Dec. 14, 2011
University of Michigan director of athletics Dave Brandon will regularly offer his view on a variety of topics related to U-M and intercollegiate sports. All his posts, along with links to related content, will be available on his page, mgoblue.com/brandon, and he is also on Twitter at @DaveBrandonAD.
Tradition, passion, emotion and one beautiful night of honoring and celebrating the 2011 Michigan football team made Monday night's (Dec. 12) 91st annual U-M Club of Greater Detroit Football Bust a magical event.
This wasn't an evening conjured up by some magician, it was a celebration created by a group of student-athletes, their coaches and staff who gave us a season of memorable moments that many thought were impossible to attain. Very few individuals predicted this 2011 team would win 10 games. Check what the prognosticators said prior to the season. Eight wins, maybe, but 10? No one predicted it.
Humor, emotion and sincere appreciation were on display immediately upon entering the packed Laurel Manor.
When the fans gave this Michigan team a standing ovation immediately after the video highlights were completed prior to dinner, you could tell this was going to be a special night for everyone in attendance.
The theme for the seniors could have been coupled with a series on the Big Ten Network -- The Journey.
From Appalachian State through the "five years, four defensive coordinators, three head coaches and two degrees" as Zac Johnson mentioned, U-M seniors talked about their personal growth and team maturation. It was more about the people who mentored and helped them through the tough times.
Still, this wasn't a night just for reminiscing; everyone was talking about the future too.
The emcee for the event was Desmond Howard and he told them early on "We still ain't done. We got to take care of business down in New Orleans."
Brady Hoke even went a step further reminding everyone to sit down during a standing ovation -- "Sit down. We have not won the Big Ten championship, and that's where it starts."
This night was a continuation of a remarkable year that now has this team prepping for the Sugar Bowl. Michigan is the only team in the nation that played 10 bowl-bound teams and still went 10-2. It is a team that knows the ultimate goal is still in need of more work and attention.
It is also a group of underclassmen who know they have to be ready to pick up where the 2011 team left off. The mantra left by the seniors is simple and these are words that U-M letterwinners still use to this day.
"These MEN are MICHIGAN MEN..."
"...they came together to win for Michigan..."
"The reality is this is Michigan. We come back."
Thank you seniors! We are indebted to you for all you have done for Michigan.
Go Blue and win the Sugar Bowl!