U of M Grads... ?

Submitted by cougar blue on June 30th, 2008 at 4:04 PM

I hear fans form opposing schools all the time (mainly the sparty grads.) that fans of U of M that did not go to school at Michigan can not be fans. You have to go to or have graduated from Michigan to support or be a huge fan of them. This really pisses me off because I LOVE Mich. Football (and all sports). Not that I care because it has not changed the way I feel... I played football in High School and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend football camp at Michigan (won the tug of war contest in '95 - i know sweet huh?). Anyway, I fell in love with the Michigan Football program. I was able to hear Bo speak, meet players, learn the tradition, etc... Unfortunately, I was not good enough to earn a "ride" to U of M (I played D3), and to lazy to get good enough grades to get accepted. Since then I have been a HUGE fan of the program...

Anyway, I wondered what some of you graduates of Michigan thought about this?

Thansk, Cougar blue

 Thanks everyone for commenting on my post! Well, I have to get to Wal-Mart.. need to get my t-shirts and such for the fall... but while I am there I will double check to see if they sell MSU stuff as well... they do it was right next to the t-shirts that my Little brother wears!  

Go Blue! Maybe I will see you at the Big House this Fall!



June 30th, 2008 at 4:07 PM ^

I despise M Fans who did not attend the University and fully support euthanasia for such scum. Unless they went to Miami, in which case they are ok.


June 30th, 2008 at 4:16 PM ^

As an alum, my view of non-grad fans is that the more the merrier. The only concern that I have about non-grads (and it can apply to grads as well) is that they are more likely to be bandwagon types. Case in point, I was in undergrad for the 1990-1993 seasons. I suffered the ridiculous losses to ND, MSU and Iowa in 1990 and the lows that came with. I was there for the Rose Bowl teams of 1991 and 1992 and Desmond's Heisman and the Catch. I was also there for the debacle of 1993 (the ND drubbing and the blown game against Illinois). So I have a sense of perspective. I'm not going to be an argogant ass when we have a great year, because I've been through the crappy years. I have a sense (with no data to back it up) that the band wagon fans are more likely to be asses during seasons like 2006 and leave the core fans exposed to the backlash during years like 2007. Alums can be these same bandwagon a-holes as non-alums. If you are a true fan that is there for the ups and downs and has a sense for the tradition and history of the program, its not critical that you were an alum. Being an alum only makes it more likely that you have a sense of this perspective and history because there were at least four years you were involved.


June 30th, 2008 at 4:27 PM ^

The only thing I would add is that non-grad fans are not allowed to remark/debate the educational merits of other schools under the UM cloak.  I have friends who graduated from MSU who will admit that, on the whole, UM has better academics.  The biggest complaint they have is when they are baited by UM fans about MSU being a crappy school by someone who did not even attend UM - and I completely agree.

 So, welcome all non-grad fans.  Please just try and limit the conversations to on the field activities.


July 1st, 2008 at 5:52 AM ^

if you didn't get in its kind of hard for you to take that argument on. But I think any fan is welcome as long as they have some connection to the univeristy. Even minor connections, like living in the state of michigan (including toledo), your camp attendance would certainly qualify in my eyes. Or having a relative or friend who is connected to the university in some way. 'the more the merrier' yeah.

cougar blue

June 30th, 2008 at 4:30 PM ^

"If you are a true fan that is there for the ups and downs and has a sense for the tradition and history of the program, its not critical that you were an alum. "

 That would be me... I have studyed the traditionand the History! Thanks for replying!

Chicago Blue

June 30th, 2008 at 4:32 PM ^

I think what makes a school like Michigan so great is that it has this legion of fans who adore the school and its athletics, but who have no tangible connection to the university itself. They could have picked any other school in the country but they chose Michigan. That there is something about Michigan that draws these fans to the school is a testament to the university. People who went to Michigan had little choice but to be Michigan fans, whereas those who attended school somewhere else (or did not attend college at all) CHOSE Michigan above all others. It's a compliment, as far as I'm concerned.


June 30th, 2008 at 4:38 PM ^

The more the merrier; it speaks volumes about the allure of Michigan's storied athletic history. Any non-grad Northwestern fans out there?














Plus, I've found that (at least among the ranks of M fans my age (M sophomore)) those who do not attend U-M are the most rabid fans - following recruiting closely and having a grasp on the Michigan football tradition.


June 30th, 2008 at 4:38 PM ^

I think you'll find just as many fans of MSU basketball that didn't go to MSU as you will find UM football fans who aren't alums. MSU's basketball team has been on an incredible run of success in the last 10 years so they've picked up a whole lot of fans. I'm not an alum, but I've been going to the games since I was 6, so I think I've paid my dues. You just can't go around telling Spartans that their academics are wack...that's not really fair if you're not an alum.

West Texas Blue

June 30th, 2008 at 4:44 PM ^

I'm always welcome of non-grad fans, but remember non-grad fans only see the school to the extent of the football field and basketball court. As a graduate of Umich, I have a strong interest in seeing Umich stay a top 25 university, through donations, working with alumni groups, and representing the University in my work and my life. As I always say, one more Michigan fan is one less Buckeye fan.


June 30th, 2008 at 4:51 PM ^

There's an entirely separate organization for those UM alumni who feel the need to rub elbows with others who stalked the halls of Angell, or whatever - it's called the Alumni Association. You can even get a membership card to prove your affiliation to other such elitists. Or I suppose you could really wow them by carrying around your battered old student ID (mine has the punches in it to register in pre-laser scanning devices - yes, I'm ancient). But anyone who recognizes the superiority of Michigan football should always be welcome, regardless of pedigree.


June 30th, 2008 at 4:59 PM ^

I am a non-alum fan. So, Dex, unless you were kidding, you and I are going to have problems, lol.

Considering I am sitting in the same seats since the late 1970s, I guess those "worries" about we non-alum fans being the bandwagoners do not apply in this case. I agree there are bandwagoners (as there are in every single sport), but I dont think it matters if you're an alum or not. Bandwagoners are part of every demographic. Living here in Ohio, I can tell you one school's fan base is nothing but an overfilled bandwagon, but thats another story!

For me, cheering for all of UM's athletics is a family tradition, and I still tear up when I walk into the stadium thinking about the days when I attended games on my grandparents laps.

mjvancam: Good stuff in your post. It is all about weathering the ups and downs. Sometimes when I close my eyes, I can still see that cheating, rat scum bag Bob Crable jumping on top of the ND D-linemen to block a game winning field goal attempt in 1979. We lost 12-10. Talk about a ridiculous loss to ND!! So, my cure is to close my eyes again and visualize Wangler to Carter on the final play of the IU game just a few weeks later. Those were among my first games ever at the Big House, and it has been an addiction ever since!!!

Commander Cody

June 30th, 2008 at 5:10 PM ^

As someone who grew up in the Ann Arbor area and then attended UM, one of my favorite part of any football Saturday remains the walk we used to take to get to the game. My dad and I would always walk in from the west of the stadium, passing down Pauline Blvd, cutting through Allemdinger Park, and entering through the gate on the Northwest corner at Main and Keech.

I love the way that neighborhood comes out for football. It's kids with lemonade stands and cars parked on lawns. It's grilling and footballs being thrown in the street. It's like the pre-game parties at Beta and volleyballfrat, or up and down Arch St., but completely different, because people from pre-school to retirement all join in. I can't think that everyone out in that neighborhood went to UM, but the way they came out to support not just the team, but the special type of day that's UM football, was always great to see.


July 1st, 2008 at 11:37 AM ^

I lived on the corner of Belmar and Potter from 1997-2005.  Great neighborhood, though I must say I'm kinda glad I sold and moved out of Michigan before the economy got much worse.

I really miss getting to walk into the stadium at the start of the 4th Q and sit where ever there were empty seats. I wonder if they'll keep doing that with the renovations?


June 30th, 2008 at 5:09 PM ^

i'm not gonna lie, i find it weird when people are attached to a school (or it football program) they didnt go to unless they have some other obvious tie to the school (work there or whatever) i mean, i grew up a michigan fan, but i almost went to usc. if i had, i'd be a usc fan. i wouldnt have walked around LA in an M hat. my sense of fandom (is that a word) changed the day i enrolled. the more the merrier obviously, but i guess a little of that typical michigan arrogance (and possessiveness) sneaks in every now and then. sorry


July 1st, 2008 at 5:55 AM ^

I don't think there's any problem with rooting for two teams, unless their rivals and then that's just weird. like (name redacted) who transferred because he maintained some fondness for osu. But you're right in that it should be the school you have the biggest connection to that becomes your favorite.


June 30th, 2008 at 5:16 PM ^

and she still wants U-M to do well, especially in football. I think it's because cfaller gets a little hostile/drunk/abusive to the pets when Michigan blows another fucking lead in the 4th quarter or the offense turtles again after getting a 10 point lead even though it's only the 2nd quarter or when the kicker misses another field goal or...

Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, it's ok for non-U-M grads to cheer for U-M, because it's possible to have a personal stake in U-M (e.g. not having your husband go insane) even when it's not your alma mater.


June 30th, 2008 at 5:41 PM ^

I am a current doctoral student at UofM. I did not do my undergraduate here, but I have been a UofM football fan my entire life. A fan is a fan. If you know how to yell something other than "Down in front" then I hope you can get tickets to the games too! :o)


June 30th, 2008 at 5:41 PM ^

My wife is a Sparty, and we had this argument a while ago after some Drew Stanton comments. She has no issues with non-alum fans, but what drives her crazy is the non-alums who bring up the academics of the schools to put down State fans. Like her dumb as a brick cousin who pulls out all of the stupid jokes even though she has earned her doctorate at MSU. So root for whoever you want, but skip the academics if you didn't get in either.

Blue Durham

June 30th, 2008 at 6:14 PM ^

I certainly don't have a problem with non-alum Michigan fans, and Cougar Blue certainly has a legit connection to the program.

 Hell, I have several degrees from UM and lived in AA for over a decade, and the only connection I have with the program is I met the center from the late 70's at the Phila. Airport who told me the damnedest story. Seems that he, along with Rick Leach and others, decided to drive a van to Atlantic City when gambling first started up.   While driving at night, he noticed that several cars were swerving behind him and when they passed the van the car's occupants gave him a real dirty look. He looked back, and in the rear of the van he saw the back doors open, and Leach bending over with his pants down - he was taking a dump on the Atlantic City Expressway. Don't know if its true, but it is funny.

Anyway, back on topic, I have found the non-alum Notre Dame fans (fortunately now a dying breed now that ND has been returning to glory for what, 15 or so years now) to be absolutely the most obnoxious. Many of these fans have never stepped foot in Indiana, let alone ND's campus. I have found they are the most graceless winners.

big gay heart

June 30th, 2008 at 6:28 PM ^

I didn't go to Michigan.

I've loved this team since I can remember loving something. What does "alumni status" have to do with anything? You do realize, of course, that if only alums were "allowed" to root for CFB teams, there'd be a helluva lot less U of M fans than Buckeye and Sparty fans. In my particular case, I can remember years upon years of watching games. I remember punching my dad in the stomach when he tried to console me after the Colorado loss. I've been with this team through good and bad and can't imagine caring more about any sports team, anywhere.

Contrast that with the obvious reality that many U of M alums had no real connection to the football program until they became students and realized that getting drunk and going to games was the thing to do on crisp Saturdays in the fall. Who is more of a fan? I'm not sure, and I don't really care to debate the correct answer. Because, mostly, there isn't one.

Sport is, in large part, about your memories. It's about years and years of watching games with family members and friends. It's about sticking with something through the ups and downs and realizing that literally nothing can change your desire to see your team do well. Alumni stauts has nothing to do with fanhood.

Like an earlier poster said, alums may have a greater interest in the University as a whole, but that's a non-factor when talking about which team you root for on Saturdays.

chitownblue (not verified)

July 2nd, 2008 at 12:31 AM ^

BGH is right.

He grew up a fan. I spent 18 years of my life not giving a shit, at all, about Michigan. I rooted against them, even. Grbac, Desmond, Toomer, Wheatley? Hated them all. Really.

I went to Michigan because I didn't get into Georgetown, and got a scholarship to swim. I didn't want to go. Turns out, I loved it, and I wouldn't have gone anywhere else. However, my second year of giving a shit about Michigan football (my Sophomore year) gave me a National Championship.

Can I honestly say I'm a bigger fan that someone who grew up rooting for Michigan who attended a different school? Of course not.


June 30th, 2008 at 6:38 PM ^

I know what you guys are saying about not rubbing it in to other schools who have 'inferior' academics. I'm not like that anyway, but from my point of view, it wasn't just that makes me a Michigan fan. Even though I didn't attend U of M, I'm proud of the fact that Michigan isn't just a professional sport factory as portrayed in 'The Program.' I saw a Michigan bowl game on TV when I was 5, loved the uniforms and the colors, and they just stuck. I've been following them ever since, obviously more closely as the years went by, but I've been a fan for 19 years and counting. My main point is just that the academics, as well as the athletics, are what make me proud to be a Michigan fan. As for why I didn't attend U of M; two things: 1) They didn't have my intended major, and 2) It was just way too expensive for out-of-state tuition. I went to a small Tech school and am doing what I wanted to do, so, I have no other ties. Anyway, enough of this book. Go Blue!


June 30th, 2008 at 9:07 PM ^

I graduated from UM's RC in '91. (BTW: I'm pretty sure Dhani Jones is first and only UM football player to attend the RC.) I always liked Michigan football before and during college, but I REALLY started to like them when I lived a block away from the stadium for seven years. Those fall Saturdays parking cars in my yard really freakin hooked me.


June 30th, 2008 at 11:43 PM ^

Honestly, most of the alumni fans sit in silence and despise the notion of enthusiasm when watching football and it makes me sick. I just finished my last undergraduate class at UM last Friday, and just want the bleachers to be filled with excited fans. At the same time, with the academics scenario I agree with the field. If you didn't get in, don't bash people who went to other universities for their academics. I really wanna just hear some loud and rowdy fans, but am disgusted when people who didn't go to the school are belligerent a-holes on message boards and insult other schools (rather than football teams). This is partially why so many people think UM fans are so elitist.


July 1st, 2008 at 10:32 AM ^

heck, i'm a wolverine fan because i attended northside elementary school!!!! (does that count?) lived in ann arbor for 5 years and gone abroad ever since. and yet, here i am 20 years later in sydney still following um games through the internet, sittin' in front of the computer, reading this blog, reading what dex has to say, and caring to even write a reply to this topic. i just bleed maize n blue man. period.


July 1st, 2008 at 10:36 AM ^

#1 - No, I don't think non-alums should be killed. Just in case someone is confused. #2 - I'm going to take this academic thing a step further. Even if you are a grad of UM, you aren't allowed to bring up academics when smack talking a Sparty fan - because academics are not football. Honestly folks, UM is a great school and I am glad to have attended, but you can make your own college education as easy or as hard as you want. Don't fool yourself into thinking there aren't Sparty grads that worked harder and learned more than you did. Sitting in class in Angell didn't give us special mind powers that no one else can obtain. Also, I repeat, academics aren't football. Our football players are not smarter than any other schools football players.

Anonymous Coward (not verified)

July 1st, 2008 at 1:15 PM ^

Michigan has a national fan base. There is no way that all those fans went to U of M. I lived most of my life in Columbus and almost all of my friends were OSU fans. However, NONE of them went to OSU. OSU was a "back-up plan" school for a long time because everyone tried to get into better schools. Still, they were OSU fans. Part of that has to do with OSU being the big fish in Ohio. There is no little brother in Ohio, so everyone roots for them, alum and non-alums. OSU and U of M pump out a lot of alumni every year, but big programs have big non-alum fanbases. USC, Florida, OSU, U of M, PSU, Texas, Miami, the list goes on...they all have national fan bases.


July 1st, 2008 at 2:40 PM ^

I hate assholes who say this at games. I was asked this during THE HORROR by some 19 year old dickweed in front of me because I was being negative pretty much the entire game, and rightly so. As an alum, I'm proud of the fact that my school is special enough for people 'who didn't even go there' to root for. To echo the sentiments above, the more the merrier. I'll take a rabid non-alum over C. Woodrow Hollingsworth JD '47 any day of the week. As for academics, you really shouldn't be talking smack to anyone if you're a Wal-Mart Wolverine working the line at some Chrysler plant. Talk all the smack you want about football, but leave academic rankings out of it. Yeah, I guess this last paragraph displayed some of that famous Michigan elitism I claim to despise.


July 1st, 2008 at 3:32 PM ^

I currently go to OSU. I was born in Michigan and have been a Michigan fan my entire life. My family moved to Ohio before I went to high school. I applied to Michigan and OSU, was accepted to both, but could not afford to go to Ann Arbor. OSU however will take whatever they can get and offered me a full ride. I still love Michigan and always buy the student tickets. The home games have been awful to sit through because I have to sit in the student section. I will always be a Michigan fan and I think that it is weird that someone would suggest that they have to go to the school in order to be a fan. Just take a look at one of the posts on this blog. I do not think I should change my fandom because of 4 years at OSU. Also Derek Jeter is a Michigan fan, but he did not go there. I am majoring in Computer Science at OSU and hope to go to Michgan for Grad School. I hope Rich Rod can beat Tressel before I graduate from here though.


July 1st, 2008 at 3:48 PM ^

You must be truly dedicated to the cause to suffer through the amount of crap you must have to deal with being one of us enrolled there. 

Regarding RR beating Tressel before you graduate, I hope that you aren't going to be a senior this fall.  Next fall in AA, I like our chances a lot better. 

Anonymous Coward (not verified)

July 1st, 2008 at 3:39 PM ^

I love how Sparty fans (amongst others) claim that you cant root for Michigan if you didnt attend school there while they simultaneously accuse us of being arrogant/elitist. I cant think of a more elitist opinion than that requiring a fan to attend the school they root for. I have two friends who are brothers, one roots for Michigan and the other Sparty, and neither of them attended either school. And if you tried telling them they werent "true fans" or couldnt be fans because they didnt go to college there, they would kick the crap out of you.

Anonymous Coward (not verified)

July 1st, 2008 at 9:49 PM ^

Background: I am currently a junior at the University of Michigan, and both my father and grandfather attended U of M for undergrad and grad school. The way I see it, non-alums can certainly be fans of the football program, and hell, they can be fans of the school too. However, sadly, I don't think they get the full experience and appreciation of the institution unless you are a student/alum of the school. I grew up in an overwhelmingly Michigan-biased family, as I explained in my "background." I had season tickets to football games since I was born, and wanted to go to school at Michigan since I can remember---and I thought I loved Michigan like no other. That was until I set foot on campus at orientation, and completed a couple years of school there. It seems to me that my "fandom" has gotten deeper, my understanding of the little things that, in my opinion, makes Michigan great is what I think sets alums and non alums apart. Non-alums can certainly be fans, they can be great fans, in fact, they can be better fans than some alums. However, non-alums will never have the complete experience, and with it, understanding of the deepest parts of Michigan tradition.

big gay heart

July 2nd, 2008 at 10:55 AM ^

Title IX wrote: er, techinically, the University of Michigan has the largest alumni association in the nation..... Number of people with Alumni Association membership and the literal number of Alums are two totally different things. FWIW, schools with largest enrollments (as of SY 2007) are as follows: (School Name, Enrollment Number) Ohio State University - 52,586 University of Florida - 51,913 Arizona State University - 51,481 University of Minnesota - 50,880 University of Texas at Austin - 50,201 University of Central Florida - 48,699 Texas A&M - 46,542 Michigan State University - 46,045 Penn State University - 43,252 University of Wisconsin - 42,041 All reported numbers are for main campuses only. Notably, only three schools in the Big 10- Purdon't, Iowa, and Northwestern - have lower enrollment numbers than the University of Michigan. Michigan is a great school for a lot of reasons, some of which are attached to its selectivity.

big gay heart

July 2nd, 2008 at 10:59 AM ^

Obviously, I understand that attendance does not totally correlate to graduation numbers (and thus becoming "alums") but there are some similarily awesome schools on that list (relative to U-M)and the fact is, even with attrition, these schools are putting more new alums on the street than the University of Michigan and have been doing so for a significant period of time.


July 2nd, 2008 at 11:07 AM ^

It's always kind of odd to me how in one instance someone will trumpet the "biggest alum base" they heard during orientation as some sort of great accomplishment, and then later talk about how hard it is to get in or how tough the school is.