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Friday, November 11, 2005

The Case Against The Bye Week

As Michigan ends its two week sabbatical when they face IU this Saturday, many are saying how "great" the "much needed" break will have been for the Wolverines. The reasons given are the same each season:

"The players will be rested."
"The injured will be healed."
"Terry Malone will have dreamt up even more inventive ways to throw 4 yard outs on 3rd and 11."

But I beg to differ about the so-called positives of the bye week (except for the Malone comment).

To me a bye week is like coming back to work after a two week vacation. You get into the office that first Monday back and, how should I put this -- don't do shit. Oh sure, you fake it with the boss. Tell him how "refreshed" you feel. How excited you are to "dig in." But it's hard getting into the groove again. And that is usually the case, not just for that first Monday, but for most of the week. Admit it: until around the following Tuesday, you're about as useful as Nicole Richie at a MENSA convention (that gratuitous use of a hyperlink right there is why I love blogging so blow me).

Hey, remember your own college days, when you got back from Spring Break? Anybody do any work that first Monday back? Hell, anybody do any work the first week? (not counting the RC geeks in East Quad or any engineering students. Then again, those folks probably didn't go anywhere for Spring Break to begin with so never mind).

Thus, why do coaches think football is any different? Why do they think the time off will be good for the players? In my not-so-humble opinion, bye weeks hurt instead of a help a team. So don't be surprised if you see shades of the team that gave up a 61 yard run on 3rd and Obvious this Saturday before the team that's on a three game winning streak shows up.

Heck, it's the same way for fans after a bye. I feel out of sorts myself this week. Don't feel "game ready." Sure, I tried to stay sharp by watching the, uh, whateverthehell game last week. Tried to stay focused. Pretended to care. But I still don't feel I'm at my late-October peak. Just how far am I from that peak? Put it this way: I just might jangle my keys instead of making noise durng critical, dare I say "key," plays this Saturday. Yes, I feel that off.

But don't blame the me. Blame the bye week.


Katie said...

A bye week for me, a lowly woman fan, only prepares me for the end of the season....designed to remind me that I can't enjoy watching the game year round...and I do agree with you, it puts me on the edge of my seat after a bye week, will they come back rested or vacation drunk?? Let's hope for the best!

DanDierdorf said...

It's a catch 22. Nice to heal up but you are correct; the team is usually really flat. That goodness it's Indiana. Not sure if I'm going with Bloody Marys or Hot Chocolate with Baileys in A2 tomorrow morning. Ah, decisions.

Yost said...

Katie, I agree about it making me realize how close we are to the end of the season. I look forward to this all year...then it seems to go so quickly.

Benny Friedman said...

I've never been a big fan of the off week. It feels as if I'm getting ripped off of a week of football. There are only 11 in a year, don't make me sit one out. This year's been particularly strange since we've played two night games and had an off week. That's three beautiful Saturday afternoons that I've actually had to enjoy outside instead of spending them watching Michigan in my basement.
I don't think it's a coincidence that the last time Michigan didn't have an off week, we went undefeated.

Yost said...

Didn't realize that, Benny re: no off weeks in '97. Ah, if only we could use that as an excuse for all those September losses.

ruds said...

Actually, I think that the bye week will end up being a good thing in this year's schedule. I imagine they spent the off-week preparing for the Buckeyes and (at least part of) this week prepping for Indiana. Since there's almost no chance of Indiana, that means a free extra week of prep for Ohio State with a game in between to get the team back into game shape.

Yost said...

I hope you're right, Ruds. And thanks for posting. We appreciate everybody's comments who stops in.

mayday said...

Anyone who felt off was more likely due to the fact that the game was against Indiana. I always enjoy being at the game but let's be honest, I was already thinking about next week even before the kickoff.

Yost said...


You're right. I think we were all peeking ahead just a bit. I liked a nice easy game for a change this year. Now let's get down to business against the Bucks.

Thanks for stopping in, Mayday.