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September 15, 2009 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-09-15

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 9

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 9

Blue more cohesive in
Ryan's second season

There are several reasons to get more excited about the NFL than college football - at least according to Daily editor Ian Kay.
Realfootball is played

Despite dropping
two on West Coast
road trip, 'M'
looking forward
Daily Sports Writer
Eight games into the season, its
apparent the Michigan women's
soccerteamcan applythe old adage
that a happy worker is a productive
Even though the Wolverines
are coming off a 2008 campaign in
which they finished with a 4-10-5
record, Michigan is feeling good
and playing well this season.
"The girls that I kept from last
year and the girls that have come
in have just a great camaraderie
and chemistry," Michigan coach
Greg Ryan said. "They love each
other. They love playing together.
... That's what we've really devel-
oped over the year and a half that
I've been here."
The Wolverines (3-5) are back in
Ann Arbor after losing two games
in California this weekend, includ-
ing a 2-1 loss Sunday against the
Southern Cal.
Michigan has had its share
of injuries, and six players who
started Sunday's game had primar-

ily come off the bench this season. Michigan gets a chance to
Each has started only three games match its win total from last year
or fewer games this year. Three against Oakland tomorrow in Ann
players made their first starts of Arbor. Last year, the Wolverines
the season over the weekend. beat the Golden Grizzlies 6-2 in
Ryan also said last week that key Ypsilanti. But Michigan also start-
players like senior quad-captain ed the season 3-4-1 in its first eight
Kylie Neschke and sophomore for- games and finished the rest of the
season with a 1-6-4 mark.
With or without a victory tomor-
row, the players helieve in Ryan's
They love each emphasis on camaraderie. And
despite the premature end to her
other. They season, Neschke isn't tuning out
1v pa g her coach's message.
ove playing "If yourteam chemistry is there,
t 1 you can do so many more things,
and make things possible,"Neschke
said. "I think it is areally important
aspect we are trying to build with
this team, on top of making it bet-
ward Claire Stachel are out for the ter as a program, talent-wise.We're
season with undisclosed injuries. trying to get everybody together
Stachel had not appeared in any as a team, making sure everyone's
games this season, and Neschke there with the same goals and the
had played in just three contests, same attitude."
but the team's work ethic indicates Michigan is certainly feeling
they are moving past it. the love, but after a season with
"What's kind of fun is that these only one Big Ten victory and just
guys are giving it a great go in four games overall, Ryan knows he
spite of the fact that we don't have doesn't have conference champi-
a complete set - the kind of depth onship-caliber talent yet.
other teams have," Ryan said. "... "Last year went about exactly
It's a fun challenge for us to contin- as I expected it to, based on the
ue to improve. We've said with this players that we have," Ryan said.
team all along, we're never goingto "This is a team that needed, and
judge ourselves in wins and losses still needs, a huge influx of talent,"
- just gettingbetter." Ryan said.

ike a lot of football d
hards in Ann Arbor,
trouble sleeping Frid
Saturday promised Michi
most important football gam
over two years. Could Tate F
stomach the
pressure of his
first nationally
televised game?
Could Boubacar
Cissoko hold,
his own against
Notre Dame's
standout wide IAN
receivers? yY
Could Charlie
Weis devour
Michigan Stadium's entire s
of cheese nachos before kick
Those were the thoughts
ingthrough myhead as Icot
Denard Robinsons jumping
goalposts until finally driftii
to sleep.
Unlike most other people
campus, I also had trouble sl
ing Saturday night. Even aft(
Michigan football completec
Return to Glory, I had too m
gridiron fever to go peaceful
the night.
Why? Because Week One
loomed less than 12 hours av
You see, I'm an NFL junk
While I haven't missed a gar
the Big House in three years
college ball is a nice diversio
real football is played on Sur
Real football - with bone-r
collisions and rocket-armed
ers and TV-star wide receive
Real football - without mar
bands or triple options or clt
stopping first downs.
I realize we only have fou
years to be a true part of the
lege game. But that's certain
justification for ignoring the
superior pro product. Here a
few reasons why:
SUPERSTARS: College ce
has its heroes. Tim Tebow is
the most recognizable athlei
the country right now, and o
regions will never forget He
Walker or Barry Sanders. Bu
that's hardly the norm. Ham
by only four years of eligibili

on Sunday
ie- limited endorsement opportuni- their fa
I had ties, even the biggest college stars FANi
lay of one season can be gone from the ber whe
national consciousness within a Jenning
gan's few months - just ask 2004 Heis- down p
ne in man Trophy winner Jason White. Chicago
orcier Not so in the League. Tom hand. W
Brady is more than a football the end:
player. He's a celebrity, an icon. and unl
Whether you love Terrell Owens would h
and Chad Ochocinco or can't stand Woods.
them, they're undeniably recog- couldn'r
nizable. When you see an enor- game. B
mous man gesticulating wildly Jenning
over a fallen quarterback, you thatpla
know that's Shawne Merriman. point cc
As much as Roger Goodell tries to down it
curtail the endzone celebrations eral tra:
and silence the Twitter feeds, the ensued.
upply NFL and its players have personal- Ther
off? ity in a way that college football ball fan
float- can't holda candle to. NCAA's
unted NO CUPCAKES: When defend- teams,
over ing national champion Florida and fre
ng off took on Charleston Southern on likely p
Sept.5, the game kicked off with a esimat
on 73-point spread. Appalachian State will dra
eep- jokes aside, the question for the year, an
er Gators wasn't whether they would makese
d its win, but by how much. Asa fan, erwisei
uch how can you get pumped up for must-w
lly into that type of game? In the best case have a I
scenario, you're watching scrubs involve(
run halfback dives for the entire Whil
way. second half. Worst case, you're Saturda
ie. subjected to a defeat thattakes game at
me at years to live down. ups, I p
and The NFL prides itself on being to muc
n, a league of extreme parody. I didn't
ndays. While it's frustrating that more Michig:
attling and more teams seem to finish have ar
pass- with records between 7-9 and because
ers. 9-7 every year, the upside is in to watc
ching the unpredictability. The Lions NFL ga
sck- may have been the worst team are ske'
in the history of the sport last evancel
r season, but they're still likely to systems
col- beat a few opponents in 2009. tasy foo
ly no Maybe. Unlike in college, when touchdc
far- fans can circle a few rivalry NFL far
re a matchups every season and rest searchi
easy through the remainder of but I'll I
rtainly the schedule, every week is a big scoutin
one of one in the pro game. Every team me unc
tes in has players worth watching, and Colston
'ertain outside of that one torturous bye
rschel week, there isn't a single Sunday
it from September through Decem-,
strung ber that an NFL fan can wake1
ity and up and be 100-percent certain of r

vorite team's destiny.
en Aaron Rogers hit Greg
gs with a 50-yard touch-
ass Sunday night to beat
? I jumped out of my seat
as the ball left ogers's
lhen Jennings glided into
zone, I screamed "Yes!"
eashed a fist pump that
ave impressed Tiger
Packers fan? Nope,
t care less who won the
ut I have both Rogers and
gs on my fantasyteam and
y, along with the pair's
rely unnecessary two-
inversion hookup, locked
iy Week One victory. Sev-
sh-talking text messages
e's a small college foot-
tasy movement, but the
excessive number of
ever-changing rosters
quent lopsided scores will
revent college fantasy
ver going mainstream. An
ed 25 million Americans
ft NFL fantasy teams this
ad the reason is clear: it
every game exciting. Oth-
meaningless tilts become
atch nailbiters when you
key player from your roster
e I'll watch the weekly
y night ESPN college
end other marquee match-
robably wouldn't tune in
h NCAA football, even if
spend my Saturdays at
an Stadium. I just don't
ooting interest. But
e of fantasy, I have reason
h almost every single
me. While college stats
wed to the point of irrel-
by specialized offensive
S and weak schedules, fan-
otball makes yardage and
'owns paramount to the
n. After all, I've never gone
ng for NCAA box scores,
pore over game logs and
g reports for hours if helps
over the next Marques
before everyone else does.
- Ian Kay roots for the New
York Giants and his fantasy
team, in that order. He can be
eached at iankay@umich.edu.



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