I in no way, shape, or form, missed your point.
I did not make this headline up
I in no way, shape, or form, missed your point.
I'm curious then. If you're concerned with fan actions and the way fans can impact the game and program, how should fans voice their opposition to things occuring on the team and in the program? Emails to Dave Brandon? Reduced donations? No longer attending games?
I'm not condoning booing, I just don't find it very concerning compared to say, a half filled stadium. To me, some booing of an offense that got shutdown (by a defense that was rolled by Wyoming) is a lot lower on my rating than having an empty stadium or lower donations. Fans are angry about the progression of the team and want to express it. They're the ones footing the bill and frankly, I don't really blame them for doing it.
I just think that booing is a net negative for the program. It doesn't solve any problems. It is an entirely selfish act on the part of the person booing. There are no benefits to it at all, what so ever.
People are free to boo if they want, and I'm free to call them a jackass for booing.
If Michigan football really makes you that angry, to the point where you would like to protest it "Millen Man March" style, that's fine. I would just suggest that maybe it's time to re-evaluate the role sports plays in your life if it's making you this angry, or having such a negative impact on you.
I would say though, that ceasing certain actions, like going to games, buying things, and giving money, are probably far more effective forms of voicing your displeasure than booing. Even firing off a voicemail or email are more effective, IMO.
I don't think booing is a positive thing either. It's why I don't think I've ever booed a Michigan team on the field (and as an undergrad under Rich Rod, it definitely wasn't an easy task).
In terms of the other comments, I can't honestly say that I agree. Sure, sports should be put in perspective, but like I said before, when people are pumping in thousands upon thousands of dollars to see and support the team, I don't think it's that hard to get angry. Maybe it's just an emotional response at the time (I really can't say), but people get frustrated when one of their favorite pastimes disappoint them. Sure, maybe booing isn't warranted. I just don't think it's that big of a concern considering what they're booing and the alternatives to remove support. To me, it's just like paying to go to a concert and booing when the band stinks. It's not going to be positive, but I can't blame people for being upset after basically wasting money.
On top of that, I agree that not going to games is more effective, but my point is that it's way more detrimental to the program to lose attendance and donations than having boos from the stands during a pretty terrible performance. Maybe it's just me, but I would rather have skeptical fans fill the seats than none. As for emails or voicemails, I honestly have no idea how effective they would be, but I think we could all agree that's a better option if they actually work.
Here's the thing.
If you really, honestly believe that DB or Hoke are ruining the program then you should stop at nothing to try and prevent that from happening.
I don't think people really feel that way, they're just kind of pissed off that we aren't winning, and so the easiest thing you can do is boo or yell, "You suck Borges!" from the 23rd row.
For the most part, people still want to keep their season tickets or their box seats, or continue donating to the program, and all of the clout and perks that come with those things.
As far as the fans go, personally, I would rather have 80,000 diehard Michigan fans, who will stick with the team through thick and thin. Who wont just opine about the traits associated with Michigan but will also exhibit them during the game, than 113,000 fans who bitch about everything, boo, and yell, "You suck!" to the players.
Sadly I think we're well on our way to the 80,000 fan's you reference. Just not sure if those remaining are going to be as "all-in" as you want. The four people who replace me and my family next year might be better fans than me but there are no assurances they will be.
To start, that's a straw man representation of the argument proposed by a massive hunk of the fanbase, not just the 30,000 fans you signal. People aren't just yelling "you suck Borges" because they're frustrated. They're frustrated at very specific things this team is doing, not just because they're losing. We beat Akron and I'm pretty sure fans weren't too pleased about that performance. People are frustrated about the play calling and lack of growth of an offense that has capable pieces. If people were as naive as you claim, I'm pretty sure they would be calling for Hoke's head a lot more than Borges. The reason is because most fans are fine with Hoke and the overall coaching staff, just not with particular pieces. They want to express their concern and this is how they're doing it for better or worse.
Along with this, I also disagree with your claim on attendance. One of the biggest storylines when Hoke took over was the increase in box sales, etc. Rich Rod was not selling out the suites as well as Hoke has done so far. That may not mean that attendance will go below 100,000, but success on the field and perception do matter to sales, even at Michigan. And the concern about attendance is real. Nationally, attendance is dropping and if prices continue to go up and people keep getting frustrated, Michigan's sales are going to take a hit. There's a reason people are calling college football ticket sales a "bubble".
Finally, I actually agree with your sentiment on fans. Having a stadium full of diehard fans would be awesome, but that's not how it works in reality. Walk through the student section and see how many "diehards" are in there. A huge chunk of the students would not qualify as diehards by any standard, but I'm pretty sure everybody wants them there because they're loud and make the stadium electric. Weed out all the fans that aren't "diehard" and see how the program is perceived in a few years. Probably a lot worse than the people who looked down on Michigan because the fans booed an offense that had just displayed back-to-back negative rushing yard games.
I do't disagree with a great deal of what you've stated. I just think we're talking past each other on a number of issues.
I don't disagree that there are fans with valid concerns. I'm right there with a lot of people as far as the offensive development and line play. However, if this message board is representative of the fanbase as a whole then a great deal of what I've stated rings true.
I'm honestly not all of that concerned about attendance. To be completely frank, the 100,000+ record doesn't mean a whole lot to me other than just being a fun thing for the fans to circle jerk over. Those issues are the AD's problem.
To be fair, I don't think the message board is a great representative of the fanbase at large. People who come to MGoBlog are already pretty diehard fans. There's probably a huge hunk of the fanbase that doesn't even know the site exists.
Like I said, you don't have to be concerned with attendance, but it will have a huge impact on your program. Not only does it help homefield advantage, but it also is a major factor on recruiting visits and also provides the income for those wonderful facilities that bring the recruits here and let the players improve.
It would be wonderful if everybody were diehard fans, but it's just not realistic in my opinion. I think people are generally supportive of the team. I'm just not that worried about fans booing and potentially "damaging the experience" for recruits and other fans when the coaching staff and team seems perfectly capable of doing it themselves at this point. Maybe it's not the perfect way to voice their displeasure, but I just can't see the argument for a better method that will really put the displeasure out there. Maybe people are too "dedicated" to Michigan football, but this isn't like professional sports either. You can't just go and get another alma mater. People are dedicated to the team, want to watch them, and want to donate their hard earned money. I just can't look down on them for booing when they get that disappointed in the product.
Whenever the fanbase has these sorts of conversations, what it ultimately boils down to is generally a matter of philosophical perspectives.
For example, it is precisely because of the things you've stated that I will never boo a Michigan athletic team. It is my school, my university, and these are students who one day will hopefully become fellow alumni.
I can't control how anyone else behaves. I can't control how any other Michigan fans or alums act around the players or coaches. I can't control whether the coaches are good, or even good representatives of the school but I can control if I am or not.
I'm also simply not one of those, "I paid X dollars to attend this function so I should have carte blanche to shit in the punch bowl," types either. Those sorts of arguments also really don't hold any merit with me.
I agree that booing doesn't help. I admit I do like booing the opposing team when they come out but that has been part of the tradition of razzing the opposition. But booing the home team isn't what college football originally was about. For many fans however that point has long changed.
College football is for many people just one more spectator sport - entertainment and like vaudeville when something occurs the crowd doens't enjoy, they boo. They don't worry about what it means or the symbolism - it is the "I'm not happy and I'm going to show it era". The whole notion of "sure I'm mad and I'm unhappy but yelling and booing at the kids isn't constructive" line of thought requires a lot of self-discipline, empathy and awareness. For people who just want to get a beer buzz and be amused for a half a day, and yell "we're number one" and "whooo" their response is that they paid their ticket so they can do as they please. I'm just glad there is no alcohol officially allowed in the stadium and that night games are rare.
What exactly was Michigan in the first place? '97 was an aberration record wise over the past 30 years. I'm all for acknowledging and honoring the history of Michigan football, but to keep throwing Boisms and bringing up philosophies that worked in the 70's and 80's is irrelevant. It's time to create new legacies for Michigan - and that starts with winning on the field.
Don't you think Dantonio and Urban care about the history of MSU and OSU, respectively? I'm sure they do- but you know what else they do? They develop talent and win games in the present- which creates a part of their program's history. They don't make references about what happened in 2006 or 1982. They don't throw around a catchphrase or some idiom the fans like to hear. They get back to work and prepare for the upcoming game. It's becoming increasingly clear that Hoke doesn't excel in this area.
If It's Gonna Be Michigan Again means developing NFL level talent on a yearly basis, making teams nervous about playing Michigan, and putting an emphasis that it is no longer acceptable to lose games, then I'd be all for it. If it means we have to hear more references to Bo or Yost's teams, or come up with some hackneyed saying about how we don't call Ohio State by their true name or we refer to our football team numerically, then it's time to re-evaluate the program's priorities. How is this era going to be defined in the history of Michigan football?
I'm more of a pragmatist when it comes to the booing- i don't do it b/c the only effect it will have is to make the program look like shit. the players aren't kids, either- they are all 18-22 y/o behemoths. it's grown-up time. I'm tired of this societies continual appeasment of youth into one's 20s- but that's another post to be marked OT.
I'm also very tired of people deciding who is allowed to be a good fan or not. you don't get to decide that shit, so shut the fuck up about it.
we all have choices to make based on our personal situations. I don't have the luxury to allow myself to watch this team if the only result is 6-12 hours of a bad mood every Saturday- I have kids and shit to do. I skipped the psu game b/c I went to the RIT game. I stopped watching the State game in the middle of the 2nd Qtr b/c I knew they wouldn't score again. I didn't watch this game b/c I had a hockey game to go to, but saw the score in the 1st half and didn't miss watching one fucking bit. it causes too much anguish to watch this offensive coaching staff piss what talent we do have down the fucking drain with manball.
I'm having much more trouble with team 134 than back in 2008 when NO ONE had any talent except BG55. that team was historically bad, but after 3-4 games you knew they just didn't have any talent- on the OL, DL, certainly at the skill positions. So you know what to expect vs OSU, but at least you have an underdog to cheer for.
Hockey last year and team 134 were/are decidedly and unequivicoally NOT bereft of talent. hockey didn't have a lot of effort last year and football has been poorly prepared to play in all but 2 games this year. in fact, since that ND game I just haven't gained an ounce of enjoyment from this team. and it's not Ws vs Ls- the akron and Uconn game (which I attended) were shit shows of ineptitude offensively. I just keep wondering what this offense has been doing the last 2-3 years in practice- playing jacks? tiddlywinks? hopscotch? b.c they sure as shit couldn't have been learning how to block. in fact, IDK what's worse- them spending all those months attempting to teach them how to block just to have this level of failure- or the alternative where at least we don't KNOW that the coaches are totaly ineffective at teaching/developing this offense.
The analogy to teaching isn't perfect (the 'test' isn't actively competing against you) but it's still pretty apt. One genius thing I discovered in ed school was that you shouldn't really be surprized about low scores if you give a test or a quiz, b/c everything that's on that quiz/test you (as the teacher) should have seen the students do in class, or in a lab, on HW, in activities in class. and if you haven't seen them do it (or are unsure if they will do well on it), then why are you giving the quiz? spend one more day making sure they CAN do it before you quiz them on it. it's pretty clear that this offensive staff had no idea what these guys could do - iso? power? stretch? spread option? they have been throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks-both in offensive design philosophy and in playcalling. I can't wait to see their next fix- perhaps a 3rd tackle on the left side of the line?
one or two bad students is one thing- players have bad days or you just don't have a guard who can perform well. but the whole of the OL can't do anything and that's like 85% of the class failing the test at the end of the year- the principal should walk into his teacher review at the end of the year and ask him, "well Mr. Hoke, just what the fuck have you been doing in class all year that 85% of you kids flunked the regents test?"
Good post. Booing is always embarrassing to me whether it's meant for players, coaches, or officials. Booing players/coaches is terrible for the reasons you mentioned. But booing officials because you don't like, or most likely don't understand, a call is absurd. Fans that booed the call where we couldnt return the muffed punt was embarrassing yet expected.
I am not an advocate for booing, however I get why it happens. Sporting events are about emotion. The crowd gets engaged in the cheers, celebrates good plays with a positive emotional response and gives an equal and opposite reaction when they are frustrated.
We want the fans to make as much noise and get into a frenzy for a defensive stand, then expect everyone to turn it off when things go badly. Generally speaking I think the fans are quite patient. Hoke has received the benefit of the doubt for 3 years, but he is losing fan confidence by not correcting the same issues that we saw during the PSU game.
There was booing during RR years and we still pulled in top 15 classes and top 10 once Hoke arrived. I think recruits ignore the fans. They have two goals: 1) Win and 2) (for top recruits) get developed into NFL talent. Fans booing impact neither of those.
Fans boo because this is really expensive and we're wasting money on top talent that can't be developed by the coaching staff.
They have more than those two goals
But, that what it means to be a fan. Express the joy when it is going well and the hurt (and critism) when it is going poor. It is going poor. The coaches are not going to get the hugs and kisses at this point. Some will say they're out of here; but we'll all be back when this great tradition comes storming back. I just wish we knew when that will be -- but it will be back.
Next thread. Yes, some fans are idiots. Just like Borges
Sorry that I'm not sorry, but I'm going to keep booing at the games until Al Borges is gone.
These guys get paid millions of dollars to coach these kids, and when they don't do their job properly, I'm going to let them hear it. If that makes me a "bad fan" or "classless", so be it.
Am I booing the players? Hell no. They are busting their ass out there. I'm booing the coaches, because with the talent that they've got out there, they should be better. I blame the coaches. And I'm going to let them hear it.
You can rationalize it however you want, but I can guarantee you the players don't like it. Boos only come out after a play has gone wrong. The last thing a player wants to hear after screwing up is boos. It doesn't matter who they're "directed at."
Too bad then. There's no other way to voice my displeasure.
Letter to Dave Brandon? Won't do anything. Probably won't even read it. Don't go to the game? Won't make a difference. I already bought the ticket and that's all Brandon cares about.
I feel bad if the players think it is directed at them but:
1) They are pretty smart. They know it is mostly at the coaches.
2) They probably don't like getting thrown under the bus. I guarantee you hearing "playcalling is fine, we just have to execute" makes them feel worse than fans booing.
3) They can take it. They are young (my age), but they play football. A couple of boos aren't going to hurt them. They probably get tweets that hurt more than booing fans do. Hell, the boos might even fire them up. Some of them probably use it as motivation. Great.
Once again, ALL of my frustrations are at the coaches. I pay money to go see good football. They get paid money to coach that good football. If they don't do that job, they hear it. It's the same at every school.
Repeatedly being put in a position to fail. Fix that and the booing goes away.
Question unrelated to booing: were there a lot of empty seats yesterday? I know tickets were very cheap on secondary market and plentiful. Haven't seen the actual attendance issue discussed here so am assuming it was almost full but wanted confirmation.
I didnt notice a lot of empty seats. And the student section filled up nicely by midway into the first quarter.
If the next two games go as I fear then the OSU game wont have empty seats....they will be filled with a sea of red just like in 2008.
I didn't either. It was packed mid way through the first quarter. Even the student section was full.
But I would not blame the players. The defense played well enough to win - holding a team to 17 points in today's era is good enough to win most games. A fumble recovery and a muff were good enough. The offense took a beating but this isn't the 1940-50's where the QB calls his own plays - he is just one more part of a system. Were there breakdowns and missed assignments, yes, but most of all there were a lot of brave young men who went out there and tried to do there best despite not getting the type of prepartion of help we have come to think of when we think of Michigan football. It was collective failure by the coaching staff - a fair criticism which doesn't go against what you noted - we do have to hang in there and continue to struggle but we also have to acknowledge that there is something off about thing. I just don't want to see something like the Thomas Nast cartoon about the blame game. Let's see how the year plays out - do the coaching staff show the same fortitude as the players and up their game.
TheLastHoke you have to be on the crack pipe. Do you realize how bad Nebraska's defense has been this year? Literally one of the worst in the country...and we managed negative rushing yards because our OC is a stubborn pile of crap. It took him how fucking long to realize that short passes work, and then he went right back to running up the middle. We should've won that game, but once the OC held us back. I don't even want to count the number of games he has done this so far now. He is a fucking moron, and I have reached my breaking point, as have a lot of people on here and a lot of people around me in the stadium last night who has been going to games for years. I've never seen my uncle say anything like he doesn't care any more which is exactly what he said last night, and he has been going to games since the early 70s and I think has missed a total of 4. I was once against Booing the way Brian was when he threw his drink at a guy for doing so, but not any more. Dave Brandon needs to hear it as it is more powerful than any email or phone call.
My Nebraska relatives came back from the game raving about the kindness and class of our fans towards them. Towards THEM, the opposing fans. Couldn't say enough nice things about that.
But they also remarked on the booing and the kinds of things fans around them were saying about the team. Sigh.
You sound like a principal or a leader at a company that demands it's people to support bad policies.
I hate to break it to you but in this day and age no one is OK with idiot leaders anymore, and they challenge the morons. How else are the fans going to relay their displeasure? Emailing DB? I beat you people have been doing it, and last night was a mockery in both coaching, execution and fandom. That's us right now. A Midwestern pile of deluded crap. Better start dealing with it. I mean we saved Pelini's job last night. Could it be any worse?
is gonna be what drives recruits away, that to me shows our program as a whole is in seriously deep shit. Is our recruititng situation so fragile at the moment that that is the tipping point on which their decision teaters?