So, this is not a stupid question, I'm just a stupid person asking a regular question about fandom.
It is hard to see a team suffer, and as a fan, we suffer with our teams. Anger is obviously an immediate reaction to losing, and is certainly justifiable.
As a resident of Indianapolis, I watch a lot of Colts football, Pacers basketball, and Eleven soccer (what a stupid team name). The Colts and Pacers have seen a fair amount of recent success, but I tend to be pretty apathetic when it comes to wins and losses. I consider myself a fan, but when the any of the aforementioned teams lose, it doesn't move the needle on my day. I absolutely want these teams to win, but a loss generally causes me to shrug my shoulders and move on.
In relating this to Michigan football, and as a lot of us have "given up" on the season and "no longer care about this year," does this make us less of a fan? Can and should fan-dom be measured? Is it okay to be a fan who shows more interest when a team is more successful, or is it an automatic disqualification due to a lack of support when the team is not exceeding expectations?
Just something I was wondering as I listened to some friends debate the Pacer's upcoming season after losing Paul George (not to mention Indy Eleven's three wins in 14 games).
I, for one, am going to the Michigan game this Saturday night; driving from goddamned Indiana tomorrow (yup, tickets purchased a LONG time ago...).
I have no clue what to expect. Win or lose, bleed maize and blue forever. My dad, brother, and I will be rooting like hell for the Wolverines. Though the season
may be is lost, the record books don't give a shit. Fuck ND, Michigan needs the highest win % back!!! / MichiganArrogance
Fuck. I am drunk. Sue me. GO DEVIN GARDNER. GO JAKE RYAN. SHIT, GO WILL HAGERUP! GO BLUE!!!!!!
Preface: Normally, these write-ups are reserved for post-game analyses on the student experience. Given the events of the last few days, and the amount that the student experience has been front and center, I felt it necessary to speak to some of the points I’ve heard raised about everything going on. I apologize for the length.
The situation regarding the job status of Michigan’s current athletic director has obviously been at the forefront of any news regarding the university. While many, many fellow students I’ve spoken to are upset with the AD for a variety of reasons, and many are supportive of the calls for his resignation, some have voiced concern that the events have been perceived as directed at the players. Some have lamented the vociferous impugnation of the character and motives of the coaching staff. Still others have expressed a desire that students get upset about something that “actually matters”. While I cannot speak for any student on campus besides myself, what follows is my perspective on the matter, which is consistent with the conversations that I have had with other students as well.
- I fully support the players. As someone who hasn’t played any form of organized sport since playing baseball in middle school, I have absolutely no appreciation for the amount of work that these athletes put in. I hear stories; I read accounts. But there is no way that I will ever have a good grasp about the sacrifices that these players make day in and day out for the team. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t respect the hell out of them for it. In all my frustrations I have never and will never direct that at a student. I may lament the youthful inexperience. I may lament that players are not always put in the best position to succeed. I may get upset with the occasional poor decision or missed tackle. But my support for these students doesn’t stop. Look at Gardner, a student who sacrificed tremendously (especially physically) for the team in his years so far. Not to mention working to get an M.S.W. in the process. Look at the walk-ons busting their ass to contribute despite not being on scholarship (or not having been on scholarship). Look at Shane Morris, who took a hit that would have any of us calling in from our desk jobs for a week, still wanting to give his all for the team. The list goes on and on but the point is that neither I nor any other student I’ve talked to wants any of this aimed at the players. We’ve tried to time our boos or our frustration such that it was clear in the intent—that we were booing a hit, a time management decision, a personnel decision. We were never booing one of our own players. When Shane Morris remained in the game and when he re-entered a few minutes later, boos erupted from the stadium. To Shane, those may have appeared to be aimed at him. To Shane and to any other players that may have felt as though such booing or frustration were aimed at them, I apologize. Unfortunately, in such a situation, myself and those around me were so stunned by what we were witnessing, so horrified by the prospect that a clearly concussed player was going to remain in the game, so worried for his very safety, that we felt we had to do something and in that moment, booing was nearly all we had. Students around me yelled “Shane it’s not worth it,” they pleaded with staff that couldn’t hear them to acknowledge that Shane was clearly injured, they tried to do something, anything to make someone notice what was going on. But all Shane could hear were the “boos”. And that is a shame. I wish he could have heard the reasoning, could have heard the students yelling for fear of his safety. I wish he could have seen in that moment that booing was one of the only ways left to convey our support of him and more importantly, his safety. I wish Shane and all the other injured players a speedy recovery, and I wish the players nothing but success. I at least am behind you, and I know many others are as well.
- I do not, for a second, believe that Brady Hoke intentionally endangered one of his players. Hoke may not be the best coach that Michigan has ever had. He may have a hard time getting wins on the road. He may not be great at developing talent given to him. He may be a lot of things. “Malicious” is not one of them. From everything I’ve seen from former players, from people that have met him, from everything I’ve read, Hoke is a great person, a great mentor, and a coach that loves all of his players and wants to get the best for them. And that “best” certainly does not include subjecting them to potentially life-threatening injury. I believe that Hoke did not know that Shane was as bad off as he was, was depending on staff to make him aware of the status changes of his players, and made a decision with the woefully limited information that he had available. That does not make him evil. At the same time, however, it does not absolve him of responsibility. As the coach he is responsible for what transpires on the sideline. He is responsible for making sure that there are personnel monitoring what they should be monitoring and is ultimately responsible for the safety and wellbeing of his players. I agree with Hoke when he said that attacking his character or his integrity was unwarranted; but I still think that he should not remain head coach. I honestly feel bad for him. He loves his players; he loves the school; he’s pushed the players to be good people as well as good players; he’s been put in a no-win situation by the AD and left to twist in the wind; but he has demonstrated that he is not up to the task of leading the team, especially in the moments where it is most necessary, and a player’s health was jeopardized as a result.
- Yes, this is about the concussion. No, it is not *only* about the concussion. Ire at Brandon and the athletic department has been building for years. If you ask any signatory on the petition why they signed it they’ll likely have a different story than the others. The common theme will be a tone-deaf department that has finally gone off the rails. Are we upset about the losses? Of course we are. Would we be signing a petition and protesting in front of the President’s house if we were 2-3, things looked bleak for the season, but the AD was not actively alienating students and apparently trying to massage the press release regarding leaving a concussed player in the game? I was here in 2008, and while, as a freshman, I wasn’t as clued in to the events on campus as I am now, I’m pretty confident the answer is “no”. Win or lose the students’ frustration with the AD has been building for years. The tinder was set, and mishandling a concussion, and then subsequently mishandling the mishandling of the concussion, was all the spark needed to set the whole thing ablaze.
- This does actually matter. Is it ultimately as important as situations in Ferguson? As the situation in the Middle East? As so many other big issues in the world today? No, it isn’t. The difference is immediacy. Can the students here protest and change anything in Ferguson? Probably not. Can they stop ISIS? No. But they damn well can raise enough hell that someone takes notice of problems here—problems that students can directly see and feel. Should students be getting upset about other things as well? Absolutely. But I’m not about to be dismissive of them standing up on the right side of an issue just because they aren’t standing up for something else.
To end, let me say that, as a student, I simply cannot stay away from any of the home games I’ve already purchased tickets to. Depending on scheduling I may even go to Evanston to see the team. I need to support the team. I need to support the players. Hell, with all that’s going on—and I still believe that change is necessary—the coaches could probably use a little support, too. What I will not do, however, is support what this department has become. I will not support Dave Brandon. I hope that that distinction is clear.
Thought you Flight Tracker Fans would appreciate this stunt Boeing is doing to support the Seahawks run to the Super Bowl.
As a Lions fan, transplanted in Seattle 6 years ago, I still find it difficult to root for the Seahawks, but the level of fan support and the excitement in this city is really impressive and infectuous.
The Detroit News is reporting that Devin Gardner and a lot of other players are getting hate mail and tweets:
This shouldn't have to be said -- folks, if you find yourself seriously tempted to send an angry message to a player, don't. It won't help them and it won't make you feel any better either. Enjoy the wins, let go of the losses.
If being a fan makes you miserable, you're allowed to just not be a fan for a while. Go ahead, leave the party. Just be discrete about it. If you can avoid making an idiot of yourself on the way out, we'll almost certainly let you back in when the team starts winning again.
This post is going to be as random as you like, so enjoy. While perusing ESPN.com under the NBA mainpage on this enjoyable Friday night, I happened upon a random Sports Nation poll. It poses the question: Who will be the bigger weapon for Team USA in the 2016 Olympics? Anthony Davis or Kyrie Irving? I clicked on Kyrie Irving, and surprisingly or unsurprisingly, Kyrie Irving was winning 77% to 23% on 26,865 national votes.
Next, I clicked on View Map, because that's how I do. The map, surprisingly or unsurprisingly, showed all states siding with Kyrie Irving--BUT ONE--which sided with Anthony Davis.
Now, my task for you is this: without looking at this poll--or after looking at this poll, I don't necessarily care--guess which state picked Anthony Davis and write why you guessed it.