November 12, 2012
Borton's Blog: Unlucky at the end
There is much good luck in the world, but it is luck. We are none of us safe. We are children, playing or quarrelling on the line.
-- E.M. Forster
Or healing. Or not healing.
Even those disbelieving in chance might acknowledge a seeming randomness over the fact that the most active yards-producer in Michigan history might not gain an inch in his final appearance in The Big House.
Senior quarterback Denard Robinson remains "day-to-day," according to head coach Brady Hoke. For the past two weeks, that assessment has translated as follows: "There's no way."
It could happen again, to one of the friendliest, most giving, least-affected-by-fame performers ever to pull on a winged helmet. There's just something wrong about that.
If Robinson hadn't aggravated the ulna nerve injury to his right arm in those fateful moments just before halftime at Nebraska, nothing would look the same. The Wolverines would be sitting at 6-0 in the Big Ten, 8-2 overall, with losses only to a pair of national top five teams.
They'd be in complete command of the Legends Division of the Big Ten, on their way to a conference title game match-up against Wisconsin. A win over the Badgers, and Robinson with his fellow seniors would be heading for the Promised Land of Pasadena.
Wait a minute. Whoa, whoa, whoa. You can't say that. Michigan was LOSING at Nebraska when he went out. You CANNOT say that.
I just did. Let's move on.
This is nothing against junior Devin Gardner, who has stepped up and done a marvelous job in replacing Robinson. After all, how many programs could come up with two quarterbacks who win Big Ten Player of the Week honors in the same season?
Gardner has kept the Wolverines in it, and given them hope that they can win out and post a 7-1 mark in the Big Ten. Of course, they'd still need Nebraska's team busses to slide off whatever goat trail they're on from Lincoln to Iowa City on the final week of the season, getting stuck in a cornfield and resulting in the forfeit that puts the Wolverines over the top.
But if you believe in luck
Anyway, Robinson may not see a single play on Saturday. It would be fitting if he could take at least one snap, maybe with the ball at the opponent's 1-yard line and a phalanx of blockers surrounding his right arm.
At any rate, he should draw an ovation on Senior Day that threatens the structural integrity of the $226 million stadium re-do.
His senior season hasn't been marked by good fortune. But Michigan football fans are mighty lucky to have watched him perform these four years.
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