Jake Rudock Must Die for the Harvest

A Stream of Consciousness Reaction Piece by a Lifelong Wolverines Fan

Warning, if you were looking for a quick recap of last night’s Michigan-Utah game, you’re in the wrong place buddy. The information you are about to read comes from the darkest depths of human insanity, idolatry and shameful longing – the mind of a Michigan Wolverines fan. This is a horrifying place; a diseased landscape of arrogance, entitlement and desperate, primordial fear that college football has passed you by. Ye of gentle heart are encouraged to turn back now and if ye don’t, may Yost have mercy on your soul.

 

3:55 PM: My eyes slowly, involuntarily roll open in the hot afternoon sun. It’s September 3rd but the last heat wave of summer has persistently clung to my adopted home of Toronto like a wet sheet of discount toilet paper. Today is Michigan day. I know this because I couldn’t sleep at all last night and I booked today off at work, weeks in advance. My job doesn’t allow for vacation time but my boss seemed to understand when I requested the day off for religious purposes. Capitalism is grand, ain’t it folks?

4:00 PM A lesser fan might have taken a shower at this point, but this is no time for general foppery. This summer has taught me that the Cult of Harbaugh is founded on sweat and I can do no less than my part for the glorious cause of my fellow Schembechlerites. Instead, I desperately scan the internet for updates on the unfolding back-up long snapper situation and Jabrill Pepper’s favorite type of cheese.

4:15 PM: With no news emanating from the secret Harbunker, I settle down to watch every fan made Michigan pump-up video on Youtube. Despite each video containing the same clips and soundbites, I tear up multiple times at the sound of Bo’s voice. In a bitter example of irony, it dawns on me that in the before time when Lloyd was king, Michigan fans would wait until bowl-season to weep openly. Pushing the negativity from my mind, I chant “who’s got it better than us? Nobody” under my breath until the darkness passes.

5:30 PM: The worst kept secret in the entire state of Michigan is that Jake Rudock will start tonight at QB for the Wolverines. Despite this, I spend a half hour listening to a podcast recorded in a public restroom about precisely who will start tonight at Quarterback for Michigan. I do this mostly because I’ve seen game film of Jake Rudock and my preferred choice of QB at Michigan this year would be virtually anyone other than Jake Rudock.

6:00 PM: At this point, a general sense of uneasiness has come over me. In the back of my mind, I realize there is a very real chance Michigan is going to get completely waxed by something known as the Utah Utes tonight. My mind reels as I try to figure out “precisely what in the fuck is a Ute?” Shaking and covered in sweat, I begin repeatedly asking “is it 8:30 yet?” while posting Michigan images on social media. I do this in a vain attempt to hide my lack of confidence in anything dependant on a quarterback so terrible he wasn’t wanted in Iowa of all fucking places.

8:00 PM: It’s a half hour before game time and like clockwork that ole time religion is tugging at my maize and blue heartstrings again. I know, logically that Utah is an underrated team with far more experience than Michigan’s roster and a much better quarterback. In the eye of the moment however, this is meaningless. I begin to fantasize about what it would be like if Michigan actually won in Harbaugh’s first game while loudly humming an off-key rendition of Hail to the Victors.

8:26 PM: I’m so excited that my body has actually begun to vibrate with the spiritual essence of Wolverine football. Although I am not actually *on* the team, I become vaguely aware that defeat or victory this evening will be dependent on my belief in all things Yost. I briefly enter a transcendental state where I am visited by the desiccated remains of Gary Moeller’s legacy. He tells me that Michigan will win the Big 10 this year. I ask him if he’s drunk. He asks me if I’m a cop, but doesn’t wait for my answer before driving away. I snap out of the trance to discover I have been chanting “the team, the team, the team” for several minutes.

8:34 PM: Having missed the game introduction, my first experience of the 2015 college football season is a Hooters Fantasy Football ad featuring Jon Gruden that somehow manages to lower my already dismal opinion of Hooters, Fantasy Football and Jon Gruden.

Editor’s note – at this point the author claims to have “entered a realm where time lost all meaning, while hope and despair became fluidly interchangeable concepts in some mad deity’s cruel game.” What timestamps she provided consist entirely of crude scribbles and inappropriate limericks about various Big 10 opponents. In an effort to provide clarity, Icepuckchic has included game clock information for this portion of the article.

15:00 1st Quarter: Utah gets the ball first and the teams line up for the opening kickoff of the 2015 Michigan college football season. I’m immediately struck by how aggressively “red” the Utes uniform is. Red helmets, red jerseys, red pants, shoes and socks. If the Soviet Union had fielded an international Football team, this is how they would have dressed. The whistle blows and the ensuing touchback is largely anti-climactic but I don’t care as I bask in the glow of college football like a junkie hauling back on a homemade crack pipe. I consider getting naked, but decide against it.

14:32: Utah opens the game by spreading out the Michigan defense and running the ball with their awkward-looking and freakishly elongated quarterback on back to back plays. I wonder aloud if it’s a bad omen when you can’t stop a guy who looks like he should be playing European Basketball somewhere in Greece. Finally, someone drops the 6’7” beanpole bastard behind the line of scrimmage and Utah decides to stop trolling us with QB keepers.

Hoke13:34: As it turns out the Ute’s QB is named Wilson and he’s not a half bad passer when he isn’t shambling forward like an Ent tripping balls on Lysol. A 22 yard dump off to Utah’s star halfback turns into two more consecutive completions as chills run up my spine and seven years worth of bad defensive memories begin to cloud my mind. Am I really ready for this again, so soon after the Fat Man broke my heart? Can I still trust? Have I been wrong to place my faith in a man who passionately enjoys the Judge Judy show? There are no answers to these questions.

12:12: Justice! Michigan wraps up Booker for a 1 yard loss and then stuffs him again for a short gain as Utah tries to get their best player involved in the offense. The Michigan defense looks physical, disciplined and aggressive as they start to put the hurt on Utah’s linemen early. I wonder aloud if Michigan was just confused by how hideous Utah’s uniforms where when the Utes were driving up the field. At no point in time does this seem irrational to me.

11:18: Michigan registers a *huge* stop on third down and I can feel the old Ann Arbor ghosts rising up out of the turf to inspire the team. “Can ghosts find their way from Michigan to Utah”, I actively wonder. This question too, I cannot answer and must leave to future historians.

10:30: After a commercial break, Utah kicks a field goal which in turn leads to another commercial break. At this point, after being subjected to roughly twelve targeted advertisements in just over twenty minutes it dawns on me that Madison Avenue does not understand the American male in the slightest. Naturally, I don’t understand the American male either but after observing them in the wild for many years I can be absolutely certain there’s more to them than breast obsession, erectile dysfunction and Fantasy Football.

10:31: Utah’s mutant kicker drives the ball out of the endzone and the Michigan offense sets up for its first play of the 2015 season. My mind races with glee as I try to imagine what the notoriously bold Harbawesome will unleash on the Utes in the coming moments.

Jake Butt9:30: As it turns out, the new Michigan offense looks a lot like the crappy old Michigan offense from the past two seasons under Brady Hoke. A short dive up the middle is followed by a halfback screen and a 4 yard completion for a first down that was only caught because tight end Jake Butt has plenty of practice snatching balls thrown directly at his ankles. Nothing about this series of plays inspires any confidence whatsoever, but I celebrate the first down like it’s a walk off homerun anyways because deluded optimism in response to the most trivial achievements is a modern Wolverines tradition.

7:37: After a series of middling runs, another Rudock pass that makes me question the nature of man’s existence in the universe and an exchange of penalties – a blazing ray of hope emerges. Rudock miraculously threads a perfect pass on a seam route to Jake Butt and the athletic tight end rips off a 24 yard gain. For one brief, but glorious moment it’s 1986 again and Jimmy Harbaugh is leading the smash mouth Wolverines up the field in a brazen assault on all things modern football. I briefly consider getting naked again but decide against it.

5:54: Disaster, despair, oh cursed woe! Rudock locks eyes with a receiver who isn’t there and lofts up a gift-wrapped interception when a young wideout doesn’t break anywhere near the ball. The announcers immediately begin a discussion about whose fault the pick was without even mentioning the possibility that Jake Rudock might be a Hawkeye sleeper agent sent to destroy the 2015 Wolverines. I resolve to watch Rudock closely for any more suspicious activity as the screen cuts back to the same infuriating Hooters Fantasy Football commercial I’ve now memorized word for word.

Jabrill1:11: Several minutes pass by as I stare enthralled at both the majestic beauty of the Michigan defense and the stunning craplitude of the Michigan offense. Is craplitude a word? If it isn’t, someone should invent it specifically to describe what Jake Rudock brings to the table. Of particular interest to me is Jabrill Peppers, Michigan’s hybrid monsterback defender who attacks screens, hitch routes and sweeps like they owe him money. Despite being beaten multiple times in coverage, he is clearly Michigan’s most dynamic and disruptive defender. Sadness washes over me when I realize that he will absolutely depart for the NFL the exact second he is legally eligible to do so.

1:03: I am rustled from my mourning by the sight of Utah’s defense biting so hard on a play-action fake they’ll need to see an orthodontist after the game. Rudock is standing all alone behind perfect protection and Michigan’s designated deep threat Jehu Chesson is so wide open it feels like *I* could toss him the ball from my couch. As the ball leaves the QB’s hands, I can already tell the arc is too low and the pass is moving too quickly to hit Chesson in stride. It sails harmlessly to the turf without Jehu even getting a finger on it. It occurs to me that even Tate Forcier would have completed that pass and I immediately share this on Twitter. I begin openly weeping.

0:56: Rudock throws a hitch pass that will look great on paper but is only successful because wide receiver Amara Darboh is a bad, bad man who will not accept failure. Normally, the 28 yard gain would please me but I am beginning to realize that Rudock is virtually incapable of moving the ball downfield with his arm. The drive immediately stalls out when Utah’s defense completely ignores multiple run fakes and devours our halfback because absolutely no one in the state of Utah is worried about the play action pass anymore.

14:13 2nd Quarter: Michigan kicks a field goal that feels like a turnover. I celebrate anyways by yelling “Go Blue” out my window over the longest street in Canada. I quickly realize the Canadians below probably think I’m talking about beer and return to my seat sheepishly. I consider getting naked once again, but decide against it when the Jon Gruden Hooters Fantasy Football ad comes on. I am not comfortable getting naked in front of Jon Gruden.

13:51: I watch in rapt fascination as Travis Wilson magically transforms into the second coming of college Vince Young before my very eyes. The Utah QB effortlessly evades the pass rush and starts fitting laser accurate passes into tiny windows in Michigan’s defensive coverage. The camera flashes to Wilson’s face and I see absolutely no fear in his eyes. This Lurch-looking mutherfucker is killing us and the son of a bitch isn’t even smiling. “Will someone, ANYONE please do something about Franken-QB” I scream aloud at my screen.

10:33: The answer of course is no. Nobody can stop the Utah juggernaut and when Booker bursts across the goal line from the one, a Michigan loss begins to feel inevitable. I chide myself for pessimism outwardly but inside I know my confidence is a lie. When your team is starting a raging dumpster fire at quarterback a seven point lead might as well be seventy. The camera pans over the Utah sideline and captures the majestic wild ass crack of a Utah Lineman for just a little too long to be an accident. Fuck you Fox Sports, fuck you.

8:53: A meaningless exchange of drives ends when Mario Ojemudia sacks Wilson on third down. I am elated and immediately perform my ritual sack dance while screaming “Franken-QB is down, I repeat, Franken-QB is down” loud enough to frighten my neighbors. My joy is short-lived however when I realize this means we get the ball back and have to put the offense out on the field.

Rudock 25:40: Jake Rudock must die for the harvest, there is no other solution. In the span of six short seconds, Michigan’s QB once again misses a wide open Chesson for a clear touchdown and then throws a backbreaking interception that somehow seems more like an act of open treason than his first turnover. This is a disaster, somehow Jake Rudock is actually getting *worse* every single god damned time he drops back to pass! I stare at the screen in stunned silence as I realize the college football season is less than twenty five minutes old and I’m already excited to see Shane “my brain is probably scrambled eggs” Morris at quarterback. No, really.

0:04: Time distorts openly as Michigan’s defensive line dominates Utah up front and prevents the Tyler Wilson Heisman Trophy campaign from progressing any further. Multiple drives pass by as maulers Chris Wormley and Ryan Glasgow toss aside Utah blockers like Jim Minick tosses back boilermakers. A late interception by Jeremy Clark ends the half and reminds me that Wilson is probably not a cyborg from the future sent back in time to destroy Jim Harbaugh’s coaching debut.

Halftime: A State Farm Insurance ad featuring the Conehead family flashes across the screen and makes me realize that Dan Akroyd is broke again. The ad is so terrible that I wonder why Akroyd didn’t just set up a Go Fund Me instead as it would probably be less degrading. My thoughts are interrupted by a friend on social media who is concerned Rudock’s performance may lead me to do something drastic. I ask him why Harbaugh hasn’t tried Shane Morris at quarterback. He reminds me that Shane Morris is terrible. I tell him that I absolutely cannot believe that Rudock is the best QB we have and suggest that we should try the punter behind center because he looks “pretty beefy.” He laughs. I decide not to tell him that I wasn’t joking.

Happy Bob15:00: As Michigan’s offense trots onto the field to start the second half I realize that I’m speaking to the screen very slowly like Bob Barker in Happy Gilmore. “All right now Jake, nice and easy, don’t turn the fucking ball over you cornfield working dipshit” I implore loudly and deliberately. My boyfriend calls up the stairs to make sure I’m okay but I ignore him. It’s far too important that I find a way to connect with Rudock somehow before he throws another interception. The dazed, soulless look in his eyes tells me that he’s just as surprised as I am that Shane Morris is not starting the second half.

14:45: The sideline announcer cheerfully informs the audience that Jim Harbaugh said he was happy with Jake Ruddock at halftime and I reel in my chair like I’ve taken a George Foreman body shot to the gut. Is she serious? Is Harbaugh? “Maybe he is crazy” I think to myself as Rudock completes another pass inches beyond the line of scrimmage and the back-up Tight End breaks three tackles for a first down.

9:58: Michigan’s drive stalls out as the Utes become accustomed to a steady diet of screens and hitches, followed by pointless run fakes that end in 2 yard rushes and a pile of twisted man flesh. Utah’s defense has clearly lost all respect for Rudock as either a runner or a passer and nobody up in the announcer’s booth can really blame them. I wonder if the opposing quarterback can be your team MVP in a college football game as Michigan misses a 48 yard field goal.

9:09: I tell myself that things could be worse, that it’s only the third quarter in a one score game. There’s still a chance Michigan can win this game if the defense can just keep Utah from scoring actual touchdowns in the second half. The camera flashes to Franken-QB as he lines up against the fearsome Michigan front seven. He is laughing because he knows something nobody else in the world knows – he knows that Tyler Wilson is a god damn motherfucking werewolf and he’s about to feast on the Michigan D.

Joker5:49: I gasp in unmitigated horror as Wilson jukes two defenders out of their shorts and waltzes across the goal line untouched from 14 yards out. On the drive he completes three passes into tight coverage and generally treats the Wolverine defense like toddlers at the Lightbridge Academy day care. There is no god – only pain, suffering and Tyler Wilson smiling like the Joker as he eats your spleen.

4:04: Rudock throws a homicidal pass high and inside to a double covered receiver whom I can only assume fucked his sister sometime in the very recent past. Somehow the receiver survives. The offense has settled into a comfortable rhythm now – Rudock misses an easy pass, De’veon Smith falls forward for a yard or two and then Amara Darboh breaks seven tackles after adjusting to catch a poorly thrown hitch route, somehow bailing out the offense and getting a first down in the process. The camera catches Harbaugh dropping all of his papers to the ground while trying to signal in a play and it occurs to me this is a pretty solid metaphor for the entire offense at this point.

2:40: After a pretty-looking 7 yard rush, De’Veon Smith comes out of the game to catch a breather and takes his helmet off; revealing a glorious half-grown out bleach job. I realize that his head looks like a pineapple and immediately share this on Twitter.

1:25: After he misses another short pass to Darboh, the announcers attempt to explain that Rudock’s inability to hit the ocean from a rubber dingy is a result of having to let the ball go earlier than he wants to in the face of Utah’s pass rush. This strikes me as complete bullshit because there hasn’t been a Utah defender in Rudock’s fucking area code on half of his dropbacks. I scream “no, he sucks, he’s terrible, he cannot put the ball where it needs to go for fuck’s sake” to no one in particular. I then count out seven Mississippis during the next play before Rudock falls forward for two yards without even attempting a pass.

Butt TD0:46: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria. I know of no other words to describe what I’m seeing as Utah takes a huge penalty and Rudock drops back to pass from the nineteen yard line. There are three defenders draped all over heroic tight end and verified man beast Jake Butt. Rudock throws the pass to him anyways and somehow Butt climbs the ladder and comes down with the ball on top of a pile of stunned Ute defenders. Did that just happen? Did Rudock actually just throw that pass after the two interceptions he’s already chucked up? Holy fucking shit did that just fucking work for an actual touchdown?!

0:46 Part 2: Somehow, it is utterly fucking poetic that the first touchdown of the Jim Harbaugh era would be scored by a tight end named Jake Butt. I revel in the glow of a Michigan legacy reborn while hollering Hail to the Victors as loud as I possibly can. By now my neighbors have likely phoned the police because it is illegal to raise your voice in Canada. I realize that I’m running around my apartment screaming at the top of my lungs in joy despite our idiot quarterback throwing into triple coverage. College football is madness.

14:17 4th Quarter: Wilson completes a beautiful 18 yard dart to take the ball to the Michigan forty-one yard line but I’m not even slightly worried. Butt’s catch was a motherfucking miracle and absolute proof that god himself is on Michigan’s side. Not even a Frankenstein werewolf serial killer like Wilson can fuck up a divine mandate, can he?

10:03: As if on cue, the spirits of Michigan’s storied past push a 46 yard field goal wide off the foot of celebrated Utah kicker Andy Phillips. Somewhere in the distance I hear the voice of Schembechler reminding us all that when the game is “over, you and I know, it’s gonna be Michigan again.” Once again, I consider getting naked but decide I do not wish to offend the ghosts. The stage is set for a classic Harbaugh-esque Michigan comeback and I’ll be damned if I’m going to fuck it up now by pissing off a dead legend or three.

Darboh10:03 part 2: Rudock throws another hitch pass to Amara Darboh and once again the young WR knifes his way through would be tacklers like a jailhouse assassin. Everything is perfect now I think – Michigan is driving, Harbaugh has reignited the old magic and all that son of a bitch Rudock has to do is protect the fucking ball on the way to a game tying touchdown. This is tradition restored, Wolverines football at its finest and the beginning of a new legend I tell myself, while tearing up slightly at the sheer fucking majesty of it all. Hell, these boys might even challenge for the Big Ten title in Harbaugh’s first year.

7:58: Rudock drops back to pass and something seems incredibly wrong almost immediately. Players are running actual routes into the Utah secondary and there doesn’t appear to be an outlet receiver behind the line of scrimmage. I watch in agonizing horror as our 5th year, senior quarterback locks his eyes on the one receiver who isn’t even remotely open without so much as glancing at Utah’s safeties. Instinctively, I reach towards the screen while yelling “oh my fucking god Jake, noooooo” but it is too late. The Utah defender jumps the route perfectly and everyone watching knows it’s going back for six the moment he picks the pass off.

Kryptonite7:58 Part 2: As the announcers play the pick-six over and over again I begin to realize that Jake Rudock is worse than terrible. If kryptonite was somehow a person and you decided to start that person at quarterback for the most storied college football program in history, that kryptonite person would be Jake Rudock. At this point, I honestly think Jake should be pumping gas somewhere but I question if he’d be able to accurately deliver the fuel. My mind reels as I try to imagine what a massive bust Shane Morris must be if he couldn’t beat out a human JUGS machine like Rudock for the starting job. I openly begin to question if Michigan should hold tryouts in the parking lot for a new quarterback. My thoughts find only darkness and pain now as I slide to the floor, sobbing like a baby. “How could this happen”, I ask an empty room between heaving breaths. Both the Coneheads ad and the Hooters Fantasy Football ad play again in the background. I secretly vow to kill Jon Gruden if we ever meet in person.

7:51: My boyfriend has finally arrived to find out why I’m screaming and hollering. I attempt to explain to him that Jake Rudock is the devil and must be stopped before he costs Michigan the entire season. He does not seem receptive to my request for a ride to Utah immediately. I’m just about to reiterate the sheer necessity of this action to him when I realize that Jake Rudock is lining up behind center for Michigan’s next drive. “He’s still in the fucking game” I gasp. My boyfriend begins hiding nearby sharp objects.

7:27: Someone on Twitter steals my Tate Forcier joke as Rudock throws a pass three feet over De’Veon Smith’s head. Life is a cruel and bitter hardship comprised of crashing between one disappointment and the next.

7:25: Jake Butt makes a nice catch and carries the ball into Utah territory before a Utes penalty and two short runs set Michigan up with a third and one on the Utah thirty-five yard line. This affords me two small consolations – the game is not technically over yet and Rudock can’t throw an interception on the run play that’s coming up next.

MushroomCloud5:27: To my disbelief and horror, Jake Rudock finds a new way to fuck everything up when he slips on the QB dive without gaining a single yard. Did that just happen? Did I just seriously watch a collegiate athlete mechanically fail to fall forward for a single yard? Replays render this question meaningless by revealing that the entire Michigan offensive line got obliterated on the play.

5:13: Out of options, Harbaugh instructs his team to go for it on fourth down. The coach ominously stares down at his shoes before the ball is snapped and I decide to join him. Neither one of us can watch the ensuing fat kid carnage as De’Veon Smith gets stuffed on fourth down and all twenty families in Utah who own a television erupt in celebration.

5:08: All in meaningless now as I weep bitterly for the sweet merciful release of death. Hope is pain, life is despair and if you haven’t got a quarterback you haven’t got a hell-bound snowball’s chance in college football. As Utah grinds down the clock, gnawing questions consume my conscience. Why is it I who must bear the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? How could I have possibly gone wrong in loving the single most successful football team in the history of this absurd, Kafkaesque pastime? Has any other generation of Michigan fans experienced such a prolonged period of pigskin purgatory? Why doesn’t Tom Brady return my voice messages and how the fuck does an NFL superstar let his phone go out of service? “Questions, always questions, but never an answer behind center” I chant softly while rocking back and forth against my chair in a desolate trance.

Shawshank2:02: Somewhere, in the back of my mind I become vaguely aware that Jake Rudock has completed three consecutive passes and is somehow driving Michigan down the field. I consider getting naked simply because staying clothed has done nothing to help the team thus far. Ultimately however, I decide against it. “Hope is a dangerous thing in here Andy” I remind myself. On cue, Rudock misses two consecutive passes. I nod at the sagacity of my decision and quietly thank Morgan Freeman for his guidance on these matters.

1:30: On fourth down and six, I watch Jake Rudock line up to take what will likely be the final offensive snap of Harbaugh’s first game in somber silence. The game is virtually over at this point but if my team must endure the final few moments before all hope is snuffed out, I resolve to endure with them – come what may. As Rudock drops back to pass I can hear a bugle faintly moaning out Taps in the evening summer air. Somehow, some way however, the motherfucker actually completes a 10 yard strike to Grant Perry – putting both Michigan’s hopes and my cardiac muscles back on life support.

0:54: One pass to Perry turns into two and when Rudock finds a wide open Amara Darboh for a 10 yard touchdown against a Utah defense who’d already headed for the showers mentally, I can scarcely comprehend what I’m seeing. “Do you believe in miracles,” I scream out into the street as desperate, illogical hope takes over my brain like a cheap hit of acid. This is why we endure I tell myself as the touchdown replays again the in background. I vow on the spot that “if we recover the onside kick, I will definitely get naked.” Sensing trouble, my boyfriend leaves the room.

59Wolverines0:54 Part 2: Michigan’s kicker jerks the ball way too hard and sails the onside kick out of bounds. Disaster, despair, oh cursed woe… but wait, Utah’s coach has fucked his own team over by calling a timeout mid-kick to ice the kicker! Some might call this decision foolish on his part, but I know an act of pigskin providence when I see one. “Everything is coming up Michigan now” I think as we line up for the onside kick again.

0:54 Part 2: The son of a bitch kicker jerks the ball way too hard and sails the onside kick out of bounds – again! There is no flag this time and Utah immediately breaks out the victory formation on the Michigan forty-four yard line. Tyler Wilson takes a knee and the screen cuts away to the Hooters Fantasy Football ad again. I am now convinced that Jon Gruden and his impossibly fake chuckle exist only to torment me personally.

0:23: As the clock bleeds down to nothing, I try in vain to make some sense of the spectacle I’d just witnessed. I was certain that Michigan had some good receivers, that the defense had been a destructive force against the run and that our offensive line had excelled at pass blocking. The problem is, I couldn’t quite remember anything at all about the game anymore. All that remained was Jake Rudock’s shell-shocked gaze, staring out into a field of cameras while we both struggled with questions for which there simply are no answers.

It’s going to be a very, very long fall.

  • Nina Illingworth