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December 10, 1992 - Image 22

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-12-10

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Page 10-The Michigan Daily-Rose Bowl Preview- December 10,1992

Moeller's Magic Lamp
Or why 1992 was a season of destiny

by Matthew Rennie
Daily Football Writer
It was Jan. 2, 1992. Gary Moeller
was strolling along the beach in south-
ern California. The day before, in
only his second season, Gary had
coached his first Rose Bowl as a head
coach. It was a dream come true.
However, the dream quickly turned
into a nightmare, as Moeller's Michi-
gan Wolverines were crushed by the
Washington Huskies, 34-14. The
game wqs not as close as the score
indicated.
With the victory, Washington won
a share of the national championship.
With the loss, Michigan perpetuated
its Rose Bowl reputation.
The Wolverines entered the game
with an outside shot at the national
title. They left with an empty feeling
that they were good, but not good
enough.
All this raced through Moeller's
head as he trudged along the beach,.
adjusted his 'M' cap, and stared into
the Pacific. Suddenly, he kicked some-
thing in the sand. Bending over to
investigate, Moeller discovered a lamp
half-buried in the earth. He picked it
up, held it in front of him, and then
rubbed off the remaining sand.
Suddenly, the lamp began to shine
vibrantly, and smoke began emanat-
ing from it. The smoke began to take
shape in the form of a huge person.
"I am the genie of the lamp," the

spirit said.
"Geez, you're almost as big as
Perles," Moeller said. "This is really
goofy."
"Since you have released me, I
will grant you 10 wishes," the genie
said.
"Ten? I thought it was three,"
Moeller said.
"Inflation," came the reply.
"Really? Well, OK, where should
we start? Um, well, all right, here we
go. I want to do something next sea-
son that Bo never did."
"It'sdone. Yourteam will dosome-
thing that people will not believe."
"Wow, just like that. This is great.
Hey, wait a minute. I want to go
undefeated, you understand? I didn't
mean I wanted to lose more than Bo."
"Your wish is my command. You
won't lose a game."
By now, Moeller was giddy with
excitement. An undefeated regular
season? Michigan hadn't done that
for years. He would be the toast of
Ann Arbor. And he still had eight
wishes to go.
"I want to have the leading run-
ning back in the Big Ten."
"No problem, my master,"
"And I need someone to replace
Desmond Howard. He's probably
going to leave for the pros, y' know."
"You'll barely know he's gone."
"You can replace Desmond?

Damn, you're pretty good. All right
see if you can do something about,
this. The media is always saying how
I'm reckless, alwaysthrowing the ball.
Make them write how I can run the
ball, too, just like they used to say
about Bo."
"They'll never call you reckless 4
again, my master."
Moeller thought for a moment,
then smiled.
"We had a lot of injuries this year.
If you could do something about..."
"ley, I'm a genie. I' mnotamiracle
worker. If people didn't want to get
hurt, they wouldn't play football.".I
"OK, OK. Well, just give us enough,*
depth that we can overcome our inju-
ries."
"You'll have plenty of depth, my
master."
"Great. Well, good. Besides, if
we're going undefeated, it can't be
that big a deal, but I want to win with
some style, so give me a hard-hitting
defense."
"They'll know how to hit, my
master.
"Oh, and I'm worried about my
kicking game. We've recruited this
Hamilton kid, but I can't rely on ;
freshman kicker."
"Have no fear, my master. Pete
Elezovic will outplay Hamilton."
Moeller felt almost guilty about
his good fortune. His altruistic side
began to shine through.
"I don't want to blow everyone
out. Give us some close games, so}
can show what a great coach Ilam."
"You'll have plenty of close games,
my master."
"Hey, and since we're not going to'
lose to Ohio State, my buddy John .
Cooper's going to be in trouble. Make
sure they do something in that game t
keep him around."
"The game will feel like a win to'
them, my master."
Moeller was ecstatic. He couldn't
wait for the season to start. Then a
thought occurred to him.
"Hey, wait a minute. I forgot to
mention this before. I don't want to tie
any games, either."
"I'm sorry, my master. You're out
of wishes."
"But, but..."
"It's out of my hands. I'm sorry"
Goodbye, my master."
Just like that, the genie vanished
back into the lamp. Moeller felt frus-
trated, butdecided hehad better things r
to worry about.
"What are the odds that we'll tie a"
game," he said as he continued his
walk along the beach.

KRISTOFFER GILLETTE/Daily

Wide receiver Derrick
Alexander helped fill the
void left by Heisman
Trophy winner Desmond
Howard for the
Wolverines this season.
MOLLY STEVENS/Daily
Top left:
Wide receiver Derrick Alexander holds his head. in disgust
during Michigan's 22-22 tie with Illinois. Despite fumbling 10
times, the Wolverines still forged the tie and clinched a
return trip to the Rose Bowl that game.
Center:
Tailback Tyrone Wheatley bursts through the Northwestern
defense. Wheatley earned Big Ten Offensive
Player-of-the-Year honors in his sophomore season.
Bottom left:
Matt Dyson consistently applied pressure on opposing
quarterbacks this season. The defense's aggressive play
throughoutthe season, helped Michigan win a share of its
fifth straight Big Ten title.
Bottom right:
Tony McGee and Rick Mirer walk off the field after
Michigan and Notre Dame dueled to a 17-17 tie in
Michigan's season opener. That game proved to be
prophetic, as the Wolverines went on to tie two more
games during the season.

KRISTOFFER GILLE I I /LJiiy

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