The Horror and The Fame, One Year Later

Submitted by Muppet Glee Club on October 17th, 2016 at 10:42 PM

I know that nobody here really wants to remember the game and the play that happened on October 17th, 2015, but I wanted to organize my thoughts and also take a moment to appreciate the University of Michigan and its fan base.

For those of you already confused or unaware, I am better known in the world of college football as the 'Shocked Michigan Fan.' Yes, that guy that you are probably envisioning right now with his hands on his head. I have been a fan of Michigan athletics for as long as I can remember and jumped up and down with joy in the middle of my high school class when I learned that I had been accepted into the College of Engineering at U of M in Ann Arbor. Ever since Jalen Watts-Jackson crossed that goal line and my disappointment graced millions of TVs across the country, I can only say that I’ve never been more proud to call the University of Michigan my home.

Immediately after the game, I stood with my friends and the entire UM student body in shock. I watched as the Spartans dog piled only a few feet from me and proceeded to watch them shout at the student section. I saw them raise Paul Bunyan and have a party in the middle of the Big House. Still unsure if what I had witnessed was a reality, I began to stagger up the steps of the stadium and back to West Quad. When I finally decided to check my phone, I found that I had received dozens of texts from family, friends, and people I barely knew showing me my 10 seconds of fame. That night, I watched SportsCenter anchors Max Bretos and Jonathan Coachman gawk at my image on national television.

In the days immediately following, things picked up quickly. Here on mgoblog there was already some outreach.My friend created a post about possible legal action and there was plenty of discussion and advice. Special thanks to BiSB for handling some matters there that I won’t delve into. Another topic was created dedicated entirely to concern over my well-being. On the outside, I spoke with multiple news outlets from all over that wanted to talk about what it was like to be ‘The Guy,’ as I would generally be known.

In the past year, I’ve had some experiences I could have never imagined. In my lifetime I did not expect to be on TV more than a few times, but then I was being flown to Atlanta to attend the College Football Awards Show. I shook hands with Dabo Swinney, Derrick Henry, Deshaun Watson, and even Mark Dantonio.

Even with the trip and the dozens of interviews, one thing that has stood out is the power of the University of Michigan fan base. I’ve talked to hundreds of people affiliated with the university who I would have never met before the fame. This ranges from alumni to current students to those who simply follow the football team. I’ve run into people in my hometown, while I was on vacation in North Carolina, and of course Ann Arbor, among other places; all expressing their excitement and jumping at the chance to snap a quick picture with me. It has been a positive experience every time. Nearly every person has shown some sort of concern about how I am handling the fame, sometimes offering money and compliments as forms of support. The UM community has truly proven themselves as the best community in the world.

Now, it’s a year later and I sit here with high anticipation for the rest of this season, especially with a trip to East Lansing coming soon. We had many long years with our football team and that heartbreaking play was just one more trial on the way back to the top. Once again, thanks to everyone who I have met over the last year. It has definitely been a year of experiences that I will never forget. Here’s to a great finish to the 2016 season, Go Blue!

 

Yours in football,

Chris Baldwin (‘The Guy’)

Comments

StephenRKass

October 17th, 2016 at 10:58 PM ^

Wow. Just wow. Thanks a ton for posting. As far as I'm concerned, you and your entourage should have rock star seating in E. Lansing for what looks to be a colossal beat down. You will be there, right?

Mr. Elbel

October 17th, 2016 at 11:19 PM ^

I'll have to log on in the morning to give you an actual +1. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm sorry for whatever difficult times you might have gone through with it, but am also glad that you were able to turn it into a positive. Glad you'll be smiling again with the rest of us in two weeks.

lbpeley

October 18th, 2016 at 7:14 AM ^

I have never seen this clip apparently. This is the first I can recall hearing about any "The Guy". I was at the game so I never felt the need to ever watch any part of the damn thing on TV. Ever. Now I kind of want to see this. Is there a way to see it without seeing that play? I've gone this long without ever seeing it so I figure I might as well keep going.

Edit: clicked on your second link with the still pic 5 miles into the thread. Dude. Are you sure you're ok? That is one heck of a screen grab.

RFM

October 18th, 2016 at 7:40 AM ^

Great read. Thanks for posting. Coincidentally my friends and I were discussing you during the Rutgers game. I'm so glad to hear your experience has been positive. Go Blue!

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You Only Live Twice

October 18th, 2016 at 10:40 AM ^

It's hard to really fathom just how much has changed in only 2 years.

2 years ago Dave Brandon was let go.

1 year ago we were clearly the better team against State,

Hearing an interview with Ward Emmanuel yesterday while driving home, I was thinking, (not for the first time) how much more articulate he is comparied to Brandon, how articulate Hackett is compared to Brandon.  The presence is completely different.

Good things ahead for this program, enjoy our success and best wishes for your future. 

Muppet Glee Club

October 18th, 2016 at 1:25 PM ^

I couldn't agree more. I was part of the group that protested against Brandon on campus two years ago. I would go to the Big House or watch the games in the dorms and be filled with dissapointment and anger. I spent many hours that December discussing the coaching search with my friends and it was an unbelievable experience to be at the Illinois basketball game when Harbaugh was introduced. Like I said, last year's MSU game was just another thing we had to overcome during the revival of Michigan football. There might be more before we finally reach the top, but, regardless of that, we are still in great hands.

EastCoast

October 18th, 2016 at 11:21 AM ^

I'm jealous of you, "The Guy," now. Didn't think I would utter those words a year ago.

Awesome story man. I'm glad that this has turned into a great thing for you and that you have stayed True Blue.

I REALLY hope they capture your face post-victory in EL.

MGoBlueMyself

October 18th, 2016 at 11:23 AM ^

Thanks for sharing your story and experience. Kind of scary when simply attending an event and reacting to something can put you front and center of the entire country. You and Ken Bone can share that brotherhood together. 

You handled yourself incredibly well, and I hope you will get the opportunity to attend the game in EL this year. You deserve that. They breed 'em well in the Baldwin family. A++

 

JFW

October 18th, 2016 at 4:52 PM ^

I'd have to meet him to be sure, but while I recognize him as an excellent coach, he sure does seem to be a jerk. His statements, and some of the stuff in 3 and out... Jerk. 

Makes me hope we hang 28 unanswered on them, then shut them out. 

MGoBourbon

October 18th, 2016 at 11:35 AM ^

Go Blue, my friend. Glad you're in a good place. Rest assured that I looked exactly like you did in that moment; I just happened to be in my house, 1400 miles away, sans TV cameras.

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nappa18

October 18th, 2016 at 11:49 AM ^

Since I shut the TV off in shock as soon as the horror play ended with no flags and have never watched a replay, this is the first I've heard of this. It's only recently that I even read a few lines about this play. Still blaming Baxter, special teams "genius" for not being in full blocked punt protection formation. Didn't we have one or two gunners on that play even though Sparty had no one deep?

LKLIII

October 18th, 2016 at 3:26 PM ^

Thanks for posting. Good to hear things are going well & I do hope you go to the MSU game and the media has a chance to get a "redemption" shot of you. Your initial reaction epitomizes what every single Michigan fan felt at the time. FWIW, that "shocked look with hands in the head" now seems to have gotten a name that is growing in popularity: the "Surrender Cobra". Lots of fans seem to adopt it when a shocking turn of events for the worse happens at a sporting event. Here's to a season of watching OTHER fans flash the "surrender cobra" this year.

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jmblue

October 18th, 2016 at 7:43 PM ^

Very interesting to learn the follow-up to the story.  I personally don't care for TV guys making fun of fans for acting like, well, fans, but I guess that's where we are now. 

Excellent username by the way.

 

Hard-Baughlls

October 18th, 2016 at 3:53 PM ^

and Jim Harbaugh.  I think it's very inspirational and shows what the Michigan spirit is all about.

Yes, we were all sickened by the play, but as I recall, as a whole, the fanbase behaved with class towards the punter and sympathized with the players who were obviously more hurt than we ever could be.

This year's team may go on to do great things, but the way that team came back from that heartbreaking loss and finished the year was the foundation upon which Harbaugh built his future program, and I will always be proud of their accomplishments.

Like coach said..."It steeled our spine"

And to answer their grinch coach's question....The Wolverines haven't gone anywhere, we're here watching your program fall off a cliff as Harbaugh reclaims the state.

Blerg

October 18th, 2016 at 4:44 PM ^

Thanks for sharing.  I was behind you quite a view rows in the north endzone for that play.  I have seen that play once, in real time, I have not watched one replay since.

 

Go Blue!

WolverineHistorian

October 18th, 2016 at 7:06 PM ^

I noticed a Rutgers fan was holding a big poster of your face in the stands 2 weeks ago when we played there, before the game got out of hand.

Stupid fans living through other teams success. State did that in 2007 before we played them when they had a 6 game losing streak to us and their fans were selling t-shirts with the score of The Horror on it.

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turkeydriver123

October 18th, 2016 at 8:54 PM ^

We all felt that same horror and shock as the play unfolded. However, there wasn't a camera in my family room to catch MY gaping jaw :O Thanks for posting a
great follow up. Good luck to you and I hope you can get a ringside seat to the impending beat down in East Lansing!
UM '84