2012 Sugar Bowl Experience: A Photo Essay

Submitted by Heiko on January 5th, 2012 at 6:22 PM

[Captions located below images]

Bourbon Street


The French Quarter was flooded with Michigan and Virginia Tech fans for most of game day. I walked down Bourbon Street to take some photos of the fanfare.

"Sugar Bowl Headquarters" on the corner of Bourbon and Canal. If true, would explain a lot.

These street musicians didn’t play jazz, but bluegrass is basically the blues. Right? No? The guy in the middle hails from Grand Rapids.

Michigan fans enjoying the view. Pretty sure that woman is/was a dude.

And for something completely familiar, Michigan sorority girls on their way to …

Rick’s (American) Cabaret.

(more after the jump)


After tasting alligator for the first time ever (it’s pretty good -- like rubbery chicken), I made my way to the Superdome at around 5 local time.

This is the view from Canal Poydras Street, the main road to the stadium from the French Quarter and waterfront.

The Michigan Marching Band held a pregame pep rally in the plaza just outside the stadium. That’s them beneath the jumbotron. I assume Virginia Tech did the same, but I wasn’t there for them.

A frightening thought just occurred to me: Domino’s Big House.

I made it up to the press box to get set up. It’s located on the seventh level, and while it is high up, it wasn’t noticeably higher than the press box at Michigan Stadium. The cool thing is that it is open to the stadium, which provides a great access to crowd noise and other sounds from the stadium. No glass also meant there was no distortion to the view.

On the Sideline

Then I made it onto the field. College Gameday was located near the media entrance, so here’s a shot of their set. More on them shortly.

Gobble gobble.

Giant flag making its way past the MMB.

Cheerleaders. Note the massive hole in the VaTech balcony.

Pom poms of death. I’ve liked them more and more since their UTL debut. They accomplish what a maize out could never do, and that is drown out all the other random colors that might show up, e.g. red.

They also make the stands look a little less empty.

View from the Michigan end zone. As stupid as “Mercedes-Benz Superdome” sounds to me, the logo on the ceiling looks really sweet.

And away we go!


A couple minutes into the game I looked at the woman standing to my right, and I was like, “Huh. You look kind of familiar.” And then I turned to my left and saw Kirk Herbstreit.

Immediately I began to mentally compose text messages to my buddies.

“I am watching the game with Gameday.”

“I’m standing between Erin Andrews and Kirk Herbstreit.”

“Michigan just went three and out again, but that’s okay because I’m within oops-I-accidentally-tripped-into-you range of Erin Andrews!”


Curt Mallory and the secondary shortly after a heated talking to. Not a happy group here. BONUS: In the foreground to the right of this image you can see Holly Rowe studying what appears to be her postgame battle plan. 

Michigan just died again on offense and Virginia Tech scored another field goal. Sad faces all around.

Offensive line having their own talking to. Khoury switched numbers. Used to be 63. Now 78. I have no idea whether that’s significant.

Anyway, this is where I decided to head back up to the press box.

Gibbons Put It Through Uprights

I went down to the sideline again toward the end of the game. I held down the shutter button during the final kick. 

I probably should have kept going until the ball went through the uprights, but the crowd behind me and the whole Michigan winning the game thing were too distracting.

And After

Buried deep somewhere in there is Gibbons.

There he is.

We can has kicking game!

Molk is not looking at Doug Karsch.

That is a “shit-eating grin” if I’ve ever seen one.

Adam Rittenberg and Mike Martin.

And boom goes the dynamite.

Wide angle.

Mike Martin and Tony Anderson heading into the locker room.



January 5th, 2012 at 6:33 PM ^

Is that....no it can't be...Brendan Gibbons???

Great pics thank you for posting.



One Inch Woody…

January 5th, 2012 at 6:43 PM ^

The best picture in my opinion is Martin + Anderson heading back to the locker room. They did what they set out to do at the beginning of the season. Just heading home after a long day's work.


January 5th, 2012 at 7:44 PM ^

That picture reminded me of the Stonum walking through the tunnel in the rain photo after Northwestern in 2008. So symbolic of the season. Martin and Anderson appear relieved. That is the emotion I feel right now about this whole season. Relieved that we didn't collapse again, relieved we finally beat Ohio, relieved that we won a BCS bowl for the first time in ages, relieved...just relieved that Michigan is Michigan.

As a side note, Heiko, I stole your picture of the maize/blue confetti for the background on my laptop. That picture just makes me so happy.


January 5th, 2012 at 6:53 PM ^

Great pictures.  What kind of lens were you using on the first set of pics on Bourbon Street?  I have a Sigma 10-20mm wide angle but I think it's finally time to buy another lens.

Bando Calrissian

January 5th, 2012 at 6:54 PM ^

Before the 2006 game in Columbus, I was standing on the sidelines with the rest of the MMB watching Script Ohio before heading into the stands, looked to my right, and realized I was standing directly next to Chris Fowler.  

Those Gameday folk are a bunch of sidlers.  

Doc Brown

January 5th, 2012 at 6:58 PM ^


I was hugging so many people during Gibbon's last kick. 

I was impressed by how loud the VaTech fans were even though we almost out numbered them 2:1. 


January 5th, 2012 at 6:58 PM ^

Well done.

Did anyone else head to Molly's on the Market?  It's a Michigan bar.  Bartender had on a Scorekeeper's shirt on game day, sign says "a BLUE house."  On Decatur, near the French Market. 


January 5th, 2012 at 7:42 PM ^

Great pics, clever captions. I forwarded to friends & relatives with no Michigan connection but lots of New Orleans and/or general college football interest.


January 5th, 2012 at 8:50 PM ^

Thank you for reflooding my mind with great memories.  Been to three Rose Bowls (86, 97 & 04) but this was my first Sugar Bowl and boy did the avatar and me have a blast.  Monday at Cooter Browns with MgoSoftball was a lot of fun and just about everyone we met and drank with were awfully nice.


January 5th, 2012 at 10:17 PM ^

"America's Douchiest Colleges" is a funny new book from Rogers & Littleton. Michigan. like most prestigious schools (thrown in with a few party havens), is one of the entries. There was no photo on UM's page but if there was, the kids in sunglasses and skinny pants walking in front of Rick's Caberet would have been PERFECT models.


January 5th, 2012 at 11:52 PM ^

Actually, they were wearing all sorts of neon orange stuff with their sorority name on it. Can't remember which one. I hope Heiko was down the street when he got that pick, because otherwise they were really getting around.
<br>Great memories. If I ever get my 500 pictures and video uploaded, I'll see about posting some.