Here is a great article on Rivals by Chris Balas about what it is to be a 'Michigan Man' and how it is defined. I find it great to see how other people outside of Michigan look at the love, dedication, and pride this great university instills in its' Alumni. Sorry if this article is paywalled, but if you have access it is a great read. GO BLUE!
What a 'Michigan Man is'
As a non-alum, I like to consider myself a fringe Michigan Man. I know I don't have the degree to earn that title in a technical sense, but I feel like I represent myself and the university well when cheering on the Maize and Blue. I just was not quite smart enough to be admitted into the university coming out of high school, so I did the only logical thing: I attended WMU.
Did not help that I was an in-state student either.
we're grateful for YOUR love. Signed, the U
I'm assuming that part of being a Michigan Man is knowing the proper usage of "its" and "it's," no?
Ah, there it is, the perfect ammunition for our rivals to say a true "Michigan Man" is an arrogant and condescending asshole.
A "Michigan Man" who is simply just an asshole.
It's only arrogance if you're ultimately proven wrong. Otherwise, it's called confidence.
Another Michigan Man (who agrees with enforcing the rules of grammar)
Yeah, he went back and tried to correct it, but unfortunately it's still wrong.
in some way affiliated with the University of Michigan at some point. Any other meaning is asinine and feeds into some of the worst aspects of how the school views itself (e.g., the notion that there's something unique about Michigan that only those with ties to the school can "get.")
In trying to strip down the definition until there's essentially nothing left, I think you managed to keep only the most annoying part. Though some take it too far, I don't think there's anything wrong with "Michigan man" as an expression of pride in U-M. I think there are features of that university and football program that distinguish us from many (not all) schools and are worth taking pride in. What bothers me about the title is the idea that only one with a formal affiliation with U-M can attain it. It feels like that's what you left in the definition.
Being loyal to Michigan football and all of the athletic programs is certainly a part of it, but like you said, there are many distinguishing features about the university itself that make Michigan a very special instiution.
All I can say is that after being a student there for four years, the experience really shapes you as a person...into what I like to think is a "Michigan Man." I can't explain exactly how, but being immersed in that community teaches you a great deal about yourself and others. It broadens your horizons and molds you into an individual of high character and integrity. Then it's the football aspect that really unites everybody and helps them embrace how special of a place Michigan is.
I don't think you need to have gone to the school or have been employed there to be considered a "Michigan Man." IMO, though, it takes a strong understanding and appreciation of the Michigan culture and the values it instills in people academically and socially as well as through athletics.
...has a Rivals subscription.
I was paying about $8,000 per year to find out when I was there when I could have found out for only $8.33 per month. I feel like I was cheated somehow...
I think that if you root for Michigan athletics and aren't a total asshole then you're probably a Michigan Man. That rules out half the assholes on this blog.
Don't worry about it, I'll still consider you a Michigan Man anyways.
Did you hear that everyone? If you've ever negged Andrew Jackson Jihad you are not a Michigan Man!
I'm not a Michigan man either, I'm a ladies man
still too soon
with anything that moves
In my view, there are 3 requirements
2) Love for the university
3) Good person
Nothing to do with arrogance, or this idea of the Michigan "difference". Just people that went here, love the university and are good people. That is enough for me. With adjectives ("real Michigan Man") comes more severity of the above three.
So, I was born and raised in A2, both my parents went to Michigan, I was a ballboy for Michigan basketball during the Fab Five's sophomore year, worked for U of M for 3 years, after living in Arizona for 5 yrs gave up a steady job to move back to A2 in large part to be closer to U of M sports, but I never went to school at Michigan. So, I'm not a Michigan Man to you?
After 10 years, we can offer you "Senior Associate Michigan Man," which includes 100% matching contributions to your retirmenent account. In both cases, you'll be covered under the Michigan Man health insurance program, with a $30 co-pay.
I started going to games at The Big House when I was seven years old. I'm not considered a Michigan Man because I wanted to attend college out of state? Fuck you.
Are you honestly upset about this?
because you were on the 1989 National Championship team.
U mad bro?
Yes, fuck everyone. That's the ticket.
Over Michigan was that it was out of state, I'd say yeah, you could question your love of the school.
There are lots of good reasons to love Michigan and not go...grades, money, living far away, trouble at home....but wanting to get away from the school? Yeah, that might disqualify you.
Bo and Hoke, Michigan men imposters.
I dare you to tell Brady Hoke he's not a "Michigan Man."
So Bo was not a "Michigan Man" I guess...
love for the University, good person, and pay for somebody to go there ?
I’m not going to make any friends by saying this, but… I really feel like this “Michigan Man” thing is overblown. Without athletics this wouldn’t even be a discussion for non students/alumni. I don’t understand why saying “I’m just a fan” is such a terrible thing, why do we have to fabricate these odd constructs to validate watching a football game? If you eliminate them, all that saying “Michigan Man” means is that you are formally affiliated with the University, which is hardly unique to Michigan.
...It's just a fun thing to say. A lot of die-hards like having a little more of a title...like me.
A degree is not a pre-req, tho. My step-father didn't go to U of M, but even when I was growing up in Lansing, we were in Ann Arbor every other weekend. It was a second (or a first) home to me. And through Michigan athletics, he taught me so many things about tradition, pride, ethics, hard work, character, and dedication; all traits that, to me, define a Michigan Man or Woman.
So, as an alum, I'm more than happy to welcome those who walk the walk and believe the beliefs...whether you got the sheepskin or not.
"If you eliminate them, all that saying “Michigan Man” means is that you are formally affiliated with the University, which is hardly unique to Michigan. "
I would think that being affiliated with the University of Michigan is exactly unique to the University of Michigan.
NOT a Michigan Man.
Its write their four any one too si!
...is the photo Mrs. Kass approved? That may be the litmus test.
I caused the prior uproar by saying a degree was a requirement. On second consideration, I agree with others that is it NOT a requirement. Bo and Brady clearly must be included.
Perhaps love and loyalty to the University, plus a good person is sufficient. Some affiliation to the University perhaps too, whether it be faculty, employee, fan, parent, etc
Nestled right in the middle of all this...
After the Kate Upton pic.
Maybe instead of someone being a Michigan Man or not, we could have a Michigan Man Quotient (MMQ if you prefer). You could have scoring based on several categories. Then throw it into some arcane formula to come up wtih your MMQ. Going to the University would have to be a huge weight though.
That is a female showing you how she behaves and what she looks like whenever she sees a Michigan Man....
That watch of hers is beautiful.
It's a stupid term that members of the Michigan family use to feel superior to other people IMO.
Feel superior? We are superior!
Nah. I went to Michigan and I'm just a dude.
Me too. I went to Michigan and I still can't dunk.
I am at Michigan, and I can safely say that I've gotten 12 to 13 times more awesome since arriving in Ann Arbor. And I can dunk. On a 20 foot rim. Oh yeah.
...when you have rockets for legs.
you are an above average dude to me Duder #firstinourhearts
...donated more time, money, heart and soul, and all-around emotional invetsment in the University of Michigan than I have my own alma frickin' mater.
Anyone who says that I am not a "Michigan Man" can kiss my maize and blue ass.
GET OFF MY LAWN*
(*This was posted after downing two New Holland Dragon's Milks. Don't judge me.)
is that you?
Anyway, I think a 'Michigan Man' is very simple:
1.) you have to have some connection to the university or spend time on campus for an extended period of time one way or another (be it working for the university, attending school there, or teaching/coaching there).
2.) You have to be a man of honor and integrity. THIS is the heart of whether or not you are a michigan man. And this is why I don't think Chris Webber is a Michigan Man, but RichRod was.
To the people who don't fit these requirements and still want to get offended feel free to amend what I've written till you fit the requirements and, though you won't be in my eyes, you can certainly consider yourself a Michigan Man.
ps. I just find if funny for someone to consider themselves michigan man if they don't know what the fishbowl/ugli/halfass is or if they've never lived/worked on campus.
I meet the first requirement, but have neither honor nor integrity. I am offended by your definition and demand that you revise it.
I would add to your connection to the university, honor, and integrity the following: class and intelligence. It's the later two that help separate MGoBlog from a lot of other sports blogs associated with other institutions.
Btw, my first recollection of "Michigan man" being used in any emphatic way was when Bo announced that a Michigan man would lead the Wolverines in the 1989 NCAA tourney, meaning Bill Freider (who took a job elsewhere before the season was over, thus breaking ties with the university and displaying a lack of class and integrity) was not a Michigan man.
.......you MUST bleed Maize and blue!! So I guess we're all f**ked!
is simply not settling. It’s demanding the best from yourself and from others. It’s a constant struggle to better yourself at everything you do, whether that’s academics, athletics, or your professional career. That’s why others think were arrogant but that’s just their ignorance. We expect Michigan, we expect ourselves, to always be the leaders and best.
Gave the only definition you or anyone else will ever need.....
Being a Michigan Man is about a loyalty and an understanding and a bond between people that includes a deep love of this university and a deep understanding and acceptance and reveling in the traditions, values, and obligations and expectations that are passed on to you during your time at the school whether as a student, teacher, coach, administrator, or whatever as a member of this special community.
By the way, if you read the book or if you should read it in the future, I'll help you with a little hint on who some of the Michigan Men are in the book though, a good place to look for them is on the current football team's roster (11-2 record) for anyone who is a senior or junior this year.
I thought 'Michigan Man' just meant how I'm awesome and everyone else sucks. Is that no longer the case?
That’s basically what I gather from some of the comments in this thread…
Just because Michigan Men are better than all other men doesn't mean that all other men should feel bad; only so many of us can be so awesome, and it always could be worse, you could be a Spartan Man or worse yet a buckeye!
Spartan Man and Buckeye Boy sounds like the worst superhero team ever assembled.
A Michigan Man is like porn -- hard to define, but you know it when you see it.
is hard to define?
I'd say that depends on what the definition of "is" is.
A Michigan Man is someone who Gets It.
The only time anyone uses that term is in reference to the football team. There has never been a more territorial college fan base.
The only thing missing from the article is that you must have roots in Ohio to work at UM.
A Michigan man is any male that played sports for UofM, and did so in a respectful manner. Bo was the creator of the term, but I believe he was referring to the student athlete. I love how Brady Hoke gives all the credit to the players after a win and the blame on himself after A loss. He gets it. Brady understands that it's about the kids and not the coaches. I'm not so sure coaches like Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, and RR operate that way. I think their in the profession to get their names in the HOF. Coaches like Schembechler, Carr, and now Hoke are in the coaching profession to develope young men to be sucessful on and off the field.
Flip, coach Hoke is out?
With all due respect, that makes no sense. Bo was talking about a coach. The qualification for being a "Michigan Man" in that context was someone with character, integrity and an undying commitment to UofM. Having a degree from or playing sports for UofM might enhance one's commitment to the university, but Bo certainly was not limiting the term "Michigan Man" to those who played sports for or graduated from UofM. After all, the "Michigan Man" he chose to replace Bill Frieder was Steve Fisher, who did not attend UofM and played college ball at Illinois State. It was Fisher's loyalty to the university that qualified him as a "Michigan Man." That should end the debate about whether you have to attend the university to be a "Michigan Man." After all, many of the most prominent "Michigan Men" did not.
What about the huge people that try to squeeze into a #16bag jersey? Are they michigan men?
I was not lucky enough to attend Michigan because of financial reasons, but I am holding out hope that grad school there is not out of reach. I love being a part of the Michigan fan base, a well educate and passionate group that treats each other like family (for the most part in my experiences). Being a Michigan man to me is how a person carries themselves and represents their school in a way that brings honor to the University of Michigan. I know that in an official sense I may never be a Michigan man but I will continue o live and breath Michigan sports and won't be afraid to give a 'go blue' to anyone in the Michigan family. This is the best fan base in the world and I hope that all Michigan fans act in a way that doesn't tarnish the Michigan fan base. I can't wait to finally get out in the business world (hopefully in Ann arbor) and share my passion for Michigan with the awesome fans that make up wolverine nation.
I think that "Michigan Man" is an overworn, mis-used meme.
But to me, I think the original point was to talk about someone who was loyal, hard-working, trustworthy, honorable, gracious, kind, competitive, honest, and true. The world can use more men like these, both Michigan men, and men elsewhere who take these values to heart.
Yes. This ^^^^.
Call we just agree that Bill Freeder was not a Michigan Man and then stop using this monicur?
I don't want to make anyone mad here, but come on! This is Michigan for God's sake. You put the quotation around is instead of Man. And also, its doesn't have an apostrophe after it...
and I can understand why all the non alumni are getting a little upset. I never attended the university and I think Will Heininger summed it up best - “When I think of a Michigan Man, I think of someone that the University would be proud to call their own.”
We don't need Balas to tell anyone whether they are or are not a Michigan Man. I think Bo explained it well enough.
The latest dance craze from everyones favorite Kate.
I love Kate Upton but keep it on topic.
I probably had the bare minimum grades Michigan would possibly allow into the University. And I know that if I did get in, I would already be down in money. And I don't even know what I want to major in yet, that is why I go to GRCC.
I'm loyal, I'm in love with Ann Arbor and hope to live there when I'm older. That's I hope I'd still be considered a Michigan Man.
So- my senior year at Michigan (2010) I wrote an essay on the topic, and posted it online here:
Sparknotes: loyalty, understanding of Michigan tradition and culture, ethics, confidence.
I think the term is awesome. I love that we have a community that is constantly questioning what the term means- I don't think many schools in the country have the same thing going on.
strong Michigan connection + a good human being
I like the way you put it. Your definition doesn't require someone to be an alumni. And it leaves latitude in how you interpret the meaning of "good human being." Well said.
Of course, as others said, the devil is in the details.
Hard test case: Was Yost a "Michigan Man" by your definition? (I'm thinking of the whole incident with black Michigan football player Willis Ward.)
And take it like a, well, uh...MAN!
I think it's a great aspirational concept, a person who is of high character who works hard and respects the Michigan tradition. I just wish there was an equivalent term for us women (Michigan Woman just doesn't have the same ring to it). Regardless, I love to point out to non-Michigan fans which great people are "Michigan Men."