When was your peak for Michigan football fandom? Was it now? Youth? College? ect...
I'd say pure fan for me was when I was younger (hmm I wonder if that makes me a fair-weather fan). But jeez is it a different kind of fandom these days.
The cheating is indeed hard to deal with as a fan of, what I believe to be, a "clean" program. I don't know that we'll ever be able to consistently compete with the SEC until the NCAA levels the playing field. I think deep down I keep telling myself that eventually this will happen.
Seconded. The facilities arms race is also ridiculous.
Damn I wish I could upvote all of you. I definitely have noticed a decrease in the last five years. I sold my seats this year and am only going to ND and OSU. Thought I'd have major regrets yesterday but not even for an instant. To me, it's what you've mentioned: the rapidly escalating prices/gouging of fans for a "nonprofit" enterprise in which the players don't get paid, but all that money goes to new baseball jumbotrons and keeping up with the Joneses.
That said, I still love the team, and enjoy the actual games.
I will always love Michigan, but all of the reasons listed above, as well as the ridiculous conference realignment tearing apart traditional regional rivalries, have really put a dent in my interest in college football on the whole. It's hard to get excited about a future with Maryland and Rutgers as B1G "rivals."
I used to watch CFB from noon to midnight every Saturday, now I usually just watch the M game and flip around for a few minutes here and there throughout the day.
has only served to elevate my "fandom" throughout college (class of '10) and today. I'd say I am twice the fan I was when I graduated. Answer: Current
Same for me, I think. Well, I've become more of a fan of college football in general probably thanks to mgoblog and the analytic way of thinking about football that it introduced me to. I can say that my love of Michigan football has also never been higher, but at the same time I think my emotional reactivity to football has been tempered over the years. Maybe the Rich Rodriguez experiment brought me back down to Earth, and living out of state with friends and colleagues from all over the country has helped me learn to be diplomatic and get along with other fans a little more. So, my enjoyment of Michigan football is at an all-time high this very moment, as well as my understanding of it. However, I generally won't punch holes in walls when things don't break our way.
for cuz i like to watch michigan win, but also because I think Denard was the most exciting player I ever remember watching, and it would have easily been more enjoyable than youth had we been better.
I am a much more informed fan now than I have ever been but I am not a bigger fan. I absolutely love what expanded cable packages and the Internet have done for college football. It's hard to believe that not that long ago you simply couldn't watch Michigan play every week because it wasn't broadcasted.
That story you just told is quite possibly the coolest story I have ever heard.
There's no need to be a dick about it.
My fandom is actually going pretty well at this juncture. My therapist is pleased with its progress and reiterates his recommendation that we not try any more coaching changes more drastic than a position group guy for awhile.
I was definitely more of a fan who tied my overall emotional state to winning and losing when I was in HS and at Michigan. The impact of individual game outcomes was unhealthy but a lot of fun.
For me, things like work and kids came along and mattered a lot more. I love being a fan of Michigan sports and spend a lot of time and some money on them but the outcomes don't impact my day to day well being. I really enjoy knowing more about the student athletes than I did in the past.
Interesting question and hard to compare different stages of fandom. Football wise, I could never top being a kid, wearing my #1 AC jersey in the park playing football and imagining I was AC himself. Then I'd go home and play with my electric football set - Michigan (Rams) vs. MSU (Eagles) or Iowa (Steelers) or USC (Redskins) or Indiana (KC).... or OSU, but there was no good NFL substitute good enough - SF was best.
I was a diehard Michigan football fan at the age of around 10.
But when the Fab Five came to town and I was finishing uni myself, that is when I bleed maize and blue for Michigan basketball. Those days included my most loyal and passionate following of what happened on the court.
I like to think that I am as big a fan now as I was when I was at Michigan, but I think what has changed for me is that I am a much more studious and informed fan now than I was then. Not only of Michigan athletics, but of football.
I think that, when I was in my late teens, I appreciated the action a little more than the strategy as I knew far less about that. Over the years, I have come to appreciate both highly, and really, that makes the game in general - Michigan football included - markedly more entertaining for me.
As someone talked about above, life changes the sort of "fan" one is too. Now that I am 35 years old, married with children and working for the man, the emotional investment in losses, for example, is different and far milder than it might have been about 15 years ago.
Read his statement after being released from the Patriots.
Don't got to be...
24-12 sold me for my life and I was 15 then. Prior to that, I was a bit of a State fan (10-10 tie with ND, Duffy Daugherty years) but I was too young then to know any better. I've followed recruiting closer than I ever have before since Hoke came to town and that has really added a new dimension to game watching for me. It's fun watching these young guys that we've been reading about get a chance to make their mark out on the field. Dymonte had me out of my chair with the blocked punt.
Wow, I actually thought about graphing this. The wonder of youthful emulation as I pretended to be Jim Harbaugh or Jaime Morris....naive fandom. As I moved into high school I had that wonderful 1989 season and Rumeal Robinson's clutch free throws. College brought the highs and lows of the Fab Five. I joined the military and watched the magical 1997 season from Mannheim, Germany. The Redwings capped that year with a sweep in the Cup. For the next 10 years the fandom meter revved at a consistent RPM. Then 2008-2010 happened. Brutal. I stepped back a bit, partly because of RR's performance but mainly because of work and three kids. Hoke's 2011 season moved the needle significantly higher; however, the emergence of my nine year old son as a dedicated UM fan has returned me to my zenith of fandom passion.
So, now a UM loss basically shuts down the household. My wife actually considers the potential outcome of the game prior to planning any family activities. Luckily, she is also a huge fan. The indoc of my five and three year olds is progressing quite well.
I have always watched whatever game was available on TV. As much as I hate ESPN, I am grateful for moar football coverage, and then HDTV back channels, and BTN as well.
At sea, the watch officer on the bridge would give a "Good Morning Yorktown" news announcement right after reveille. My radiomen would send up the ap wire, and we'd cover news and finish with sports scores. Michigan's sports scores were always highlighted when I had the watch.
For the longest while it was just me watching the games. When Chris Webber called that time out, my wife learned not to have throwable objects anywhere in my vicinity, and what types of obscenities are reserved for the worst cases any sailor could encounter. (Though she should have know as early as watching Michigan loose to Auburn in the Sugar Bowl.) So the kids were kept busy elsewhere in their early years.
Sometime before the Horror - I started scanning the Detroit media online every day. It was hard when my son started Pop Warner because the games were on Saturdays. I had to debate between reading the score update texts or waiting to watch the DVR. This probably saved me though because I did not go find a bar that had BTN to watch the Horror.
I found MGoBlog when the Freep launched practicegate, and then the obsession truly began.
Even better my son shifted to middle school and now JV ball - and his games are no longer on Saturday. Along the way he also became a Michigan fan, and we have a grand old time. The only problem is NFL Redzone has made him unable to watch one game at a time. So there is some heated discussion around where the PiP should be on the screen and when to switch back ... favorite father son TV moment however is Roy Roundtree's catch Under the Lights.
Anyway, while there are more ways to feed my fandom now, I would say I have been a died in the wool fan since we beat Washington State on Sept 10, 1983.
Not really a "peak" to my football fandom but it has evolved over time. I became hooked as a 9 year-old in 1974 as did several of my friends and we did little kid things like drawing UM football helmets and role-playing as Dennis Franklin or Rob Lytle in the backyard.
I was a student at UM from 1983-1989 which certainly increased the activity of my fandom as I went to every game. In the years since my interest is just as high even though I don't make it to Ann Arbor frequently.
I had kind of distanced myself emotionally in RR's last year(self-preservation and all). Seeing a real life competent defense that year reaffirmed my belief in order in the universe.
Since the kids were born...perspective.
I was a fan but living in cali just watched. I went to the kickoff classic in 95 vs Virginia. diving catch by mercury Hayes to win and I was loving it. I memorized number/names every year and could tell you every player then. Jarret Irons was my first favorite player then also.
Michigan has been a really fun team to root for during the Hoke-era even of the results weren't perfect. Denard Robinson had a lot to do with it. His contribution to CFB is legendary despite brutal losses and fist to face mistakes. Roundtree had his share of legendary game changing plays. And Kovacs was a great story of dedication and commitment.
This year, I like our team even more. The parallel to the basketball season is divine. We have a gifted upper classmen who will be steady and put the team on his shoulders. And we have young talent that will improve through the tough schedule. Unlike the basketball squad, our defense looks like it will be hard nosed throughout thanks to the linebackers and Mattison dialing up pressure. If Al Borges can create dynamic and smart game plans, and the offensive line holds up, I see this team being a tough match up for the rest of the year.
I'm still a huge fan and I believe I always will be, but I don't think it will ever get better than being a kid and being a fan. Being completely ignorant to all of the dark sides of college football and just idolizing the players. Spending hours outside imagining myself as the A-train, Griese, Brady, etc.
I was 9 years old in 1997: Red Wings win first Stanley Cup in 40+ years, Michigan goes undefeated to win the National Championship, Charles Woodson wins the Heisman. Hard to top that year.
it has just gotten more furvant for me yearly.
Dealing with Buckeye fan daily just cauterizes the hatred.