...K mart wolverine...its a local company.
here's one vote for "John Beilein's head in a Futurama jar"
It has been awhile since I have had a chance to sit down and write something here. Life has a way of getting in the way when you least expect it.
We are getting close to the college football season now, and everyone is starting to get in the spirit. Sometimes spirit means watching or making your favorite youtube hype video, or maybe you are more like me and just like to get into the blogs and forums and talk some football. I can't help but notice one overwhelming trend though. Michigan and Michigan State fans cannot seem to get along. It's natural, because it is a rivalry, however I enjoy talking to a well informed Michigan State fan about their team, their expectations for the season, and maybe throw in a little competitive banter favoring my Wolverines.
There is one thing that bugs me though, and it doesn't really happen in this board too much, but happens a lot elsewhere. That is when a Michigan State fan calls a Michigan fan a Wal-Mart Wolvie. The basic premise of this attack is that, you never went to the school, you just picked up a Michigan jacket in Wal-Mart and became a fan, or your just a front runner who picked Michigan. They try to use this to diminish the arguments of Michigan fans.
I have a problem with this because it is just too silly. I know there are tons of Michigan fans who do not have any connection what so ever to the University but who cares? We all pick who we like for our own reasons. For me it is simple.
When I was a little kid I came down with a rare case of arthritis in children. It rendered me barley able to walk, and do things normal children did. My mom took me to all the local doctors and some local hospitals and nothing seemed to help. Finally, she ended making the long drive from our home in Harbor Beach, MI to the University of Michigan hospital. There, I was treated once a month and finally started to get better. Thanks to the University of Michigan and their continued help I was able to grow up a normal child, playing sports, running around with my friends and enjoying life. If I ever have knee problems again all I have to do is drop in to U of M and they will help me. This made me feel a connection to U of M at a young age that I carried on into my adult years. I never went to school at Michigan, instead I chose to join the Army after high school and serve my country. I gained a lot out of my experience in the Army and would never have been able to enlist had it not been for the University of Michigan. That Bond I feel to the school, just when I can easily take a stroll down the road still holds true today. I love Michigan for not only what it did for me, but what it does for others like me.
I know everyone is not like me. Not everyone went to U of M hospital as a child, or went to school there. However, why is it that Spartan fans decide to use this attack? If we polled every single person that considers themselves an MSU fan how many to you think would have a personal connection the the University? I grew up with, and know many MSU fans who don't have any connection. So why is this "supposed to be insult" directed at Michigan fans?
Do Michigan State fans know that the University of Michigan boast one of the worlds largest populations of living alumni at over 460,000 people? Would it not stand to reason that with that large of an alumni population, consistently in the top two in the Nation that Michigan would have a lot of fans? I am in no way trying to bash Michigan State fans or alumni, but it seems more likely to me that more Michigan fans have a connection the the University of Michigan than do to MSU.
The truth is, every school in the nation has fans with no connection to the University, and just choose to be fans and that is fine. Why keep trying to throw this half thought out insult in the face of Michigan fans?
...K mart wolverine...its a local company.
HQ moved to Chicago after the Sears acquisition. Now the two are dying a slow death together.
I was 7 years old when Bo was hired and remembered a year later becoming interested in sports. I thought UM uniforms were neat, I thought Bo was a great coach, and UM always won. Thus I became a huge UM fan well before I attended school there. The football team motivated me to want to attend UM one day! Even if I did not attend UM or never went to college, I would still be a number one UM fan! Who really cares what other fan bases call us! MSU fans are just jealous.
I grew up in Plymouth (born in 1970) and never attended U of M. I have since lived in NYC, Ecuador, and now Minneapolis. Few things in life have been as important to me as Michigan football. I recall Saturdays in the fall as a time when everyone was inside watching the game except for one neighbor who listened to it loudly on the radio. I have followed the team even from Ecuador, which was not so easy in the very early internet years. It seems silly for anyone to suggest you must be a student/alumni of the school to be a "real" fan. The cheers and tears over the 4 decades I have followed this team have been all to real. I was even moved to write a letter to coach Carr after the loss to Oregon in 2007..something I had never done. I still cherish his response which was writtend the night before the ND game.
Beat OSU.! Beat ND! MSU!
I started liking Michigan because as a teen you know you have to rebel. My dad was a big ND fan. I didn't have much to cheer for in other Indiana teams. The winged helmets and the smash mouth football sold me. I then watched games from the past. I got to learn some heritage. I got to learn about Michigan. I learned they are the best and have some of the craziest fans in the world. The Walmart slogan isn't all that bad. If you think about it Walmart is the #1 largest chain. We are #1. I think it fits :)
Professional sports teams and academic institutions are fundamentally different, so the analogy doesn't work. You don't have to apply and be accepted based on your merits to live in the state of Michigan and root for the Tigers, and no one will turn you down. In other words, there's no merits to be judged when adopting a pro sports team - it's all mere geography, where you happen to live (which very well may be by accident - e.g., where your parents live, or where you could get a job).
Contrarily, a university judges and discriminates - it's all merits, it CAN turn you down if you don't pass muster. It's a statement of your merits to say that you are a Spartan or a Wolverine, or Eagle, Chip, Bronco, or whatever else - your previous academic accomplishments got you there, your hard work got you through. So don't pretend. Be what you are - if you graduated from EMU, CMU, WMU, or wherever else, fly that flag proudly - it's a statement of your merits. Take pride in YOUR accomplishments.
I'm so glad this post was already going! A Spartan friend's parent recently called my father a Wal-Mart Wolverine because he didn't attend UofM. My friend corrected her, but used the reasoning that since he sent two kids there (my brother as well), he is OK.
But really, the fact that my brother and I attended UofM has NOTHING to do with the level of my father's loyalty to the University. He's loved Michigan since he was a kid, idolizes Bo, has had season tickets since the mid-70s, and would go to the high school football field to re-enact missed field goal attempts that lost us the game to try to understand. He is devoted, and he went to Oakland. If times, finances, and opportunities were different, he might very well have gone to UofM. Things don't always work out that way.
Will I heckle you for being to quiet? Yes. Will I berate you for being fairweather? Most definitely. Will I point out bad sportsmanship? You bet. I guess my main point is, I hope I am never so arrogant that I make assumptions and claims on the validity of other fans.