Monday, August 29, 2011

The heat is on … and will be on next year

As I type this little memo, it’s over 100 degrees in the Metroplex region (Dallas-Fort Worth) of Texas, where I live … and where, in one year’s time, the Michigan football team will venture forth to Cowboys Stadium (in Arlington) to play Alabama. And as I type, the thermometer reading in Detroit is 75 degrees.
That’s a BIG difference and when the Wolverines fly south for the (typically unbearable) summer, it might well affect their performance on that night.
Just so you’ll know: we are having the second hottest summer EVER and racing like the dickens to break the all-time record of 100-degree days (it stands at 60; we are closing the gap at 54 presently). It’s nasty, it’s depressing and it’s discouraging to live in such misery in places NOT named Phoenix. Dallas is NOT a desert community but, judging by the looks of my lawns and the many watering restrictions in place, it’s acting like one.
Unless you wish to fly in, see the ballgame and leave Sunday morning, you will have to spend SOME time in our confines – so be ready to sweat A LOT! It won’t be AS humid as southern Alabama, down by the Gulf Coast city of Mobile (which affects the entire state), but you could be involved in another “hot” streak. You know it’s too damn hot when it tolls midnight and it’s closer to 100 than it is to 90 degrees.
While there IS a roof on the “Death Star” (the nickname many have placed on Jerry Jones’ monstrosity), it will STILL be extremely warm and muggy and uncomfortable for anyone in attendance. No one is allowed to tailgate in the traditional Midwestern fashion (no open flames allowed because of ongoing drought and fire hazard), no coolers/picnic bags allowed inside the joint (you want food? Buy it at ridiculously jacked-up prices) and if you have seats above the first two levels, either bring high-powered binoculars or a two-way radio to someone sitting in those lower sections to tell you what’s happening on the field.
Remember, this is the same venue that kicked out legitimate ticket holders for the last Super Bowl because the stadium and idiot contractors couldn’t get it together to complete “temporary” seating in places where no seats were meant to be. And get ready to pay for parking through the nose (in excess of $25) because you’ve got TO drive to the game; there is NO mass transit of ANY kind from either Dallas or Fort Worth (no bus, no light rail, no nothing). In fact, there’s only 1-2 actual roadways to Cowboys Stadium and it could, literally, take hours to go from Point A to Point B.
When the contract was signed, I’m not sure U-M AD Dave Brandon completely thought this affair through. After all, that was one coach ago, one major recruit ago (who switched to Alabama and then promptly tore the ACL in his knee) … and two seasons ago (after the completion of Brady Hoke’s first go-round). There are going to be many chances happening in the Michigan athletic department and most of them will centered around … MONEY!
But I cannot help but wonder about all those fans expected to flock from Michigan to Jerry’s World and what kind of game-time experience they will have. The color of money is certainly alluring but at what price??? See you next September!

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