Crisler, not Chrysler. Badass former coach and Michigan AD, not failing car company.
So I found myself in Evanston with a ticket to the game and some time to spare. Some random thoughts from what turned out to be an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon:
- There is a place to watch Big Ten basketball that is worse than
Chrysler Crisler Arena. Welsh-Ryan is basically something between a high-school gym and a steam bath. Seriously, it was hot in there. It starts out hot when you go in, and then you climb and climb (we had seats in ZZ, which, sadly for some others, was not the highest row) and it gets hotter and hotter. We soon were in our t-shirts and sad that less clothing would have been offensive if not illegal. The bad news for Welsh and Ryan - your family names have been tarnished. I suggest a rename: Unnamed Basketball Arena - Catch the Wildcats in Action!
- Our offense consists of two plays. Play 1: run around and pass crisply until someone is open for a three. Then, chuck up the three, pretty much regardless of who you are. Play 2: Manny, do something awesome. Because Beilein is a genius (according to many), I have concluded that most other coaches only have one play in their systems. Beilein, because he thinks outside the box, has two. Strangely, both plays are somewhat effective. We won, however, because we ran Play 2 a lot, especially in the second half.
- Much like the Maize Rage, the students at Northwestern were all trying to get some serious, same-colored T-shirt spirit going, with some kind of Wildcat striped purple and white apparel. Unfortunately, because of the fine intermixing of white and purple, these shirts look (from a distance) just like light purple t-shirts. It's as if they don't the school color is dark purple and all have the wrong color on. It is not working.
- The Northwestern band was there. At the beginning, they played the Northwestern fight song, and I realized I had never heard it in my life. Perhaps this was a remnant of my childhood, where Michigan would routinely beat Northwestern 63-0 regardless of the sport. You have to score to play the song, you know.
- Saw Beilein up close. He looked old. I asked him how to spell his name, and he swore at me. OK, only part of this entry is true.
- Manny better not go on a crazy year-ending, 30-point scoring, Glen Rice reminiscing, getting us into the tourney spree. Because if he does, he may just be gone. And then next year will be mediocre too.
- There are way too many Michigan fans at Northwestern events. The result is that you feel bad. Here we are, in their house, doing the full "Go!" on one side, "Blue!" on the other. I overheard some guys talking about how they could sneak some extra words in there to take over the chant. Like a quick "Don't" before the go (that was their best idea). Worse ideas included (1) starting their own similar chant "N!" "U!" (that's short for Northwestern University) or (2) just punching someone wearing blue/maize. Yes, they were drunk.
- More seriously, not enough people at the game were drunk. I thought Michigan fans were a dry bunch, but this Northwestern group was pretty far out there too; very yuppy and professional and all that. You could sense they were going to take out their frustration from a loss by going home and plundering the financial markets even further.
- The food options at all Big Ten sporting events are the same, more or less. However, they did have Hecky's BBQ, which actually looked like real food. Why can't stadiums/arenas serve food that is (a) somewhat authentic and (b) tastes good? Oh yeah, because of (c) cost.
- I think I saw Steven Threet at the game. He was wearing one of those light purple T-shirts, and talking with the Football coach. He looked happy, and I wished him well.
- OK, I made that up too. But I will miss Threet, he seemed like a good guy.
That's all for now. Goodnight!
Crisler, not Chrysler. Badass former coach and Michigan AD, not failing car company.
............and manufacturer of the Town & Country. A damn fine minivan.
I went to Northwestern, Hecky's is pretty good!!
live in Chicago. Something on the order of millions, so most UM/NU sporting events feel like a UM home game. The only thing worse is all the ND fans, who mainly live on the south side and never actually went to college.....
1 million alumni / 10000 students graduating every year = 100 years of UM grads all living in Chicago. ?.
Dude, there are WAY more than 10,000 grads every year. I don't know how many undergrads per year there are, but you have to count all of the graduate schools in there too. They are alumni as well.
there are just over 40,000 students at UM on a yearly basis, say 20,000 of those 40,000 graduate every year, that makes 50 years to graduate 1 million people. They all dont live in Chicago is all im trying to say
I was at a family gathering and when I turned the game on flipping it over from Illinois/Indiana, everyone watching just laughed as they panned back and you could see the entire upper half of the arena was clad in maize.
Don't forget our 3rd play - put 4 guys on the perimeter and give it to Sims and hope for the best. Either he manages to make a fairly athletic move and get a bucket or passes it out for a 3. On a side note I don't get all the praise for Manny's first half - they kept talking about how he was patient. Wow, that's great but it's not like he was patient in the second half. That 3 he made wasn't even an open shot - he just felt like shooting. I'd like to see him exert himself a little more in the first half so we don't have to pray for him to drop 20 in the second half.
Anyway - 3 more wins and a win in the BT tourney and here we come NCAA! (pray for Duke to start winning again...)
Sounds like Welsh-Ryan is only slightly better than Laviedes Pavilion at Harvard, which I visited for last years game/tragedy and actually IS a high school gym.
As a core member of the maize rage, I helped set up the student trip to the game. We got a charter bus, and me and 65 other students all made it to the game. The AD payed for the bus and the tickets too. Thanks Bill Martin.
I was extremely proud how we completely dominated the atmosphere. If I were a wildcat I would have been embarrassed
Michigan/NW football in '07 was literally 50% Michigan, if not higher. If the band had been there, it literally would have been a home game. Despite the lack of musical backbone, it was still a home-feeling atmosphere.
it was crazy because you could clearly hear the Michigan fans cheer and they were a lot louder than the NU fans. Everytime a great play for UM happened, I was expecting the typical boo from the crowd and instead heard cheering. Good work laird.
Where we were sitting the lights above our heads kept going on and off during the game. So that was nice. Also, it was like sitting at Tiger stadium being a steel I beam holding up the second tier. Basically I could see the M score on the baseline score board and had to bend down to see the NU score on the scoreboard which featured such encouragement as "GO U NU" which I did not understand.
On the upside, the door to Ryan field was propped open with a chair, and inside the locker room was unlocked (and looked like a snapshot of the day after football season ended), and the door to the field was propped open with a piece of astroturf.
Did the NW fans do their old "that's alright, that's OK, you'll all work for us someday" cheer?
That cheer would be pretty funny against Wisky or Ill.
I live in the Tampa Bay area, and nothing sucks worse than having the visiting team's fans cheer louder than yours. Until last year, that happened at Rays games every time Boston or New York came to St Pete. This year, the Rays were better, and the fans were about even. But it still takes a lot of the "home" away from your home game when the other team has more fans.
I lost my voice by the end of the 1st half because the officiating was so bad. I thought our fans were pretty excited about the game but too many people preferred sitting down. There were parts of the arena that stood up and it just forced those behind to stand up. Luckily, everyone behind and in front of me was a Michigan fan. I think the most embarrassing moment for Wildcat fans had to be when their mediumtron said "MAKE SOME NOISE" and it got real quiet. Many of them also left early before the game was decided.
1998 - I've never been to a game where it rained so hard for so long. I think one of the Purdue home games in the mid-90s rained like crazy, but for a much shorter length of time. Memories of this game include Fargas' best game as a Wolverine. It was if he was meant to run in the slop, "his mudder's a mudder". Also at one point in the 4th Q after being completely manhandled by Jansen the entire game Northwestern's DE tore Jansen's helmet off and chucked it like 20 yards downfield. I'd say Jansen got the best of him that day.
2000 - This was the game that we lost 54-51 after the A-Train inexplicably fumbled the ball trying to run out the clock in the waning seconds at our own 20ish yardline. Northwestern took the lead on a pass play. We then got the ball back and somehow got into long FG range to send it to OT only to have it blocked. Highlights of this game include having a NU student get into my face as I was leaving the game and say, "We're smarter than you AND better in football". The day before I had my trainwreck of an interview at Kellogg so upon hearing this comment I had nothing with which to counter. I've wanted to kick that kid's ass for 8 years now.
I once sat in the second from the top row at the Dean Dome for a Dook game when I was in grad school a few years back. It was so hot up there that the only thing that kept me going were all the airline booze bottles that we snuck into the game. It had to be 100+ up there.