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November 18, 2003 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-11-18

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Tuesday
November 1, 2003
www.michigandaily.com
sports@michigandaily.com

PORTS

8

4

Ohio natives know
meaning of rivahy

'Rivalry'is redifined by
this week ... this game

By Naweed Sikora
Daily Sports Editor
When Michigan fifth-year senior
linebacker Carl Diggs was eight, he sat

down on the edge
of his grandmoth-
er's bed with his
older brother,
Grover, to watch
Ohio State and
Michigan battle it
out. At the time,

r
o r.

Grover was a devoted Buckeye fan,
and Carl watched and listened as
Grover argued with the calls and
cheered when Ohio State made a big
play. Slowly, Carl began to feel some-
thing for the boys in maize and blue.
"Something just came over me as I
was sitting on that bed," Carl said.
"My brother was arguing, so I just
started rooting for Michigan."
Since Carl has become a Wolverine,
Grover has converted, and Carl says
his brother bleeds blue just like every-
one else close to him.
Carl said that even though he is
from Warren, Ohio, he knew early on

that he would play for Michigan over
Ohio State, if the opportunity present-
ed itself. It was Diggs' elementary
school gym teacher that initially put
him on that path.
"He had a pen that played the
Michigan fight song, and I really liked
it," Diggs said.
The decision to come play for
Michigan wasn't easy for the other
Wolverines from Ohio like it was for
Diggs, though.
Senior Andy Mignery, a native of
Hamilton, Ohio, said his father and
brother were both huge Ohio State
fans, and he became familiar with the
rivalry at a very early age.
"I knew all about the game because
he was a big fan and a high school
football coach," said Mignery of his
father.
As a kid, Mignery says he enjoyed
the competitive spirit of the rivalry and
didn't favor one team over the other.
But eventually, he had to make a deci-
sion, and it couldn't have come at a
better time: the Monday before the
Michigan/Ohio State game of his sen-
ior year in high school.

TONY DING/Daiy
Senior Andy Mignery, who halls from Hamilton, Ohio, grew up in a Buckeye-friendly
family, but now his brother and his father support the Maize and Blue.

"It was tough for (my father) when I
committed, but he was really support-
ive of my decision," Mignery said.
"Now he's a big Michigan fan, and he
won't go back to the Buckeyes when I
leave here."
And sometimes, ties to a state can
get a little too personal, as was the
case following last year's game when
senior defensive lineman Grant Bow-
man's family was harassed in Colum-

bus by Buckeye fans at the game.
Bowman grew up just 10 minutes
away from Ohio Stadium, and he says
his parents have a large Michigan flag
flying outside their house year-round.
Bowman's parents weren't sports fans,
and he says they would probably never
have watched a football game if it was-
n't for he and his brother's love for the
sport. Even though he grew up so
See OHIO, Page 10

KYLE O'NEILL
The Daily Janitor
There was this electricity in the
air You could feel it ... That's
the day I realized that there was
this entire life behind things ... Some-
times there'sjust so much beauty in
the world that I can't take it. And my
heart feels like it's going to cave in.
Ok, so I'm not exactly talking about
a plastic bag floating in the wind, but
for those who have ever witnessed a
Michigan-Ohio State football game,
you know what I'm talking about.
For three-and-a-half hours, the world
around you stops, and you just take in
football at its purest. No fun-and-gun,
no basketball on grass, no talk of sus-
pensions ... just perfect.
There really is no way to describe it
to someone; you have to experience it.
This isn't like describing the Notre
Dame or Michigan State rivalries
where tradition or in-state hatred are
generally the accepted terms in defin-
ing those games.
There are no words that anyone will
write in print - before or after the
game - that will ever capture the true
essence of the final, and usually only,
meaningful Big Ten game of the regu-
lar season.
We'll hear all about John Navarre
and the eternal criticism he has
endured. We'll hear about Craig Kren-
zel, and I'm sure Brent Musberger will
call him a "field general" at one point
during the next week. There will be
talk of the exciting Chris Gamble and
Steve Breaston and how each could be
the "X-factor" in the game. Some will
discuss Braylon Edwards' comments
and blow them up if he should drop a
pass. Others will reminisce about when
Maurice Clarett was actually a football
player instead of a courtroom story.

There are those that will want to put
Lloyd Carr on a hotseat if Michigan
should lose a third-straight to Jim Tres-
sel. But, in reality, it's all meaningless
banter.
Since it is the 100th game between
the two schools, the archives will be
dug up and memories of Bo vs.
Woody, Terry Glenn's "nobody" com-
ments and Tshimanga Biakabutuka's
313 yards will jump to the forefront of
all of your minds - even if you
weren't old enough, or alive, to actual-
ly see those moments.
Images of Eddie George running,
Desmond Howard and Charles Wood-
son each taking one to the house,
Howard striking the pose, Marcus Ray
flipping David Boston over and Ohio
State laying claim to the Big House in
2001 are freshest in my mind and in
the minds of many others as well.
But even then, nothing mentioned
captures this rivalry.
So you begin to think, what is this
rivalry?
For me, it's 1998, when I was visit-
ing family in Napoleon, Ohio, only to
watch Michigan's post-title hangover
get even worse. It's that waitress in
Toledo's Max & Erma's that got a good
chuckle from the maize-and-blue I
happened to be wearing on that day.
It's my Aunt Jane, who is always so
cheerful to tell me about when Michi-
gan fails and when the Bucks are
marching along. It's her giving me an
Ohio State national championship T-
shirt as a late-Christmas joke, and me
not giving it back (it's still in my closet).
It's being in Essexville and hanging
out in my basement or Chris Wagner's
basement with about 10 other maize-
and-blue faithful. It's going to Hooters
at 11 a.m. just for the wings and taking
them back to your house. It's just about
going nuts.
It's about threatening to kill over
missing a part of the 1999 game for an
Evans Scholarship interview and get-
ting tense when a 13-9 thriller in 1996
is approaching starting time for a choir
concert (I sang and danced a little bit
better to music from "Footloose" and
See O'NEILL, Page 10

4

The Bucks stopped here: Blue wins, 24-17

EDITOR'S NOTE: In preparation for The
Game, the Daily will count down to Satur-
day's historic 100th meeting between Ohio
State and Michigan by running excerpts from
the past four games between the Buckeyes and
Wolverines.
By Josh Kleinbaum
Daily Sports Editor (Nov. 22, 1999)
Everyone was right. When Ohio State showed up
at Michigan Stadium on Saturday, these Buckeyes
weren't the same ones who had struggled to a 6-5
record. Their trash cans were packed with records.
This bunch played aggressively, showed heart, even
showed skill.
But they were still Buckeyes. And, as usual, since
they were playing Michigan, they lost, this time 24-
17. The Buckeyes have won just two of the last 12

meetings in this storied rivalry.
Ohio State outplayed No. 10 Michigan in most
facets of the game. The Buckeyes had 116 more
yards than Michigan. They outrushed the Wolver-
ines, 296 yards to 137. For most of the game, they
had the better quarterback (although Steve Bellisari
ran better than he threw).
But three turnovers and 13 penalties by Ohio State
kept Michigan in the game, and the last turnover, a
Kevin Houser fumble, set up a stellar Michigan
fourth-quarter drive to put Michigan ahead for good.
And on that drive, Michigan quarterback Tom Brady,
who struggled through most of the game, starred. After
hitting just 12 of his first 21 passes, Brady connected
on five of six, including a crucial third-down conver-
sion and a nine-yard pass to Marquise Walker, who
caught the ball at the 3-yard line and shimmied around
a would-be tackler and into the endzone.
"You don't always play your best football," Brady

said. "Last week we didn't play our best football,
either."
A few hours later, Rob Renes, Pat Kratus and Josh
Williams wandered out of the Michigan lockerroom
and onto the field. The comeback was over. Walker
had scored, the defense held Ohio State and Michi-
gan had won. The three defensive linemen, all sen-
iors who had just played their final game at
Michigan Stadium, were still wearing their jerseys.
Michigan Stadium was pretty mtich empty, but the
marching band was on the field playing its post-
game show. For his final time, Renes watched.
"We went out there and tried to get little piece of
Michigan lore while we're still a part of it," Renes
said.
Editor's note: After the Wolverines'victory against
Ohio State, they were invited to the Orange Bowl,
where they finished their season 10-2 with a 35-34,
overtime win overAlabama.

I

I

After the game, please do only those things you wouldn't mind
a judge see you do on a video recording

6

PRO RIANW,
MAIM ff

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