Michigan Monday: Everywhere and Nowhere

Old maps = beautiful artwork

Old maps = beautiful artwork

There is a lot I could cover today. I mean, there is a race for the governor’s mansion that could shape the state for the next four years. There is a battle for the United States Senate seat currently held by the retiring Carl Levin that could influence the entire nation. Or I could talk about sports – specifically the debacle in Ann Arbor on Saturday and the victories of the Tigers and Lions on Sunday. So, maybe I will talk about them all while not going to in-depth on any of them.

The Governor’s Race – Rick Snyder is leading the race although it is tight. The question may come down to voter turnout in the end. Will we see turnout surpass 70 percent? Michigan has a pretty involved electorate relative to other states (voter turnout nation-wide for Presidential elections has not surpassed 60 percent since LBJ while turnout in the governor’s races in Michigan routinely exceed that mark) so it is in the realm of possibilities. The questions – much more-so than in the senate race is “are you better off than you were four years ago?” I know it is cliché but that is what it really boils down to. From the outside looking in, my answer is unequivocally “yes”. But scanning through the Facebook feeds of some of my friends, not everyone agrees with me (some people delight in their wrongness I guess).

The Senate Race – This is a different animal entirely. While the candidates make a difference, this is more about which party do you think can best serve the people of Michigan. The individual candidate is not as impactful in the Senate as they are as governor. They are part of a group of 100 and, given that both candidates would become the junior member for the state, the individuality means even less. While the candidate does matter the national message of the both the Democratic Party and Republican Party matter just as much (if not more).

Michigan Football – It is an utter disgrace (I should have saved last week’s cow picture for a great pun here). The athletic director is turning the brand into a laughing-stock. The coach is playing checkers while everyone else is playing chess. He is either incompetent or woefully irresponsible when it comes to his players’ health. Added to that, the only players constantly seem to be outclasses by supposed lesser talents. MGoBlog is always a daily a must-read for me and the reaction this week was no exception.

Tigers Baseball – While it went down to the wire, they clinched their fourth straight AL Central Division Championship. Considering that through all of my formative years this team was always on the outside looking in when it came to the MLB playoffs, this eight year stretch that starting in 2006 has been awesome. Yeah, it is stressful to watch a talent team waste opportunities but through 162 games every teams wastes some. Their World Series window might be closing after this year but the front office has proven they will keep trying to make this team better. That is something fans of other teams can’t always say.

Lions Football – Well, in stark contrast to Michigan this team seemingly knows what the hell it is doing. While the season is still in its early stages, Lions fans have to be happy with the performance of the Honolulu Blue and Silver. I worry that their injuries might catch up with them, but Matthew Stafford looks like a different QB this year and that might be enough to make a difference at the end of the year when they always choke. I never thought I would see the day where I enjoyed Sunday football more than Saturday football…but here we are.

How bad are things? I bet even these cows could spark an argument in Washington.

Screw it! I love puns so I am using this picture again. Michigan Football is an “utter” disgrace.

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