under the lights
Yes. I realize that it is still May.
Yes. May is still somewhat far from September.
Yes. I am a bit psychotic for working on wallpapers for the upcoming season so...early.
Yes. I'm expecting my second child in July and will most likely lose all free-time and sleep I currently enjoy.
That being said, I am really excited about this year's Under the Lights game and all the wonderful wallpaper ideas I have for this year's edition. Because of "Yes" #4, I am trying to get as much work done early as I can. Naturally, I will have to do some work DURING the season, but I'm hopeful I'll be AT the ND game this year, and thus will not have time for my normal insomniac-like last-minute wallpaper post. So there you have it - my full justification for posting this wallpaper now.
Actually, this wallpaper was intended as more of a "poster" feel. You could slide an Adidas logo quite nicely onto it, IMHO, and it could pass for part of their promotional material. I liked the idea, even if it is predictable, and I think it turned out pretty well. Let me know what you think. The next UTL2 wallpaper I work on will most likely feature a chicken. Just sayin'.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. As always, a mobile version will follow within the next few days.
EDIT: Fixed the blocky font. Man, I really need to proof my work more closely.
EDIT 2: Added two mobile designs.
Light It Up, Again. (Desktop - 16:9)
Light It Up, Again (iPhone 5 - Mobile)
Light It Up, Again [Broken Edition] (iPhone 5 - Mobile)
The Michigan-Notre Dame game under the lights was everything and more U-M, Dave Brandon, ESPN, et al, had hoped. I give you my positive and negatives of the night (in no particular order).
1) Weather – The weather was perfect. Rain remained in the forecast through the day, but it was dry, and, even better - not hot!
2) Pregame ceremony – The pregame ceremony at midfield for Desmond Howard was emotional for Des and his family kept the crowd pumped up just before kickoff.
3) The game – Despite Michigan's play in the first three quarters, the game ended up what everyone was talking about on Sunday/Monday.
4) Video boards – The video boards were INSANE at night. The image from the opposite end zone was as if I were sitting in my living room.
5) Lighting – The lighting on the field was incredible. In technical terms, the field is perfectly lit with the lighting falling off in the stands higher up. A darker background is necessary when flash cannot be used. The field was very evenly lit.
6) Michigan recruit Banner – Zack Banner was on the sideline just before kickoff. His eyes were WIDE open with a "wow" expression on his face the whole time. I took the opportunity to ask him if he liked what he saw. He smiled intently and kept POINTING (linked). I told him he is going to be a part of the largest crowd ever with at or near 115,000 fans. The look on his face became indescribable. Suffice it to say it was at least "wow" to the 10th power. I then told his mom I'd love to be taking photos of him as a member of the Wolverines. For the record, this guy is HUGE—as in LARGE—as in ENORMOUS! In another three years after some Michigan weight training... OMG!!
7) Atmosphere – The atmosphere for the first-ever night game made it the best atmosphere of any game EVER.
8) The fans – The game kept the fans in the stadium and remained full until after the game (as it should have been). The crowd was very into it. The fourth quarter was the loudest I have EVER heard at any game at Michigan Stadium. I heard of no negatives from Dave Brandon regarding inappropriate behavior from fans, as DB wanted Under the Lights to be a positive experience for the university. I think this experience will help bring another night game to Michigan Stadium next year. I know I want it!
9) Michigan – Great comebacks. Won!
10) Notre Dame – Lost.
1) Wave – There was no wave!
2) Scoreboard Stats – The space set aside for drive stats was too small. I am grateful they added the stats (which they didn't have for the Western game), but they need to <shriek> decrease the size of the video some and increase the stats bar so they can increase the font size of the stats text.
When the Under the Lights jersey design was released earlier this year, the hullabaloo, brouhaha, and hubbub was palpable and furious from one end of MGoBlog to the other. It even was quite MGoChic for a time to line up in rank and file on board post after board post as a running attendance of those that "Get It," vehemently opposing any alteration to the sacred home uniform. Granted, not everyone fell into this category. Yours truly and several other courageous souls braved this onslaught by staring straight down the barrel of banishment and mockery from the community simply to throw our voices into the fray- not for the smallest hope of prevailing glory or rationality- but rather because it was right. It was at this time too, friends, that the arrows of rebuke aimed at our Commander in Chief, David Brandon, began to reach a fever pitch with skepticism and paranoia reaching levels that had not been seen since Joseph McCarthy had been pacing the halls of this nations capital. The, well, mutiny of sorts, saw its escalation with endorsements from this blogs highest ranking officials including most notably, Brian (peace be upon him), while trickling down from there and eventually into the masses where it became a fundamental ideological principle and core tenet of those fighting to preserve the dignity and tradition of Michigan Football while halting the erosion of our identity by ravenous exploitationists that are literally scheming the corporatization of our very souls as we speak.
The outlook was dire, indeed, in those days. Our great general, Coach Hoke, had not yet led his troops into our hallowed battlefield where the ghosts of legends dwell and the smell of victory floats confidently in the air. We were reeling from 3 long years of famine and were anxiously awaiting our Michigan Moses to free us from bondage and lead us into Canaan. The Michigan we grew up knowing and loving was evaporating before our very eyes, and those dastardly jerseys (and night games to some) were the face of our eroding ideals and traditions.
Nevermind that Michigan has gone through dozens of uniforms in it's distinguished history, those damn jerseys with the ugly stripes and that phony looking old block M is taking it just too far dammit! My lawn. Get off it.
On September 10th 2011, at approximately 8 o'clock PM, our good old boys with their cotton' pickin' maize and blue hearts screamed out of that tunnel as they have so many times before, touched the banner, and prepared for battle all the while wearing that ghastly abomination in place of the sacred home uniforms. I don't need to bore you with the details here because you know what transpired. Michigan was pummeled by Notre Dame 50-0 and immediately released a statement after the game stating emphatically that from hence forth we, Michigan, shalt not wear legacy jerseys or participate in night games forever because it's always been better with out them and this was a huge mistake and we're sorry k thx bye.
The End. Things go back to normal and the Michigan of old is the Michigan of new again. Right?
Here friends, is where I humbly pose a question: What if?
What if our leadership isn't set on destroying us from the inside out?
What if they want to see the best for Michigan, even if that means making changes to Michigan?
What if they do actually care how we, the fans, students, and alumni, feel?
What if it was possible to respect traditions while also modernizing?
What if every change that's made wasn't contextualized as going to the heart of what it means to be Michigan? And isn't that a terribly confined view of what Michigan even is?
What if in being ambitious and thinking progressively we could still create moments that 50 years from now would be remembered as some of the greatest that ever happened?
And what if it looked something like this?: ***
Now, what if you never forget what happened on September 10, 2011? Was it worth it? Is Michigan any less Michigan-y now that we've played a night game with legacy jerseys?
OR what if in doing something like this, from the jerseys and the atmosphere to the actual play and coaching on the field, we saw an even truer picture of what Michigan is?
What I saw was that Michigan is unafraid to be the best. Michigan is unafraid to make history. Michigan sets the bar. Michigan isnt defined by it's past- but rather Michigan is defined by it's gall in conquering the present and it's aspiration to the future. Michigan might not always win, but Michigan doesn't back down to a challenge.
Friends, in my humble opinion that game could not have been more perfect. From the pageantry to the stadium renovations, to the uniforms, to unforgettable moments and to ripping out Notre Dame's heart yet again. Michigan put on one hell of a show and I'm damn proud to be a Michigan Wolverine today.
BUT: What if it never happened?
What if your no doubt cherished memories from that game were replaced with memories form a typical ND- UM game with an afternoon kickoff?
Would you be any worse off? Probably not. You wouldn't know any better and UM beats Notre Dame in alternate universes as well- but I do know this, you wouldn't be better for it. You wouldn't have the once in a lifetime experience and the memories to take. You wouldn't be able to tell everyone about it until the day you die. You wouldn't have been a part of this unique moment in history- a moment where history is made. Is that worth it? I guess that's up to you.
Finally: What if we do it again?
What if Michigan makes bold decisions in the future?
What if they're controversial and go against what you've come to know as your beloved Michigan?
Will you approach them with negativity and skepticism or will you look at them with eyes to see the possible good that may come from them? Will you reevaluate your rigid constructs of what Michigan is to you and realize that Michigan is bigger than you can comprehend and means different things to different people around the world and that no attempt to quantify or define it can be successful? I think you should and I hope you do. To keep Michigan the best sometimes means thinking outside the box and moving forward with thought and sense. Last night proved that it can be done well and it can be done right.
*** These moments brought to you by Dave Brandon pissing on Michigan tradition.
With all this discussion of how lucky Michigan was, how brilliant the result was in the face of the mistakes, etc. when will we hear what all the recruits thought of that atmosphere? I'm serious, because after that game I really don't want to hear about the X's and O's, the UFR's or any other analytical acronym. I want to hear about what people thought and felt after experiencing that game.
Thank you Jamiemac for maintaining the proper priority and perspective after that game.
[ED:BISB; Changed title. You aren't Ace, Ace.]
September 10, 2011. Notre Dame at Michigan. 8:00 pm EST.
We've all had this game circled for months, ever since Brandon's announcement or perhaps the soft unveil of the mash jerseys thanks to 'You're Turning Violet Violet' Brian Kelly's not-so-subtle slip during their own press conference.
Either way, this game is a spectacle, and we're essentially the top story of the college football weekend. Gameday, primetime crew, etc. Been a long time since we've heard Musberger, right?
I spent parts of yesterday watching BTN's replay of the '97 and '99 ND games, and I admit I kind of forgot how enjoyable the late 90's Wolverines were. And not because I knew the outcomes. It was about pride. Swarming defenses. Chuck's intimidating ownership of, well, the entire field. An arrogant confidence in the offense's will to win. A-Train.
It was about pride.
It's been some journey since those days, and not necessarily the best journey. But here we are, back in the spotlight of college football and in an opportunity to announce the close of the misery that has hung over Ann Arbor since, well, the horror.
Let it be about pride tonight. GO BLUE.
The artwork above was created by yours truly this summer in hopes of being granted that most magical of things, an official license by the university and ultimately a t-shirt available for sale. Unfortunately, Adidas (technically, it's adidas) basically swallowed the entire night game and stamped it with the 'Under the Lights' moniker. I really wanted this one to see the light of day, but ah well-- hope you enjoy the glimpse of it. Wear the MGoShirts tonight!!!