Michigan 34, Ball State 26

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Went to my second Michigan football game of the season today, thanks to a friend of mine who’s at a conference. With the number 2 team in the country (that would be us) facing a school that I hadn’t even heard of before today, I expected the game to be a big blowout. (Ball State is apparently in Indiana — I didn’t know this until well into the second quarter.)
But surprisingly enough, the game turned out to be somewhat close — a little too close for comfort for my friend who’s been at Michigan since his undergrad days. Ball State got the ball to the 3 yard line with two and a half minutes left — if they scored and managed to convert two, the game would have been tied. Upon this realization, my friend nearly started hyperventilating. At fourth down, Ball State decided to go for it and the student section stood and cheered and frantically waved our keys in the air (as we do for all “key” plays). The QB threw a harmless incomplete into the endzone as the stadium collectively breathed a sigh of relief and my friend sat down to collect his nerves. Michigan rode out the rest of the game for the win.
I actually took the ticket because of the guest marching band conductor — none other than Captain Picard himself, Patrick Stewart. During halftime, he led the band in a rousing rendition of the Star Trek theme and Hail to the Victors. One boisterous fan even did the Star Trek symbol instead of making the traditional fist during the “Hails.” Stewart also instructed us to “Boldly go [to Columbus, OH] and beat those Buckeyes — be number one!” at which point, the stadium went nuts with cries of “Captain Picard’s on our side!” and “Buck the fuckeyes!” Stewart is, of course, in town with the Royal Shakespeare Company and I’ll be seeing him as Prospero in The Tempest on Tuesday and Antony in Antony and Cleopatra on Thursday.

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6 responses »

  1. I have a question about something you posted in 2005, i’m not sure if i would have gotten a hold of you if i posted to comment there, so i’m posting it here. You mentioned you backsolved the puzzles durring the microsoft puzzle challenge last year. Could you explain what you mean by that and how one could go about doing the same?
    Thanks
    -Quazie

  2. Congratz on first, we came in third, Team Awsome, and i’m not sure if i figured out backsolving, but we certainly came up with the answer to the first radio meta without doing the problems… i’m not sure if that was backsolving, or what it was… but it was a good competition i think.

  3. That’s basically backsolving… true backsolving would be if you actually figured out what the answers to the two puzzles were by using the answer to the radio puzzle.

  4. Exactly… last year the puzzles were more backsolvable because, based on the meta, you recognized that the answers all had to have “CAP” or “HAT” somewhere in the words. So if you got partway through a puzzle and got stuck, but still had figured out that it was probably an eight letter word that started with a specific letter or something, you could reduce your possible answers pretty quickly and find something reasonable.
    This year the only one we came close to backsolving was “Rock Formations” — we had solved the first meta and recognized that it was an eight letter word that started with “S,” had a sixth character “A” and had the pattern consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel. From there we reduced it to fifteen reasonable answers, but actually solved the puzzle before we guessed any of them.

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