Business Is Finished: After 26 Years, We Are National Champions Again

Business Is Finished: After 26 Years, We Are National Champions Again

| January 19, 2024

Business Is Finished: After 26 Years, We Are National Champions Again

First I want to point out the MGOBLOG and Professor and Pundit podcast episodes focusing on the Washington game and the season finale. Check them out at the bottom of the page!

Its been a long, long time since Jan 1, 1998 when we won the Rose Bowl to claim the AP National Title. Below is a photo from that game of my roommate David Shannon, Chris Duprey, and myself. Below the picture is our Michigan Football Preview from August 2023 featuring Chris (Spoiler Alert - we both picked Michigan to go undefeated)!


Before home games, you are all familiar with the James Earl Jones open. I have to admit, at times over the last 9 years I've wondered if we really were "proud members of the Big Ten Conference in pursuit of national championships." After all, how can we be in pursuit of national championships when we can't even win the B1G East? Even going back to 2006 when we lost to OSU in the #1 vs #2 game - then we go to the Rose Bowl and USC makes us look silly. Were we a legit contender?

Living through the disastrous 2020 season nobody could have predicted what would come next: we crush Ohio State in 2021 and go on to the CFP???? I shed tears in stands during that beautiful 2021 victory. As I reflect on that game, the emotions were heavy. Losing 16 out 17 to Ohio takes its toll. Then actually winning when we really didn't expect to win. How glorious that was! Then we get smoked by Georgia (Hunter and I suffered through that game in Miami) and its clear to me that we are not a legit contender. Will it ever happen?

Next up in 2022: Cornelius Johnson and THE DON lead us to victory in the 'shoe. We watched that game from Barcelona. Days before the game I searched for a sports bar in the city which would show the game for us. However, it was World Cup week, and we were playing at the same time as the French soccer team, so nobody would agree to show American Football. We were forced to watch the game on my phone. I remember waking up the next morning and scrolling Twitter. I found this and watched it 1,000 times in a row (click here to watch):

That game also inspired Seth to create the best tee-shirt ever. Tips for Driving in Ohio, which I wore to every game this year. 

And all of this was followed by TCU sadness. WILL IT EVER HAPPEN AGAIN??? EVER AGAIN?

YES

And it came against Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide of Alabama in the freaking Rose Bowl in freaking OVERTIME. ARE YOU SERIOUS? I was not at that game. However, I was at the Y2K Bama game (Tom Brady), the Dallas Bama game (Denard), and the 1/1/2020 Bama game (Shea Patterson).

We planned a family cruise over New Years, which was lovely, but also a terrible mistake on my part. Missing the Rose Bowl cut me to my core, but I made up for it by taking my boys to Houston for the CFP Final Washington game. 

Below is a photo of us and our crew (plus a friendly buckeye) watching the game on the cruise ship. I had to arrive at the sports bar an hour in advance to block off our section. Before the game I was nervous - resting heart rate at 100!!! All nerves!

Below is a photo of my boys celebrating the win with a Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri! Oh how sweet it is!

LEGEND. I absolutely love his death stare into the camera after his Overtime Touchdown.

Our crew at NRG Stadium in Houston - my boys with one of my college roommates, Joe. In a stark contrast vs the Rose Bowl, the vibe before the game was full-on confidence.

The Professor himself at the natty! Greg Dooley, sporting the Peak hat! And me with my '97 Woodson Jersey. I don't think I had worn that jersey in over 20 years until the two CFP games this year.

After the Mikey pic - yeah I was tearing up big time! Same as 2021 OSU.

In closing, as I reflect on my experience in the '98 Rose Bowl and this year's finish, I've come to the conclusion that our 1997 season was part of my identity. When the topic of Michigan Football came up, I would most certainly work into the conversation that I was a freshman in 1997 and went to the Rose Bowl. Now to be able to celebrate this team, a perfect 15-0 and a storybook ending against a "retiring" Nick Saban, and most importantly, being there at the natty with my teenage boys.... just awesome. I hope when the topic of Michigan Football comes up, this season will be part of their identity. 

Thanks for reading! If you are looking for "real" content, please check out the two podcasts below. I enjoyed them immensely.

MGOBLOG: Great season-ending episode from Brian, Seth, and the crew. I love the emotion from these guys at the end! Click here to listen. 

Professor and the Pundit: I'm in this one! Thanks to Greg and Steve for having me come on the show as a guest. In case you missed it, we are now the title sponsor of "The Professor and the Pundit" hosted by Greg Dooley from MVictors.com and Steve Clarke from WTKA. Check out the natty episode here.