There are basically three bars in Albuquerque where Michigan alumni and fans go watch games. Kind of weird, because it's not like there are tons of alumni in central NM, so we tend to get split up. As it goes, the nerds kind of end up at one place, the hoidy-toidies at another, and then the 'tweeners at another. We do not have our shit together at all and no one wants to be the organizer.
So yesterday I was at one of the places for the first time, in this sun room side of the bar which seats maybe 25 people max. There were only about 10 or so M fans in there. I sit down at a table right in front of the screen next to this guy all decked out in regalia - Woodson team jersey, cap, probably had Michigan sox on. He's from California, and ended up in NM when he got a scholarship some years back to play for the UNM football team. He's never been to a Michigan game, never been to Ann Arbor. But he was the die hard in the room, at least the most visible and animated one. When we scored our first touchdown this guy stands up and leads us all in The Victors.
Among several stories, he told me about how his second child died only a few months old and how he had been broke at the time and his cousins had helped buy a headstone, and how he had placed a Michigan jersey over the stone but then someone had come along and stolen it, and how generally fucked up that was.
The alumni seated nearby were stoic, quiet and almost staid in the great tradition. I couldn't tell if they considered this guy an embarrassment or what. I thought he was great. He told me more than once how much he would like to go to a game at Michigan Stadium, and how he had looked on E-Bay for tickets to next week's game and some season ticket holder was offering two for $1400, and how ridiculous this was, and just plain wrong it was for someone who really went to Michigan and who really loved the team to do something like that.
So we watch the game and we win and everyone starts to bail out of the place, and this elderly couple wearing Michigan sweaters and knit caps - they were both in their late 80s - come to the table and the man talks to him. He says that he is visiting from Dearborn and is a season ticket holder, and how they have friends with whom they sit and how he knows that there is a pair of tickets available for an upcoming game (I didn't catch which one they were talking about). He says that he would be glad to hook this guy up. He asks for his card and the best he could do was offer his name and cell number. So he did that and was told that the other folks with the tickets would get back with him and hook him up.
Shit happens, huh?