I posted this in the little brother thread, but I thought this was mildly entertaining. Someone with too much time and lacks critical thinking skills. I'm actually flattered.
Former player sits in the stands, finds fans awful
then nothing is.
Although it should be obvious, this message needs to be periodically repeated.
The "Walmart Wolverine" epithet is aimed at that sector of Michigan fans whose main connection with the University is purchasing Michigan-logo stuff, at a Walmart. (Or wherever else they shop.) That's the joke. "Walmart Wolverines." Nothing more, nothing less. Don't let anyone tell you any different. That's it, period.
The funny thing about that (and it isn't terribly hard to snap photos of freakshow people in a mall wearing college football attire, from just about any big school you can think of) is that there isn't much of a corollary for Michigan State. For the reason that outside of the people who attended Michigan State, that school's brand really doesn't travel well. There isn't any great national clamor for Spartywear. Michigan Staee is not close to an equivalent of Michigan in the world of consumer marketing, no matter how hard they try.
So sure, the consumer market for Michigan-licensed apparel is vast and since we don't have a qualification process for citizens to buy that stuff, pretty much anybody can do it. It's good for our cash flow, even if the camera photos aren't always good.
About the letter from that former Ducks' player; I think he got it all mostly right. The absolute worst part about attending Michigan football games, which I adore, is listening to fans shout advice/complaints/expertise about what we are all watching on the field. I like the way that the Ducks' player described it all. I give him the highest marks for his writing.
But I disagreed with him on his "Spartacus" metaphor. I don't think of college football players as gladiator/slaves. I don't yell at them on the field for being stupid; I don't scream at coaches (although I do yell at bad calls!) or any other participants for not living up to some notion of my own. I don't regard our student-athletes as slaves. I pay what I think is a lot of money (it's more than what the market would dictate) for the pleasure of watching them play, and I take very seriously their role as students first. I'd personally like it if college football were a lot LESS like the NFL. But as for "slaves," I think that most students would be thrilled beyond measure to obtain the privileges of major college athletes. Free tuition, room and board, books, magnificent facilities, tutoring and mentoring, high level alumni connections, joining an elite fraternity of success, etc. Of course, there is immense work that goes along with those privileges. No one denies that. But work is not the same as slavery.
The issue is the "elite fraternity of success." I hope and believe that Michigan players who honor themselves in our program find that it leads to opportunites after football and an honorable fraternity that rewards them for years to come. But there are probably a lot of schools where no such thing exists at all. Is Oregon one of them? Don't know. But after reading the SI articles on Oklahoma State, that sure seems to be a school where the Spartacus meme is more accurate. Even there, of course, the gladiators sign up willingly, which wasn't how it worked in ancient Rome.
It is funny, but I feel like some of the pics were just of college students who may, you know, actually go to Michigan.
I'll just come out and say it: I'm not going to say people who didn't attend Michigan shouldn't be fans or anything but tone it the fuck down.
You don't really have room to talk smack to my GF who went to state when you went to Sagniaw Valley.
And whether you went to the school or not taunting isn't cool. But yes, if you're going to make friendly jabs back and forth, make sure you actually attended the school and didn't just like the helmets. You can be as big a fan of the team, but it doesn't entitle you to take on the academic reputation of the University.
While I think that going to Michigan could definitely produce a stronger connection to the team than just being a fan, this is overblown. I had the test scores and grades to get into Michigan, but wanted to play sports. I was born in Ann Arbor, and raised as a diehard Michigan fan. After going the JuCo route, I actually enrolled at OSU before accepting a position that erased the need for me to continue my education. I'm currently sitting on a "some college" level of education, but have a career that will be very comfortable for myself and my family.
I'm as entitled to debate Michigan sports as anyone who attended. I've basked in the good times and suffered through the bad. Had I gone to OSU, I would have continued to be a Michigan fan, no matter what.
Academically, I understand the superiority complex in a way. But to default to a Caste system of fandom is to disregard a lot of mitigating factors. While in high school, I couldn't picture NOT going to Michigan, but it ended up that Michigan was not my best option. Situations are unique to the individual.
I guess I'm kind of demonstrating the chip on my shoulder with this response, but I feel it is a little narrow minded to assume I shouldn't be able to extract the same amount of satisfaction from Michigan athletics as would an alumnus.
And discuss and defend the programs to your heart's content.
But should you be saying HAHA, MSU sucks, it's a crappy school compared to Michigan" which while true doesn't make a lot of sense if you didn't go there. I mean, how weird would it be for you to slam OSU in the same way?? Going to the school doesn't mean you have to have a loyalty to their sports programs. But knocking a University because you root for the sports team of a University you didn't even go to doesn't make much sense either.
You can be a Patriots fan because you loved Tom Brady or because they win a lot and live in Portland or something (how many Steeler fans or Cowboy fans or Laker fans are there in every city?) But if you're saying "HAHA, the Lions suck, and Detroit sucks because it isn't as good as Boston" having never actually lived in Boston yourself, that's kinda dumb. You can root for talk about the teams and say the Lakers have a better history than the Pistons, but don't tell me how LA rules and Detroit sucks if you've never been to either and live in Montana.
In pro football terms it seems silly, but when people become fans of a college team (which is fine) somehow the idea doesn't seem so silly to a lot of people.
So you're saying someone can only mock MSU for being academically inferior to UM - in a trash talking sense - if they went to UM? Or am I misunderstanding?
You can do whatever you want, but when they counter with "who are you to talk?" they've kind of got you backed into a corner.
Dispense with the rules, there are none in fandom. But if you talk shit on that and they call you out, you look pretty stupid.
This is mostly what I was getting at.
What if you didn't go to michigan, but you went to a school as good or better (or at least better than MSU)? You used the Saginaw Valley example, but not every "Walmart Wolverine" went to a clearly inferior school. I have HS friends who went to K College, which is much closer to M than MSU in terms of academic rep. I have a very close friend out here who grew up in MI but moved to NV for high school, went to Nevada for undergrad and then graduated from Harvard Law. Can he talk trash about academics? Or what about the kid with the grades for M but his parents couldn't afford it so he went to a lesser school?
There really shouldn't be rules for trash talk.
1) Ya there shouldn't be rules for trash talk but it doesn't mean what you say isn't dumb.
2) In the case of going to an academically superior school, that's fine IMO but less so. I mean it's one thing to say "I believe the University of Michigan is a superior football team" and another thing to mock MSU as institution (for the record the brah did throw in a 'can't read can't write ' that made me eyeroll). Like I don't get why you need to bring up smack talking to the institutional level when you have no relationship other than rooting for the sports.
Ya you have a better rebuttal when you smack talk and then are asked where did you go and you can say Stanford but I still think it's odd to bring the institutional argument in when you have no relationship other than sports whether you went to Stanford or OCC.
Trash talk is pointless anyway. I also have nothing against any school as a school. I don't want OSU students to fail in life, for example.
That's exactly what he's saying. If you drive a beat-up Ford Pinto, don't belittle someone driving a Honda Civic because they don't have a BMW. Pretty simple stuff
Unless you are driving the Pinto (or an old Volvo) as a way to maintain your cover? Correct?
In the case of MSU students and alums, they drive a Honda Civic but think their Honda Civic is a better car than a BMW. And don't ever forget that they COULD have bought the BMW if they WANTED TO....
If you talk shit about msu academically and went to saginaw valley state you look pretty dumb, I think its pretty clear and makes sense to me.
Unless some school really is a joke for some reason, trashing it is lame anyway. I never thought "How do you get a State grad off your porch? Pay him for the pizza" was funny. It's just douchey. But I think it's ridiculous to act like the football team and kids in computer science are intimately connected anyway (sure some of them are fans and likely some players have been cs majors). Most players on the team wouldn't have even had a chance to get into Michigan, or maybe even State, without being good at football.
Besides, I'm sure some of the people on that site actually did go to Michigan. I prefer a non-alum who isn't an over-the-top obnoxious fan over an alum who is.
j/k Good for you and you are 100% correct. Anyone who choses to root for Michigan is good in my book. There are plenty of good reasons to like Michigan besides attending the school. That is what pisses Spart off, b/c if you didn't attend State or live in the Lansing area, you don't have much to cheer for/like.
Actually, objectively speaking, I would say that if you buy tickets you have a right to comment on ticket policy or the job worthiness of a coach, just like you would with any NFL team you pay to see.
...however accurate, is exceedingly unfortunate.
I grew up watching Michigan with my Dad and became a huge fan. I thought that's where I would be going. I had the grades and test scores. When it came time to apply, my Dad (who worked in higher education) said I could go to any school I wanted as long as it was small, private, and liberal arts. He was paying for it so I had to agree to his terms. I ended up going to a school that was every bit the equal if not better than Michigan academically. I still follow my D3 alma mater and I obviously still follow Michigan. Should I have turned in my University of Michigan fan card, which to me supports the entire University and what it stands for (which to me is better than someone who solely supports athletics alone), because I had to go to a different school?
Yes. Fan cards go over there
If you didn't go to Michigan, then your college experience wasn't tough, or worthwhile.
Also, if you were in LS and Play rather than Engineering, then it wasn't that hard for you
Also, If you were in Engineering, IOEs don't count
Also, big /sarcasm for those not catching on.
Root for who you like. Good natured trash talking amongst friends makes the rivalry fun, however, don't be an ass (this applies to all aspects of your life). I have a lot of State friends who give me a hard time if we lose. i don't get to make much fun of them because that is the nature of the rivalry. If anyone sees a Michigan fan being an ass, try to say something. It's usually better coming from your own side.
It was the only class I took where they actually gave us the answers to the exam before the exam. And no, I'm not kidding. I still can't figure out how everyone didn't get 100% on those tests. I guess no one was studying for the tests BECAUSE IT WAS IOE! :)
This whole discussion is dumb and it comes up 4 or 5 times a year. You can be a Lions fan even if you didn't go to the University of Detroit Lions. Fandom is fandom, you don't need a reason or justification. You can be dick or Mary Poppins. If you support the team, you're part of the group Brandon/Hoke/Players are referring to when they say "our students, alumni, faculty, and fans." You're the fan part, which at times can be more important to the sports teams (in cases where students/alumni/faculty don't give a shit about sports).
But if someone talks shit to Spartan fans because "your academics suck", and they went to a community college, that's pretty weak.
Anyone who talks shit about academics is dumb in general. Including UM grads. I always assumed it was just a way to get under msu fans skin.
And a good one at that.
I don't see it as more than a way to get state fans riled up. And they get really defensive about it. I was at a tailgate in college and an MSU student told me, "I promise I'll be your boss some day." I wanted to get all into that he didn't even know what I was studying let alone my career path but I left it alone. Still, dude was fired up.
Yes to this. I have quite a few friends who are either OSU or MSU grads. The only time I start ripping on them for their education is to fire them up, knowing full well the irony of the situation. But that's just because I am a class act. If someone doesn't live to irritate you, they aren't a true friend.
Do I think it's kinda strange to say "Ha, you went to MSU? That sucks! It's no where near as good a school as Mchigan!" "Where did you go to school?" "Oh, Stanford."
For explaining the hierarchy of Michigan fans.
There's you, then others that attended the university, then those that didn't....in that order.
I assumed you were above the others attending the university since you're seeing the fan guidelines.
Thing is, people have different circumstances in life that led them to other places than the university of Michigan. Even if they really wanted to attend or had no plans to. At the end of the day, we're all fans. Not former players or coaches. If a former alum goes to prison for murder, has no care about the team, does that person have more of a right to their fanhood? No.
But hey, everyone has an opinion. If the other guy has a problem with people talking shit to his girlfriend then he should either do something about it or get thicker skin.
This is the only correct interpretation of what the point of saying "Walmart Wolverine" means that I've seen around here. The point has never been that "UMich has fans that didn't go to the school!" That doesn't make any sense. The point is that a whole lot of the rivalry smack talk from this side centers around the "Michigan Difference" metallity, and that it's really quite ridiculous to have a directional Michigan school student suddenly talking shit to you about academics at Michigan. Hence the pointing out that they got their only association to Michigan from a Walmart.
Not sure why that site makes fun of this guy:
Sorry Michigan fans are ninjas.
But in all seriousness, that's the funniest website I've seen in a very long time.
Seriously, I would take most of those people on my team any day. These people are not only sweet, but they are Michigan fans as well.
I laughed my ass off at your post
I always wondered why Walmart Wolverines was supposed to be insulting. You're making fun of us for having a huge national following? Our university if so successful that we have people who didn't even attend who badly want to be part of the fanbase? Never understood the criticism.
If my relatives went to Michigan and I'm a UCF dropout does that make me a Walmart Wolverine???
that makes you a (successful) dropout
but realiistically, you could make an identical site for about every BCS team with a significant fanbase (sorry Northwestern). I guarantee you we could make one twice as bad for MSU and OSU. Just imagine the sites you could make for any SEC team
Someone must have taken it from one of our Facebook profiles and posted it. This was taken outside of Beaver Stadium in 2010 the day before Halloween.
Who is this? I know 4/5 in this picture!
that I went to the Detroit Tigers School of Business and the Red Wing School of Technology - Detroit...otherwise, how else could I justify my fanhood?
DOUBLE POST -Delete-
So many societal issues can be solved with the rule "don't be an asshole".
That said, in this case, I think the player is being overly critical, or maybe was just naïve how these public sports things work. Yes, there are assholes who get drunk and say stupid things. There are also a lot of good fans. Going to college to play football does not entitle one to have the complete unending adoration of the spectators. If you want the life in front of the audience, you have to take the good with the bad. Still doesn't excuse terrible fans behavior, but they are a reality in society as a whole.
As an aside, anytime a college athlete (and he isn't the first) compares themselves to slaves, (like literal slaves), or do something like call themselves 'starving', maybe it's just me, but I lose a bunch of respect for them. That's just completely out of touch with reality, and is very disrespectful to those who actually went through/are currently slaves, or starving.
I fully agree with his perspective. And this is the kind of fandom that can make blogs intolerable as well. (re: space coyote appreciation thread.) As long as no one objects (other fans, moderators, etc.) the behavior will continue and get worse. Thanks for the link.
I agree with you in this, but also think that the unnamed player sounds like a real jerk.
"A few fans around where I sit were mean, now I NEVER want to talk to fans again and I will NEVER be back to this stadium and surround myself with these stupid people. I only care about me, my family, and my teammates. It was better when I was a slave!"
The generalization, ignorance, and entitlement seem to seep through his letter. I think both sides sound awful. Classless fans meet 5 year old temper tantrum. This story is a double whammy in terms of making Oregon look bad.
While it's a sad statement that the only thing he tried to take out of a free degree was "live, eat, train" (slaves don't usually get educations worth hundreds of thousands of dollars), he basically says what fans don't get: Coaches, players, administrators....they really don't like you. They'll take your money and put up with you, but they're not listening to you, because too many of you are loud, rude, and stupid.
And why it'll never get better - this is happening at Oregon. That may be the best team in the country, and wins every game by somewhere around 150 points. And they spend the whole game bitching there. "Damn you QB we could be up 70-10 instead of 63-10...you SUCK!!!"
Fans are really awful.
The other day someone tried to make a point about Michigan "not winning anything" in a while. When I pointed out that he was wrong, and that I had a B1G championship ring to prove it, he still went on and made his false claims. Also kind of called me an asshole. An asshole I might be, but I am an asshole that won a championship at Michigan. This doesn't make me anything special, but it makes his claims patently false.
Fans are, by and large, not reasonable. Former players have a strange relationship with them. We love them. We are them. But they are liable to tell you that your blood, sweat, and tears are just not good enough. This is particularly egregious when your accomplishments including winning your conference.
Your good nature, and good training in the bumps and bruises of life probably leads you to be more generous toward asshole fans than they have a right to expect.
Again, I say that the anonymous Oregon player was right. I know that my own game day experience would be vastly improved without jerkoff knowitall experts yelling their conclusions and complaints.
You know that's not what happened -- the whole conversation was around coaching staffs and that's where my critique was targeted.
The last Michigan game I attended, the people sitting behind me spent most of the game sitting on their hands, critiquing the music playing on the stadium speakers than paying attention to the game, "Robin Thicke has so many better songs on his album than that one." They did chime in for every bad pass Gardner threw with a "Gardner!" or a "Why is Gardner sucking so bad?" It was great.
I usually sit in the student section as an alumnus, and my old roomate from school came back to town for the IU game. I told him how bad the student section had become, and they did not disappoint... worse than normal, for sure. Quiet, disinterested, and generally ignorant of the things they could be bothered to comment on.
That said, my experiences in the real people sections has not been much better. Sad days, indeed.
I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of fans in full-out criticism mode about their team that hasn't done worse than a 21-point victory yet this year. I guess... the game in question (against #12 UCLA) they were only tied at halftime?
Plenty of us around here get worked into rages and start yelling to fire Borges or bench Gardner or whatever, but that's when we're losing to average teams or barely beating horrible teams. Hard to picture us dominating the first half of the season and then losing our cool when we're tied with a top-15 team at halftime.
for Oregon and Alabama. They expect 30 point victories, and freak out if they don't get it. They become more critical. Can you imagine Ohio fans when they lose??? It will be total meltdown. Because no one thinks these "great" teams will ever lose!
Heck, go back to the Notre Dame game thread BEFORE we started looking shakey. Or go back and look at the reaction to the Sugar Bowl in an 11-2 season. Heck, people STILL bitch about losing 2 games out of 13.
And I don't know how old you are, but if you can remember pre-2008 it wasn't that different. Going back through Bo. Being better only raises expectations, and then anything less than perfection and multiple national championships isn't enough. It was one of the reasons Spurrier left Florida. Great wasn't good enough to fans. And then they get a Zook.
I moved to the west coast in 2005 and unfortunately haven't been to a game at the Big House since then. But the experience that the ex-Oregon player described in the article could just as well have been written by a former M player attending a game in the Big House back then (I don't know if things are different now that we've been through the doldrums, but I suspect not).
In my experience, it just depends on who you sit by. I've had fine experiences even during shitty games (09 PSU comes to mind), and heard a-holes rant incoherently during great games.
Going to games in 2008 and 2009 were frustrasting because most people continued to expect excellence when our talent wasn't where it needed to be. I remember specifically wishing that I had brought my iPod so that I didn't have to listen tot he whiney dentist sitting behind me complain about every mistake made on the field.
The 1 %. Spoil it for everyone around them. sadly I remember the bad incidents in my 30 plus years as a season ticket holder much more than I remember the good games maybe because there were so many more good games.we just go and get the ushers now no use to fight.
1% may be the vocal asses at games - the rest post.... I would add basically add every poster here who 3 weeks ago went after Borges in the same way the article describes the fans.
Another point - because you are a fan of a school or went to the school is irrelevant. Someone who went to Saginaw Valley is less a fan than someone who went to Michigan? That's a bit of the problem here....
But drinking is too. Drinking isn't new to games, not hardly. But it almost seems you don't drink to have a good time at a game, you go to a game so you can drink yourself silly. College is actually tame in that regard, as NFL stadiums have become toxic environments. They were just talking on the radio what a zoo a Lions game is now. Liquid courage abounds.
I'll take that to mean you've never been to the silverdome. I challenge anyone to recall going to a game there and did not see at least 2 fights. It was ridiculous!
2 fights? More like 20....by halftime.
His account of the game sounds an awful lot like the live-blog here during games sometimes. *sigh* Honestly, the tone of the whole board really is moving that way unfortunately.
I spent quite a few posts arguing with someone a few weeks ago who thought because he bought a ticket, he had the right to criticise and boo the players and coaches all he wants from the stands. I wish I had this article, because it makes my point perfectly.
It's just bad, man. It's why I take periodic breaks from MGoBlog, especially during the season. I try to stay away from the board as much as possible, and show up to post on game day. A lot of times the stupidity, impotent rage, and toxicity are all a little overwhelming. You try to fight it, but it's an endless wave of nonsense, and sooner or later you just have to go, "What's the point?"
Authentic must have changed over the past 2-3 years because I typically see one game a year there and the fans have always been great. The last few years I have not gone. Maybe fans changed as the team improved.
I'm guessing you meant "Autzen" and got auto-corrected.
Oregon fans are an interesting breed. Obviously each individual is uniqure, but in general they tend to exhibit the following characteristics:
1) Most Oregon fans think their team would defeat the Chicago Bears if they met on a neutral field. I have seen fans who are irratonally optimistic about the quality of their teams before, but nothing like the Oregon fan base. And because they are obviously going to be in the BCS Championship Game every year, all of the other games are just annoying formalities that must be quickly dealt with so they can get on with the winning of the crystal football.
2) Oregon fans are convinced they have been cheated out of multiple national championships in the past two decades and continue to suffer from anti-west coast bias. In fact, nothing that occurs east of, say, Denver, is of any importance. The people who vote in AP polls and whatnot should discount such events due to the backwardness of the participants.
3) Because Oregon probably defeated your team last season (and the season before that, and the season before that...), every Oregon fan is obviously smarter and more knowledgeable about football than anyone who is not an Oregon student, alum, or fan. If you happen to follow a team like Michigan or Washington, then discussing football with you requires the Oregon fan to come down off his or her pedestal and risk being soiled b the unwashed masses.
4) Also, there is no such thing as tradition. Aything that occurred before about 1998 is old, boring, and irrelevant.
Who was a little put off by him likening his college football experience to slavery? Oregon has world class training facilities, world class equipment and is a pretty good school. If you were to add the costs of all that up and call it compensation it would easily exceed $40k a year. That's a pretty good wage for an 18-23 year old.
While I agree with most of what he said about ignorant fans, I find it hard to take him seriously when he makes outrageous comparisons like this. Did he stop to think that his place in life now is possible because he played football? Even if he, or his parents, could afford to foot the bill for college thats $100k+ that they were able to save, or debt they were able to avoid. Maybe I take slavery too seriously, but I don't think that's the case...
I know what he is getting at. It may even have a kernel of truth to it. But it is so FAR removed from slavery -- for the reasons you mentioned, plus the fact that if the player doesn't like eat/play/train, he can quit at anytime (unlike, you know, an actual slave). Those words should just never come out of a player's mouth.
Just shows a complete lack of perspective on his part, while (ironically) his article shows that fans don't exactly keep things in perspective about college football & its players.
first class training/coaching they get to prepare them for the NFL. So without college, most of them would wash out in some minor league system within a year or two and have no degree. If that is slavery, I'll sign up.
and focused on the fan aspect. That is a whole other argument. And I agree. really? slavery? I hope he does not think his college career was as awful as slavery....
Being a scholarship athlete is exactly like being a slave. You know, since slavery (A) was wholly voluntary, (B) allowed you to quit if you didn't want to to be a slave any more, (C) came with a university education, (D) allowed you advantages afterward making you more employable and at higher wages, (E) had tutorial and nutritional support better than the average citizen enjoys, and (F) punished low performance by decreasing your time in the field.
Yep - it's just like slavery!
IGNORANT DRUNK FANS ATTEND FOOTBALL GAME: STORY AT 11
but Oregon is pretty bad. I just went to a game there a couple weeks ago to check out the atmosphere and while it was very cool the fans were ridiculous.
Went to the Washington State Cougar v. Oregon game, wore my Michigan hat and Cougar sweatshirt (yes also a Cougar fan, sad I know)
Lets just say they didnt like me too much. I was feeling good after the Indian win, drinking brews, talking to the older alums (nice people), and we all knew the Cougs were going to get smashed...it was all good.
Different story when we ran into the students, they were looking for fights. The Michigan hat upset them more than the Coug shirt..haha. I have seen some bad fans but Oregon is close to the top. I can take the trash talk when its all in good taste but the fighting BS was weak...leave that stuff at home.
There is a general decline in civility in all phases of life ... here, football games, in traffic, you name it. It's a sad reality of today's existence. Best any one person can do is try their best not to participate in the incivility. I'm reminded of a salmon swimming upstream ...
So, uh, back to Oregon, the subject of the OP, I like the piece. Since Oregon has been blowing everyone out this year, their "fans" must be assholes of the lowest caliber to berate "their" team while they are winning. I wonder how bad it gets there when they lose?
CSB : Last night I was sitting front row right behind the players bench for the Louisville vs. some-cupcake-school exhibition game. Louisville has these two really skinny white boy freshmen. I lean over to my GF and say (while pointing) "How are those two kids on the returning national championship team?? Those kids have to prove why they deserve to be on this team."
Later in the game one of the kids (actually the least imposing one) gets in and makes an incredible spinning layup and-1 and makes the FT.
An older lady sitting next to my GF leans over to me and says "Did my son prove to you why he deserves to be on this team?" and just smiles ear-to-ear.
I felt like a dick-burger and she got me pretty good.
Moral of the story: Don't say dumb shit. Don't get got. Don't feel like a dick-burger.
That's worthy of some discount air fares from Southwest. (Want to get away?)
Don't say dumb shit.
Truer words have rarely been written.
There's this tendency in today's modern world to think that "being honest" (or "being real") gives license to say dumb shit. It doesn't.
Exercising good judgment and good manners is good for its own sake, and it pays dividends in the long run. I'm 54 and have been in the professional business world 30+ years and I can't count how many people I've seen say dumb shit where later it's come back to burn them.
"Tell your mom I said hi"
Never having played D1 football, I'm not speaking from experience but rather logical reaction to the letter: slavery? I can only guess at the physical demands required of players, but I think slavery is, at the least, excessive. In terms of cash in their pockets, no, they're not compensated. But it's been covered many times on this blog and elsewhere the lifelong benefits for those who take advantage of the education offered.
As much as I hate to say it, I've seen "that guy" generally referenced in his letter in Michigan Stadium. Happily not often, however. It's one thing to yell "make a catch/throw/tackle/whatever" when a play isn't made. That's our right for paying exorbitant $$ to attend games. But a monologue/tirade personally directed at players? Totally uncalled for. Coaches? Not so much (insert "I'm 40. I'm a man" jokes here), but it is just bad form. It really shouldn't be that hard to have a bit of respect, especially for players who are often still teenagers.
I don't know that drinking can be used as an excuse. I, and I'll bet a huge number of other users of this blog as well, have gone to games stumbling drunk and never felt the need to do the things recounted in the letter. I think it's more accurate to blame the decline of respect and civility in our culture as a whole. Or maybe the people yelling unsavory things are just bad people, plain and simple. Don't blame the booze, blame the person--all the booze does is remove whatever thin veneers cover the asshole inside.
"All during the time I was telling my friend how embarrassing it was to have her on our side. And then I started hearing laughter from the surrounding crowd and encouragement of that behavior. Is this really what goes on in the stands? Is this really the type of people we attract???"
It would actually be sort of interesting if a former player from several schools were to do what this player did and then have them report back on what they observed in their own home stadiums from where they sat. That would be a very sobering study in the decline of manners and civility, I imagine, but a fascinating look into fan behavior in different parts of Division I.
As a former player, I find the slavery thing to be nonsense. I always felt than I was extraordinarily lucky to play at Michigan and have my education paid for me. I honestly didn't know anyone who felt as this guy feels. There might be something to be said for Michigan Men or whatever.
"I always felt than I was extraordinarily lucky to play at Michigan and have my education paid for me."
Bravo ... that's the admirable way to put it.
I went back and re-read the linked article in the OP to get the context of the "slave" reference. My sense is it was written as slightly overheated rhetoric ... as a way to lash back at the unruly fans who don't understand or appreciate the effort that goes into playing the game at the level Oregon plays it.
Or at least that how I read it. If it was truly meant to imply he and his teammates were little more than slaves to the football machine ... then I concur with you: "nonsense."
When people brush off "The Michigan Difference." Are there other programs that probably engender the same feelings? Sure. Are there exceptions and people who really didn't have a good time playing for Michigan football? Undoubtably. But I think any poll would show the majority of guys who played for Michigan feel a lot different about their experience than guys who played at a University that didn't care at all about academics, was just a football factory, and only interested in winning. Both were a part of something; maybe both something successful. But you hope someone from Michigan feels they were part of a family, and some of the best times of their life were the 3-5 years they played for Michigan.
First time caller, long time listener. Was behind even a more obnoxious fan at a high school JV game. He wasn't cussing but loudly criticizing the coach. I was embarrassed for him. Re Walmart wolverine fans...proud to say i am one, was a teenager during the 10 year war. Could not sleep Before " the game". So maybe i am nuts, but even though i now live in Texas, my son graduated from bama ( he has been to 3 national championships), my girl is a senior at texas a&m and my oldest is working on her phd at georgia tech, my heart will always belong to the Wolverines. Obtw I'm just a Ferris State college grad like some transfer lb
I've heard the same kind of thing at Michigan games. Sometimes the people you sit near are cool, and sometimes they're idiots. I think that's what happens when you get a random 109,000 people together.
Yeah, I've sat near people who are just as awful at Michigan games, most notably the 2011 ND game.
Though my personal favorite was the guy at the Minnesota game this year loudly bitching about the team not throwing the ball ("what the hell are the offensive coaches thinking???") in the 4th quarter up 35-13 and trying to run out the clock.
Ok guys its been over 30 years since I caught a game at the big house is this the type of trash talk you all see, expletives all over etc. My memories don't go there. As a comparison my now 19 year old son and I are on our 11th year of season ticket holders at the Rose Bowl for UCLA football (got to have that up front college experience but not at the coliseum for USC football). We have sat all over including end zone now on the 30 yd line 1st row near the alumni section. I've heard tons of smack and trash but only very explicit expletives outbursts on two separate times from separately drunk asian girl college students who were both promptly removed by security staff. There is no beer in the stadium and tail gating while sometimes a bit loud seems mostly in good fun even when the Trojan rowdies show up. There was a very notable assault in the parking area at a USC vs Ucla game a few years ago but I've not seen anything of much not within the stadium. Security was ramped up after that. Could it be that with the stadium a bit away from campus and it being Taxifornia (the more common name for California these days) and pretty calm Pasadena we have a clearly more subdued crowd. Or could it be differences in the security presence. Get out of line in the Rose Bowl in any way and they will politely ask you to calm down and if not so you will be ejected and have a nice meeting with the Pasadena PD. Get ejected and you will be banned from the stadium.
if youre gonna permanently scar your obese body with UM related ink you should be able to say or do whatever you want re UM. re: oregon dudes article - agree, the spartacus comment is ignorant. people, particularly politicians, throw around the term slavery and similar language way too casually and its insane. race baiting nonsense aside, i agree with much of his comments. you never know whos sitting around you and people can be rude at games, especially when lubed up. completely different animal when commenting on a blog while engaged in some debate vs yelling insults or disparaging comments at some kid from the stands. at my college games my mother used to sit next to our star rb's mother and some people just hurled awful comments at this kid and were oblivious his family was easily within earshot - i heard some pretty bad stories after games (thank god i was a special teams warrior and random fans didnt knwo my name or care). sure certain things are to be expected when you accept a DI scholarship and play big games and you know it going in but never expect home fans to scream like that. i have no problem typing on this blog that so and so is not very athletic and , while still a real nice kid, simply does not have the brightest future on the field at this level...but theres a difference bw honesty / realistic expectations and disparaging comments in public
It is tough to compare fanbases' behavior when there are crappy fans everywhere. But I honestly think that UM has respectful fans, relative to the others I know. When I left A2 for Texas to go to college, I was horrified at the hatred and lack of support from the Texas fan base toward their own players.