Moment of the Decade: Sucks to Be Sauron

↵Lloyd CarrToday at TSB, we're each giving our personal moment of the decade in sports. ↵

↵

↵I think these are usually happy or something, but if we're really ↵looking for my defining moment of the decade, it's not the Oilers' ↵remarkable run to game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals or watching the ↵Pistons obliterate the Lakers for an unexpected third NBA title. I loved both ↵of those teams for their oddness, loved how energized Edmonton and ↵Detroit were during the brief window when everything was just terrific ↵fun without attached expectations. Sports has bestowed on me some fun ↵moments in the last 10 years. ↵

↵

↵But from a Michigan fan's perspective the story of the aughts is one ↵of decline. Michigan literally started the decade off with a win over ↵Alabama in the Orange Bowl. They ended it with two consecutive bowlless ↵years and an NCAA investigation. They haven't beaten Ohio State since ↵2003. To top things off, the basketball team has resumed the ↵incompetence that's been its watchword since 1998, and the hockey program ↵is on pace to miss its first NCAA tournament in 20 years. Decline and ↵fall. ↵

↵

↵ ↵

↵

↵The defining moment, then, is the fall, the moment when violence ↵spilled into the streets and the buildings caught on fire. The ↵Horror is that moment. That's the half-joking lingo I use on ↵MGoBlog whenever this particular game is ↵brought up. I probably don't even have to explain it further, but, yes, ↵we are referring to the 2007 season opener against Appalachian State. ↵

↵

↵Michigan's expectations that year were no less than a national title. ↵Chad Henne and Mike Hart entered their senior years; Mario Manningham ↵and Adrian Arrington were at wideout; Jake Long would be the #1 pick in ↵the NFL draft. Michigan was a top five team in the preseason. And they ↵lost to a I-AA team because the defensive coordinator never brought a ↵safety into the box against a team that couldn't throw and a fifth-year ↵senior screwed up his block on the game-salvaging field goal with no ↵time on the clock. ↵

↵

↵Chaos reigned in the aftermath. I replaced my blog with a ↵"please stand by" signal and on Monday -- Labor Day -- returned by ↵recasting the blog in pink and putting up pictures of kittens. When ↵actual service resumed I posted the default mushroom cloud and declared ↵that when Carr retired at the end of the season, Michigan must set off in ↵a different direction entirely since they'd clearly lost whatever it was ↵that made the program good. ↵

↵

↵They did. It hasn't worked out so far. The last two years, and really ↵four of the last five, have been hard to take, but nothing tops that one ↵day, the football equivalent of a hobbit walking into Mordor and ↵sticking a ring in the right fire. Sucks to be Sauron*. ↵

↵

↵*(NEEERRRRRRRD!) ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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