Night Game snowflakes

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on October 8th, 2017 at 11:16 PM

Obviously other than the shitty result and offensive play (pun intended), how was your experience yesterday at the game?

The golf course was full by 2pm. There were apparently some fights going on after the game. 

I saw so many drunk people. This one girl who entered my section was so drunk it was unbelievable she could walk. On Hill St we saw some guy just collapse and smack his head on the pavement.

I say screw night games.

The city was a mess trying to get around. We left about 45 minutes after the game ended, and traffic was awful. I got home at 3am. 

If the weather wasn't so bad, there could've been vandalism. That game should never be played at night.

The novelty of it being a night game wore off as soon as the ball kicked off. Rather it had been at Noon.


Get a Grip

October 9th, 2017 at 12:57 AM ^

I couldn't agree more! Using quotes and justifications from a coach from 28-48 years ago is entirely relevant to modern football, as the game, economics, and role of the coach has in no way changed in any capacity.

It's just like Fielding H. Yost used to say in one of his most famous quotes, "Those nefarious, unscrupulous Gophers are going to poison us, so we'd better bring our own water supply so as to avoid dysentery! Also, talkies are the devil, and facemasks are for soft men. Now bring me my healthysticks so that I can strengthen my lungs, you pansy." Brings tears to my eyes every time that I read it.

Get a Grip

October 9th, 2017 at 1:14 AM ^

Please. The fact that you interpret that as me not valuing his opinion is ridiculous. Bo Schembechler was a great man, and one of the greatest coaches in the history of football. He also started coaching 48 years ago, and stopped coaching 28 years ago. He's also not an infallible god whose every word is gospel.

To use one of his quotes in the context of modern football without acknowledging the differences in time and place is absurd. Football and coaching is a very different game than it was in Schembechler's era, that's all that I was getting at. If a coach tried the "I REFUSE TO PLAY AT ANY TIME OTHER THAN WHEN I SPECIFICALLY SAY!" card today, regardless of who they were, it wouldn't go well for them.

It's YOUR opinion that you're wrapping in the banner of being his opinion, without acknowledging the economics or legality problems that factor in in the modern era. I also don't know what you're getting at with the "can't deny that he right. About all of this" part. Night games? What? Because that's very much a subjective matter and opinion, and one that I have mixed feelings about.

Bando Calrissian

October 9th, 2017 at 1:22 AM ^

No. Stop. Just, stop. Bo is dead. Quit trying to use his words to make your point when it's disingenuous at best to do so.

Bo was right for his time and context. Michigan could dictate terms, and TV networks were generally happy to oblige.

In 2017, Michigan can no longer dictate terms to television networks. Television networks dictate their terms to Michigan. It's all in the contracts.

You start threads every time Michigan breaks ground on as much as a bike rack on South Campus, and for every non-revenue sport you can find. Where do you think much of that money comes from? Conference TV contracts. Which Michigan agreed to in good faith, knowing they were signing away the right to say no to things like night games.

You want all that stuff you care about? You're going to have to deal with night games. I don't necessarily like it, either, but that's the way it is. 

Couzen Rick's

October 8th, 2017 at 11:36 PM ^

I mean fact is if we aspire to be an elite program, we'll have to win B1G titles and playoff games. All of those kick off at night. It's true we've struggled in them of late, but the only way to get better is to keep playing in them.


October 8th, 2017 at 11:42 PM ^

fair point! doesn't mean the experience is for everyone. just a bummer you don't know what time the game is until you are already pot committed if you are coming from out of town like me! i would gladly have stayed at home and made the trip from the west coast for another game that kicked off at noon or 3:30



October 8th, 2017 at 11:37 PM ^

but man that was a miserable experience yesterday.  At least the temperature was still warm.  I need a better poncho than the cheap $5 one I bought for 2014 Utah and have re-used like 4-5 times since.  My cousin thought the 2014 Utah game was worse, but I always feel like the latest miserable weather game is the worst.  Except the 1995 Purdue game.  That will forever be the worst.

Bando Calrissian

October 8th, 2017 at 11:48 PM ^

I'm not willing to go so far as to say "fuck night games, TEAM NOON" and all of that, but...

I've been to all of the night games so far. Regardless of what happens on the field, each one seems a bit less fun than the last time, and that seems to be the general sentiment from most folks I talked to yesterday. The atmosphere was great and all last night, but that would have probably been just as true at 12, 3:30, 4, whenever. The big picture is important.

I think there's a lot to be said for the fact that other schools make night games work because they've been a part of their tradition and practice for so long that their towns and stadiums have evolved to accomodate that kind of traffic flow and event. The expansion college football has made in the last 50 years has come alongside night games for them.

Ann Arbor isn't like that. Michigan Stadium is in the middle of a cluster of neighborhoods and university buildings and golf courses. It has evolved as a stadium for day games, with tailgating on golf courses with no lighting, paid parking in yards and driveways in surrounding neighborhoods, and already-inadequate, ill-lit parking lots. The roadways cannot handle that kind of traffic under the most ideal of gameday situations, and put that at 11:30 at night with a bunch of people who are tired, worn out, and probably have been drinking all day, and things get real iffy.

Our drive home is about 20 minutes on a normal day, an hour or so on a regular gameday., We left the parking lot at 11:30. We rolled into the driveway at nearly 2AM. It was a frustrating drive dodging people walking on underlit residential streets, and cops that were tired and frustrated trying to keep order with drivers that were just as tired and frustrated. Traffic wasn't moving.The rain and gloomy weather didn't help, either. I didn't even really care about the game anymore--I just wanted to go home and go to bed.

I'm glad people got to have their full day of tailgating, I'm glad people got to have their "OMG SEC AFTER DARK" experience, all of that. I had fun with my friends and famly. But the idea of having to do this every year as a matter of course, perhaps multiple times a year... No thanks. Once every few years? Whatever. Let people have their fun. But unless there's a way of transporting Michigan Stadium to wide-open campus with clear roadways and no neighborhoods and acres of parking, this is going to still be frustrating, no matter what happens inside the stadium.


October 9th, 2017 at 12:08 AM ^

This hits the nail right on the head. The number of drunk people for a state game isn't the issue to me : it's the post game logistical nightmare that does. Ann Arbor just isn't set up for Michigan Football in general, and the crush of everyone leaving at once is just too much for it to handle. While day games are no cupcake either, people are far more likely to linger in town when it's not already 1130pm, lessening the post game traffic jam.

That said, this is the inevitability of the future. We're only going to have more of these, not less. Considering our schedule balance, expect any major non conference game, state, and penn state to be annual night games.

Bando Calrissian

October 9th, 2017 at 12:23 AM ^

Right. I think the fanbase and the university need to operate on two facts that will not change:

1. TV contracts now dictate college football, from scheduling interests to game times to the actual flow of play (TV timeouts, etc.), and in signing contracts with television networks, conferences and schools have given up their leeway to all of the above.

2. Michigan cannot say "we don't play at night," because see #1.

Michigan got themselves into this situation through wanting the TV money, just like everyone else. Athletics got themselves into this situation by continuing to expand the stadium to surpass what the surrounding area could handle, both in the number of cars and the flow of traffic, as well as expanding Crisler Arena and other parts of the Athletic Campus over the last ten years in ways that eliminated hundreds of gameday parking spaces. And if that rain had come Friday night and tailgating couldn't happen on the golf courses, what then? What would have happened if they had to completely evacuate the stadium last night for lightning, and people would have been trying to figure out where to go in the dark?

There are too many "what ifs" and "that's just the way it is"-type situations that Michigan Stadium has skated by on for far too long, even for noon games. The university is going to have to make some hard decisions about what that means for a fanbase and a stadium complex that has operated on a day game mentality on this site for 90 years. They're going to have to actually address parking. They're going to have to address traffic. They're going to have to address the lighting situation. And myriad other things.

This is the new normal. Time to make it work. Or admit it doesn't, and work towards a different solution.

snarling wolverine

October 9th, 2017 at 6:44 AM ^

Ann Arbor just isn't set up for Michigan Football in general, and the crush of everyone leaving at once is just too much for it to handle.

I don't think this is specifically an Ann Arbor issue (actually I think the town manages the football rush pretty well, all things considered) but just the reality of having an event with 100,000+ people. That many people getting on the roads at once is a mess.

Unicycle Firefly

October 8th, 2017 at 11:49 PM ^

It was still warm, so the rain was pretty tolerable.  2008 Northwestern is still one of the worst experiences of my entire life, and I stayed until the last second ticked off the clock for some reason. 


October 9th, 2017 at 12:21 AM ^

I am in section 7. The people right behind me is where the opposing fans start. I had no issues what so ever. I didn't see any issues. It was just like any other game. Traffic was the same as well and I park on State Street and everyone is going toward 94.

JWG Wolverine

October 9th, 2017 at 1:09 AM ^

One night game every other year with decent matchups like ND and PSU, but not crazy fanbases. It's that simple. then they'll be rare enough to be fun but not consistent enough to be overwhelming, and they will be slightly less incident-prone.

Otherwise 80% of our games should be noon starts.


October 9th, 2017 at 10:18 AM ^

Schools have right of refusal for night games in the last three weeks of the season.  I guarantee Michigan will exercise their right if for some reason the TV networks want the Wisconsin game to be at night.

Think about it.  Michigan didn't want Saturday to be a night game -- they were forced into it because of the conference TV contract.  So if Michigan didn't want to host Sparty under the lights and was that concerned about what might happen, why would they allow the OSU game, in late November, to be at night?


October 9th, 2017 at 1:14 AM ^

Do you ever normally walk on hill/s forest/packard/etc... before a game (even at noon)? Shit, I remember in undergrad a buddy passing out before the UMASS game at the fabled noon kickoff (never made it it). Lots of pregames start at 6AM for noon games, so I honestly don't think the kickoff time has an effect on how many drunk undergrads there are.

I think night games are fun as hell because you can get lunch in you and tailagate until kick off. Instead of an awkward 330 or noon. But that's just me.


October 9th, 2017 at 1:48 AM ^

I got on the golf course at 1 and had a great time. Partied with friends and strangers both Wolverines and Spartans and everybody was cool. I don't think anybody even talked football though, so that could explain that.


October 9th, 2017 at 1:51 AM ^

Taking the game itself out of the equation, it was a rather enjoyable game.  The weather during the tailgate was pretty great (except for the wind but if you worked with it instead of against it, it really helped to moderate what could have felt like an overly warm day considering the building humidity.  Was able to get to AA-Pioneer early enough to pretty much have a choice in where to park.  Concessions in the stadium?  Usually don't buy them other than an overpriced soda.  Need to have some wet to help with all of the cheering I do.

The only downside was the big rain in the third quarter but as we knew it was coming, we were prepared.  Always, always check the weather before you leave for the game.  Like that morning before.  We saw people who definitely didn't and were absolutely soaked from the monsoon as a result.  Soaked and shivering when the winds hit them.

As for the debate on night games or no - I agree that they should be kept for certain opponents.  ND and PSU are excellent choices for night games.  MSU?  Iffy.  OSU?  No way in hell.  OSU is and forever should always be noon.  Also, keep the night games to September or very early October.  We don't need night games in November when in Michigan it could very well snow on us. 

With a night game you have a more prolonged tailgating time and that can either feel like a drag or make for an enjoyable day - you get out of it what you put into it.  Personally I wouldn't mind one night game per year against someone early on - again like ND or PSU or Wisc - there are scheduling options available if they just took it.  Realistically though, I'd prefer them no more frequently than once every two years (or three) to keep it feeling a little fresher.  Last night's post-game atmosphere would have been MUCH different if that pass at the end hit paydirt or McDoom didn't bungle an easy catch for a 30yd TD. 

After that, keep every home game in Sept and most of Oct to 3:30 games.  It is the time of year where we have the best weather during the season for it.  I'd rather tailgate in 50 degree temps for hours than 30 degree temps.  For us the tailgate is part of the game day experience - otherwise we'd save a TON of money and watch the games from home.  For every November game and the ones at the end of Oct, make them noon affairs.