EMU v. Central Michigan open thread
At this time of year, I’m often remined of Dickens’s famous words:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.1
How better to sum up the dichotomy between a nascent basketball season full of hope, with the promise of a talented team, led by a defensive-minded coach, with the clear potential to repeat as MAC West Division champions, and a moribund fall of football, fast drawing to a close and yet perhaps not fast enough.
It’s somehow fitting to look at yesterday, then remember back two-and-a-half months and realize that, just as EMU was the first team to win a men’s basketball game this season, they were also the first team to lose a football game this fall. 1-0. 0-1. The best of times. The worst of times.
So today, after watching the basketball team deliver a solid, if sloppy, win in the Convocation Center over an opponent that took Kent State almost to the buzzer less than a week ago, it is time to trudge next door to Rynearson Stadium and be real fans. Fans that show up, win or lose, in good weather and in bad.
Let’s be honest, this game is for nothing but pride. It’s been about a month since either team can have realistically hoped to compete for a division title, and two full weeks since EMU was eliminated from even the remotest hope of a bowl trip. After Western Michigan’s fourth-quarter comeback in Mount Pleasant last Saturday, this game doesn’t even have any implications for the consolation prize that is the Michigan MAC Trophy.2 So it’s about pride, and bragging rights that, as bad as our team may be, at least they’re better (we hope) than the school up the road.
Because, let’s be honest, neither of these teams are any good. Sure, Bronson Hill might have another 150+ yard game, or Tyler Benz might pass for four touchdowns today, but at this point it’s fair to say that a performance like that would reflect as poorly on the Chippewas’ defense as it would on the Eagles offense. EMU had their chance to prove they were a good offense, and they blew it…twice.3
Let’s call this what it is. Today’s game pits a giant douche against a turd sandwich. Sure one team will win, and it will feel good for a few hours if it’s ours, but a win today for EMU and even a successful Michigan MAC Trophy defense next week would be like putting a cherry on a turd sandwich — it’s still just a turd sandwich.
This is your game preview. This is your open thread. This is what the season comes down to: is EMU the worst team in the MAC West Division, or just the second-worst? Giant douche or turd sandwich, take your pick. But either way, show up at Ryneason and cheer. It may be a turd sandwich, but it’s OUR turd sandwich…and won’t that cherry on top be nice?
- Just in case you don’t know, that’s the beginning of A Tale of Two Cities. You should probably know that. And while you’re at it, here’s a link to read it free. [↩]
- If Western Michigan beats EMU next week, the Broncos will be 2-0 and win the trophy. If EMU beats Western Michigan next weekend, the Eagles will either be 2-0 and win the trophy, or the teams will all be 1-1 and EMU will retain the trophy on a tie. [↩]
- A good offense scores more than 17 points in two weeks, even on the road. [↩]