You had to wonder what he was thinking as he walked out of Michigan Stadium today. He stayed twenty minutes after the kick missed wide left leaving his team defeated. Maybe he remained to take in the band or maybe he simply couldn’t muster up the energy to leave his seat. Whatever the reason, he stayed.
You had to wonder what he was thinking as he watched Michigan lose to a MAC team for the first time in school history. Sure he’d seen his team suffer an upset loss before but certainly not like this. He was there when Appalachian State stunned the college football world to open the 2007-08 season. That was different though, we knew what he was thinking then. What about now?
You had to wonder what he was thinking as he passed by fan after fan, the vast majority not even batting an eye as he brushed shoulders with them. They just kept walking; head down, arms slumped at their sides. He kept walking; head up, hand-in-hand with his wife by his side.
You had to wonder what he was thinking as his men have gotten off to the worst start in 41 years. He’s no stranger to rough starts. After all, the team did lose back-to-back games to start last season. That was different though, that team had experience. Their head coach won 122 games for Michigan. Their quarterback was a four-year starter and all-time leading passer. Their running back was the school’s all-time leading rusher.
You had to wonder what he was thinking as he walked through the stadium gates before the game. Exposed steel looming high above the top of the bowl, set to be the home of plush luxury boxes in the coming years. This was not the same Michigan Stadium that he had frequented each fall Saturday afternoon for almost thirty years.
You had to wonder what he was thinking as he heard the starting lineups announced today. This wasn’t the team that he had come to know so well over the years. The offensive starters combined for just 21 career starts before the season began – all of those belonging to two players. The nine others names he heard had never started a game for the Maize and Blue until this year.
You had to wonder what he was thinking as he watched the action unfold on the field. Spread formations with five wide-receivers, true freshmen lined up at running back, a defensive tackle starting at right guard. The starting quarterback was a redshirt freshman and his backup was a mere walk-on. It was a first-year head coach pacing the sidelines, surrounded with a completely new coaching staff. He couldn’t find many familiar faces as he scanned the home sideline.
You had to wonder what he was thinking as he walked out of Michigan Stadium today. Most fans walked right on by the wrinkled, balding, grey-haired man wearing a simple black leather jacket. Some turned to take a second look, remembering the face they had seen for so many years surrounding Michigan Football. Once or twice, someone would stop him for a handshake but most just kept on walking, oblivious to the fact that they were stride for stride with a Michigan legend.
You had to wonder what Lloyd Carr was thinking as he walked out of Michigan Stadium today, disappearing into the anonymity of Maize and Blue tailgates.