This story really made me proud to be a Michigan fan. Last year I went to evey road game and I was embarrassed of the rest of the Big Ten. Even Northwestern fans made asses of themself. I know Michigan fans arent perfect, and sometimes we stoop down to the level of our competition when it comes to trash talking, but as we see every year, there is a line that we know not to cross. The fans of the school down south continue to cross that line.
I am absolutely for being proud of your school and despising your competitor's team, but especially on a day like 9/11 where we are reminded that we really are all one, I can be proud to call myself a Michigan Wolverine becasue we are the Leaders and the Best, and we win and lose with class.
Utah visitors: Hats off to Michigan fans
Posted by Jim Carty | The Ann Arbor News September 11, 2008 09:33AM
to the editor don't seem to attract a lot of attention online, but we
had three in this week's Ann Arbor News that I thought were noteworthy,
particularly because negative fan experiences seem to get a lot more
attention than positive ones. All were from Utah visitors in town for
the season opener against Michigan two weeks ago.
All three offered deeply felt and - and in some cases seemingly
surprised - kudos in regard to how Utah fans were treated by Michigan
First, from Sarah Shepard Scott of Salt Lake City:
On Aug. 30 my family and I embarked on a long, hot climb to
the little "red" section in the rafters of Michigan Stadium. There we
would join a relatively small, albeit loyal, group of Utah fans.
I was nervous because we were trekking through a solid background
of blue and gold, over 100,000 strong, and they were pumped for the
season-opening game. With me were my 11-year-old son and my 77-year-old
Roughly four hours later, in rafter temperature of plus 100 degrees
and hermetically sealed to our neighbors, Utahns were rewarded with an
improbable outcome. Way up above, their fans made their way down again
through the sea of blue and gold, warily. But instead of bitter remarks
and sullen looks, Utahns were largely met with congratulations,
handshakes and good humor. The brave smiles and goodwill of everyone
from exiting fans to bus drivers and local business owners were
compelling, and observed by many.
In later conversations, it was clear that the post-game behavior of
Michigan fans made more than a few of us visitors reflect on what we
had witnessed. While we remained happy for our team, those reflections
gave us all pause. Most of us saw that Michigan's loss revealed its
greatest strength - a supportive community.
While confidence in their long-term success and pride in the history
of a standout program likely buoyed Michigan fans as they demonstrated
grace in the face of disappointment, it was a rare sight nonetheless.
And, for those of us in smaller houses, it was inspiring.
A second latter came from Doug Cahoon of Cottonwood Heights, Utah:
I was one of the lucky ones from Utah who attended the game Aug. 30, with my oldest son.
Other football fans could learn a lesson from Michigan and their fan
base. My family and I were spit on at a UCLA game and I was hit in the
back of the head by an elderly man's cane at a BYU game. I have been
taunted by San Diego State and UNLV in their respective stadiums. The
experience to and in the Big House was very different.
Before the game started, the Michigan Band marched down to the end
of the field where they welcomed us with the Utah fight song and a very
sincere welcome over the PA system. As Utah did well early in the game
I was embarrassed over the taunting some of the 3,500 Utah fans did
towards the 105,000 Michigan fans. But there was little response from
Michigan fans. Then back to the airport where the young attendant at
the car rental sincerely said, "We appreciate you guys (Utes) taking it
easy on us and letting us make it a close game." Thanks Michigan, you
showed my son and me how real fans with class act.
And, finally, a third from Patrick J. Healey of Holladay, Utah:
I just got back from visiting your stadium and your fair state. I wanted to make three quick comments.
• Thank you for being so hospitable! Five friends came to watch the
game and cheer on our team. The fans in Section 15 were very generous
and showed good sportsmanship. Sad to say some of the Utah fans I could
not say likewise; for them I apologize. It was a good experience.
• You need to cut some slack to your players and coaches. Yes, they
were befuddled by our defense because our defense has been playing this
scheme and practicing with a team that has been playing the spread for
years. Other than some questionable calls, our team hurt themselves
more on miscues and penalties.
• Six years ago we lost to Arizona in a similar game and went on to
win the rest of the games that season. Give your team a real chance
before tearing them down.
Thanks for the kindnesses shown and I hope someday you will come
visit us and that we can show you as much Western hospitality as you
showed us of Midwestern hospitality. You have the best fans I've ever
met in any stadium.
Great job by all three Utes fans to take time to highlight the positive.
And in return, we offer a little advice to the good people of Utah:
Midwestern hospitality, while generally similar to what you enjoyed
here in Ann Arbor, is not universal. Any doubts about that will be
erased by your first game in Columbus, Ohio.