After the worst summer of my 23 year life, I find myself longing for that first kickoff in Ann Arbor more than ever.
Over the past two and a half years my future started to take shape. I fell in love and found a best friend in the same person. We planned our wedding Up North together. We named my first son. We named our future dog - Bo. We signed a lease to an apartment that we would start the rest of our lives together in. And in a world where 50% of marriages end in divorce, we promised each other time and again that we would defy those numbers. I started to think that the world was a good place, after all.
In a moment, my future crumbled. And I still don't even know why. I just know that it's gone forever. Those 2 and a half years of my life will always just reside in my past as a gigantic lie. And the future that I had planned was just some fantasy land that apparently meant absolutely nothing. Essentially everything that I believed in for the past two and half years, and everything I believed in the future vanished in a moment.
People can't be trusted. The most important people in life have a funny tendency to let you down. That's just the way it is.
There's one thing that means anything to me that still remains, though: Michigan football. Sure, Michigan football has let me down more times than I can count. But upon summer's end, without fail, it's always there waiting for you on that first Saturday in Autumn. Michigan football will never pack up without warning and stop playing, leaving you wondering what the hell happened. Michigan football will be there, good or bad. And it always will. I can count on it to be there through deaths in the family, lost friendships, lost jobs, you name it. And this fall I will be very thankful for that.
People sometimes say sports is just a game. And sometimes that can be true. But this fall, Michigan football will be a hell of a lot more than a game to me. It's that long lost friend that will always be there. It's a crutch to lean on when life is shitty. It's something that I can believe in, when I don't believe in a damn thing in this world anymore.