Man, Jake Ryan has some beautiful locks.
Also, sounds like a hell of a first basketball game experience.
Let me start off on a bit of a personal note: each of the past three years, my girlfriend (username megangoblue) and I have gotten each other late Christmas presents. I believe this started by spending Christmas apart our first year, but now it's a tradition between the two of us. Long story short, we needed to be in Ann Arbor today, Wednesday 1/9/13, which coincided with a basketball game that wouldn't get much attention on StubHub or from scalpers, #2 M v. unranked Nebraska. She managed to buy great tickets for the two of us: Section 134, Row 9, Seats 9-10-11-12 that we shared with my uncle and cousin. The happy couple, arriving to our seats:
This was the first MBB game I've been to, and we were definitely going for the full MBB experience: a nationally televised game with tickets nine rows off the court in an seemingly brand new stadium. I can't describe how much fun I've had tonight; from walking the concourse before the game, seeing the now famed waterfall, the maize and blue lighting outside, and most of all the #2 team in the nation take on an overmatched (but still Big Ten) squad from Lincoln. Michigan didn't shoot particularly well, and Nebraska stuck around too long, but a win is a win, and I'll remember this one forever.
One of the cool things about this section were the people who happened to be populating it. The entire womens cross country team took up a few rows just below us, and below them in Row 1 sat Taylor Lewan, Jake Ryan and Drew Dileo. At halftime, gathering some courage, I went to talk to our favorite LB with feathered locks while Lewan was whisked away somewhere, no doubt being congratulated by people far more connected and powerful than I for his decision to return for the 2013 season [ed: according to M-Wolverine it was a radio interview]. Approaching him, Ryan is a big guy, but certainly not a monster (although his hands approach monster territory). He was very polite and thanked me after I congratulated him on his past two seasons and wished him luck in the next two. He agreed to take a couple pictures with us, one turned out okay:
We went to the concourse to grab a four dollar bottle of water, and when we came back there was a 6'8 309lb LT standing on the corner of the court, talking to people with badges and little kids, maybe a few pretty girls too. Heading straight past our seats and down to the court (also thinking that Ryan might be laughing at us a bit in his head as we passed him again), we walked towards Lewan, who is an absolute mountain of a man in person. Talking to Lewan was surprisingly easy, especially considering how well he stood up to a potential number one pick just eight days ago, and his sheer size (which is every bit as big as advertised).
When I asked Mr. Lewan if he would mind taking a picture, he was polite (I'm noticing a theme here) and obliged, although the fellow fan nice enough to take the shot only took one, and it didn't turn out so well:
Megan had started on my right side with my arm around her when Lewan quipped, "I know y'all are dating but this picture's gonna look better with her on my side too". That got a chuckle at the time and a bit of a laugh later. I told him how much his return meant to so many people, and he shook my hand (mine promptly disappeared in his ridiculously big hands) and told me he was glad.
I know others have better shots down on the board, but here is Lewan conducting the band:
A win is a win:
And my favorite girl near one of my favorite symbols:
Go Blue, good night, and thanks for reading.
Man, Jake Ryan has some beautiful locks.
Also, sounds like a hell of a first basketball game experience.
That fountain is just class. Beautiful and it's just the beginning of the transformation the athletic campus is going through.
Plus this looked pretty nice on display-
I got a picture of just the Big Ten title trophy, one with me and the Hobey Baker and one of her and me with Charles Woodson's Heisman (we already have one of us with Desmond's, as an aside) and one with us and the Little Brown Jug. Good times all around.
Jim Abbott's Golden Spikes Award (college baseball heisman) was on display too.
Hopefully we can see the basketball heisman, the Naismith Award there soon.
but with viewership dwindling as the days go by, I don't see the problem posting:
Charles Woodson's Heisman:
Hobey Baker (and the back of the cleats, like you mention):
Wait, where was that? When we saw it, it was in the tunnel where the guys run out from.
on the concourse. They have the Big Ten MBB trophy and a lot of the individual awards. I know the Jug was up in the Jack Roth Stadium Club when I was up there in 2011, and I think they switched it with the Paul Bunyon, which was the only major trophy aside from Desmond's Heisman (and the trophies perminantly residing in Schembechler) that seemed to be missing.
Great photos, and this had to be an awesome first game for you between the win and meeting Ryan and Lewan. I dare say the band looks like they are paying pretty close attention to Taylor as well, but then if your conductor was 6'8" and 318 lbs, you might as well.
Thanks for sharing!
That's pretty awesome dude thanks for sharing. I had to look up how tall Jake Ryan is... how tall are you? You've gotta be about 5-10 to 6 feet no? It's crazy how big these guys are.
PS your girlfriend rocks! I hope mine would do the same if we lived closer to Michigan.
For perspective on how big these guys are, I was 6' even, 205lbs at my last physical. Ryan was a good deal bigger than I am and Lewan...well, he was pretty tiny, obviously.
She's on the taller end of 5'10 for another reference point.
And next to Lewan she looks so petite.
i love how lewan is such a nice and social guy even though he could have declared for the draft and have made millions
That's really awesome. Congrats to MGB for scoring the seats. Glad to hear that even though they're destroyers on the field, they're class acts off of it.
Also whoa Nellie, are the pictures gigantic for anyone else? Resize those things, man!
You look different than I imagined. I guess I just thought you'd have longer hair and have it pulled back, maybe a megaphone. I'm not sure where I got that image from, though.
A win for MBB, Lewan stays, pics and memories. Tough to beat that.
I'm happy for you. No really, this is great. A Christmas to remember.
I loved having a pair of season tickets to MBB in the mid-80's. And I'll never forget on a sunny Christmas morning in Southern California on internship being given 3 tickets to Michigan in the Rose Bowl. Those are Christmas gifts you'll never forget.
Only one question: your attractive girl friend bought you tickets. You not only went to a Big 10 game, it was your first . . . ever! You met Jake Ryan. And Taylor Lewan, to boot. I can't figure out why you are the one person in the photos not to show a smile!
I don't know what it is, I just don't seem to have a big smiile. If you look, you can see that I have dimples when I smile, it just isn't too noticible I guess. Also, the Lewan picture is where I probably look the most serious, and I think that was just a pretty bad picture all around. I really wish we had a second, but we had to ask a random lady to take it for us and I didn't want to be rude to her or Lewan (who took probably 75 pictures throughout the course of the game).
Jake Ryan is just dreamy....
Taylor's not bad either. (He was whisked away just before the half ended to go do a radio interview that carried over into halftime, but not through the whole thing).
Try to keep it in your pants, Brent!
(MGoBlog will issue an apology later)
Glad that you had those great experiences. The game wasn't great and the crowd could never really get into it (it came really close, and errupted a couple times, but never really got rolling too much, just like the team did). But a win is a win, and we're one step closer 17-0.
Also, Lewan conducting the band was amazing.
Great story!! I've lived in Tallahassee, FL most of my life and I have always wanted to attend a Michigan football or basketball game. Reading this was a good experience for me, especially since it surpasses anything I would have imagined happening. Those things don't happen at FSU games. Thanks for sharing your experience!
I shook Lloyd Carr's hand at a random home MBB game in I believe 2008 vs. EMU. He was walking down the steps to his courtside seats. I told him he rocked!
I saw you post that you were going to try to get pictures and am glad to see you did. Thanks for sharing.
I have the same hoodie that Jake Ryan is wearing.
It looks much better on me, as you may have guessed.
Lewan quipped, "I know y'all are dating but this picture's gonna look better with her on my side too"
Love this quote! and the whole story - thanks for sharing.
You don't look a thing like your avatar. I would've bet against that!
Thanks for posting the pix and sharing the stories, though. It's always good to hear that the athletes are good guys in these informal situations, and that they seem to be enjoying the college experience (esp. TL after such a big day). Folks can argue about what it really means to be a "MIchigan Man" - but it's pretty clear that TL and JR are Michigan Men.
I know that Taylor Lewan will always remember me as that tubby soccer mom who completely whiffed the high-five he tried to give her after an awesome hit at a UM Softball game.
Girlfriend? If you like it then you better put a ring on it.
That IS a cool story, bro.
My god, Jake Ryan looks like he should be manning a Viking longship leading a raid on Northern England or searching for Greenland or something like that.
Or carrying a huge, magical hammer around.
if Jake cuts that flow, i think i might cry.
It seems you suffer from the same disease as me...cannotsmileforpicturitis.
JustinGoBlue in 25 years
Rich Eisen thing going.
Lewan's body language with your girlfriend, right?
''She managed to buy great tickets for the two of us: Section 134, Row 9, Seats 9-10-11-12 that we shared with my uncle and cousin. The happy couple, arriving to our seats:''
I must admit, I had to read this sentence a few times, Mistaking the following picture of you and your girlfriend, as a picture of your Uncle and Cousin and say to myself "What's up with that"?
Nice post. I know it's too late in the thread, but might I propose a JustinGoBlue posbang to get him into five digits?
I'm sorry if this is inappropriate, but are you "the Naked Man"? I just happened to catch this episode tonight.
It'll be a while at least. She's a junior this year, so I won't be doing any proposing until I get commissioned (hopefully this fall) and she graduates, which will be spring 2014. After that we'll take a look at where we are and see if it sounds like the right move (I'd love if it was).
I've been working on a package for OCC; just waiting for the stars to align to submit. Ideally that would be late this semester, with the ten week course coming this fall or winter.
What, no Dileo picture????? Why doesn't The Threat get some love?!
and I actually kind of feel bad about it. Him, Ryan and Lewan all walked in together, and Dileo is more of a normal looking dude than Ryan with his hair or Lewan with his size; by the time I glanced to the third man in the group his face was turned away and I couldn't see who it was. I didn't think to look twice when I went to say hi to Jake Ryan, and didn't learn it was Dileo until the second half had started and it was too late to go down.
I would have loved to say hi and congrats for the MSU play, amongst others, but I guess it's just one of those things that wasn't meant to be.
fun to read Justin. What a great experience for you both.
I hope you get to tell your kids that story too.
(its never too early to get that ring, cause lets face it, she is a BABE...don't let her get away!)
I do appreciate the positive feedback on the writing. As far as her being a babe and not letting her get away, I totally agree. I'm a lucky guy to have her, and I do my best to remember that every day. Glad you enjoyed the story and the pictures.