finally people are complaining about us
Many of us have attended games at the Big House for so long and so often, we probably now take it for granted. Since I live out of state I feel tickets for a few games on this years schedule (EMU, Delaware State) will be difficult to sell since our opponent is not of major interest and there will be a lot of tickets available.
Remember when you first went to the Big House as a kid? It was like no other athletic event you ever attended. Pregame meals as a kid for myself were spent at the Pretzel Bell with my dad and brother and then we would get over to the stadium to hear the band and watch the team run under the banner.
I am sure there are a lot of kids in the Ann Arbor area who have never attended a Michigan game at the Big House and this year I wanted to amend that for at least one young man. As a result I have donated my tickets to the Delaware State game to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Washtenaw County (734-975-0933). I am sure there are many other organizations where a ticket donation can be made to provide someone a little less fortunate with a memorable afternoon at the Big House.
If you have tickets this year that you cannot use or sell, consider donating them to someone in need. If you do, you will be the conquering hero.
Thanks and Go Blue!
Jay Riemersma launches official campaign for HouseWhat is an interesting twist, however, is what is included in his emailthatireceivedidunnohowboopolitics:
By PEG MCNICHOL
The Holland Sentinel
Last update Sep 14, 2009 @ 10:13 AM
Holland, MI - Former pro-football player Jay Riemersma wants U.S. Rep Pete Hoekstra's Washington, D.C., job.
He chose a downtown Holland street corner to announce his plans Monday morning, kicking off a day-long stumping effort in West Michigan.
Hoekstra's 2nd Congressional District job has drawn the interest of several hopefuls, including state Sen. Wayne Kuipers, R-Holland; former state representative Bill Huizinga of Zeeland, and Bill Cooper, a Spring Lake businessman.
Riemersma played for the Buffalo Bills and now works for the Family Research Council. He said he will fight against abortion, taxes and big government.
In his announcement Monday, Riemersma all but said "game on" while criticizing Kuipers and Huizinga for their affirmative votes for the Michigan Business Tax.
He promised to sign Americans for Tax Reform pledge Monday afternoon and told the crowd of nearly 100 gathered before him at the corner of Eighth Street and Central in Holland "I will never vote to raise your taxes."
There are a couple of additional important events this week for the campaign. Former University of Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr is visiting the district to campaign for me this Thursday in Holland and Grand Haven. I hope you can make it to one of these important events!Interesting to see Carr throwing in his hat for a former player. Disagree or Agree with the candidate's politics, it's a 'woot' to see another football player trying to follow in the footsteps of All-American Gerald R. Ford and make a place in Washington.
Oh and this quotable from a GR Press article I found while Googling Riemersma made me elohel
"The last thing we need right now is legislative experience," said Riemersma, 36.We beat Notre Dame. Woot.
My wife and I made a planes, trains, and automobile-like trek from Minneapolis (I know, I know, my handle is DCBlue, but we just moved to Minneapolis 5 months ago and I don't want a new, geographicly-correct handle) to Ann Arbor for the Notre Dame game. It was pretty horrific, travel-wise. We caught a 10:00 a.m. flight to Chicago, rented an SUV, drove to Oak Park to pick up our tailgating stuff from the couple who we share our 4 season tickets with, and drove to Ann Arbor. Worth it? Abso-fucking-lutely.
Some observations from Ann Arbor and the game:
1. It kind of surprises me, but it's easier to get into a decent restaraunt on Saturday night after the game, rather than the Friday before. There was a wait of 1 to 1.5 hours at all the places on Main Street on Friday night (we ended up heading to Red Hawk and got in immediately). On Saturday night, we went to Real Seafood and only had to wait about 10 minutes. Must be that everyone wants to wait in traffic. FWIW, my advice is to consider going out to eat and then getting out of town, if you have time.
2. I've been going to games since the late 80's as a teenager, and have had season tickets for over 15 years. The Notre Dame game ranks up there as one of the biggest emotional roller coasters I've ever seen in person. Not as consistently euphoric as the 1995 Biakabatuka game, as it was clear in 1995 from the beginning that Michigan was going to roll Ohio State. Not as much expectations as the 1997 Ohio State game with a shot at the MNC on the line. Penn State 2005 comes close, but I just didn't think that was as good of game. It ranks right up there on my personal list of best memories at the Stadium.
3. I'm previously on record HATING the idea of RAWK music. That being said, if it is inevitable then there must be a little more thought put into the actual execution of the play list. I mean, sweet Jesus, how hard is it to make sure the actual upbeat parts of the songs are played at the appropriate moments? There were a couple of times where the music started way to late and had to be cut out as the play started. Hint: If the song has an intro that the crowd must wait for before responding, don't use it. I also tend to agree with my wife that the Black Eyed Peas' Tonight's Gonna Be a Good nite would be a nice addition to the play list. Even as a traditionalist, and as much as I hate to admit it, the crowd responded to the music.
4. Not to sound like Charlie Weiss, but from my view in Section 6 (site of the Mathews catch, thank you) it was obvious that Brandon Graham was getting absolutely smothered in holds. I think the pic of the ND lineman covering his entire face says it all. As I recall, nothing was called on that played and ND connected on a first down pass play. I realize holding could probably be called on most plays, but some of the shit that was going on with Graham was borderline felonious.
5. The Stadium was loud. Not sure I'd classify it as "Oh my God, this place is so much louder" but it was noisy. Section 6 is largely a sit on your hands type of section, but I was proud of some of the Blue Hairs who actually were standing and yelling.
6. With #5 being said, I wanted to punch the 50-ish guy behind me who started yelling "down in front" at halftime so he could get a better sightline to watch the band. I refused, and told him, "It's halftime, dude, you can stand." I wanted to tell him that we should have been standing for the entire time.
7. Our seats are right in front of a handicapped seating area in Section 6, making it very unpopular when we stand up. You can maintain a good sightline to the field, even when the rest of the lower section 6 is standing below the reserved handicap area. This bums me out, actually. I'd much rather be standing. That being said, I can only hope that when I'm in my 90's, I at least have the option of being there in a wheelchair, like the guy I spoke with who was wearing an M hat backwards. Looked better than Tony Romo.
8. Most of the crowd stayed and cheered after the game until the team left the student section area and headed to the tunnel. It also got REALLY loud in the concourses after the game, with Go Blue and It's Great to Be A Michigan Wolverine. Good stuff.
9. Boubakar had a really rough day. You know it's rough when you're bailing out immediatley and the receiver's are still getting behind you. All that being said, he still was an aggressive tackler. I wish he would have held onto the pick he dropped (and likely would have scored on). I may be crazy, but I think he'll bounce back. The ND recievers were nightmarishly good.
10. Chad Henne may be a robot, but I'm not sure Tate Forcier is human, either. It's a quality I admire in Michigan quarterbacks.
Watching the program getting slapped around on the field last year cut me to the core and listening to the slapping around going in the media this year has been salt in that cut so I can't think of anything more gratifying than a big win over a big (and ranked rival) in a back and forth game to start to heal that cut.
Far more personally, I heard about the Phil Brabbs thing earlier that day from one of his former teammates. Cancer holds a nasty place in my soul as its taken a bunch of my family members and threatened to take my sister nine years ago when she was a sophomore at Michigan. College kids aren't supposed to worry about that kind of thing and that cut is still very fresh in my head too. Although I don't know Phil Brabbs I felt inspired to post this after reading Brian's comment about Phil Brabb's diagnosis when he mentioned "Vada Murray is horrible enough. Brabbs is younger than I am."
Most of us think about cancer as something that primarily effects people when they're older or after they've been smoking a pack a day for 20 years but I can tell you from having had to sit with my sister in the UofM Comp. Cancer Center and meeting some of the people receiving chemo around her, everyone is at risk. Sure there are things people do to increase their risk, but cancer doesn't discriminate and there were more than enough babies, young kids, and surprisingly enough, plenty of high school and college age kids in there as well. This is a point that Phil, Vada, my sister and many others know all too well. All of those are the reason I helped start the Bernard "Pat" Maloy Scholarship at Michigan to help Michigan undergrads who already had to battle through cancer or who had to deal with a family member fighting off cancer (I apologize for being annoying but once again, if you wish to help out we're holding our online auction of Michigan sports memorabilia at http://www.umich.cmarket.com and we would certainly appreciate your support and you get something cool to put on the wall in the man-room as well). Vada is only slightly older than me with kids who are just older than mine. Vada met up with me this summer to sign items for the the Maloy Scholarship Auction and described how he woke up one morning sore with what he thought was a pull in his side from working out. When he rubbed his hand over it he felt a bump, went to his doctor and was sent forward for a CatScan which revealed his tumor. Even a former professional athlete is susceptible to cancer. Can't imagine. Can't even think of how I would break that one to my kids if I was in Vada's shoes. I should add that Vada is doing VERY well. Way ahead of where patients with his diagnosis typically are at this stage.
So anyway, we get bombarded with messages of this fundraiser and that charity. No one is more worthy than any other. Just don't make the mistake of filing them all in the mental spam-box. Find one that's relevant to you and get off your rear and do something to pitch a hand in. It doesn't even have to be financial. Go donate blood or bone marrow. But the need is great, even in the University community.
On a more personal and much more self-indulgent tangent, the last thought I had when a tear started to well in the corner of my right eye, was the fact that I was present to see it. See, I had to leave the 3OT Michigan/MSU game a few years back because I had organized a charity Halloween event and had to get to it. For the same reason I missed the entire 2005 Michigan vs. Penn State game. Finally, I took my then 3 year old daughter to last year's Michigan vs. Wisconsin game and had to leave after the third quarter because she couldn't sit still any longer. So finally, FINALLY I got to see a classic game with a classic outcome to its conclusion in Michigan Stadium.
Somewhat of a disjointed posting I know. Guess it stands for two points. (1) Amazing what winning a big football game can do for the spirit (2) We're all capable of helping out with something in life to make it better for someone who is suffering. We all know someone whether in person or one of our former football heroes. Now go out and do something about it.
I was shocked when I read on mgoblog about Phil Brabbs and his fight with multiple myeloma. When I'm not cheering for Michigan I am a resident physician in the area. Multiple myeloma is one of the most insidious and devastating diseases to see, not only because of the difficulty in treating it, but also because of the co-morbidities that accompany it (bone fractures, weight loss, etc).
For such a young person to have it - let alone a Michigan Man - it feels even worse.
So if you have the time, I strongly encourage you to sign up for the National Marrow Donor Program and help out Brabbs or other people suffering from hematologic diseases. It's incredibly easy - all they do is swab your cheek and then run the tests at their lab to get your HLA-type (a fancy term that categorizes your bone marrow) and then see if you are compatible with anyone who is suffering from multiple myeloma, leukemia, etc. If you are compatible with somebody, they call you and then you go to a local center to have your blood drawn. They then run further testing on your blood to confirm you are a match. If so, you can then decide to donate marrow. Don't worry - no large needle will drill into your bones during this process. Rather, it involves you sitting on a recliner while hooked up to a machine that gently filters your blood. You literally just donate blood. And they might even give you a cookie afterwards.
If you're feeling super-ambitious - and the Michigan community often is - you can even set up a bone marrow donation drive. I've helped set one up, and the good people at the NMDP will come to wherever you are and do all the heavy lifting. If there's any interest at all in the mgoblogging community I'd be willing to help.
A guy from my medical school passed away at a young age from leukemia while waiting on a donor, and many more do every day. So again, I urge you to consider this. It's a small gesture on your part but it literally can save the life of someone.
Thanks for reading and Go Blue! Keep Brabbs in your thoughts/prayers/whatever, just like you did at the end of the Washington game in 2002 (though this time for a totally different reason, yes).
Brian used to write about "badges of fandom" after some of the great Michigan comeback wins after being down late. Namely the Wisconsin game last season and the Penn State game in 2005 and the MSU game the year prior. It made me so sad to see those three people leave such a great game early, especially when they probably pay thousands of dollars for the privilege of sitting in the front row, in section 4. Everyone who bought tickets both for the whole season and who came to this Notre Dame game definitely earn badges of fandom in my mind. There was a shockingly high turnover of people not renewing season tickets for this year, because they had given up on Rich Rodriguez after only one season...but in a way it is like a great purge of all the old codger Michigan fans who complain about missing the old days, and never stay for the times that Michigan has a memorable comeback win. They are the ones who missed out on this game, and if the only drawback is giving the true Michigan fans the chance to buy a ticket to a game or finally move up the season ticket waiting list, then it is fate that we all got to witness the defining moment (so far) in the Rodriguez tenure and start to believe that Michigan will be OK.
I salute everyone who was inside the Big House until the end, making it the loudest I have heard in as long as I have been going to games (since about 5 years old in the Desmond Howard days).
But on to another thing that struck me, and that was the Irish band. I had to sit two rows behind them for four hours, and they really earned some respect from me. They were loud (but respectful), never sat down, and definitely overpowered the faint sound of the Michigan band coming out of the other corner. And at the end of the game, even though some of them looked like they had just had their kitten thrown off a skyscraper, they lined up, and raised their instruments to play the Notre Dame alma mater, "Notre Dame, Our Mother" as all their remaining fans joined in singing. Ohio State does the same thing after games, even after ones they lose, and it always gives me pause at the undying love these bands and fans have for their schools.
I *always* stand there in silent respect and watch these traditions, out of a love for college football, and it also always reminds me that Michigan foolishly doesn't do their own version.
I have been quietly hoping for years that someday, Michigan would take up the same tradition...to especially overshadow the shameful "You Suck" chant after third down stops...but it never happens. I think this might be the year to start that tradition, because Michigan only ever plays "The Yellow and Blue" once at homecoming, and that's it. Rich Rodriguez has done a fantastic job getting some new things going at games and pumping some new life into a somewhat sleepy fanbase. I hope there are others out there who would join me in possibly getting RR to start an alma mater tradition to go along with singing "The Victors" in the student corner after games. After all, we want to show up the Irish and Buckeye bands in every way, don't we?
Go Blue, and here's to hoping for some more magic before the season is done!