Michigan‘s shocking loss to Appalachian State, 34-32, on college football’s opening weekend in 2007 is one of the biggest upsets in recent memory. How could a powerhouse like Michigan lose to an FCS school, even a perennial FCS contender like Appalachian State?
According to an anonymous former Michigan football player, the Wolverines lost because half the team was high during the game.
Well, then. That would certainly explain it.
In an exclusive interview, the former player told Chat Sports that the team was so overconfident heading into the season that several starters on offense and defense smoked the morning of the game against Appalachian State. According to the source, one of those players made a costly mistake that led to the loss.
The interview gives a glimpse into a Michigan football program that was very talented but woefully unprepared because the players – and coaches – didn’t think they could possibly lose.
“It was like all my teammates thought we were playing a junior high school team on Saturday,” the player said.
The source claims everyone went out the Thursday before the game and remembers other partygoers even asking the players if they should be partying so hard with a game two days away. The fun didn’t stop there; players reportedly got high the night before the game in the team hotel, as well as on gameday.
The unnamed source, who says he never enjoyed playing football at Michigan after the loss to the Mountaineers, condemns the lack of leadership among the coaches and senior players.
The interview doesn’t name the players who were allegedly high during the game, but it does call out senior quarterback Chad Henne and senior left tackle Jake Long, who returned for their senior years to win a championship, for failing to step up and hold their teammates accountable.
Senior running back Mike Hart apparently tried to be a leader but was resented by his teammates – maybe because he tried to keep them from partying prior to games?
The former player throws the coaching staff under the bus, too.
“The coaches barely even game planned for App State regardless. We didn’t prepare any differently nor see any tape of their offense during game week,” he said.
Speaking to the media after the loss, former Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr said: “We were not a well-prepared football team. That is my job, and I take full responsibility.”
Perhaps he should’ve taken greater responsibility not just preparing for the game, but making sure his players showed up sober. According to this new report, the coaches didn’t check in on the players in the team hotel the night before the game, leaving them to smoke pot in peace.
While the interview answers the question college football circles have been pondering for the past five years – How, exactly, did Michigan manage to lose that game?? – it raises quite a few others.
Is this “unnamed former player” telling the truth, or is this a ploy for pageviews and media attention?
If everything he told Chat Sports is true, and that game was “the day Michigan football died,” why is the public just now learning about it?
Sure, it was a little easier to keep things quiet five years ago before smartphones and social media took over society and gave us the capacity to make everything public instantly, but there weren’t even any rumors or hints of it until now. It’s hard to believe that after Michigan suffered that catastrophic defeat, none of the girls who allegedly expressed concern over the players’ pre-game partying spoke up about it.
On the other hand, it’s no secret that college kids do stupid things and that college athletes use illegal substances. We’ve certainly seen more than enough examples of that in recent years, but getting high before a game, just for fun, just because you want to “get all messed up and still drop 50 on these fools,” is reckless, dangerous, and insane.
It’s not Todd Marinovich playing stoned because he had a drug problem. It was a core group of the team helping Carr out of a job and casually throwing away national title aspirations – and it sure gives new meaning to the term “pregaming.”