What the Deuce: She Likes Me, She Likes Me Not

Sunday, February 12, 2006

She Likes Me, She Likes Me Not

Michigan basketball is like a girl I once dated in college. I had met her before, at a party, and when I saw her on campus one day, I asked her out. She agreed and we went to dinner. The first red flag appeared as we drove to the restaurant. She told me she was a bit hesitant because she didn't know if we were going out on a "date." She had just broken up with her boyfriend and she didn't want him to feel bad.

Anyway, we had fun at dinner and she told me that she was going to a party later that night and that it would be cool if I met her there. Coincidentally, I had plans to go to the same party, so the night, in my mind, was going well. I told her that she should come to a pre-party with me at a friend's house. She politely declined saying she had to meet friends in South Quad. That's when I noticed red flag number two. Her ex called and asked why she wasn't in her room, if she was going out to a party with him that night, you know, the whole ex-boyfriend stalker thing.

To make a long story short, she met up with me at the party later, but had a guy with her. It wasn't the ex, but, in her words, "my best friend." Red flag number three. I know I should have abandoned ship at that point but since I had just found out that my ex had just started dating a new guy, I decided that I was going to keep at it.

Fast forward a few hours. Me and the girl from dinner end up back at my place. I'm thinking, "okay, this is good, not a total loss." But in fact it was. She gave me the whole I'm-a-good-girl speech and told me that she didn't really want to do anything and that she was too drunk, and blah blah blah. She proved to be complete tease* and to make things worse, she started dating her "best friend" a couple weeks later. Because of my pride and competitive nature, I went down with the ship.

Michigan basketball is as bad as this girl. In November we were bombarded with Tourney Hype. There was no way Michigan was not getting in. Lester Abram was back after losing a season to injury. Daniel Horton was coming back from suspension. Dion Harris had more experience under his belt being forced into a leadship position at the end of last year. I had countless reason to why Michigan would get in the tourney.

The season started with mere flirtation that quickly mushroomed into infactuation. I called friends back home to talk about hoops. If I couldn't watch a game, which is quite often here in Miami, I followed the game on mgoblue.com. I would eagerly read the newspapers and blogs to get other people's opinions on my new love.

But in December the first red flag made its appearance - a home loss to UCLA in a turnover ridden game in conjunction with poor shooting. Courtney Sims was exposed as just a body in the paint. Yet, I just dismissed it as a loss. No big deal, she still likes me.

Michigan ripped off 3 wins before opening the Big Ten season against Indiana in a game which they looked horrible. Red Flag number two. Another game with turnovers and typical play which the fans had become accustomed to in the last decade. Once again, I came up with excuses. No big deal, Indiana was #16 at the time. The Big Ten is tough, they weren't going to win em' all anyway.

After a close loss to Illinois on the road, myself and many fans still felt pretty good about the team. Michigan played well in that game, just coming up short at the end.

The January 18th game against NU was the make or break moment for the team. They needed a win streak to keep their hopes of making the NCAAs alive. It was the last chance. If she doesn't show me some attention now, I'm done. Well, she did and she showed a lot. She locked her eyes with mine, blew me a kiss, and tossled her hair. Damn the two red flags, she was really into ME!

Five straight wins! A win at home over MSU and Wisconsin. All of a sudden a Big Ten Championship wasn't out of the question. She had you buying her flowers and calling her to go out to dinner. A couple more dates and she'd be your girlfriend...and that's when Red Flag 3 came out.

An ugly road loss to Iowa which displayed the weaknesses of Michigan basketball. An injury to Lester Abram. Another loss, this time at home to OSU, a team that just didn't miss that night. A devastating ankle injury to Dion Harris. You knew it was back to normal. She didn't like you in the first place. She was just a tease. But because of your competitive juices and hope, you decided to give her another chance...and what happened? She just laughed and started dating her best friend.

The loss to Purdue on the road was unacceptable - injuries or no injuries. Turnovers, poor shooting, even worse on the defensive end. The hopes of a Big Ten title are just a memory and this team needs to worry about making the postseason (NCAA, not NIT). Three players out with injury. Road stops in East Lansing and Columbus. Difficult home dates against Minnesota and Illinois and Indiana. This team looked horrible on Sunday.

Here's the catch, though. With the girl, I got over it and moved on. At some point, I gathered my pride and said, "forget her, no more chances." But I can't do that with Michigan hoops. I can be teased over and over and still give them a proverbial second chance. Like that night in undergrad, I'll go down with the ship. But here, it'll happen over and over and over again.

Note: By no way am I saying that because she didn't hook up with me that night, she was a tease. I took some journalistic liberties to help the flow of this post


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