the first time you ever went to a game, when the band emerged in that tunnel, and you heard those magical words from Carl Grapentine. "Ladies and gentlemen..."
Experiencing the Big House
At one crucial point late in the 4th quarter (can't remember exactly what drive), when the whole stadium was chanting to '7 Nation Army' and pumping the maize pom-poms in unison, my brother turned to face the crowd (we were 3rd row endzone). He looked up, looked to both sides, then looked forward again. He said, "this is what college football is about", then opened his arms and closed his eyes to just take in and embrace the moment. I'll never forget it.
tweeted my after that game with the message "you are the luckiest son of a bitch i know"
My little sister and cousin also said the visual created in the Notre Dame game was breathtaking to see on tv even.
My father and I decide to sell our tickets for 325 each. I was trying to find a ticket to replace the one I sold. I found one for 150 and bought it. Before I could get to the gate a guy offered me 200 for the ticket. I looked on my phone and the score was 14-0 ND so I sold it. Regret is the only word to describe that decision to this day.
Missing it for $50 and a lack of faith....ouch.
only been to one game. at the time i was not overwhelmed by the size of the stadium. now i look back and realize just how big it was.
The good, Michigan vs Ohio 97. The bad, Rickey Powers fumbling the game away in 93 against Illinois. I was an eighth grader and had never felt so heartbroken before.
It was the home opener against western. It was a blowout but the second i walked into the stadium and saw 110,000+ people wearing maize and blue. I just stared for a good 30 seconds in shock at how awesome it was.
I've been to 25 home games in the last 15 years, the most notable ones being Braylonfest and 2005-Penn State. I also went to the first home game that had to be rescheduled post-9/11 with the moment of silence. But an easy emotional experience I had at the big house that is most memorable didn't happen during a game.
Up until a couple years ago, they used to keep one gate open at the stadium during the summer. Several years ago, I walked inside and had the entire stadium to myself. I sat in different spots in the stands and then walked on the field. I walked and stood in all the exact spots in both end zones of the most memorable plays. Mercury Hayes catch against Virginia, Howard's 4th down diving catch against Notre Dame, Chris Perry's rushing TD in overtime against Penn State, Anthony Carter's game winning catch against Indiana, Billy Taylor's game winning run against Ohio State and of course I did the Howard Heisman pose against OSU.
Yes, I'm a dork. But I was simply following the advice Keith Jackson gave to all fans on the Michigan football CD Rom that was released in 1995. In the offseason or the night before the first home game, go to the stadium while it's empty and soak up all the history that is everywhere you look. Stand in the spots of memorable plays that led to victory and listen to the crowd cheering in your head. It was a really cool feeling that unfortunately is not allowed anymore as the stadium is now completely locked when it's not football season. It was great while it lasted, though.
And so ends my cheesy post.
I also used to jog to Michigan Stadium from my dorm (Markley Hall: 5th Blagdon FTW) and just enjoy the stadium. I did the Mercury Hayes. I did the Desmond Howard. I did Hello Heisman. Man I loved that
I'd also forgotten about the first game after 9/11. It was my freshman year, and I don't mind admitting I got pretty damn dusty during that moment of silence and the playing of God Bless America.
Yep. It was a powerful moment.
47 seconds in...
Maybe that's why some sell their tickets and don't value what they have access to. I've been to 25 games in less than 4 years. Your post helps me realize I should never take that for granted.
I remember the national anthem the first game after 9/11 really got to me - think it was Western, but doesn't really matter. Brock Mealer was another for non-football reasons. Projecting ahead to this fall, it will my first season without my dad by my side. If you see a guy in Section 7 crying for no apparent reason, that will be me.
I lost mine two years ago and can honestly say I haven't and won't ever get over it. There isn't a more special bond than that of a father and son IMHE. My condolences to you.
The immediate memories that come to me:
1991 - I was sitting right by the goaline when I saw Howard lay out absolutely flat in the air to catch the 4th and 1 pass from Grbac. The time just kinda stood still as ball was in the air and I remember saying to myself "Holy SH(T Desmond is perfectly parallel with the ground!!!" as he was catching it. Still the best single football play I have ever seen
Also at my first Ohio game at the big house, I remember towards the end of the game, there was a guy with Ohio jersey on lying on the floor in a fetal position in the student section surrounded by about 30 people who were pelting him with marshmallows. The guy was absolutely covered head to toe in it. That was awesome...
If watching Mealer get up and walk and touch the banner didn't make you cry I duno what will. Only time I ever teared up
Game at the Big House and was very emotional!!
that was a real emotional moment...
I graduated in '88 and the first game I was able to make it back to was the Herbie KO in '91. What a glorious day that was!
1997 row A student section, vs OSU! Woodson was awsome. Anthony Thomas was pretty damn good in that game too!
Bourbon Street pretty much defeated me, so I felt shitty the entire game. But when Gibbons kicked the winning field goal...pure bliss. Michigan had just won a BCS game, and I was finally able to run to the bathroom to throw up. UTL was okay too.
Living a couple states away and working weekends kept me away until the Illinois game in 2010. Triple overtime and an emotional roller coaster ride of a game. Got chills seeing the stadium and feeling like I finally belonged wearing Michigan gear. I didn't have to defend my hat to SEC fans. It was like finally being home. The chills stayed as we walked around the stadium. Then the band started and we walked to our seats to watch warmups. I had to stop and delete pictures to make sure I had room for pictures of the actual game. Now every time don't stop believing comes on the radio I get chills. I left that day unable to talk, legs hurting and physically exhausted. But never been happier. There is not a better place on earth.
this past year was an awesome moment. Rushing the field....you felt redemption. The universe was as it should be....
I was a little to intoxicated for UTL! But on a emotional roller coaster from 10 min before kickoff until the field rush against Ohio! I live in Ohio and listen to these mouth breathers everyday! I have been to 20+ games at the Big House but 2011 Ohio felt electric from 11:45 until they kicked people off the field!
We were spoiled last season with UTL and the Ohio game and I still get chills when I think of being there for those games. The only moments that can match those games for me was Penn State 2005 and Ohio 2003 (The 100th game in the rivalry). I live in the next town over from The Mealer's and have a lot of friends who know them, so the UCONN game in 2010 was a very special moment for me as well. Man, I love the Big House!
Braylonfest '04: During the TV timout after the first OT, the entire student section collapsed onto the bleachers for a breather; we'd been hopping up and down for a solid 30-45 minutes straight at that point.
Brock Mealer: Because... yeah.
UTL: I throw my hands up in the air sometimes, saying "HOLY-SHIT-GALLON-IS-INVISIBLE-RUN-GODDAMNIT-WHAT-THE-HELL-WAS-THAT-DID-THAT-JUST-HAPPEN-IS-THIS-REAL-LIFE-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"
EDIT: Also, Ohio '03 and '11, and Notre Dame '03 (Houston's better... Clap. Clap. Clap clap clap)
We were on row 5, on the end zone line where the final touchdown was caught. The Notre Dame fan that was sitting next to us was being a real tool the whole game...my wife's cousin gave him a wrestling style chest slap when time expired asking him "how do you like that buddy"...the entire stadium just stayed in place for the next half hour...we couldn't bring ourselves to leave. It was, for lack of a better word, epic.
Conversely, 2007 Oregon made me quite angry.
I'll take "Understatements of the year" for 400, Alex.
I was originally very pissed that I had to go to a wedding that day instead of going to the game. But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because (a) I didn't have to be there for... that, and (b) open bars heal all wounds.
I vividly remember screaming as Westbrook came down with the ball.. It was my Grandfathers 50 year reunion that game, and the alumni had already all begun their exit from the stadium, totally unaware of what had just transpired.
Was only 14, but remember it like it was yesterday.,
First post since the Haloscan days i think, but you guys have made me nostalgic.
Good: my first game as a student. We were a little late to our seats. One of my floor mates was from a really small town, and when we walked in, he said "there are more people in here right now than in my entire county!"
Bad: the Kordell Stewart game. Followed closely by the Ricky Powers fumble game.
For me, 2011 Ohio. I was class of '09, and wasn't really an M fan growing up despite hailing from southeast Michigan. After losing to them in '06, and watching the team implode the next couple years, not only had I never experienced a win over Ohio during my fandom, I was starting to doubt it was even possible to beat them.
That seems to me to be the game where we really put all the anguish of the mid-late 00's into the rearview so we can finally move on. Not only that, it was an objectively very exciting and hard-fought game, with lots of offense. Would have stood out without any symbolism...
Too many great moments to cover, but the top three for me:
Wangler to Carter, Grbac to Howard, UTL
(With due respect to Braylon, Carter will always be #1.)
The worst? Well, I won't mention The Horror by name.
I was sitting in the Ohio fan section at this past years Game (mom got tickets through work) and to see the look on all of the Ohio fan's faces after the INT was great. They talked shit all game and they were dead silent following that, as i was screaming at the top of my lungs.
It was such a large relief, knowing i wouldn't have to spend another year of being bashed by Ohio fans (I live in Ohio by the way). Maybe the happiest moment i have ever had in Michigan Stadium.
On the other side of emotion was The Horror. I took my dad to that game expecting him to see a great Michigan dominat win, but he said the look in my face following the blocked FG was just pure shock and frustration. I drank very heavily that night. The same can be said about the Toledo loss, being that i live i the Toledo area.
I cry at the games because I'm 6'4"and the stadium was sized for little baby girls.
My wife and I took our two sons with us to the Nebraska game last year, and we talked a couple into going with us. They were lukewarm VT fans......that is until they walked into the stadium. They couldn't speak for a couple minutes. It was our youngest son's first game as well. We went in early so they could walk around and get plenty of pictures of the team warming up. Ended up being an awesome day, great football weather and a lopsided victory.
We converted our friends to Michigan fans and my wife and I got to spend the day at the game with our boys. I laughed and teared up a little when my oldest put his hand on my shoulder and asked, "dad, can I go to college here when I grow up?"
At the Big House, during commencement, while singing The Victors one last time. Manly tears were shed.
My youngest son spent six years at Michigan and earned two degrees. He left Ann Arbor in 2011 to go to med school. We decided to go to two games together this past year. What were the two? ND and Ohio. We had seen a lot of games together at the stadium, Tate's ND win, Wiscy in 08, Manningham's last second TD against PSU, and dozens of others, but I think we both realized that ND and Ohio in 2011 were games for the ages. To have shared them together made it very special.
Then there was Brock's walk...still get emotional even thinking about it.
The season opener when Brock Mealer walked out and touched the banner was amazing. I was so proud of him I couldn't help but cry.
Thought this quote was appropriate:
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love.” - Washington Irving
Unspeakable love indeed. I am not one to shed tears over a bad loss... that doesnt seem right at the big house. Usually when we lose we should tip our hats to those that beat us... the horror included.
I would say I had a few tears during the Brock walk... A little watery during the Desmond pre-game at UTL... and certainly just a bit of a joy tear as relief hit and we beat OHIO this year.
Well I am a Michigan fan from Ohio and my wife and I made the 4 and a half hour journey to Michigan the night before the spring game. Got to the Big House about 7:45 that morning. But at about 9:15 or so it was like I stepped into the greatest place in the world. Walked up the ramp and through the little tunnel and you could see the field down below. It was better than I ever imagined. It was just plain awesome. Craziest thing was we were sitting right in front of a couple from Columbus who were also Michigan fans. Cannot wait to get up to A2 for a real game.
There have been several, most of mine have already been mentioned and I realize how lucky I am to have been at so many of the previous posted games.
The earliest truly nutso win I remember being there for was when Phil Brabb's kicked the game winner at the end to beat Washington. I was in the end zone row 6 and felt like I could have caught the ball if the net handn't been raised. I was jumping up and down hugging some guy next to me before I realized my Dad had been siting on the OTHER side of me. The guy hugged back, it was weird, in retrosepct.
Also I truly believe UTL could arguably one of the best experiences ever in the big house. No matter if a fan at that game was there for their frist game or 100th, everyone tells me that's their best experience.
Also, seeing the 80 year old fans dancing to dynamite was just icing on the cake
as I've been there at Michigan Stadium for almost every one mentioned in this thread.
First game I went to was in 1974 against Navy, I'l never forget the feeling of walking up to the southwest corner outside the stadium fence and remarking to my friend how I expected something bigger. Then the shock and awe of entering the stadium itself from below the south scoreboard and being amaized at how huge Michigan Stadium really was!
Took in 2 home games each of the next 2 seasons, then got our season tickets in 1977 and have only missed about 15-20 home games in the 34 years since.
Most memorable single play I've ever seen had to be the AC catch to win the IU game...or was it the Woodson punt return TD vs. ohio...or was it Grbac to Howard vs. ND for the win...or Mario's winning catch vs. PSU in '05 (or was the Chris Perry TD to beat PSU in '03 better)...or was it one of Harlan H-Bomb Huckleby's many TD's? Impossible to choose from so many...
Anyway, the most memorable games as a group for me have been the odd-year finales---I haven't missed any Ohio @ U of M home games since '77 (we're 11-7 in those games) and we're1-0 in my only U of M @ Ohio game, in '96.
Who knows what's in store in '12? Season can't get here soon enough!
Unfortunately, I graduated in 2011 and therefore missed UTL. Talk about a disappointment. I wish I could have been there! The 2009 ND game probably pales in comparison to those who were at UTL, but it was probably the craziest the stadium ever got while I was a student at Michigan. I remember losing my voice from screaming so loudly and everyone just going absolutely insane when Tate made that final TD pass. Such an awesome moment. So 2009 ND, 2010 triple OT Illinois, or 2008 Wisconsin were definitely some crazy, crazy moments.
The dreaded double post. I appologize.
UTL will be hard to top. I remember very well just screaming "TOUCHDOWN! TOUCHDOWN! TOUCHDOWN!" when Roy Roundtree hauled in that final pass. And how nobody wanted to leave after the game was over. Even Pop Evil sounded good.
Another really emotional moment was Bo's last win over OSU in 1989. Not as exciting a game, but we all knew the man was retiring and seeing him go out a winner was bittersweet.
My dad and a lot of the people from his side of the family are from Michigan. Although I never lived there (dad was in the military and we moved around), I was raised a die hard Michigan Wolverine fan and am to this day. We finally settled in TX and I never left. I look forward to each season but I was only ever able to watch them play on TV. Finally, last year, I was able to make the trip to the Big House to see them in person. My wife and I came up for The Game. We flew into Detroit the night before and stayed in AA that night. We got to the golf course early in the morning and tailgated with a bunch of really cool Michigan fans, and of course the game was awesome. The entire experience was totally mind blowing and is something I will never ever forget. We made this sign that my wife carried around proudly, and especially loved showing it to OSU fans before and after the game. I can't wait to make it back!
It looks a lot bigger on TV.
The Game, 2009
I went with my best friend, who had terminal cancer to the game. We talked about all sorts of game day memories on the way to the game. I dropped him off at the game so he could sit in the pressbox (lots of people pulled lots of strings so he could see that game - its tough for a cancer survivor who is very weak to sit in the stands).
We all know the outcome of the game. I just couldn't leave the stadium. I walked around the bowl alone looking at the field from different perspectives both figuratively and literally, thinking about how we were kids watching the team, being in the marching band together and running out of the tunnel, him taking his wife to a "first date" there just six years earlier. It's like everything I had known had crumbled and the pittiful nature of the team was the personification of the last few years. I was so mixed up emotionally I can't say what I felt but somewhere in there were parts of absolute sorrow and rage. I stayed until the stadium staff threw me out.
That was the last day I saw him or spoke to him. We lost him three weeks later and the world hasn't been the same for me since.
That game has had a special place for me for lots of reasons (I haven't missed being at The Game since 1992 other than 2008 when I watched it with my friend from the cancer ward) and that day sealed it.
God Bless you Matt.