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Why not UConn?

By Mike DiMauro

Publication: The Day

Published September 20. 2013 4:00AM

This what I believe about sports:

I believe in the great unwritten script.

I believe in Any Given Sunday.

I believe in Davids and the precision of their slingshots.

David Tyree. Dave Roberts.

I believe in Al Michaels and believing in miracles yes!

This is what I believe about Saturday night at Rentschler Field:

I believe that opportunity and optimism carries you greater distances than fear and fatalism.

So let's play.

Bring on Michigan.

No naivete here. Michigan: prohibitive favorite. Better players. But then, no naivete here, either: UConn: Opportunity of a lifetime. ABC. Lights on. Biggest home game in school history.

So let's play.

Must admit: a mix of amusement and irritation here all week at the spinning of a single narrative for the game: Michigan is mad. Near disaster last week against Akron. Look out, now. The story of a man name Brady Hoke. Demanded a full-pads practice last Sunday. Mad, mad Michigan.

Mad, mad Michigan. Already beat Notre Dame. The Notre Dame that almost lost to Purdue. The Purdue that was quartered at Cincinnati. Mad, mad Michigan. Because Akron kept it treacherously close. Surely, UConn couldn't do the same. UConn: no Akron. UConn: home field, Saturday night. Nah. Mad, mad Michigan.

Intrasquad scrimmage upcoming? Might as well be. The opponent is already lunchmeat for mad, mad Michigan. UConn: a decoration. Nothing more than a tablespoon, really, while Michigan has a Gallon.

It's all about Michigan. UConn? Beleaguered Paul Pasqualoni could be spending the week in Aruba. Feet up. Sipping the euphoric nectar with a mini umbrella sticking out of the glass. What would it matter? His team is irrelevant to the narrative.

It's all about Michigan.

Mad, mad Michigan.

Coach P surely hasn't the experience to concoct a plan. Nah. Syracuse with McNabb. The Dallas Cowboys. This is above him.

This is what I believe: Coach P is too vanilla for the program's needs. But you won't outscheme him much.

Irrelevant, alas. Mad, mad Michigan.

But I believe in one night. When emotion can trump rational argument. When the circumstances are bigger for you than for them. Narrative: mad, mad Michigan. Truth: full, full Rentschler. Opportunity of a lifetime.

Cue Gene Hackman.

You don't need a court order to play great. To fly. To do your job. To believe in the guy next to you. One night. One game. Friendly bounce. Someone slips.

OK. I'm daffy. Knitting with one needle. I answer the door when the phone rings. Fine.

But after all the pining we've done for a Gatsby to come to Rentschler, I'm going to let this opportunity pass with the same fatalism as the fan base?

Sorry. I believe in opportunity.

I believe in a three-hour infomercial on ABC for the school and the program.

I believe in high school kids from Tupelo, Tacoma, Tallahassee and Tuscon seeing Rentschler Field full.

I believe that becomes a frame of reference for kids far, far away come serious recruiting time.

I believe in a full stadium at kickoff.

I believe in there's little downside to this game.

This is what I believe about sports. These are the theses of my faith:

I believe in the great unwritten script.

I believe in Any Given Sunday.

I believe in Davids and the precision of their slingshots.

David Tyree. Dave Roberts.

I believe in Al Michaels and believing in miracles yes!

This is what I believe about Saturday night at Rentschler Field:

UConn has a David Stephenson (cornerback) and a Dave Wilczewski (assistant coach).

Michigan has one David. (Dawson, offensive lineman).

That's more Davids for the underdog.

Seen that one before.

Let's play.

This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro.

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