About Today's Hoops game, Ushers, and the MgoCommunity

Submitted by xtramelanin on February 3rd, 2018 at 10:57 PM


Hesitating to post this, even as a diary, but here goes.  Saw my first game at Crisler since '84, but what a game.  Down and back in one day, took some of the kids, much of the snowy drive in 4x4, going around and through other vehicles like gates on a slalom course.  But what a day, what a memorable, meaningful day.  

1.  The Basketball Game - So yeah, that was I think what Brian/Seth call a 'rock fight', but we won.  Short story, if this was a hoops UFR, would be Refs -10;  Michigan Free Throws negative...., well, how much numbers are there in the world?  Put that number in after the '-' sign.  Then multiply it.  I would add that Gopher guard Mason is alleged to have actually made more shots than he took.  Thats unpossible, but we're checking the tape to verify.

2.  The Ushers -  I think I am finally getting it about the ushers.  You know how we go to the football games and they introduce those guys with X years of service?  Well I talked with some today.  Scanner Blue introduced us to his work-mates and they must have to go to some kind of smile/customer service boot camp.  All businesses should send their staff to the same camp.  I met one guy, Herb, who had been working Crisler for 45 years.  That's a lot, right?  Well guess what.  He's been working football for 70 years.   Not a typo, 70 years.  Many of us won't live that long.  Can you imagine the love and committment to Michigan to do that for 70 years?  The dude is 90, and when folks started showing up he was doing all the stuff all the other ushers were doing.  Will any of us even be concious at 90?  I'm going to guess that those type of folks get married and stay married, don't switch jobs too much, and their kids come home at the holiday, glad to see them.  We could all use some of what those ushers have. 

We met Phil, he's the floor supervisor, uber friendly.  Actually let the twins high-five the players going into the tunnel.  To a 10 year old, that's almost like touching the hand of a diety. 

Then there's Scanner Blue.  We have barely said 'hello' this afternoon and he's handing the kids a bag o' swag that'll cause covetousness and wrestling matches to break out in the XM house for the next month.  Awesome stuff.  There were flags, key chains, lights, posters, even a knit cap from the U of M Cancer Center - which has become my new winter cap.  Fatherhood has its privileges.  Did you know Scanner is a U of M engineering grad that decided to become a high-end, interior trim carpenter?  In the building trades that is considered art work.   He's in SE Michigan, look him up for your next building project. 

3.  The MgoCommunity - The real reason I write this is the MgoCommunity and its unique nature.  Where else on earth can you have a thread about astrophysics right next to one asking for advice about expressing your dog's glands, next to a 'Wife Day' thread?  There are so many smart and kind people here.  At the game robf and I were texting (we left after the game, failed to meet this time, I blame myself), Scanner was making sure we were taken care of (spoiled us rotten), a frequent Mgoblog lurker, we'll call him Larry, stopped by to say hi, and we even got to meet Seth.  Seth seems to be as cool in person as he is in print.  Someday I'm going to corner him and pepper him with questions, but luckily for him, today was not that day.  

But what about the more important stuff?  What about the occasional thread where guys/gals need help, prayer, a job, a ticket, advice for getting into school?  This is the place for that.  What about the incredibly personal stuff, the stuff that takes your breath away - remember Brutus and his wife this fall?  There's been threads that included great help for things like depression or cancer or how about that thread yesterday, the one where a long-time lurker, infrequent poster, had an OP about abuse that was as thoughtful and well-worded as I've ever read.  

Unlike virtually every other message board you've ever visited, there's real people here.  Its kind of like your weekly Saturday morning basketball game with the same group showing up.  Sure, one guy doesn't pass, another keeps taking 3's like he's going to make them and never does, and none of us are as fast or jump as high as we used to.  But you know what, these are also the same people that will pull their truck up to yours and jump you battery b/c yours won't crank, and buy you breakfast after the game b/c you 'forgot' your wallet.  Contrast that with when you go play hoops at some big-city court.  Every foul is an argument, some break out in fights.  That's because of the anonymity, the attitude that they'll never see that guy again so who cares, take that ball, argue the call, start a pushing match. 

 I know I value this community and try to treat it like a Saturday morning basketball game.  There are so many people here that are worthwhile folks.  I guess it'd be a good thing to keep in mind once in a while, might help us with the tougher topics.  Besides, you might need your car jumped someday and the blogger you are being snarky to might be the one whose got cables.  Heck of a day, heck of an MgoCommunity.

Go Blue!





scanner blue

February 4th, 2018 at 10:45 AM ^

I've probably "swagged" many dozens of kids over my short five year career at Yost , Crisler , Michigan Stadium,  Ray Fisher, etc. and the pleasure is shared as much by me as the young blue fans. Earlier this year I "repurposed" a maize pom-pom from hockey the night before to a toddler in a cheer outfit, and she must have come in and out of the lower bowl at Crisler six times with her mother, each time waving her new found maize possesion and with a big smile for me.


February 4th, 2018 at 10:53 AM ^

It was great meeting you too, and your wonderfully patient kids, who all deserve ice cream today for how they stood by steadfastly while we griped for far too long about free throws.


February 4th, 2018 at 1:55 PM ^

the oldest daughter you met turned down a number of small college hoops offers, but where she's attending they want her to play as well.  when she said 'no thank you', the mens varsity coach asked her if she'd be the team manager.   basketball talks are long on interest in our house, no problem. 

(sunday night is dessert night at the farm, so they'll get some ice cream tonight)


February 4th, 2018 at 5:48 PM ^

XM, I always enjoy your intelligent, reasonable comments, but this post takes them all.  Great sentiment.  It's been years since I've been back to Michigan, but I'd love to cross paths with you sometime.  Go blue!

M and M Boys

February 4th, 2018 at 6:10 PM ^

I look forward to our Kahlua and Tomato Juice (Shaken, Not Stirred) Tailgate this fall,...
When we finish toasting right at kickoff we will be easily recognizable by all other MGOBLOGGERS in attendance—
We will be the two best looking guys in the Stadium as we run out with the squad and Touch the Banner and form the Big Block T— (don’t worry,I’ll carry you...)
Stay well/Go Blue!!!!!!!

rob f

February 5th, 2018 at 12:48 AM ^

Those pictures you texted me of the kids with MAAR and with Moe are the best! I'd post them but 1) I respect your family's privacy, and 2) posting pictures from a phone is darn difficult.

Sorry it didn't work out to meet up, I was also wanting to meet Scanner Blue, he sounds like a fine gentleman and usher, just like the ones in my section (#36) of Michigan Stadium. One in my section (Dave) has been on the job for something like 44 seasons. That's dedication and that's true love for MICHIGAN. But 70 seasons? Just wow!

Just an educated guess, but I'm willing to bet your next visit to Crisler will be a lot sooner than 34 seasons from now.


February 5th, 2018 at 5:52 AM ^

that is stub hub, yeah, i bet we come down again next year, maybe even on an annual basis for at least one game.  would love to work the whole family in somehow but that's a lot of tickets and logistics with kids and their sports stuff, seating, farm stuff, etc.  

saturday's game was an all-time memory though for the 5 of us who made it, and so much of that was scanner blue and his generosity of time and friendship.  thanks again scanner, (CG), you are the bomb. 


February 5th, 2018 at 10:04 AM ^

Great post XM. If this blog were only about Michigan sports and there wasn't a good balance of allowing OT content yet banning flame inducing commentary, it definitely wouldn't have the community feel it does. 

In the evening when the kids are finally in bed, I always hop on to see if there was any late night news. Inevitably my wife asks, "what's going on on your blog tonight?". Often times I will mention a dumb post and the quickly flurry of responses. Her typical response is, "and that's why you can't be stupid on a Michigan blog". That's why I like it here.


February 5th, 2018 at 10:24 AM ^

and awesome people in the community. It's great to see people meet up with other posters and learn how many great people there are.  Make's me embarressed a little that I don't do more when I see how much people do around here.

So sad (for my ego) story, you mention people helping with jump starting a car.  I spent the whole weekend trying to jump my wife's Ford Escape.  The battery is in a really crappy position, and I was afraid I'd have to replace it, but I couldn't get any charge no matter what I did while trying to jump it.  I moved the ground around to different spots without even a spark of light to the car.  Finally called a tow company, thinking there was something major.  We tried to jump it again, and what do you know, by putting it on the hinge of the hood, he got a good ground and on come the lights.

I've jumped plenty of cars before, so this took a hit at the ol' ego.  On top of that, I'm also an engineer who works on batteries, so my ego takes a double tap.  

Anyways, hope that little poorly told story raises some spirits this winter morning.