Great letter. I hope you are sending it over to The News.
things go poorly
Sometimes I'm not above sending a letter to the local paper. I come from a long line of people who wrote letters to local papers (surprise!). Anyway, I penned this as a response to DetNews' Josh Katzenstein on Michigan's Mascot but then Brian front-page responded to the same thing, so there's no use saving it for Dear Diary anymore.
Here's the damn letter that doesn't say "capturing the Sharp market" anywhere in it. Image at right is from MVictors.
Get your arrogance hats ohnnn:
Great letter. I hope you are sending it over to The News.
We don't need no stinking mascots !!!
Bravo. I am very much looking forward to his dumbfounded response.
You say it much better than I could, but I love the idea that "not having a mascot IS our mascot." Perfect. I'd rather have the tradition and excellence of Michigan football over a muscular foam green guy.
who, according to the cultural norms of ancient Sparta, is lacking a shield, and is thus a coward.
We don't want some random inaccuracy sullying our fair team's name.
Plus, you know, green instead of red.
However, you never listed your stance on Rich Rod so I feel your letter to the editor may be incomplete. I think that is a requisite.
On a serious note, I think both this post and Brian's excerpt from the Illinois game do a suitable job of conveying how I feel about Michigan tradition. Sometimes the governing rules of the covenant are not arbitrary. Don't shake the bowl that holds the ghosts of our past. That being said, lights, club seats, and an extra quarter inch are all very welcome. Mascots, ads, and 'dynamic new branding opportunities' are not...
I thought five year-olds liked what their parents liked. That's why I'm a Michigan fan.
Brian's take was right. That guy cared about the mascot because he was a Minnesota Gopher's fan.
If we're going to have a mascot, let's get 10 and make them really scary looking. 1,000 crying babies will do wonders for the stadium noise level.
May I suggest Horny, the Fighting Airhorn?
Only if we can have 10 of them. If we're gonna do this whole mascot thing, we're gonna do it better than anyone else because THIS IS MICHIGAN, dammit
and if it is impossible to do better, let's just do more of it!
Victor the Vuvuzela.
Wait, nix that, I'd quit watching Michigan games with the volume on if I had to hear that buzzing.
I grew up in a Sparty family, and I became a die-hard Michigan fan despite the absence of a mascot.
I'm a fan because of Desmond. And because of Dreisbach to Hayes. And because, yes, Tim Biakabatuka just did that. And because HOLY SHIT there are a lot of people in this stadium. And because Charles Woodson can jump 15 feet in the air with a rose between his teeth. And because of The Victors. And because you can't have one without the other. And because Braylon is 18 inches taller than Jaren Hayes. And because, well, Denard.
Besides... live wolverine mascot or GTFO.
All that and a bag of chips. And I wouldn't hesitate to include the fact that 99% of the mascots in existence are lame as sh-t and embarrassing (the one exception is the Stanford Tree).
P.S. Good to see that you survived the Bar exam! Feeling better now, like after having just dropped a huge load?
That's a good way to describe the feeling. Relief, mixed with a nagging worry that I might not have cleared everything and therefore might have to return to the shitter again.
It's all good. Everyone feels that way. Just remind yourself that you only have to be better than probably 25% of the people you sat with, and I know you noticed that there were some in the building that couldn't have been dealing with full decks (know what I mean?).
I loved it. To sum it up in three words, though: Because we're Michigan.
By most tangible criteria - wins, attendance, etc. - Mich is among the best, if not the best, in all college football. Maybe everyone else should dump their mascots.
I sent him an email in response to his column. I posted the text of my email as a Reply to the forum piece someone posted earlier today on the column. My points were similar to Misopogon's, but slightly less haughty and a bit more sarcastic. However, we all agree that this guy's problem is, he didn't go to UM, so he doesn't "get it."
I went to Stanford for grad school, and people can't understand why I HATE Stanford football (except when coached by the guy who was my alma mater's quarterback while I was on campus at UM). Because, at my first and only Stanford football game -- the first one on campus when I was out there -- I saw USC beat Stanford by 7 on a late drive. I saw the USC marching band with the goose step, the Song Girls, etc. And I saw Stanford's band making fun of USC -- mocking the goose step, mocking the Song Girls. And I said to myself, STANFORD DOESNT GET IT. They don't have their own traditions, so they mock those who do. Makes them feel more self-righteous (a classic Stanford problem).
That's at play here. He just doesn't "get it."
You should send this to Dave Brandon as well.
While Dave may "Get it," his love for the almighty dollar clouds his judgement on how important "it" is.
Agreed. DB is smart. DB knows how to make a dollar. DB also doesn't know how to let well enough alone. It's like a consultant who comes in and sees that everything is working pretty well and decides you should change your coorporate logo. It's change for the sake of "doing something." Sometimes that just makes you look foolish.
My feelings exactly, although I would have mentioned the MMB and all its glory to the mix.
Mr Brandon, I know you "get it" but please do not allow your judgement to be clouded. Our traditions and values are NOT for sale at any price.
Anyone ever read the book Rivethead? GM had a mascot. How did that work out?
Does anybody remember those long summer days as a kid? You would meet up to play ball, pick teams, and then a disagreement would always break out about who was going to be the team mascot, and the mascot cards those were the cards you wanted
young kids to the 1997 Iowa game. We got there early and watched the band perform pre-game. They were amaized at how they could march and hold the perfect M and then they did the Blues Brothers "cake". It inspired both my kids to join the HS band and pursue music.
No mascot could have ever did that. Im just happy that we came back from an aweful first half to win the game.
After viewing his story it is clear that he doesn't understand tradition, but instead favors petty details so here are some reasons that he would understand:
You can cheer because this is Michigan and this is what we do (Commercials are always easy on the petty mind)
You can cheer because everyone else is doing it (he really cares what other people do, instead of his own choice)
You can cheer because you might get on tv (he clearly wants to be recognized by people)
You can cheer because you can be part of something great (he seems lonely)
I like your points about how it's useful to set some goals to try to live up to even though you know you won't fully meet them. You'll probably accomplish more than if you have no goals at all. As for wht we don't need a mascot, I'd just go with a simpler rule: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Ugh. I so wish all of the mascot talk would just go away. Pretend like it never happend. Awful. We don't need a mascot because we aren't a fucking rinky dink NBA team based on stupid side show entertainment. The quality football and the boys are so much more than a dumb mascot shootin hot dogs and t-shirts into the seated grey hairs. Well put, Miso.
comment i've ever read of yours, el duderino
a wolverine would be too dangerous to let loose
Well put. I would be pretty irate if Michigan ever adopted a mascot. It feels cheap to me.
Agree. mascots are mostly annoying.
You know what else is cheap? Free t-shirts.
also, I'm gonna be putting in for OT hours for the last 2 weeks (July !), who should I submit the time sheets too?
Our mascots are: Brady, Howard, Edwards, Woodson, Biakabutuka, Dierdorf, Long, Schembechler, Harmon, Oosterbaan and Kramer. Ask any 5 year old Michigan fan and I can almost bet you he will name at least one of those.
I was hooked for life when attending a game as a 13 year old the public address anouncer said Bo Schembechler's win/loss/tie record.
How could you forget me?
I was really hoping this was just going to be a list of all our great players over the years. I perceive a mascot to be a personification of a school/team's values/characteristics/attitude. Under that definition we've got hundreds of mascots, by my count. Every great player who has touched that banner and gone on to represent the university properly is a mascot for me.
I didn't need a dude sweating in a furry suit pantomiming around when I was a kid, I had Charles Woodson shoulder shaking, launching into to the stratosphere on an MSU sideline, and gripping a rose between his teeth and a bronze statue in his arms.
And if you think a kid today being properly brought up (watching Michigan) doesn't feel that way about Denard, you're crazy.
At the end of the day, we sell out every game w/o a mascot. State, who has arguablly the most recognized mascot in college sports, Sparty, fails to sell out despite having a stadium that holds 37,000 fewer seats.
If that doesn't prove the mascot case, I don't know what will.
This was the "mascot" if you will that got me as a kid.
4 out of 5 kids would take that beautiful helmet over any slob in a furry suit. You don't go telling a 132-year old institution what it needs to get better.
Dang rook journalists....
And Boom goes the dynamite. Winged helmets ftw.
Beautifully stated. I'm getting to read this now after working 12+ hours and it has made my day. Thank you.
Hoke could have done it in two words, "We're Michigan."
Thanks for the summary of why I root for Michigan. I started out just trying to be different from my classmates, but I always knew as I grew older that there really was something different about being a Michigan fan. It was something that I felt but also something I could see and hear when players and coaches were interviewed. Reading your letter makes me proud of my fandom and helps me understand my Michiganness (I love that word).
By the way, I caught parts of the PBS documentary "Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom" last night. I'm sure this has been posted before, but it's really worth a watch. Another reason we don't need a contrived mascot is the real wolverine is such an amazing animal and embodies the Michigan spirit so well.
Finally, the only time a mascot has done anything worth watching was when MY mascot beat the crap out of THEIR mascot.
If we ever do get a mascot (and I hope we don't), I think we know who we'll hire to wear the suit.
I'm someone who didn't buy a Big Chill shirt because I didn't want an Arby's logo dead center on my chest, but I'm not going to lie - when saw it coming out of the far tunnel and realized someone made a "mascot" out of a box of curly fries it made my day. Why? Because it's the most ridiculous thing ever, and *somebody* in the decision-making process had to be aware of that. They could have just made it a big cowboy hat, and that would have felt like obvious, cynical branding. But a walking box of curly fries in goal? Genius.
DISCLAIMER: The above was written by someone who cracks up every time the (secondary) mascot in his avatar jumps up and down on his head.
I do like curly fries! See the mascot thing works! Genius!
such an issue?
the kids would love it and it wouldn't damage the program.
people need to chill