In one of the press conferences didn't DB or Hoke compliment the bands "toughness"? That is awesome.
The Poseidon Adventure Begins
9/3/2011 – Michigan 34, Western Michigan 10 – 0.75-0
Q: What is awesome about the above photograph?
A: Brady Hoke's Joe Paterno impression. Look, ma, no headset.
On a day that lacked much in the way of emotional import—Brock Mealer did not touch the banner, Denard Robinson did not introduce himself by plunging from the heavens, mostly I felt hot or wet—the thing to do was read too much into the future of Michigan football based on little. We're going on even less than the rest of college football is after their opening-weekend bludgeonings since Mother Nature and inflexible regulation prevented a full game from being played. Things are fuzzy.
They'll remain that way for most of the season. Hell, they'll remain that way until Michigan's OL/DL depth chart crisis passes in two to three years. But I got the things I wanted the most, the things I spent large sections of the offseason hoping for, arguing would be true, or declaring to be the only sane thing a sane person could do.
BRADY HOKE IS NOT RICH RODRIGUEZ IN RE: COORDINATOR MEDDLING
Rodriguez's problem was never his selection of defensive coordinators, it was his refusal to trust them to do their jobs. The thing about Hoke is this: he does. At SDSU he hired Rocky Long to run a 3-3-5; Rocky Long ran a 3-3-5, and it was pretty good, and now he's the head coach. He hired Al Borges to run a passing-oriented West Coast offense; Borges ran a passing-oriented West Coast offense that wasn't quite as good as Michigan's in FEI's eyes but was still top 20. If he "gets" anything it's that he's a former defensive lineman with a narrowly defined set of assets that does not include being a genius of any variety—he's never been a coordinator. So he's hired two guys with very long, very successful resumes to do that stuff for him.
PRO STYLE IS INSANE STYLE
Switching to an actual pro-style offense would be doing exactly what Michigan did last year when it installed the 3-3-5 despite the total unsuitability of its personnel for the scheme.
DON'T FRIGGIN TOUCH ANYTHING OR I'LL CUT YOU
MOAR SHOTGUN PLZ
Check, check, good enough. Michigan was 70% shotgun.
The offseason was spent exploring the a disconnect between Brady Hoke's words and his teams' actions. The fear was that This being Michigan, for God's sake, would change his attitude from "whatever works" to "the expectation is for the position." That latter was the infamous Carr-era slogan that symbolized a stubborn adherence to out-executing the opposition. It led to things like a thousand Mike Hart zone stretches where he made four yards only after dodging guys in the backfield. I really, really did not want to go back to the days when Michigan's running plays could be described as "left" or "right."
Brady Hoke's words said the first play Saturday would be power; Brady Hoke's team ran the QB stretch that was amongst the most frequent playcalls a year ago. As the game progressed it was clear there had been quite a few modifications. It was also clear that there was enough of the Denard offense in there to go to it when Michigan needs to.
This would have been obvious to all if Denard hadn't chucked a QB Oh Noes well behind Drew Dileo on Michigan's final touchdown drive. If that's accurate Dileo scores on a play eerily similar to those of last year and everyone except Craig James is talking about how different the offense isn't.
That's good right now, and better down the road. It's been a long time since Michigan fans could say their head coach hired the best people for the job and let them get on with it.
Non-Bullets Not About Football
Brady Hoke knew this would happen. On the way back to the locker room his team speared themselves some dinner.
Increment the Grimsrud meter. Last year when Michigan decided that terrorists were likely to explode the stadium with sealed, clear bottles of water, everyone complained until David Brandon rolled his eyes and offered the plebes a freebie for the opener because it was hot.
On Saturday it was ninety degrees and you could buy a not-even-cold bottle of water for four bucks, get a complimentary three-ounce dixie cup, or hit up the Absopure stations. At least until they ran out:
Connor Dean, a Michigan student working at one of the Absopure Hydration stations at the stadium, said his station had exhausted nearly its entire 450-gallon supply of water by halftime.
Dean said a hydration station would typically go through about 225 gallons of water for an entire game. “This is crazy for a normal game,” Dean said.
The athletic department got lucky as hell that the skies opened up shortly afterwards. Even as it was the number of people conking out because of the heat overwhelmed Huron Valley Ambulance:
With temperatures on the field reportedly reaching 120 degrees, the heat overwhelmed fans at Michigan Stadium. Huron Valley Ambulance says the high number of heat-related cases it handled caused it to call for backup from the Ann Arbor Fire Department.
HVA officials said a count of the number of fans who've been treated for heat-related concerns would not be available until later Saturday, and they were too busy to provide even an estimate.
"It's extremely busy at Michigan Stadium,'' said Terry Pappas, communications supervisor for HVA. "We have multiple heat-related incidents and the Ann Arbor Fire Department is helping.''
If it's really about safety, the Absopure stations should be handing out 25-ounce bottles of water that cost ten cents instead of providing little cups you have to wait for and can't get back to your seats effectively. The athletic department's horseshit doublespeak about safety and convenience increased those issues so they could hawk some extra bottles of water. They're using 9/11 as cover. That's appalling.
Apparently posting We Are ND was the right idea for the wrong reasons. We have officially Freekbass'd ourselves, as the Dog Groomers' song was played three times to amaze and delight people who would rather hear these guys…
we are… DOG GROOMERS
we will… SHAVE YOUR DOG'S HAIR INTO A PLEASING SHAPE
also we have a band!
…than the Michigan Marching Band.
We're worse. While they've got a rapping hobbit, We Are ND was an internet-only phenomenon quickly clarified as a student project. It aired once at some banquet or something. We're playing music from The Best of Hot Topic in the stadium. This is the inevitable result when middle-aged middle-managers from Middle America try to be cool: massive failure.
What was so bad about a guy in the band beating out a steady rhythm as the crowd chants "Let's Go Blue"? Why does "This is Michigan, for God's sake" apply to running power off-tackle but not keeping the stadium atmosphere intact? Is there someone in the athletic department who really wishes he was running a regional arena in Charlotte, NC, with an ECHL team and regular WWE visits? Why does the guy on the left still look like an accountant? Who is the guy on the right kidding? Is the bald guy in the middle just photobombing this shot? I fear these questions are unanswerable.
In the spirit of ND Nation banning "Michigan sucks" posts, I will end taunting ND about We Are ND until piped in music is excised from the stadium. We are We Are ND.
Meanwhile, our band is metal. Western's band said "screw this" and showed up in white T-shirts and shorts so they wouldn't die. Ten of them still had to be treated for heat issues. Michigan's band roared out of the tunnel in full dark-blue regalia; while we don't have casualty numbers for them the mere fact that none of them died before completing the anthem is metal. One firehorse for the band.
Analogy to mandatory minimum sentencing goes here. The NCAA's CYA guideline about lightning strikes was the reason Michigan couldn't finish (or all but finish) yesterday's game. The sun had already come out by the time the teams finished getting off the field for the first delay, and that was the reason there was more than a few minutes left on the clock when the seriously dangerous storm rolled in.
Anyone looking at the weather radar could tell you that by the time they delayed the game it was perfectly safe, but lawsuit avoidance rules everything around me, and thus we get a silly abbreviated game that makes the value proposition of a 70 dollar ticket to watch Western Michigan play even dodgier. Boo.
Argh. So last year I'd get to my seat and tweet personnel stuff I noticed in warmups. This year I did the same and just got a bunch of replies that can be summarized as "duh." This is because the U announced suspensions/unavailability an hour before the game. Next time it would be nice if M could do that earlier or not at all. kthxbye.
Non-Bullets About Football
Depth chart/practice rumor updates. The offense was as expected. Brandon Moore got some time as the second TE, which is good.
On defense, Frank Clark had gotten hyped up this fall but it was Brennen Beyer who got a ton of time as a rush end. His main contribution was opening a few cutback lanes for Western. Also infrequently seen: Brink and Heininger. I'm guessing that's an artifact of playing a passing spread… but we'll see a passing spread next week. I'm hoping the massive substitutions were because of the weather and that RVB/Martin/Roh will get way more time against ND. Herron was a surprise starter at WLB and Avery started opposite Woolfolk.
I received a bunch of tweets predicting Carvin Johnson would not score well in UFR, and then he was replaced by Marvin Robinson. Will be interesting to see if that works out.
So weird in so many ways. The game would have been short even if it was long, if you know what I mean. There were all of two drives in the first quarter and Brandon Herron robbed Michigan's offense of two opportunities. As a result the offense only had five and a half drives to work with. They scored 3.5 touchdowns and went three and out twice.
Short term prognosis: grimmer? Less grim? We'll have to see what the UFR looks like but Western went up and down the field against Michigan in a manner reminiscent of everyone against last year's D… and scored ten points. Michigan forced two turnovers with QB pressure and held the best quarterback in the state to 5.9 YPA.
Hack out the Kovacs sacks and WMU averaged 4.9 YPC, which is not good when you're playing a MAC team with two fresh JUCO transfer backups at guard. Also hoping that's a result of the heavy rotation.
The offense had those three and outs, and because of the weird nature of the game that was enough for their output to seem somewhat worrying. They did give the impression they were about to blow the doors off when the game got called, having just blown down the field in three plays and moved the ball into the Western half of the field when the game was called.
Pressure existed. When Mattison figured out rushing four wasn't getting home he turned things around by blitzing like mad. One series late in the first half saw him go cover zero three straight times. On each play a Michigan player would tear up the middle unblocked, forcing Carder to chuck it off his back foot. JT Floyd made a play on the first; the second two were hypothetically open but Carder couldn't get it right because he was busy eating someone's facemask.
Hurray lack of GERG.
Running backs. Toussaint's getting good reviews everywhere and it'll be no different here. To me his most exciting moment was an eight-yard run late when he was cutting behind the backside tackle. He momentarily looked like he'd head inside of Lewan, sucking the linebacker inside, then burst back behind him to pick up good yardage. That was a "whoah, he can do that?" moment reminiscent of his high school film.
My only complaint is that on his long run he tried to truck the safety instead of angling away from him and probably cost himself 10 more yards. That mentality is helpful when he's running up the middle, maybe.
Kovacs preview 2012 preview. There is a 100% chance this is one of the images used for Kovacs next year:
Things I miss. A couple tactical decisions that seem suboptimal:
- The spread punt. I thought it was remarkably effective at holding down return yardage because it gave you six gunners instead of two. When Michigan punted, if the returner got past the first two guys he had 15 yards before the next wave showed up. The only disadvantage is the near-impossibility of faking from it.
- No huddle offense. I liked the concept of tempo as something you were capable of shifting on a regular basis, and it seemed like a good idea to remove the burden of calling audibles from the quarterback.
This is not an endorsement of Rich Rodriguez. Hoke uber alles.
COUCHDATE! Alex Carder, pictured above, just turned the ball over three times and averaged a terrible 5.9 YPA—more than a yard less than the national average—against last year's #108 defense. What do you think this means, Graham Couch?
This weekend — considering the performances of Carder, Denard Robinson and Kirk Cousins — in everyone's eyes, it should be a viable argument, even if not a certain one.
… Even though I truly believe Carder is the best college QB in the state, this column was an interesting social experiment alone, though it wasn't intended to be. … the argument against Carder by so many who had barely heard of him — and the manner in which they argued — was absurd.
It was an interesting social experiment: can a beat writer actually get criticized for being an embarrassing homer by a fan of the team he's covering? Survey says:
As a Western alum living 2k miles away, I really wish the Broncos had a better beat writer.
Sorry GC but I hate your style and you come off as a whiny, rambling, non-objective homer. I can appreciate the passion you have for defending our boys but just put the shovel down because you're digging a deeper hole for yourself. Just stick to the facts and give us information about our teams. You lose all credibility and professionalism as soon as you try to sell the reader your opinions.
Circle gets the square. /gameshow'd
AnnArbor.com surveys the changes at the golf course and find people are happier this year but still a little peeved that there had to be any changes at all.
MVictors and John Kryk find previous times when Michigan games have ended before full time. They're mostly from the days when you could accidentally play a 23-minute third quarter before anyone noticed. Greg also explores whether or not Brandon Herron's interception return TD was the longest in Michigan history or if Tom Harmon has him beat.
Shooting Blue returns with a long gameday review. Pop Evil "could only be worse" if the lead singer clubbed seals while Godwinning himself. Maize and Go Blue hit up Oklahoma this weekend and returns with a trip report.
Column type things: Wojo references the "numbingly familiar" defense. Get Rid of the Seaward is enjoy its first Michigan season in a while with normal LDH levels, which means cancer remission. Denard on Toussaint. Maize And Go Blue recaps the game. Holdin' the Rope:
As the rain fell and Brady Hoke patrolled the field as if he'd been around for a while already, as if it was undeniably his field and his program and not one that had just been handed to him only 8 months ago, it was hard not to come away with certain vague feelings of goodness, that something that was more good than bad had just transpired, a feeling of warmth that may or may not be ephemeral. The Era of Good Feelings continues. James Monroe's got nothing on Brady Hoke.
Aaaaaand the Hoover Street Rag "writes under the influence of muscle relaxers and pain killers."
More bullets can be found at TTB…
Apparently it doesn't matter who coaches the special teams, whether it's an offensive or defensive guy, etc. Some Michigan fans hated that defensive backs coach Tony Gibson was in charge of special teams because he was one of only four defensive coaches under Rodriguez. Now an offensive guy (tight ends coach Dan Ferrigno) is coaching special teams, and they're still bad. Kick returner Kelvin Grady doesn't look like anything special and made a bad decision to leave the endzone. Brendan Gibbons had a low extra point attempt blocked. Western Michigan averaged 31 yards per kickoff return and consistently had excellent field position.
and The Wolverine Blog.
And if you're looking for a few bullets on Michigan State, A Beautiful Day For Football provides. Sounds like that OL is going to be a problem. Also Minnesota and Northwestern had meaningful outings—Heiko will debut a weekly thing covering opponents tomorrow.
Can everybody copy and past the section about the band and send it to Dave Brandon? kthx
Seriously. I'm telling myself a new story for how good will ultimately defeat evil with these cheesy-ass changes.
Hoke has to be with us on this (given his personality). For now, Brandon calls the shots, since Hoke hasn't proven himself yet and Brandon is his boss. If Hoke establishes himself with a few good seasons, he'll have more than enough influence to pull Brandon aside and say, "Hey CEO, it's time to change a few things."
That is 100% Columbian awesome and (part of) the reason he's my favorite player on this team. Somebody on the MGo staff needs to get him a copy of that - I would do it myself but then I'd be a booster, right?
Arrive Thursday noon in AA for two rounds of golf and then the most fun Saturday of the year so far. . . . GO BLUE!
FWIW, I saw Heininger on the field a ton - it was Roh I noticed absent more than anyone else. Black seemed to get the lions-share of snaps there. Roh was blanked on the stat-sheet, as well - the only guy on the participation log that was.
I agree. Roh pretty much provided zero penetration except on that Kovacs sack where he almost had his MCL destroyed. Heininger was pretty solid IMO and made a few tackles plus he tipped a ball at the LOS when he was double teamed. Black seemed to make a few mistakes in the run game but he was better than Roh.
I agree - I thought it was interesting that Black seemed to play more, as well.
Brink didn't show up, either.
Yeah I think he got about as much PT as anyone on the line. He also was not exclusively at SDE.
That is 100% Columbian awesome and (part of) the reason he's my favorite player on this team. Somebody on the MGo staff needs to get him a copy of that - I would do it myself but then I'd be a booster, right?
Arrive Thursday noon in AA for two rounds of golf and then the most fun Saturday of the year so far. . . . GO BLUE!
"Rodriguez's problem was never his selection of defensive coordinators, it was his refusal to trust them to do their jobs."
In what universe was his selection of Gerg not a problem? If RR would have not interfered with him, what would have been the result? More frequent stuffed animal facials?
Had a decent history as a dc, sometimes good even, but never with a 3-3-5. If that were a system he liked or thought had merit, you would think he would have had it been a major part of his schemes. The beaver thing, well, I have no words.
He had total control at Syracuse. How did that go?
a HC =/= being a DC. For all I know, GERG is incompetent running his own style of defense. However, I don't know that because he spent most of his time here attempting to run a defense he had never run before.
That's true, but Gerg also left a lot to be desired in the recruiting department (like didn't really do it). That's something that a responsible, intelligent DC search should have identified.
I still don't understand why the water situation has not been changed. Why not take the burden off of the stadium staff, and allow people to bring their own water. The water bottle rule looks even more petty after Saturday.
I am not sure anyone else felt this way but...
Coming out of the half we seemed like a better/stronger team.
This is notable because for as long as I can remember*, 5 minutes into every third quarter I was yelling at my TV "Where are the half-time adjustments?!?!!!!!"
Of course my perceived lack of "adjustments" was only a name for the lack of "improvement" I always seemed to see in our 2nd half performances.
Through all the wins and all the miraculous comeback victories (that I remember*), they all seemed to work within the same performance framework half to half. Yes, maybe we would fire off some long bombs or engineer great drives, but this was the first time I got the feeling we came out as a fundamentally more effective team in the second half because of "adjustments"...or for whatever reason.
(Take it for what it’s worth, because the mind plays tricks on you when thinking back over the years, but I was floored.)
*What I remember is only from the middle of the Carr-era.
You are absolutely correct. This was the biggest problem with the previous D staff. Would start ok, other team would adjust, and then we were fucked the rest of the game. The O would adjust as the game went on, but the D was always unable to.
"Pop Evil" looks more like "My First Metal Band" by Fischer Price.
True Evil is the noted drinking water scam. True Evil is forcing fans out into a lightning storm "for safety purposes." Dave Brandon continues to fail to impress.
I wouldn't blame Brandon for forcing the fans out of the stadium. I'm pretty sure it is an NCAA rule to evacuate the stadium when there is lightning in a 6 mile radius.
True Evil is forcing fans out into a lightning storm "for safety purposes."
Ignorance, meet rage.
Their only priority was to get us off the premises so they wouldn't be liable for what happened to us. By the time I got downtown, winds were around 50 mph, the rain was a torrential downpour, with lightning crashing all around. I've been in worse weather and I was not enraged at all (not sure where you're getting that), but the madness of the situation did not escape me.
The ignorance I refer to is your misconception that Michigan had any discretion in the matter. It's NCAA mandated.
My understanding is that the NCAA mandates evacuating the players - I don't think the NCAA has jurisdiction over what stadiums do with their fans.
so is allowing the people to sit in their seats during lightning strikes MORE dangerous than evacuating them and telling them to head to their cars?
But having them walk across flat open parking lots to other building or all the way home (not everyone drives and/or parks close) is a lot more dangerous than being on the concourse or under the boxes (or in them). Lightning is more likely to hit the tall structures than people around it, and I certainly hope they built in lightning rods for all that money.
letting people take shelter in Crisler and the stadium structures is safer than giving them no recourse but to walk back to their cars
the heat and storms had been forecast at least a week prior. what I saw on game day was a lack of preparation that put people in harm's way, both in and out of the stadium. ostensibly, quite lucrative, though. so there's that.
Crisler was open.
I guess it's easier for you to concoct conspiracy theories about the AD you hate.
Not only did they force us out into a lightning storm, the police made at least 50 of us wait under trees for minutes while dozens of cars exited the parking lot. I would have shouted at them but I was too dumbfounded at how irresponsibly they were acting. As it happened, the rain didn't start up again until we were half a block from our car, but it was no thanks to the police.
I'll add to this that when they told us to leave the first time, there was exactly one gate open on the east sideline side of the stadium. One. A whole pack of people in that very constrained space walking towards gates that were locked shut, getting ushered through columns and concession stands to get to the single gate. It was sheer madness. By the second delay, they had opened the other gates, but it was still a total madhouse in there.
I think we learned on Saturday that our concourses just can't sustain traffic of that magnitude. Which is thankfully rare, but still a bit worrisome. If there had been a real emergency that would have merited a true and complete mass evacuation of that stadium, there's no way people would have gotten out.
During the first rain delay, they did open Crisler and some (not many) people were going in . It was hot in there, hotter than outside (because it had cooled outside by that time). Nevertheless, it seemed a reasonable place to move people in case of lightening.
Did anyone hear any announcments about that or go into Crisler to stay for a while?
Crisler was open for both delays, as was Pioneer and some other locations I didn't hear. They announced it both times they asked people to evacuate, possibly multiple times.
I went in Crisler after we found out the game was called, just to look at the new scoreboard. I'd also wanted to cut through on my way to my car, but sadly they only had the one set of doors open and the rest of the building blocked off.
The problem wth piped-in music is that Walmart Wolverines are overwhelmingly in favor of it while UM Alumni are not.
is that it's idiotic
are you basing this on? Did you interview ALL UM fans as well as ALL UM alums? That is pretty impressive. Must have taken you all Saturday in the rain.
as a walmart wolverine I assure you, you are wrong. we love the tradition as much as the get-of-my-lawn alumni
is incredibly out of touch with reality. I will guarantee you that there are non-UM alums who hated it. I will also assure you that there are UM alum out there who didn't hate it. You make sweeping generalizations without having any evidence. You'd think that you, presumably a UM alum based on your post, would be a lot smarter than that.
Was the student guy. Wonder where all those that loved it are now that Brian says it sucked? (And just because Brian's right doesn't mean it wasn't just as right yesterday. Where are all the coming out of the tunnel Pop Evil fans?)
From my perspective you were arguing with yourself. You misinterpeted some sound bytes, and spent half a year proving to yourself you were right. Congrats, Hoke didn't do the insane thing nobody but you were accusing him of.
But I got the things I wanted the most, the things I spent large sections of the offseason hoping for, arguing would be true, or declaring to be the only sane thing a sane person could do
Really? It's been 9 months of talking Brian off the ledge and saying Borges is smart enough not to do that, and Brian not listening...and now he's saying that he knew it would be the case all along? Talk about convenient memory...
They were almost completely out of food by the second delay. Not only that, but they closed down all the perimeter stands and all of the inner stands near my seats at the start of the thing. I complained to a guy going around making sure the perimeter stands were closed that it was ridiculously irresponsible, and he claimed every other inner stand remained open--not true. Eventually I went upstairs, where they had no more complimentary water (because they had no cups), and only about 4 different kinds of food you could buy. It's lucky the game was called because they were going to have real problems on their hands if fans would have had to sit around another 2 hours waiting with little food and water.
That is an interesting observation about food. I would imagine that they stock less food for a 3:30 game than a noon game. The later game is decidedly between meals for most and people are heading out to dinner afterward.
However, the rain delays change that completely. If the game is still going (not merely ending) at 6 or even 7, hordes will start wanting and actually needing food. If they do stock up less for 3:30 games, maybe they should stop that and re-evaluate.
As for the water, they have to just let people bring it in. If they want to make sure the bottles are sealed (i.e. no alcohol poured in), okay. Trying to distribute water to 110K on a hot day via the concessions or anything other station is impossible, with our without charging for it. Hydrations stations are nice, but inadequate.
And where were the hydration stations? The usual one in the southwest corner seemed to close immediately. Out of cups? Then start handing out water bottles for free, and take the loss for (purposely?) being so unprepared. Because the lawsuit will be a lot more costly. And bad for the "brand".
FWIW, it seemed the level of RAWK was greatly decreased on Saturday. Who knows what'll happen when it's a close game and they feel the need to pump Sandstorm and the White Stripes and Eminem before every key defensive snap, but for one Saturday, it was kept to a minimum. Still too much, IMO, but it's a start. I think Athletics severely overestimates the number of complaints if RAWK were to be collectively axed.
I really don't understand what the big deal is with Pop Evil. If you took the time to notice, the stadium cheered when the song was played, so people obviously like it. That's what the stadium experience should be about: pleasing the crowd, not pleasing the debbie downers that don't like rock and the prototypical stuck-up Michigan alumni that think rock isn't classy enough for them.
And the MMB played The Victors when the team came from the tunnel. The piped in music was still playing but only about 3 seconds into the band's playing. I'm sure it was a timing thing. There were a few of them. As a former member of my hs band, I love the MMB, but a little other music here and there is perfectly acceptable and apparently desired by the crowd. I'm sure the MMB would have played a lot more if Western's band wasn't playing after every freaking play.....
In the moments before the team comes out, the crowd is going to cheer at pretty much anything.
And I'm not even convinced they're cheering at the song, at all. If you watch the video taken from the east stands, you'll notice the section chanting "Let's Go Blue." Then the hype video starts on the scoreboard, and everyone stops, turns and watches the scoreboard, which then segues into Pop Evil and people start cheering because, simultaneously, they're seeing the team appear in the tunnel.
I think one of the things frustrating me about RAWK, and even the scoreboard videos to a degree, is seeing some of the organic traditions that used to define my experience of Michigan Stadium (cowbell chants, "let's go blue" as the team assembles in the tunnel, etc.) being subsumed by the stuff we see at every other stadium. And it hasn't been my experience that RAWK has fired up the fans more than previously or made the stadium appreciably louder. Though some of the scoreboard videos have been well done and have worked really well (the 2003 OSU, and "The Team, the Team, the Team) being the pinnacle, this one felt kind of generic to me. Much of this represents a dislike of change on my part, I'm sure of that, but I never remember my past stadium experiences to be boring.
That is messed up about the water. I am sent the AD an e-mail about how dissappointed I am in their handling of this. So fucking greedy of them. A bottle of water should have been a quarter on that day.
I also contacted Brandon because I stood in line at the concession stand near Section 6 to ask for water before the game started, and the woman looked at me like I asked for magical unicorn stew. She informed me that they certainly did not offer free cups of water, but I could buy a bottle for $4, though eventually I was offered an extremely small cup with several ice cubes so that I could wait for them to melt and become water.
In addition, I discovered that it's impossible to hear the PA announcements from just outside Section 6, because I missed the restart of play after the 1st delay and then later on had no idea that the stadium was actually being evacuated (as opposed to just another delay) until an usher came up and started yelling that we needed to leave.
The team came out of the tunnel to the blaring of some bullshit RAWK music. I was quite displeased. Brian's comments regarding the contradiction of "returning to the Michigan way" while blasting crappy music and gouging people $4 for a cup of ice is spot on.
I love Michigan more than any 45 year old man should. I have a child-like hatred for all things Michigan State. I am an alum with ties to the program. But there are some aspects of the new era that just don't sit well with me.
That said, I still get overcome with emotion every time the band takes the field to start the game.