Defeated

When I was growing up, I’d read the sports section of the Ann Arbor News and the New York Times every day, without fail.

Every day, that is, except after days when Michigan lost.

You’d think things would change, but all I wanted to do when I got up today was go back to bed, ignore everything that happened last night — and this morning — and try to pretend like this wasn’t the worst possible way to end the worst year in Michigan sports… ever.

We all know what happened by now: Michigan got completely screwed out of what should have been the game-winning goal in OT against Miami when the ref blew the play dead (or at least intended to) with the puck sitting uncontrolled in the crease. One OT period later, and a quick wrister got by Shawn Hunwick. Season over, in unbelievably painful fashion.

This morning, Manny Harris officially announced he was opting to declare early for the NBA draft.

To be honest, I’ve got nothing: last night took everything out of me — all the vitriol towards the refs couldn’t overcome the feeling of emptiness, of total defeat, that has accrued over this year of cruelty. So, I will keep my thoughts brief.

First, this Michigan hockey team was a joy to watch for the past few weeks, and should be remembered fondly for their miracle run and unbelievable play down the stretch. They played great hockey last night, and I think every team in the Frozen Four feels a sense of relief that the Wolverines won’t be in Detroit this weekend. If nothing else, that is something to be proud of.

To the hockey seniors — captain Chris Summers, Steve Kampfer, Brian Lebler, Anthony Ciraulo, and Eric Elmblad — thanks for four great years of hockey. I wish their careers could have ended on a better note, but one unfortunate loss shouldn’t ruin the memory of four years with a fantastic hockey program.

To Miami, I only wish them the best of luck. The team has gone through a lot this season, losing one of their student team managers in a fatal car accident, and have a very likable coach and team. The RedHawks weren’t the ones holding the whistles last night, so I hope Michigan fans have the decency to keep their anger directed at those who deserve it. Personally, I’ll be pulling for Miami to go all the way this weekend.

As for Manny, I again can only wish him good luck. Ultimately, this is a college student making a choice about his career (and a very lucrative one at that), and we have to respect the decision that he has made. Manny has played three tremendous years of basketball for Michigan, and has represented his school well. I hope he finds an equal amount of success at the professional level.

That’s really all I have in me for today. Like most of you, I’ll be doing my best to put this weekend in perspective and move on. Tomorrow I’ll have a breakdown about how Manny’s departure will affect the basketball program moving forward. Today, I’ll be doing my best to avoid the papers.

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