Stop Talking About It, Stop Thinking About It, It Will Never Happen Just Stop Comment Count

Brian July 30th, 2009 at 12:48 PM

acdc-devil-horns picard-facepalm

Pull the string on a person with a dumb idea about Rich Rodriguez's job security and you will hear a variety of talking points parroted back to you, perhaps the dumbest of which is that Rodriguez "doesn't fit in" with the old bluehairs that secretly run the athletic department and probably the world. Rodriguez will fit in just fine as long as he wins, thanks much.

90% of the stuff used to put forth this viewpoint is silly at best. For example, someone not named Rodriguez assigned freshman cornerback JT Floyd the #1, which had just been endowed by Braylon Edwards for a non-freshman receiver who had earned the number. Braylon chose to mention this in a newspaper article instead of over the phone, an infinitesimal scandal transpired, and Floyd was given a different number. BFD unless you're a person with a dumb idea about Rich Rodriguez, in which case it must be mentioned in every one of your articles for the Bleacher Report or Detroit Free Press. The only changes Rodriguez has made to Michigan's traditions have been to add Team Walks To The Stadium and Hype Video to the pregame dossier, which fine. Hype Video is a huge missed opportunity to have three seniors say "the team, the team, the team" instead of "I am Michigan" but it's okay.

This, however, would suck:

“I think nowadays when people are coming to games they want entertainment,” Rodriguez said. “Obviously playing good football’s the best form of entertainment, but what else are you doing to get the crowd into the game and have it be a part of the game as opposed to just being there?”

Rodriguez said fans won’t see many noticeable changes this year.

“It’s a process,” he said. “It’s not going to happen overnight.”

But in the works are things like making “the band and the students and some music” more a part of the gameday experience.

The band and some music? Does the band not play music? If you prick them, do they not play "Let's Go Blue"? This addendum can only mean one thing:

In a word: nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
I've railed against this at literally every opportunity provided by the words coming out of Rodriguez's mouth or, horror, the RAWK MUSIK coming out of the speakers before the fourth quarter. So allow myself to quote myself:

…One of the most powerful things that forges a fan community is the shared culture that naturally arises when you can say things like "one second left against Penn State" and know that the person you're talking to is thinking and feeling the exact same thing you are. It sets the group apart. This apart-ness is fundamental to the passion sports fans experience: it's us and them, and the more us our us is and the more them their them is, the more important the thing beneath us seems.

Michigan has a lot of culture. That, fundamentally, is its main asset. From that culture flows the passion, and from that passion flows the money. Part of that culture is a public address announcer who embodies neutral gravitas. Part of it is the lack of advertising in the stadium. And part of that is the way the game is presented inside the stadium, with no "NoISe!!!" signs or plastic chariots or electromagic Spartys with frickin' eye lasers.

I like it like that. I like my church with incense and deceased Jesus, my Christmas carols by Bing Crosby, and my Michigan Stadium without frickin' eye lasers.

This was in March. He keeps talking about it. This aggression will not stand. Could someone call up Braylon so he can talk about it in the newspaper?

I have been to places, yes I have. And I can tell you that everywhere I go the blaring of extremely bad music at extreme levels of volume does nothing to pump up the crowd. Case in point: Joe Louis Arena, home to extremely loud, extremely bad music at every stoppage in play. Also home to perhaps the worst crowd in the NHL. Contrast: Yost Ice Arena, where the only sounds are from the band and the PA announcer. Yost has about the best crowd in sports, adjusted for size. I've been to Auburn and Michigan State and Penn State and Illinois and Ohio State and Northwestern and there is a direct correlation between piped-in music and crappy, chintzy game experience. There is none between it and a fired-up, intimidating crowd.

So, hey, relevant. The Michigan Marching Band is looking for a new thing to play between the third and fourth quarters and is looking for suggestions, if you're interested. I'm thinking of putting together a poll once the thread runs its course with the things that seem to make the most sense, so get your good suggestions in now. My obvious suggestion: Hawaiian War Chant, which has been overlooked far too long.

Except. There is one thing I'd like to see change as far as music at Michigan Stadium goes: turn the band up to 11. At certain spots in the stands, especially the far corner on the pressbox side, the band is nearly inaudible. Mic them up and make sure the entire stadium can hear it.



July 30th, 2009 at 12:58 PM ^

I will call for RR's job if he starts adding piped in music during the game. What's next, Adidas logo advertisements flanking the scoreboard. There is a limit to how much things should change, and I will be emailing sailboat bill about this. Also, please let the band play Hawaiian War Chant at the start of the fourth, we don not hear it enough.


July 30th, 2009 at 2:36 PM ^

Piping music into the Big House will be much like desecrating it with the Halo. Someone needs to walk RichRod through that one. He simply hasn't seen a culture with a respect for tradition like we have at Michigan.

Hasn't he noticed he can now get in on any recruit in North America? What does he think the foundation of that access is? Try tradition; try thinking through the profile of a school that stands for things. Michigan may not always be the answer to a maiden's prayer, but it's terrific.

I'm with everyone who wants a louder band - heck, just make it bigger.


July 30th, 2009 at 12:58 PM ^

Given the ESPN piece yesterday, I think the loudspeakers should play "Who Let the Dogs Out?" every time the team takes the field or makes a good play. I know that that's what I want to hear when I'm sitting in the Dawg Pound at the Wolverine House.


July 30th, 2009 at 12:59 PM ^

I sit in section 16 and cannot hear the band during the game. I always thought they should move the band again to behind the north endzone so that the majority of the fans can hear them but if they just mic up the band so everyone can hear through the loud speakers that would be great as well.


July 30th, 2009 at 1:04 PM ^

....We have a band? I have not heard them play in nearly four years?

Yeah, color me in the crowd of play freaking louder! I used to be able to hear you guys from my seats.

Also: Bring back Rocky and Bullwinkle.


July 30th, 2009 at 1:19 PM ^

This old dude seconds the motion. Bullwinkle was always a highlight of the afternoon. It was the silliest, most random thing ever, which made it so awesome.

I'm guessing that sometime in the mid-90s someone got an "antler" in the eye, prompting the administration to shut it down.


August 2nd, 2009 at 1:49 AM ^

I sit in section 19. When the mini-bands come around in the second quarter, I have twice yelled out, "Play Bullwinkle" and had them PLAY it. (There have been other times I've yelled it and they haven't...)

Still, speak up for what you want, and then, when they play it, make sure you get the antlers on your head and dance around like an idiot.


July 30th, 2009 at 3:29 PM ^

Have you no respect for your elders?

In all seriousness (seriousity?), Rocky and Bullwinkle is classic MMB stuff that pretty much everyone of M affiliation I know over the age of 30 loves and misses.

I also wish they'd again announce the Slippery Rock scores.

As for the general loudness of the band, um, yeah, mic 'em up.

Tha Quiet Storm

July 30th, 2009 at 1:07 PM ^

"Joe Louis Arena, home to extremely loud, extremely bad music at every stoppage in play."

Brian, surely you jest. The themes from Mortal Kombat and Friends are timeless classics.


July 30th, 2009 at 1:08 PM ^

Section 18 here, Brian's totally right can't hardly hear the band.

And also totally right that canned music would really fup the experience. Live games are different from any other way to spend yr godgiven time because they are REAL not canned. It's not Disneyworld for xsake.


July 30th, 2009 at 1:08 PM ^

Do you suppose the band would be willing to play "blame it on the per-per-per-per-per-per-personnel"?

LONG time reader, inaugural post. I'll sign the "band volume up" petition any day.


July 30th, 2009 at 1:09 PM ^

But but but... look at this picture!!!

Obviously they are like this because of the RAWK MUSIK! at basketball games! If they piped in music to the football games, all of the old blue hairs would be up on their feet yelling just like they are in this picture! Just ignore everyone sitting in the background and focus on the students, who obtw also stand and yell at football games.


July 30th, 2009 at 1:13 PM ^

I went to the Purdue game last year and it was like being a minor league hockey game. The movie clips, music, train whisle,etc is is terrible.

It's bascially a high school stadium with a big screen and a a few Bose speakers at it's highest level.

A terrible place to watch a game.

Other Andrew

July 30th, 2009 at 3:29 PM ^

I felt the same way at their stadium, dealing with clips from Jaws and Braveheart. But then I realized that they have no tradition to speak of (outside of counting to four and a choo-choo), and they used to have nobody come to the games at all. So they have to do silly crap like that.

We are not Purdue.


July 30th, 2009 at 1:21 PM ^

Brian mentioned Team Walks To The Stadium and Hype Video, but he didn't mention my favorite tradition that died with Rodriguez: "Michigan Replay". It was on for, what, 35 years, and was the #1 rated coach's show in the country, and he got rid of it. Do any of you watch the replacement show (can't even remember the name)? I tried, and it was a lot less interesting than "Michigan Replay".

Big Boutros

July 30th, 2009 at 1:29 PM ^

It's called "Inside Michigan Football." Michigan Replay's dissolution wasn't Rich Rod's fault--he didn't do away with it. Bob Lipson, Michigan Replay's creator, pulled the show off the air before last season and declared that the title was not for sale. So Brandstatter et al. had to come up with a new program for the Rich Rod era.


July 30th, 2009 at 1:55 PM ^

I believe Michigan Replay was taped on Saturdays (day of the game) and RR didn't want to tape a TV show after a game. I can't say that I blame him. Inside Michigan football is fine. I don't mind waiting until Thursday evening. Plus, with the extra few days, they can get comments from the team and other stuff in there too. I actually like the new show better.


July 30th, 2009 at 1:24 PM ^

Rich Rod is still learning. There will never be piped-in music during games. Such a move would require the OK from the athletic department and the marching band, who would never go along with it. There's no money to be made, so Martin won't approve of it. And it's an absolute insult to the band.

Maybe RR will eventually have this kind of power, but it'll take three or four 10-win seasons to acquire.

I say this with the confidence of one who vehemently opposed the replay screens and the luxury boxes. As you can see, I'm always right.


July 30th, 2009 at 1:27 PM ^

Yes! Mic the band so that we can all cheer and sing and hail in unison. That's all that needs to be done. The canned music is universally terrible across all sports venues--it should be preemptively petitioned and disallowed.

J. Lichty

July 30th, 2009 at 1:30 PM ^

Expect lots of Bon Jovi. Perhaps the team bus will be replaced by a camaro.

There is nothing wrong and everything right with the game day environment. The only entertainment needs to be the offense.

Man, I thought the halo was bad.

Maybe the woof woof wolverine house chick was not obtuse, but prescient.


July 30th, 2009 at 2:06 PM ^

With the game day environment?

Maybe I'm the only one but I also don't like the piped in music that I heard at PSU.

BUUUUUUUT to say that our game day experience is perfect is well frankly stupid. Here's why I really don't enjoy the whole "down in front" cheer. I'd like to be able to stand up anywhere in the stadium and not have to deal with that bs.

Maybe you enjoy an opera but football isn't an opera house.

Run Up The Score

July 30th, 2009 at 2:40 PM ^

This has been a slow creep at Penn State for the better part of 5-10 years, and it drives me right fucking insane. Honestly, there's a place for a little piped in music. I do not need to hear that infinitely stupid Zombie Nation song (yes, lurking PSU fans, I said it) or Seven Nation Army whenever we stop a team on 2nd and 13.

Also, get off my lawn.