Niko Porikos grew up in an NTDP billet home. Cool story.
I bleed Maize & Blue... but I grew up 50 miles due east of Columbus, Ohio until I was 18 years old and went away to college. My father was a OSU alum and my whole family are OSU fans. My parents dressed me in an Archie Griffith jersey when I was in kindergarten. I've seen the pictures in albums, but had blocked the shame and horror from my memory. In grade school I remember watching the Rose Bowl one year. Michigan was playing UCLA (I think) that year and being a young lad and just learning about College football in a rather prejudiced environment, I had never before heard talk of these Wolverines from up North. Nonetheless, I fell in love with the helmets, the name, team colors, and the fight song and picked them to win the game, which they did. I was a fan for life from that day forward.
By sixth grade I had met a few other UM fans in my school and we banded together against the masses of OSU idiots. Every year on the Friday before The Game, our Jr. High School had OSU-Michigan Day. And every year, my UM buddies and I would proudly wear our Maize & Blue amidst the jeers and jokes, only to again walk the halls on the following Monday with our heads still high and making a few jokes of our own. Our 9th grade science teacher was an OSU fanatic and also the lunch monitor. To really stick it to him one year, we wore our own homemade OSU shirts (we had to make them with markers because we didn't own anything scarlet & gay). During lunch period, we ripped off the outer osu shirts to expose our true Maize & Blue identities underneath and then walked through the halls with roses in our teeth. We won the game that year and went on to the Rose Bowl again, much to the chagrin of our bucknut science teacher.
During my Junior year in H.S. my father took me to The Game at the horseshoe as a way to "bond" after he and my mother had separated. He warned me before we left that I should not wear my Michigan attire because we would be sitting in the alumni section and he would not be responsible for my safety. I told him I would take my chances. After we sat down at the stadium prior to the game, my father looked at me and said, "How's it feel to be surrounded by all of us OSU fans boy?". "Feelin' a little uncomfortable are you?" Just at that moment the Michigan Band came onto the field and started playing the Victors and the three rows behind us stood up and started belting out the best fight song in history along with the band. I looked at my father with a big grin and said "now who's outnumbered kemosabe?" then joined my Michigan brethren in song. Unfortunately we lost the game, but to see my father's face when 100 UM fans stood up behind him singing the Victors was priceless!!!!
The past five years have been truly agonizing, however. Every Thanksgiving I get together with my family for our annual Turkey Bowl football game, and all I hear from my brothers and nephews is how UM can't beat osu and got our arses handed to us, etc. Even my children, who I have raised with the same passion for all things Michigan, get hassled by their cousins. My kids were brave enough to wear their GO Blue gear on their school's OSU-UM day the friday before the Big Game a couple of years ago, but my son came home crying because even the teachers game him a hard time (he was about six at the time). Now they wear their Maize & Blue on a regular basis and everyone in the school knows we are the family of UM fans. My kids have learned to ignore the insults, attempts to humiliate them, etc. I have shown my kids videos of games gone by so he does not lose hope in what will once be again... the day we return to our rightful place on top of the Big Ten!!!!
I took my son to the spring game this year. He was fortunate to get many autographs of recruits and his picture with Marvin, Denard, & Ricardo, which he proudly displays in a frame in his bedroom. On the drive home to Akron he slept with his autographed Michigan football clutched tightly in both arms. Though we've lived with trials and tribulations... persecuted for the color of our Maize & Blue blood... we have overcome and remain unwaiverable in our faith and love for the Leaders and Best... Hail to the Victors!! Go BLUE!!!
I was reading "The clash of the fanbases" diary, and I was inspired to create an account just so I could share this story. I'm pretty sure it's worth its own diary!
So, last year being my senior year, two of my die-hard Michigan friends and I decided to take our long awaited pilgrimage down to Columbus for the OSU-Michigan game. To top things off, we bought tickets that ended up being (much to our surprise/ dismay/ excitement) smack dab in the middle of OSU's upperclassmen student section. We were the only ones. If you watch the game you can actually see three lonely maize dots in a sea of red. We were also interviewed for some show on FSN before the game started because of our choice of seating.
Describing the horrors we were subjected to doesn't do them justice. It was freezing, so, naturally, we sported winter accessories. One of my friends was wearing Michigan earmuffs which ended up providing 25% of the material for the berating given to us by the osu fans. (The other 75% were accusations of us being gay.. OSU fans aren't the most creative bunch). At one point, the entire student section started an "EARMUFFS! CLAP-CLAP-CLAP... EARMUFFS!-CLAP-CLAP-CLAP" chant.
Other acts of terror included the throwing of full cups of water (without tops) which drenched my back, two drunk fans behind us screaming into our ears before, during, and after every play, my life being threatened for turning around to take a picture of the score board (before the game...), a constant barrage of pop-corn, and many more.
At one point, my friend's Wolverine hat was ripped off of his head and thrown toward the field. The fan that caught it turned around and pointed to us then back to the hat. We waved and signaled for him to throw it back. He proceeded to turn and chuck it even further.
When we celebrated after Pryor threw an early interception, the students around us began making comments that we were engaging in some kind of intercourse.
I could go on forever, but I'm afriad this is getting a little redundant. I'll skip to the end. When OSU scored to go up by 28, the abuse was getting to such a dangerous level that we decided to leave in fear that they would hang us from the stadium by bucknut necklaces before the game's end. As we left, the entire student section gave us a standing ovation along with screaming every swear word I've ever heard and a few I think they might have made up then and there.
All in all, nothing can compare to the craziness of sitting in the Ohio State student section, as a Michigan fan, during an utter beat down. Today, I'm proud to say I survived that experience, and I'm an even stronger fan because of it. Despite it all, I can easily say that it was the most amazing experience I've ever had.
Report: Buckeye Jaamal Berry arrested
June 11, 2009 - Florida's CBS4 is reporting that Ohio State star running back recruit Jaamal Berry has been arrested on marijuana possession, though little more information is available at this time. A search of the Miami-Dade Clerk's website confirms this arrest.
Berry, out of Miami Palmetto, is one of the more highly-regarded incoming recruits in the country, though this could certainly hinder things.
While this is not a huge blow to the Buckeyes as it would be to, say, losing your star running back after he files a falsified police report for those items stolen out of his 'borrowed' dealership SUV... it should be a minor blow to the OSU depth chart. Then again, when your starting QB is also your starting RB, FB and is an overall DB, maybe you don't need a depth chart at that position.
Though this is not something Michigan fans can act like has not happened in the past, it does speak to the issue that certain teams are capable of recruiting athletes at a certain maturity/legality level. Every team is facing a loaded gun, sometimes literally, when it comes to a star prep athlete who has been showered with attention. That these student athletes then go off and do something dumb is not shocking but, rather, can lead one to miss the days when regional dynamics led to a 3-4 coach shuffle on where a player might go and not the circus it has become today.
Sweater vest's calm disappointment to follow...
So reading another post on here got me to thinking about my interactions with other fans. Do I go out of my way to rip on people? Is this acceptable? Are subtle jabs like shirts that you wear acceptable? Everyone has interactions like these on the Internet. I don't find any real fault with making fun of people online, though it is juvenile and I tend to avoid taking part in it. For instance, I would never venture to an OSU blog to rip on them.
Overall, I'm looking for a few things. What are your thoughts on these issues. Also, the thing I'm most interested in are interesting stories of interactions you've had with other fan bases, online or in person. Here are just a few of mine:
-I mentioned in another post that my roommate is a Notre Dame fan. He brought an OSU fan over to try and set me off. Me and this OSU fan ended up spending the evening ripping on Notre Dame, much to my roommates dismay.
-Once at a Tigers game, me and my cousin were discussing LeBron James and how we believed he was a choke artist. This guy near us, overhearing our conversation, fires back with "Oh yeah, the Indians are in first place!" (Boy, what happened to that?!!)
-Once, an MSU fan was making fun of me in my own dorm about Michigan's 0-2 start. I fired back that he woudln't talk once Michigan once again defeated MSU. He laughed. Michigan won. He avoided my room for the remainder of the year.
-My favorite one. I went to a Tigers vs White Sox game in 2006 where we beat the hated Sox 2-1. This White Sox fan decides to talk trash afterwards anyways. "We're still the 2005 champs baby," he says. "Welcome to 2006 you little bitch," fires back a Tigers fan.
-If we win the 2009 Stanley Cup tomorrow night, I will take my subtle jab. I'm going to a Pirates-Royals game in the near future and am planning on wearing my "Beat Pittsburgh...again" shirt with Wings logo that I just bought.
Anyways, I'll hang up and listen!
Instead of my content, here's a fun diary I've bumped. Actually, wait, this is extremely painful. Dammit.
Football is such a game of inches. If you could go back in time and gently nudge a single play in Michigan’s favor, which would you choose to change? I’m not talking about randomly adding 7 points to a game, but rather a minor change to an actual play that has a huge effect. This is my list:
10. Michigan v Nebraska, 2005 Alamo Bowl – Steve Breaston is RIGHT THERE and you don’t flip the ball to him? Oh Ecker. I would go back and have you make one little pitch. Although this game had no global impact or anything, it would’ve been nice to beat Nebraska.
9. Michigan v Northwestern, 2000 - Did we really deserve to win this game? Probably not. But we certainly would have but for one little fumble, almost an unforced error by Anthony Thomas (one of my favorite players.) If he just puts both arms on the ball in the waning minutes, Michigan wins an odd Big Ten shootout.
8. Michigan v Michigan State, 1990 – We got jobbed on the 2-pt conversion. If Desmond can hold on for just another .5 seconds, it’s good. This game marks my first sports bet. It, um, wasn’t my last.
7. Michigan v Ohio State, 2006 – How many plays in this game could’ve gotten us a victory? I’ll focus on 2, though both involve the same player, Shawn Crable. Crable had Beanie Wells for a loss in the backfield, and let him get by for 7. Then he gets the infamous penalty on Troy Smith, and if his head were just a few inches lower he’s probably in the clear and we have a shot at the win. This game isn’t on the list as a guaranteed win, but I’d just have liked to see us with the chance at the end. That’s why it isn’t higher.
6. Michigan v Texas, 2005 Rose Bowl – Vince Young loses if Dusty Mangum’s FG attempt is blocked. I forget which defender it was, but one Wolverine was literally an inch or two from blocking it. It certainly appeared to me that if he didn’t touch the football, he felt the breeze on his hand as it went by. Would’ve been nice to have won this one, and we were maybe an inch away.
5. Michigan v ND, 1990 – This game was on ESPN Classic the other day. Michigan was leading by 28-14 in the 4th quarter and driving deep in Irish territory. I’m thinking, how the hell did we lose this game? Then Elvis tossed a bad interception to Michael Stonebreaker, and the rest is history. If that ball is just tipped or dropped, or sails over his head, we kick a FG and win easily. Sigh.
4. Michigan v ND, 1988 – Mike Gillette’s field goal attempt sailed wide by inches. Lou Holtz goes on to win a MNC, and I generally hate life for awhile. This one was personal, though Michigan only lost 2 games (and tied Iowa) and had a great season.
3. Michigan v Appalachian State, 2007 – Shawn Crable, can’t you just block the guy? Seriously? Or Steve Brown, can’t you just tackle the guy in the first quarter? Really? Truth is you could probably pick 10 plays from this game an inch here or there and it goes the other way.
2. Michigan v Iowa, 1985 - If that damn field goal at the end misses, or one Wolverine hand gets on it, chances are Michigan wins a National Championship for Bo a year after going 6-6. Yes, Michigan tied Iowa, but I personally believe that if we’d topped Iowa we’d have beaten Illinois. Just the impact of that game alone warrants being very high on this list, but for me personally, well. We all have that first loss when you’re old enough to know what’s really going on and you’ve developed enough of a passion that it *matters*. This was that game for me personally. It hurt. A lot.
1. Michigan v Colorado, 1994 - I don’t even really have to say which play, do I? It would be nice to avoid sitting there in the stands for a half hour after the game just looking at the crumpled up freebie program and thinking about the meaninglessness of existence. Feel free to share your own, I'm sure I've forgotten a ton. And please let me know if you have a time machine I can borrow.
If you had to field the ultimate Michigan offense, who would start at every position? You can choose anyone from the entire history of UM football, but I will keep mine to players I personally witnessed. I will assume you mean the player at his best, whether that was in college or the pros.
The first choice is at QB, and this is a tough one. If I had to choose one guy to win a game for me it would be Tom Brady. I know his time at Michigan wasn't as prolific as many other Michigan QB's, but the guy's a leader. His accuracy is deadly, and his decision making is fantastic.
My all time favorite tailback is Mike Hart. This guy could take the team on his back and will us to a win. Three consecutive 200 yard games in the Big Ten is no small feat either. If I had to pick a backup for him, it would be Tyrone Wheatley. I almost chose Jaime Morris, but Ty was hard to bring down, and would provide a better change of pace with Mike at the starting spot. For fullback, why not put Anthony Thomas back there? He could block with the best of them, and get tough yards when you need 'em.
The WR spot would be crowded with talent, and there wouldn't be enough time to get everyone the ball. For the sake of this discussion, let's just have an "X" "Y" & a "Z." At the X spot, I would have to put Anthony Carter. This dude was the guy you want to convert big plays for you when you need them desperately. The slot reciever, or "Y" would be David Terrell. Although he didn't do well in the NFL, this guy had amazing hands and used his body to shield defenders away from the ball better than anybody. My Z reciever would be Braylon Edwards. Just throw it deep and let him go get it. He likes to jump out of the stadium to snag TD's.
Tight end is another one that's tough. Jerame Tuman had almost 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns. He wasn't just a pass catching guy either, and that makes him my first choice. Bennie Joppru is my second choice mostly because his stats are more impressive than Jay Riemersma. I liked Jay though, and maybe if he started at TE instead of QB he would have come out with better all time stats. Joppru gets the nod for making the top 25 all time leading recievers list (including WR's).
Now to the big uglies! Jake Long has to be the anchor at left tackle. Just his appearance scared the opponent, and giving up only one sack in college while starting almost every game is awesome. At left guard, I would put David Baas. David was a mauler for a run blocker, and a dancing bear when it came to pass-pro. At Center, Rod Payne seems like a good choice. He started 40 games at Michigan, and dominated OSU every time. Right guard would be Steve Hutchinson. This guy has made every line he played with better, and he even dominates in the NFL. At right Tackle I would play John Jansen. This guy won back to back First team All American at right tackle, and just recently found his way back to Michigan...
So who would you start, and why? Go Blue!!!