock hit zeroes, there were two things I knew for sure. I knew I was going to get angry. The only thing I knew more than that was that it was going to be something so minuscule and insignificant would upset me that I would look back it and hopefully laugh. I was right on both counts. Right when the game ended, I put on a plastic smile and tried my best to stay positive because I wanted to avoid the anger. Anyone who knows me knows that I am the eternal optimist when it comes to sports. I never get mad at any of the players if they go out and try their best. I'm sure that actually annoys people. Oh well.

Anyway, in my head I tried to start think of all the positives. What a great season it was. Trey Burke is one of the best college athletes I'll ever see, and he provided us all with a moment, nay, moments none of us will ever forget. Mitch McGary went from Big Zack Novak to Big Tyler Hansbrough. They beat MSU and OSU again. They gave me a reason to go to Ann Arbor on a monday night and drink beers with my friends. Etcetera, etcetera. But those things are hard to think of in that moment. All you want to think about is "What happened? Why am I not happy? Why has Kevbo become Sadbo?" It's a hard feeling to shake off. It's a feeling that still exists this morning.

Sadbo decided to sleep at a friend's apartment in Ann Arbor. Wise choice, indeed. Sadbo also happened to agree with getting up at 6:30 a.m. to get my car from the Maynard parking structure via my girlfriend who had to be at work at 7 am. Morning Kevbo did not like this decision, but all in all it was the right one. I got in my car still bitter about the previous night, and I knew I had to pick the right music for the approximately 50 minute car ride home. I chose "Dookie" by Green Day. I stopped at that overpriced BP on Main Street to grab a beverage for the Sahara Desert that was my throat. Vitamin Water was the choice, but I accidentally grabbed Tropical Citrus, which I still haven't finished mainly because it's awful. I got back to the car and I knew Green Day just wasn't cutting it. Scrolling through the old ipod, which yes, those still exist, and I discovered blink-182 just sitting there. I picked Enema of the State because I am 25 years old and everybody who is 25 years old is required to have that album. I started on my journey home, staring into that taunting periwinkle sky. As I listened to Blink, I started to think about my state of mind back when I first listened to this album, which was back around middle school. I recall listening to some of those songs and thinking I knew what depression was. I was an idiot. I thought depression came from the fact a girl in my class didn't "like" me back. Dumb. I kept listening to the album and then Adam's Song came on. For those who don't know, it was a more serious song that was about Mark Hoppus's loneliness while touring and also rumored to be based on a suicide note the band had read about in an article. Whether or not that last part is true, the song has serious implications of which you can check out on wikipedia. It gets you to start thinking about sports and why do they really matter. If I had already written about it, I'd refer to that, but that blogpost still sits in my head. (This post is almost the accidental 'Why Sports Matter' piece I had thought about writing. But I am doing everything in my power to steer away from that). The main thing that song reminds me is that sports are just about fun. There are serious issues that people deal with every day, so it's difficult to say, "I am upset because a group of college athletes won most of their games, but didn't win the last." It seems illogical to have this mindset. We shouldn't be allowed to have things out of our control to affect us in such a way.

At the same time, yes we should. Every one of us has speculated why we are on this planet. Why do we exist. Millions of different opposing ideas are out there, but most of us can agree that regardless of why we may be here, we should try to enjoy our time, as long as your enjoyment doesn't involve something harmful to your fellow man. Sports are my enjoyment. When I can take a step back and use logic, I can admit that it makes no sense to like sports. The mantra that has gotten me through the past few years has been to control what you can, and don't get bent out of shape about the things you cannot. There is not one thing I can do to affect to outcome of a sporting event, but yet, I love them. It makes no sense. But it does. 

Going back to the main question. Am I allowed to be angry about what transpired last night? The answer is yes. Am I? No. Why? Mainly because I sat here and started typing things. There's a good chance I don't even post this. I decided halfway through "Enema of the State" that I was going to write this. I had pretty much written it in my head before I even got to I-96. The only debate was if I was going to stop at Tom Hortons (Yes. Tom.) and grab a coffee or go home and fall asleep and write it later. I did not grab a coffee, nor did I fall asleep. Kinda pulled an audible, eh? I'm happy with my decision. I feel better now. I don't know how, but I do. 

I was never angry at the players. I was never angry at anyone around me. I was never really angry. I was sad and irritable though. And that's ok. I really wanted a National Championship. I really wanted to take my shirt off and hang upside down from the Thompson Street sign. I wanted to sing The Victors with my friends and random people at the bar. Once again, it's ok that I didn't. I was already blessed with watching a child's game with my friends. I was already blessed with ridiculous moments from this run that I will never forget. I'm blessed that I get to feel sadness. 

It's easy to say all of this right now. My phone has been dead since last night, and I haven't turned the tv on or read people's opinions of what happened. I probably will because I am an idiot, and this will probably lead to more sadness and irritability. But in the end, that's ok. That's why we're here, isn't it? Who knows? Do you? Do you want to talk about it? Me neither. Hey look! Sports!


I just finished a quick nap that I needed, and I reread what I wrote. Despite the emo-tendencies, I decided not to change anything because it was honest. The only thing it didn't stress was how much fun this season was. I don't know if I've yelled louder than after Burke's Kansas shot or Jordan Morgan's exclamatory dunk against Syracuse. The amount of laughter I experienced watching things I never thought I'd see come from a basketball player in a Maize jersey will be hard to duplicate. Burke gave us all so many "Oh my" moments that we should give thanks to him every Thanksgiving for next 25 years. Everybody on the team had moments, which is my favorite part about this season and this team. Despite the departures that we will see in the coming weeks, this program is still improving. Beilein has people believing in Michigan again, and I cannot wait the years to come.


There's a picture circulating around taken by Dustin Johnson on UM Hoops where Trey Burke is looking like Sadbo in the midst of maize and blue confetti that had accidentally been deployed. The picture perfectly encapsulated the feelings of everyone associated with Michigan last night. However, I did not want to post it on here. That is not how I want to remember Trey and this season. Too many good things happened to be so sad. Adios 2013 Michigan Wolverines. See some of you next year. Thanks.

Melanie Maxwell ( 

Melanie Maxwell (

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