It IS Great To Be A Michigan Wolverine

Submitted by MillerTime on September 8th, 2008 at 3:24 PM

I usually drink Brian's fan-criticism kool aid, but not this time. Yes, students shouldn't be doing the wave when they need to be loud and support the team. Yes, the band should be the only source of music once they step on the field. But students, it's always great to be a Michigan Wolverine, no matter what the score of a football game is. After all, the chant doesn't go, "It's great. To be. A Michigan football fan."

The thing that sets Michigan apart from most other football programs is
that it's great to be a Michigan Wolverine inside the Big House, at the
bars, in the classroom, and in the real world with a Michigan diploma.
If the only reason students should be proud to be Michigan Wolverines
is the success of the football team... well, then we're just another
student body that goes "WOOOOTT TRE$$ELL SUX!1!" when our team wins. And then boos them when they lose. We are - or should be - better than that. And that expectation is why it's great to be a Michigan Wolverine. As
Bo said:

"When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can
make you soft. On the other hand, when your team is losing, stick by
them. Keep believing."

 Cheer up. Rick's doesn't close when the team loses. 



September 8th, 2008 at 3:39 PM ^

However, since this is Michigan, a certain excellence is demanded and expected. I think Brian's point is that we should not be satisfied with, let's admit it, a sub-par performance.

Where I disagree with Brian is that the chant is a good bolster to the team still struggling to find its way, and at this point, the team needs all the support it can get.


September 8th, 2008 at 4:42 PM ^

Apparently Bo copied "Those who stay will be champions" and certainly we didn't invent the wave, so "It's great to be a Michigan Wolverine" is traditional in the sense that we co-opted someone else's good idea.

The cheer came to Michigan via Auburn in the 1984 Sugar Bowl: "It's great to be an Auburn Tiger." The cheer actually sounds better with the extra syllables in "Michigan Wolverine," as we quickly figured out (in private) at that bowl game. I was in the MMB at the time.

I believe, but I'm not certain, that the cheer was actually invented by the Crimson Tide, to the tune of "It's great to be from Alabama." At least when we started chanting "It's great to be a Michigan Wolverine" at the 1987 Hall of Fame Bowl, the Alabama-types became rather wide-eyed and responded immediately with the cheer they obviously considered to be their own. Sort of like it irks us when everybody and their brother uses "Let's go blue" in ridiculous ways, such as "Go Purdue."

Just some more useless trivia.


September 8th, 2008 at 4:48 PM ^

I remember the first game michigan won my freshman year (also against Miami (OH)) and for all I cared we could have just won the rosebowl. Anytime Michigan wins at home the crowd is going to cheer and celebrate, and there is nothing wrong w/ that. I think its fair to say that the average mgoblog reader/commenter/poster looks at the situation a little more big picture than the average student at the game.


September 8th, 2008 at 5:14 PM ^

also uses the "it's great to be a" chant. Oddly, they make it "great to be a Ten-nes-see Vol" rather than "Vol-un-teer." Seems to me it would sound better the other way.

One thing I think we can all agree on: the "it's great to be" chant is a victory chant, and should be used at the end of games only (or possibly during typhoons a la Central Michigan 2006).


September 8th, 2008 at 5:34 PM ^

Yeah, it was a pitiful performance, but would you rather everyone in the crowd be completely mum during a poor performance like during OSU last year? Gross.

Besides, it seems to me like quite an about-face to complain about fans cheering when 95% of the time we're complaining about everyone else sitting on their hands.

MMB 82

September 8th, 2008 at 6:58 PM ^

The "Let's Go Blue" tune was written ("invented?") by Joe Carl (UM '77), a Sousaphone player for the UM Hockey Band. Legend has it he played it at a game, and band director George Cavender spontaneously shouted "Let's Go Blue!" right after it, and it stuck. The really funny thing is that Joe had the foresight to copyright the song, and has been getting royalty checks (a few grand/yr) all these years for the number of times it gets played over radio and TV.


September 8th, 2008 at 8:31 PM ^

We need a community wide referendum on both the "It's Great To Be a Michigan Wolverine" chant and the appropriate time to do the wave at Michigan Stadium, because clearly, a nerve has been hit.

Zone Read Left

September 8th, 2008 at 10:14 PM ^

Just to clear things up, the wave was started by a bunch of freshman girls who were sitting a couple of seats away from me. They had been trying to do it about 10 other times during the game until it finally caught. I think the other students idiotically did the wave just to shut them up.


September 9th, 2008 at 11:00 AM ^

You know I personally dont have a problem with the student section with the "You Suck."  It is a little arrogant but they have fun with it.  I remember being in the student section when a group of students started doint that and it kept spreading each game.  It was funny.  As for the wave even if it was a bunch of freshman girls it has not been done at the right time at all during the last couple years.  Do it during one of those long tv timeouts not just after a TV timeout ends. 

 Anyway the thing that did not go over with me the most was the booing when Sheridan came in at the end of the 1st half.  There were a few guys that presented themselves as the best fans ever and then began booing after one play.  Why are we booing a team that is trying to find its identity?  Are we all of a sudden smarter than our coaching staff?  I think Threet should be the starter but again I am not at practice everyday to know this for sure.  Either way lets cut this team a little slack and try not booing for at least a while huh?


September 9th, 2008 at 6:44 PM ^

I personally can't stand the you suck from the student section.  To me it is juvenile and is something I would equate to drunk ND fans.  Why can't we be classier then that?  Why is it okay that our student body makes the entire fanbase look bad?  Am I the only one who feels this way?


September 10th, 2008 at 7:15 PM ^

If you think our football chants are crass... I mean... seriously... have you ever been to a hockey game? Yes we are arrogant. We do see ourselves as haughty. Go to a Michigan hockey game. It is excellently amazingly awesome. The cheers that might offend the ass-stick you seem to contain that I can recall of the top of my head would be things like... hmm I recall 'Slutty Girlfriends, Ugly Parents' and the C-ya chant which I won't type in case people's workplaces frown on such things.


September 8th, 2008 at 11:18 PM ^

At the end of the game, when everyone was chanting the "It's great to be a Michigan Wolverine," I turned to one of my friends and said "This chant doesn't fit all that well today." Then I paused and added "We should rush the field, it might be one of our only chances this year."
My friend replied with a good point though. He said, "In the context of the fans of this game, you're either a Michigan Wolverine or a Miami Red Hawk. And between the two, it's great to be a Michigan Wolverine. And it sucks to be a Miami Redhawk." So then we joined in the "It's great to be a Michigan Wolverine" chant and alternated it with "It sucks to be a Miami Red Hawk" chant.


September 8th, 2008 at 11:32 PM ^

It is that god damn "you suck" chant after failed 3rd down conversions. I HATE that chant, it comes off really arrogant when we are barely beating a MAC team.


September 9th, 2008 at 9:52 AM ^

Right on Kal.  I HATE that chant as well.  If any students are reading these posts, please try to change it.  How about yelling something more positive instead, like "Go Blue",  "We Rock"  "Take That"  etc.   The "you suck" is in bad taste and stupid, particularly since the chant doesn't change even when we are losing.  So, if we are losing to teams that suck, does that mean we are saying that we really suck. 


September 9th, 2008 at 3:02 PM ^

I'm a junior and I have pretty good seats, I give EVERYONE around me shit for doing it. My seating group pretty much abstains from that chant because it is flat out stupid. We also refused to do the wave, but for some reason it finally caught and the general mentality from most of the upperclassmen was "eh fuck it, this might be our only opportunity to do it all season".

 Edit: I'd like to clarify that I am one of the rowdiest and most obnoxious fans there are (hooray beer?) and do like to have fun with it, but not when it is in bad taste. I usually don't get my voice back until the monday after home games.


September 9th, 2008 at 11:01 AM ^

Count me as another who thinks the "it's great... to be..." chant is always appropriate.

Brian, you correctly pointed out that last week the fans should have been ashamed for the smattering of boos they threw out to an inexperienced team struggling to find its identity against a solid Utah team. On the flip side, I'm always fine with the "It's great" chant.

And kudos to the rest of you re: the "you suck" chant. That started towards the end of my undergrad time, I think (02ish). The DUMBEST chant I've ever heard. I don't need moonbeams and fairy dust all the time, but "you suck" is neither funny, original, biting, or clever. Just dumb.


September 10th, 2008 at 2:42 PM ^

its really just the timing that's a little's not that the "it's great" chant or the wave are necessarily bad, or that we aren't proud. it's just that when you're beating a MAC school 16-6 it isn't strictly necessary to trumptet it quite so loudly. a different situation might require a different kind of response.  we don't need to feel "unbridled joy" for beating a MAC team.  think about one stereotype of OSU fans- their response to anything is always similar "yeah, but you suck" no matter what we say. they drink 20 beers whether they beat usc or ohio. 

 so of course we're pround of michigan, even if they lost to miami, or beat miami by 3, or 10, or 80. it's just that when we win by a small margin it's less necessary to bellow just then- doesn't matter what the cheer is.


September 11th, 2008 at 10:44 PM ^

Yeah. I love when the band plays the "Temptation" teaser, but I don't like that it's been hijacked by the "You Suck" chant. Come on guys, let's come up with something a little more intelligent.