Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Reason You Should Know Who Remy Hamilton Is

It was 1994.

My freshman year at Michigan.

I was in the Band. That's right. The Band. I had a uniform and everything.

For a grand total of three games.

If you'll recall, in 1994 that means I started with BC and ended with Colorado. I somehow managed to be make the on field half-time show for the first game. BC at Michigan. One of the greatest thrills of my life was running out the tunnel of Michigan Stadium. I was on a could. High fiving every fan I could possibly reach as I ran through the tunnel and around the stadium to our seating area. I was on the field for half-time. God help me I didn't play a single note. I was too busy soaking up everything around me to care.

Two weeks later my lack of playing ability had regulated to the band scrub list. It didn't matter. I still got into the games. Good seats. Little work. But when Cordell Stewart ruined our season I decided I was better off watching from the stands than helping to form morphing rhombi on the field. My musical inclinations quickly vanished into a haze of booze, women, and hockey as I spent the remainder of my first semester attempting to convince the good people in the Michigan Admissions Office they'd made a mistake letting me on the grounds.

But, sandwiched in between those two home games was Michigan's 1994 match up with Notre Dame at Notre Dame Stadium. As stated above, my lack of musical ability precluded my participation in the road game half-time show. However, the fact that I could march in formation without tripping over my own two feet meant that I got an all expenses paid trip to Notre Dame.

It was like being a back-up quarterback. You get a uniform. You practice a little. You say the right things. You tell people you really want to be on the field. But you know you'll never have to do anything unless something drastic happens. You stand around and occasionally ask if they need you to go in, just so they think you care. When they tell you "no", you go back to staring into the chaos in front of you, at the good looking women in the stands and watching the game with your feet up.

It's good work if you can get it.

What's even better was the band got to sit on the field. Not in the stands. In the corner of the end zone. I saw everything. The long drives. The hits. The coaches yelling at the players. Just how ugly the Notre Dame student body was in 1994 (They made Michigan look like ASU in comparison). I watched Michigan carry a lead late in the fourth quarter. During the fourth Michigan drove toward the endzone directly in front of us. Notre Dame drove away.

Up 23-17 Michigan surrendered the lead to Ron Powlus and Notre Dame on a 7 yard TD pass. We watched from the opposite side of the field as they celebrated. However, no one around me thought the game was over. Even though there was less than a minute left in the game, we still felt there was a chance of pulling this one out.

With that, Todd Collins began the comeback. Starting at his own 16 yard line, Collins sprinted to the 30 on a broken play. He completed a down the gut pass to Reimersma which put Michigan at the ND 47. A quick pass up the gut again found Smith a yard short of the first, then found him again to put Remy Hamilton in position to kick a 42 yard field goal.

Remy was a sophomore. Slightly built. But he looked like a kicker, whatever that means. He'd nailed a kick earlier in the game, so we knew he could accomplish what he set out to do. The question was would he? I held my breath as I saw him and the kicking team take the field. I held hands with people I didn't even like, because somehow we thought our collective grasp would aid the team's concentration. Then it all happened. The snap, the hold, the kick.

It hung in the air for an eternity. And then it sailed between the uprights and creased the netting behind the endzone.

Then. We exploded. Watch why...

One last thing to keep in mind. That was the last time Michigan won in South Bend. 1994. Twelve years ago. I'd say it's time for that to change.

Wouldn't you?


At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Jeremy said...

Glad to hear that one of my favorite UM bloggers was in the MMB. What did you play? Tell more band stories in general; I'd love to hear 'em.

-Bass trombone '02-06

At 8:03 AM, Blogger Maize n Brew Dave said...

That's just it. I don't have any. I quit the band after the colorado game. I wasn't around long enough to make any more memories with that group.

Plenty of other stories, but only one from those first three weeks.

At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Jeremy said...

Ah, I misread that part.

But what did you play for those three weeks?


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