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Thursday, January 25, 2007

If college football writers covered world events...

May 8, 1945

Berlin -- In the end, its capitol lay in ruins. In the end, the "master race" wasn't. In the end, it wasn't even close.

A conflict that started with the hope of world domination for the once top-ranked army on the planet ended in a rout as the Allies defeated Germany yesterday, ending World War II on the European continent. The loss dropped Germany to 0-2 this century in world wars and left its people asking themselves how a plan to rule the world had once again gone so terribly wrong.

But for those who watched, the answer was simple: speed. The Allies had it and the Germans couldn't match up. Whether it was the speed of the tanks, the speed of the planes and yes, even the speed on the grunts on the ground, the Germans had no answer for the Allies' offensive power.

A war that began with most pundits picking the Germans instead ended in disgrace for the heavily favored Nazis, its Thousand Year Reich coming up a mere 988 years short.

After Germany opened its quest with easy invasions of Poland and France, not many people gave the Allies a chance. And during the darkest hours of the Raids on London, it looked like the Nazi war machine might be able to wrap this one up early.

But it was not to be.

From the earliest days of the war, Allied generals were quietly whispering amongst themselves that the German blitzkrieg against lesser competition like the Poles and the French didn't prepare them for what the Allies could do.

"We watched a lot of tape of their invasion of France," said a jubilant Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander. "The French just sat back with their Maginot Line and let the Germans take the fight to them. We wanted to be the ones calling the shots."

And call the shots they did.

From their surprise landing in Normandy to the North African campaign, Eisenhower and his staff came up with a masterful gameplan that left the Nazis confused, befuddled and always guessing. From the moment of their D-Day invasion, the rout was on.

But as brilliant as Eisenhower and the Allies were, German leader Adolf Hitler's warplan for his squad was equally as bad. With western Europe on the ropes early, Hitler for some reason decided to open up a second front in the east with the Russians. A move that proved disastrous.

"If it works, he's a genius and we win it all," said Gunther Huuggenvagen just before he was hanged for war crimes. "I think if we just would have---aggggghhh!"

Even before their second crushing defeat in less than 50 years, support was building among the German people to oust their mercurial leader as secret underground printing presses were already beginning to crank out FireAdolfHitler.com and "You can't spell Adolf Hitler without two 'Ls'" newsletters. But, in the waning days of the war, Hitler made the point moot, abandoning the once-proud program by committing suicide in his Berlin bunker.

The Allied victory was especially sweet for United States President Harry "The Buck Stops Here" Truman who was following in the footsteps of legendary President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who died mere days before the U.S.-led victory.

"This one was for FDR!" shouted Truman before being drenched with Gatorade by his war cabinet. "And I think this ends once and for the debate all about which country is tougher."

But Truman added that there was still work to be done. "I'm going to tell my staff, my generals, my soldiers and the American people to enjoy this one for 24 hours. But then let's turn out attention to the Japanese."

When asked how he planned to defeat the Japanese on their home turf in the Pacific, Truman smiled and said, "I have a 'little' surprise for them."

And if what we just witnessed in Europe is any indication, it's probably a dandy. But don't take it from me, ask the Germans.

UPDATE: In a related story, following Hitler's departure, former Colorado and Washington head coach Rick Neuheisel has expressed interest in the German vacancy.

17 comments:

Out of Conference said...

Astute history knowledge, Yost. Of course your piece begs the question, besudes Germany as tOSU, what nation during WWII most portrayed who this season? The countries-

France
England
Soviet Union
United States
Poland
Switzerland
Italy
Japan
Egypt
Philippines (bonus points, you have to work in MacAuthur's vow to return)

For Egypt, I'll take a stab - I say the Univ of Phoenix. Both are pretty meaningless competitors in the war/football season, but lots of action on their turf.

scorpio50 said...

Thank you for starting off my day with a loud guffaw. Well done.

Andy said...

The Buckeye Nation will not take this quietly. This may get ugly.

IC said...

"Nobody thought we could do it! Nobody believed in us but us; all you guys were sayin Hitler's unbeatable, Hitler can't be beat, that, you know, you can't beat the Germans...well we shocked the world, baby! Shocked the world!"--Harry S. Truman, 1945

Great post, Yost.

Big Jon said...

"You can't spell Adolf Hitler without two L's." Simply glorious.

USA=Florida. The champs.

England=UCLA. In the end they put the champs in a position to win, but they are by no means considered to be the victors.

Poland=Temple. Take our territory, please! Is there anything else we can do to further accomodate your hostile takeover?

Japan=tOSU. Bad guys, sure, but they made it further along than any other axis powers. In the end they're all losers. (Feel free to insert some joke about C-bus and cockroaches)

Switzerland=Hawaii. We'll stay right here, thank you. If you come over here, though, we'll cut you.

That's all I have. I was too busy doing beer bongs and oogling hot ASU chicks to go to history class. Please add/edit to your preference.

IC said...

Out of Conference, here's my take on your WWII nations/2006 college football team matchup:

Germany-tOSU: For reasons made abundantly clear in Yost's post. Plus, walking down High St. in a Michigan hat on Game Day made me feel like I was wearing a yarmulke at one of the Nuremberg Rallies.

France-Michigan State: Both are often thought of as relevant in war/football; both consistently prove they are not.

England-USC: Just when it is thought they are beaten, they rise and win; Pete Carroll just Churchill on Mountain Dew.

USA-Florida: Considered by many too young and too soft, but each pounded formidable foe with impressive strategy, skill, and power.

Soviet Union-Louisville: Overcame significant injuries to emerge battered but victorious; Stalin then took over the Balkans, Petrino the Falcons.

Poland-Arizona State: It was over before it really began.

Italy-Michigan: It looked good early on but like Mussolini, the Wolverines ended with their battered carcass on display for everyone to see.

Japan-Miami: Kamikaze pilots were less self-destructive than the '06 Hurricanes.

Switzerland-Alabama, Iowa, Texas A&M: All decided not to take part in battle.

Philippines-Notre Dame: "I shall return (to glory)!"

Yost said...

Andy,

This wasn't a slam against the Bucks, but rather some cfb writers who seem to use the same tired prose and explanations when writing about the game.

Out of Conference said...

Come on Yost, where's your spirit? What do you mean it wasn't meant to be a slam on the Bucks?
Was it over when the Germans attacked Pearl Harbor? Hell no.

It's shell shock isn't it? You don't have to suffer. You need to face your demons. Head over to QuickieMart, go to the sundries asisle. Pick up a Lil Debbie powdered donut bag and eat a few. Show those little confectionery bastards that they don't control you anymore. Take a piece of the of the chocalte one out to the blow-up display of the Michellin man outside, stick it to its face under it's nose and say, "Fuck you Brutus!" and kick him hard in the nuts. Then, return to your keyboard and write man, write all the anti-tOSU shit that's been building up inside.. make us laugh!

(nice use of "I shall return", ic)

MonkeyWrench32 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MonkeyWrench32 said...

Germany = tOSU, eh? I forsee a future post with a photoshop of Tressel as Hitler...

TitleIX said...

Andy--they won't 'get' it

OOC and ic--thank you for making history relevant! at first I didn't really get the link b/w WWII and football.
I was a science geek....

(was?)

Michael said...

How about a little revisionism:

Florida = USSR - The real victor at the end of the war. Got off to a slow start, but ultimately prevailed because of better natural talent. (If the Auburn loss had been in September and I could analogize the purging of the Soviet officer corps in the 30s to the Zook era, this would be perfect.)

Boise State = USA - The other victor from the war, but benefited from a favorable schedule (almost no battles on American soil; faced only about 20% of the German army with the rest deployed against the Soviets).

Michigan = Germany - Started off brilliantly and ended in complete ruin.

Tennessee = Japan - Same reasons as Michigan and Germany.

Notre Dame = Italy - Exposed every time they faced major competition. Looked much better against Ethiopia/Service Academies.

Wisconsin = France - Buried by Germany/Michigan early and then benefited from a lot of help to end up a victor.

IC said...

Great analysis, Michael, though I can't imagine Phil Fulmer sitting down with a tray of sushi, unless it was deep fried in chocolate sauce.

Newspaper Hack said...

We sportswriters catch a lot of hell, but let's face it: there's only so many ways to write a game recap.

That being said -- it was fucking brilliant. Good job.

Hornet1978 said...

Brilliant. Absoulety brilliant. Nice job Yost. Proves that a Michigan education is still something to covet!

OnWisconsin! said...

This is an absolutely brilliant post!!!!
We, of course, resent being associated with France (despite our similar large numbers of communists) in Michael's comment.
We won our bowl game when many doubted our ability....when has France ever won a battle/war when they should have.
In fact, when have they not lost regardless of the point spread?

On Wisconsin!
Lt Arthur MacArthur Nov 23rd, 1863
Missionary Ridge

jonathantu said...

From one fake news writer to another, great job. I find that sometimes while writing a satiric recap you come to a point where your fingers are poised over a sentence like, "But the 6'4" All-America wide receiver had other plans - and they did not include capitulation", and your only recourse is to write something like what you've so superbly written.