For most of all of us, Michigan football is our national pastime in the fall. For some it's important but not the most important but for the majority of us it's a way of life. Either off season or during the season our eyes are glued to the tv or internet watching the game, highlights from the game, insight from players and coaches and of course here on mgoblog talking about it pregame and post game. With that said all colleges no matter where you go or who you love have a special place in our hearts. Sometimes it is more than a college or team. It's a part of our life. It's what we live for every year. I never had the privilege of being raised in a Michigan family. My family, at least on my mother's side, are all Buckeyes so you can imagine how that works every year. For the people though that have had that privilege of being raised in a Wolverine setting all their life, what is that experience like? What does Michigan mean to you and your family? What are your traditions that make it so special? What are some things on gameday that you do with your friends or family? What are some special memories you have about being a Michigan fan. I always wanted to hear this from a person who comes from a die hard Michigan family.
What Does Michigan mean to you and your family?
I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my parents were both from West Michigan and my father was a season ticket holder for Football before moving east. I was born to be a Michigan fan and watching games was always something that my Father and I would do together on Saturdays. We've been able to go to a couple games together in the big house (including 2008 Toledo, a painful game that game that brought us even closer together), and I look forward to going to the UM basketball Pre-season NIT game with him this Thanksgiving in NYC and the 2013 football game at UCONN (hooray for UM trips to the East Coast).
Growing up in New Jersey, where College football is not a big deal, I always stood out for my die-hard following of the Maize and Blue. People in my school always knew me as "the Michigan kid" as I think I wore a Michigan shirt, hat, sweatshirt, or jacket just about every day. While my fanhood for the Giants, Yankees, or Nets never got much attention, my love for the Wolverines got the attention of others.
Although my mother is the only one in my family to have ever taken classes at UM (some grad classes for Education, she never ended up getting that degree) we are still a family of UM loyalists. I'm going to be a senior in Undergrad this year and UM will probably be one of two schools not on the East Coast that I will be applying ot for grad school.
I've got Michigan in my blood. Both of my parents went, one for undergrad one for grad, and both my dad & grandfather have tought there. I have been raised entirely in Ann Arbor and I"m moving in as a freshman in (holy shit, it's really coming up) 13 days.
That having been said I've hardly been raised a Michigan fan. My fanhood is a bit of an anomaly, in my family. My dad went to a few games in his life, as did his dad, but he's even said it himself, he wouldn't be much of a Michigan fan if it wasn't for me. He took me to a game as a kid, and he's always been there to watch with me, but out father-son fan relationship has been driven almost entirely by me. And without a doubt while I certainly value what Michigan stands for, they were hardly lessons tought to me. He's followed my lead and become a pretty big fan lately, but I was hardly raised to be one. I have lots of Michigan memories of going off on my own and catching a game. But that said, all of my favorite Michigan memories are those with my dad.
Having some family that attened Michigan, I know a lot about the religious following colleges can have. My grandfather and several aunts/uncles attended Michigan, and they drilled it into my head at a yound age that Michigan in THE school to go too. Being the only one of my generation, it's alot of pressure to acctually get a degree and keep the traditon going. Football Saturday's were very fun growing up with everyone decked out in Maize and Blue. Bo's death really hit my Grandpa hard as well.
it made her take down her OSU living room decorations.
Most of my family went to Illinois, but despite the fact that they think we're rivals, we always bond over hating Ohio. I've found that most B1G fans I've run into have that in common with me.
This is one of the most charming things in the Big Ten, the way Illinois fans think we have a big rivalry. PSU fans are similar - I tried to explain the matter to a group of them a few years back, and they flat didn't believe me!
after nine straight losses over eleven years, the PSU fans have some
"special" feelings about Michigan
03,04 - two year hiatus -
05: 27-25 (Manningham!)
to graduate from HS and college; UM '88. I never thought too much about it until my mom passed away last year. Funny thing is: my older brother, all my nieces and nephews all have " The Victors" as ringtones and we all watched the UTL the day after mom's passing. It was the most poignant and uplifting game I've ever watched on TV.
I did pretty poorly in highschool and had a looot of pressure from my older siblings and parents who all went to Michigan and were quite accomplished. On top of that, I had low self esteem because I had a terrible group of friends who love to insult eachother and it would get pretty ugly sometimes (most of them went to MSU of course). I'm downplaying how bad I felt at the time but to be blunt, I felt like crap.
Somehow I was lucky enough to get admitted and everything turned around in those four years and my life is ten million times better and I owe that to michigan. It's the perfect enviorment for a student and I honestly would rather have went there than any other college in the world, including harvard. I mean that only for myself. It honestly changed my life. I'm several years out and the friends I made there will be my best friends for life. Although I'm happy in my grad school (not Michigan), I still look forward to working there in the future.
I love Michigan!!
ps. sorry for the sappy story but it's all true!
Everything and more. Can't put it into words. Don't know what I'd be doing without not just football, but ALL Michigan athletics keeping me busy and determined.
Parents met at Michigan early in their freshman year, and got married a year after graduation. My sister and I are both alums as well. Between the four of us there are 6 UM degrees. My dad and I are both MMB alums, too.
My parents got football season tickets for the first time in like 1976 or 7, I think, and have had them ever since. Life members of the Victors Club for 30 years, basketball season ticket holders since 1983, hockey since 1994. We were raised going to Camp Michigania every summer, my sister was on staff there for a couple of summers, where she met her husband.
So, Michigan is who we are. It's not just sports, it's everything.
That's going to be hard to top.
Family season tics riding from Essexville in 72. Dad, me, 2 sisters. both brother in laws, 3 nieces, brother in laws brothers all grads. Bo posing for pic for sis outside tunnel after game in 73. What a nice guy. Bob Ufer. Touchdown Billy Taylor in 71. Orange Bowl. Met Roger Szrafanski. Joe's Stone Crab. Rose Bowl next next year. Lawrey's, Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm , and Uncle Whitey and Red.. Missed 2 games while playing in high school. Went from 72 to 96 with missing 2 home games. Then I had a family thing. Brother in law has tics now . Section 4. Running down Main Street to get to Bimbos. The dawn of the tailgate era. Before that The Old German. I have missed very few games in 40 yrs live. Pretty important to my family. Haven't seen many in person in recent years. The start of our tics with Denny Franklin was awesome. 30-2 1. Then the college years. A joint for every TD and we would score 70 vs. Navy. Stroh's stay cold packs. Mel Owens biggest asshole I ever met. Hockey player Jeff Mars nicest athlete I ever met. Uh means a lot . Jean Otto from WBB was cool too, and I feel terrible can't remember last name of pitcher red head from my dorm who was a sorta bit player but was cool guy. Pitched in relief in CWS but darn the name escapes me. Between age and Molson tonite, darn. Just thought of it couple hours later. Dave Nuss. Good guy.
My mom and dad went to Michigan. I met my wife at Michigan. Her brother and sister went to Michigan. And both her parents went to Michigan. So... we're fans.
My family has three alums (including me) and hopefully more to come. :)
My family is all Ohio State, and I did not apply myself in high school. There is no chance that I will be attending Michigan. In fact, I am attending Arizona, which has a certain delicious irony to it, the underachiever is paired with the underachiever, etc.
typed out a big long thing, decided it was too personal & nobody would read it, deleted it. Michigan is very important to my family & my history, so it's a part of me. there's just no escaping that.
To say nothing is good. Take a survey and say I'm not sure to every question. Enlightening.
i'm going to make my kids come here, even if i have to do their damn homework for them! should be easy with 2 alums as parents though...
We may have taken our girls to too many games when they were too young to appreciate them, in too much bad weather. Like Disney World, wait until they are old enough, and be selective in their exposure. I am still hoping they may choose Michigan for graduate school. Meanwhile, it is never too early to start saving for college for the next generation.
My son watched a videotape of Michigan Band performances for the year before we took him to his first game at age 4. He found the first half kind of boring, but perked up when the band took the field. He was asleep with 1:30 gone in the third quarter, and his Mom took him back to our hotel room. The next year, we went to Disneyland and his first baseball game (Dodgers). He was quite disappointed to learn that the Dodgers did not have a band ...
I don't keep up with anyone from grade school, and very few from grad school. But Michigan is where most of my long term friendships and relationships come from. Outside of family memories and experiences as an adult, it is where many of my memorable experiences took place. I still get together almost every year with about a dozen guys who lived together and went to Michigan. We've been doing that since graduating, more than 25 years now. While she isn't an alumni, I met my wife in Ann Arbor, and she follows Michigan, even though we live in Illinois and her family is made of Ohio fans, living in the Cleveland area. It is doubtful any in my family will be able to afford to go, but all of them where Michigan gear and watch Michigan games. I hold out hope that my 6th grade son will do what it takes to get in, and that we'll find the right scholarships to make it happen.
Although my mother and I are the only Michigan alums in the family, it has meant quite a bit to all of us.
My mother was the first person to go to college in her family. She went to Michigan and rolled that into a successful 38-year career as an educator, working in the community in which she was raised. To see what my mother was able to achieve in her career and the sort of recognition she received for those efforts because of Michigan always had me thinking, "This a place you go if you want to be successful..."
When it came time for me to apply to schools, I applied to many, but Michigan was the only place I really, truly wanted to go. Beyond being raised by an alum, our neighbor in Northville (where we lived until I was 12) was an alum, a successful businessman, and a die-hard fan, right down to his customized maize and blue tailgating van. My sisters and I were there a lot because his daughters would watch us when my parents went out. To see what he was able to achieve thanks to Michigan made a huge impression on me as well.
However, my entire family - even my father, the Indiana alum - would huddle around the TV virtually every Saturday for years (and starting in the late 80s, occasionally around our seats in the stadium) and watch Michigan football whenever it was on. We're not a close family, but we bonded around this, so in a way Michigan was a glue for a family whose individual constituents would otherwise sit in corners and do their own thing. It meant much to me that Michigan helped us reconnect on a weekly basis.
Like others, Michigan has also been the source of lasting friendships in my life. A fair number of my friends in high school also went to Michigan as well, so I was fortunate that several more friendships were able to grow further thanks to my time there. In that sense, it has been a source of continuity in my life.
Really, Michigan has been at the core of many things that I value, so it feels like it is central to my character in a way.
Are you near Columbus?
Well if you don't mind the drive and a few barking dogs you are more than welcome to watch the games at my place in pataskala...
I feel like part of a big family when I post here too.
At first it was just the color blue. When I was 5-6 years old, I remember seeing on tv these blue uniforms with these awesome helmets. I fell in love imediately!
It was after that I found out my whole family (besides a few cousins on my mom's side) are Michigan fans.
So Michigan and it's fans have always been associated with family to me.
I was born and raised in Alabama and have some feelings for the Crimson Tide, but Michigan is my heart and soul. Living now in Columbus OH I have to let everyone here know that I am Blue through and through. My passion for the Maize and Blue is what keeps me going during late spring and summer in anticipation of the fall and winter. Coach Hoke and Coach Beilein and their respective staffs are exceeding all expectations - great results! Hail to the Maize and Blue.
And best! Means everything to be a Michigan fan. Dad was and why would you like an inedible nut, or booger colors growing up? The Spartan mascot is very 2nd grade too.
There are several alums in the family including myself. One memory that makes me smile is thinking of my grandmother on Saturday afternoons. We knew better than to visit her because she was busy listening to Michigan football on the radio and did not want to be interrupted! I think all the neighbors had to listen too because she was pretty deaf. She passed away when she was 95. That was a lot of football Saturdays.
it means shut up and don't talk on saturday morning
Pretty simple...I love Michigan...I'm teaching my 3 year old son(who was born at UM hospital) all there is to know about Michigan. My first game as a kid was vs. Washington State at the Big House...not sure when I will take the little one...probably a couple more years. My wife and daughter take cover on Saturdays...my wife can't believe the fate of my weekend in the Fall falls on the shoulders of "kids"...she doesn't get it. Typically she leaves the house for big games if I am not in attendance....I was not able to get into UM...carried a 3.79 in HS with a ACT of 25...settled for Adrian College and became a teacher...
My parents went there. Two of my sisters went there. I went to graduate school there. I had several cousins in undergrad at the same time I was there. My grandmother was the first Jewish person they let into the nursing school way back when. My parents started the alumni association on the east coast (we moved away from Michigan right before I was born) and also started Camp Michigania East and I went there for the first 18 years of my life. I currently live in Georgia but all of my boys clothing that isn't Star Wars is Michigan-related. I fully expect one of them will want to go to Michigan :)
Needless to say that Michigan is much more than a school for our family, it is part of who we are and how we live our lives -- a good example is that every year for Father's Day, I arrange for my Dad and me to meet up in Ann Arbor for the home opener (when the boys get older they will come as well, but right now they are 6 and 8). It's just the perfect way for us to celebrate and enjoy two things we love -- being fathers and Michigan!
I came to Michigan fandom in my 20s but married a die hard UM family. I hope in a few years my son, if asked, would write a story as poignant as these. He born at U-M hospital and has been a wolverine from the first breath.
I am 100% Michigan, because it is Michigan fergodssakes!
Does Michigan mean to me? All throughout childhood, the one major constant was Michigan. I woke up on Saturdays as a child not to watch cartoons, but to watch Michigan. Once I got older and went to a different college, Michigan stayed. On a Saturday night I would skip going out on the town if Michigan was playing because Saturday's come and go, but Michigan only plays for sure on 12 of them a year. So while Michigan's team itself changes and everything around me changes, one thing doesn't. Michigan is still Michigan. Winged helmet, largest stadium, ect. That's what Michigan means to me.
This is my story. My middle daughter is starting college this year and looked at U of M but chose (for good reasons) to go somewhere else. She loved the school and her Big House experience, but is staying closer to our home in Alabama. But in her evaluation process we talked about careers she is considering, one of which is veterinary medicine. As we went through the list of schools with vet programs, I had to bite my tongue and mention State. To which my beautiful daughter replied, "Daddy, I can't go to Michigan State. I'm a Michigan fan!" That sort of sums it up for my family.
To my immediate family...UM means nothing. Neither of my parents are american football fans and since we live in Nova Scotia their exposure to the university was nil until I started following NCAA sports.
I didn't find out until much later in life that my uncle actually attended UM in the early 70's doing his Phd which I found very cool. He never missed a home game in the years he attended.
Anyway, to me it has come to mean alot, maybe too much really (and I am speaking of UM sports really since I'm not an alum). I started following UM in the early 90's and remember being drawn to the team because of their style of play and the uniforms (who wouldn't love those uniforms).
For the past two decades it has been an obsession, to the point that a loss for my beloved wolverines would throw me into a depression for days (and I mean that quite literally). There was very little in my life that could effect me emotionally as much as UM sports.
Two years ago my Father died and for the first time in my life I found out what real pain/grief/depression was. It really put a lot of things in perspective for me. I realized how silly it was to get so emotionally disturbed by something as fun to watch (but meaningless in the grand scheme) as sports.
Since then I have made a concerted effort to keep my priorities in check. As far as my hobbies and interests go UM sports doesn't take a back seat to any of them, but gone are the days that I sink into depression every time they lose and take it out on those closest to me.
Born in Columbus, OH and lived there till about 6th grade until my Father's work promoted him to return to his roots in the Brighton, MI area. Having been born to love the Maize & Blue from birth in enemy territory was a lot of fun especially because of one John Cooper. Having that bond with my father is something that will never separate us. Through highs and lows, we can always talk Michigan if nothing at all. Being called a "fan" just seems too vague. It's more than that. It's in me, it's in us. It's everything that's good about life. I said it before and I'll say it again, I'd sacrifice my life for consecutive National Titles so I could look down and see the smiles on all your faces. GO BLUE!!!
Wow. You would sacrifice your life and not even be around to enjoy the wins? That is intense man. I assume it would be your preference for these seasons to be undefeated?
I'd rather bring back the draw rules. I have this thing for draws, maybe because I like chess so much.
My parents met when they were freshmen at Michigan in '75, so without Michigan, i wouldn't exist.
While my mom didn't complete her degree, my father went all the way through to a PhD in physics from UM. I grew up in Ann Arbor. My older sister got her undergrad degree at UM, and I got my undergrad and law degree from UM.
My girlfriend is also from Ann Arbor, and her father is an alum and has been a season ticket holder since the '70s.
So, my birth, career, and relationship are all rooted in UM. Yeah, it means pretty much everything :)
when I was at my parents house I found an old picture i had drawn of desmond Howard when i was 7. I was a Michigan fan from the day i was born, both my parents are grads. saturdays were sacred when Michigan played. Even now it brings us all together. i had the food fortune to be visiting them last fall and we watched the Michigan-OSU game together.
Our connection to the school has really become a very important part of our lives. My parents both went to Michigan. My wife and I both are UM grads and met while working at the Michigan Daily. Our kids are already brainwashed, and my ten year old son and I miss very few home football and basketball games. He's already announced that even if he can't get in to Michigan and gets stuck going to school in East Lansing, he'll still wear Michigan gear around the campus and at games. (would this make him a WalMart Wolverine, or does he get an exemption as the son of two UM grads?)
Both of my parents have degrees from UM, and I had M sweaters on in my baby pictures, and had one of those helmet lamps in my room growing up. We tried to match the wallpaper to all my Michigan shit. I was probably taken to an average of one game a year at the Big House from ages 8 to 17, and made it down to a few in college from Kalamazoo. I've probably been to a game every other year since.
I went to WMU. I constantly get razzed about it by Sparties. The way I look at it, I've been UM faithful for 18 years longer than a "WMU fan". Western gives you a team to cheer for about 1 in 5 years, and with my Wolverines, 365 days of every year are dedicated to following. My dad is still a big fan too.
(and largely NFL) agnostic family. My friends growing up never watched or cared about college (hardcore NFL guys), so unfortunately I cannot answer your question, but hopefully my son can!