Michigan's trip to Italy reaps benefits beyond football

Michigan's trip to Italy reaps benefits that extend beyond football, offensive coordinator Tim Drevno is witness to that.

Michigan's trip to Rome meant much more than football.

After all, these are humans. They're not some type of robot specifically functioned to go to class, eat, sleep and drink football. Although it might appear that way at times, the trip to Rome has proved to the entire U-M football community that this is the exact kind of trip needed to bring the team together.

Not just as a team, but people.

Offensive coordinator Tim Drevno has tried to soak in every moment of this trip. Of course, football plays a role into that, but it also goes beyond that. In Schembechler Hall, most of the players are split into their position groups in their respective film rooms, in their respective huddles and in their respective drills.

In Rome, all of that goes out the window. There are spring football practices but all of that goes out of the window.

The trip to Italy is changing lives.

"Taking a trip like this, this is a life changer," Drevno said. "I sit down at a table every night with someone different and you break bread, you laugh and you just get more love for them. It's just been a fun trip. You see how they operate, it's been a blessing being over here and getting to know our personnel as people and as players and what motivates them, so it's been really fun... When you graduate that many seniors you're looking for guys to step up and be leaders, there's nothing better than spending time together because you get to know each other pretty well."

When asked what his favorite part of the trip was, many expected Drevno to mention some type of football-related activity. However, he was forced to go outside of the football realm, having a question prefaced with a disclaimer that he must answer with something that isn't related to football.

The answer? Something that most people might not be able to experience in their lifetimes.

The best part of it all? Drevno was able to spend that moment with the person he loved the most: His wife.

"I think the Vatican," Drevno said. "I think seeing the Pope come out in the Popemobile, he's got the Secret Service around him. He's going around and kissing the babies, shaking people's hands. The different languages that were there and everybody being under the unity of one. Me being a Christian man and a man of faith, I thought this all [about] people coming together, loving one another and for the goodness of the United States and the world. I thought that was really, really cool. You see it all the time on TV. You see it on Catholic TV, everybody is saying 'when is the Pope coming to Los Angeles?' you look in the LA Times growing up, there's always an article in there about the Pope. It's really surreal and it's really a beautiful time for my wife and I to share."


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