About the Fans

Submitted by MichiganMan2011 on November 28th, 2015 at 5:56 PM

I'm probably going to be negbombed to Bolivia, but I have to get this off my chest.

I am a Michigan alum, and a rabid Wolverine for the past 8 years. I did not grow up rooting for the Wolverines, but I live & die by the Maize and Blue with the rest of them. Hell, my first game in the Big House was The Horror, and I'm still here so that has to count for something.

I was at The Game today. Honestly I can't blame the coaches and players too much. They are operating within the constraints forced upon them by situations outside of their control. They gave it their all, and for that they should always have a special place in the heart of Michigan's Faithful.

The biggest element I found lacking was the fanbase. From the start, the stadium was at least 25-35% Buckeyes. I know it's Thanksgiving weekend, but you won't see Ohio selling that many tickets to us when we're playing in Columus.

But even worse to me was the fact that the atmosphere just plain wasn't there. You could hear a pin drop on most Ohio downs. When they were running tempo, you could clearly tell that our fanbase was not prepared and had no idea about when to get loud. In full honesty, when they annouced the Slippery Rock score there was a bigger reaction than on Ohio third downs when our defense needed it the most. Not to mention the fact that the stairs were fully occupied with Michigan fans leaving from the beginning of the fourth quater onward at full tilt.

I don't mean to denegrate our fans, I honestly don't. But to put things in perspective, I went to the Alabama-LSU game this year and the difference is night and day.. If we ever want to be a "Great Team" we need to secure our home field advantage. It's one thing to have a great team, a great coaching staff, great traditions, a great campus. But if we can't turn the Big House into a place that strikes fear into opposing teams' hearts we will never truly be elite.

I hate people pointing out issues without proposing solutions, so I will propose a few. First, we need to stop selling tickets to opposing fans. How we do that in the age of Stubhub is a difficult task. The Mgoblog ticket list is a good start, but we need to do so at a larger scale. Maybe the Athletic Department could work on a fan-to-fan sales system where they could take a cut but still ensure tickets end up in the hands of Michigan fans. 

I also agree with Woodson -- The Game needs to be moved to 3:30 or a night start to encourage fans to get rowdy. The atmosphere shouldn't be like an afternoon picnic. It needs to be fierce and intimidating.

Lastly we need to take measures to get people loud when they're in the stadium. Encourage the people next to you to yell! There are times for talking (TV timeouts, halftime) and there are times for yelling (every down on defense). If we can't make use of the largest crowd in America then we are throwing away a vital advantage for our boys in Maize and Blue.

I may be preaching to the choir, or I may be pissing people off. Regardless, this is a message that needs to get out and be discussed seriously. It blows my mind that we can have a better atmosphere for a Penn State night game last year than we did for our most hated rival in a meanginful situation and Harbaugh's first year. Let the Team work on the X's and O's, but let's make sure we bring the heat and get back up our defense with the best damn home field advantage in all of sports.

Honestly our fanbase should be ashamed at the support we provided the team today, and we need to get real about fixing things.




November 28th, 2015 at 6:17 PM ^

This was not true in the first half, at all.


The second half was horrid. But in the first half, and early in the second, the energy was definitely there and The Big House was LOUD. 

No fan base in America is going to be loud when your team is down 20-30 points and hasn't had a single good defensive play in 2 whole quarters. Once it became hopeless it was doomed. 


However, I do agree that some of our season ticket holders need to be much more loyal. If you're not going to go to The Game, or give/sell the tickets to friends/family, don't buy season tickets. It's the biggest game of the year for God's sake and you should be in your seats instead of some random ass Buckeyes. 


November 28th, 2015 at 6:19 PM ^

From the TV broadcast the stadium seemed pretty loud in the first half.

But visually, the stadium atmosphere didn't look that great. Too much red. I don't understand why the Athletic Department doesn't make this game a Maize Out. Maize looks way better on TV and would have drowned out some of the red. What is stopping the AD from encouraging folks to wear maize for rivalry games?



November 28th, 2015 at 6:25 PM ^

Agreed. Maize Pom Poms are a must. It always looks like there are more OSU people there than there are because Red pops among a sea of Blue/Gray/Black/Maize. 


Other massive problem: cameras face the visiting bench. The side of the stadium that was on camera (East Side) had 5 times as many Buckeyes as the West Side (which also has the student section). I think we need to switch the benches so that they are out of camera view. 


The West Side of the stadium actually looked almost solidly maize and blue with minimum red, and obviously the student section is as well, but those are the two that are never on camera. 


November 28th, 2015 at 7:53 PM ^

Those PSU whiteouts are intimidating - there's no doubt that they make Happy Valley an incredibly tough place to play.

A maize out would be a big psychological boost for the home fans. There's no reason why the Michigan AD can't get off its ass and make the game against the Bucknuts a similarly intimidating experience.


November 28th, 2015 at 8:22 PM ^

Blue just doesn't pop like red does, so it always looks like there are way more of their fans in attendance than the actual number that show up.

The solution in my mind is to make The Game a Maize Out so that the stadium optics reflect the actual home fan attendance. It'd be a start, at least.


November 28th, 2015 at 6:22 PM ^

Good points, good points. I could be being too harsh especially with some recency bias. However at halftime the game was still really close. I just feel like the crowd could have had a bigger impact to start the second half and things may have gone differently. That said the final outcome might also show that things would have ended badly for us regardless.


November 28th, 2015 at 6:39 PM ^

First of all, this is going to sound ridiculous, but being the first year of harbaugh, having 9 wins, and being the game... 'only' having 111,000 was fairly dissapointing.  

For having that many people, the big house has always been and always will be quiet.  You will be told to sit down by the blue hairs behind you.  Nobody fears the big house.  

I am a lifelong Michigan fan, love the football team, the program and the school but the fan base is borderline intolerable sometimes.  

I heard these remarks actually said: "time to earn your money harbaugh!" "We need a new D Coordinator" "I can't see when you stand" We booed our own team early in the second half before things were out of control.  To me it seems, most fans at the game are very much of the mind set... 'perform for me and i will cheer'.. instead of just being in support throughout the game, IMO


November 28th, 2015 at 7:18 PM ^

All I got from this comment is that Michigan fans are actually uppity pricks that OSU and MSU consistently accuse us of being. 

And quite frankly, I agree. PSU's stadium was at least 2x as loud as the Big House. It's pathetic. 

Apparently the "Maize Out" died in 2014. 



November 29th, 2015 at 8:39 AM ^

This is just not true. Get over your hurt feelings and recency bias. The last 20 min of the game yesterday are not indicative of The Big House. 


Remember the Northwestern and MSU games this year? LOUD. 


I was at Penn State, sitting low on the 40 yard line and it absolutely was not twice as loud as the Big House. Not even close. And their stadium was silent most of the 4th quarter too after we took our final lead. They all left with 5 min left. 

A Fan In Fargo

November 28th, 2015 at 7:41 PM ^

is borderline suck. I honestly do not plan to go back to a game at the Big House for years to come. Don't get me wrong, my first game at UTL2 was great. I'll maybe take my kids there or something when they are old enough. I sat on the east side for the State game and it was their loud and annoying fans mixed with a bunch of negative Michigan fans just standing there most of the game with their arms crossed not making a sound no matter what. A bunch of grown men that reminded me of cry babies back in high school. There is no encouragement for the players when they get down or lose a little momentum. That would go a long way. Your crowd experience could vastly improve and them alum should get their heads out of their asses. Justy saying. You'd see the results.

Jumpman Maize

November 28th, 2015 at 9:11 PM ^

Agree. Was there. Now I've only been alive for fourteen years, and only the last eight or so have been as a legitimate fan. Yeah, I've understood one OSU victory. So you can bet I was pumped. I sit in section 24 (alumni) and couldn't believe what I was seeing. I had to encourage, almost beg, the people in my section to stand on THIRD DOWN, and this is in the first quarter. There were a few helping me, I suspect fellow mgobloggers. If you're on here, thank you. And everyone else- STAND THE HELL UP AND SCREAM! THIS IS THE FREAKING GAME!

You Only Live Twice

November 28th, 2015 at 9:07 PM ^

People around us in 43 did not join that boo.  There also were not nearly as many tickets sold to OSU fans, as I'd feared.  MSU was worse.

Was a bit shocking not to see the boxes of maize poms being handed out - we have an ample supply and bring them to every game.  


November 28th, 2015 at 7:24 PM ^

Yeah, it sure seemed loud enough on TV at the start. 

It's always easy for the crowd to stay pumped in a competitive game, but when it is clear that nothing good is going to happen it's hard for fans to stay engaged.  Watch any game in the country and you see it; hell, PSU last week got super-quiet once it was clear they didn't have much of a chance.

The season ticket holders should probably keep their tickets away from opposing fans, but honestly, it's their money and they can do what they want.  It sucks, but even when the rivalry was closer you'd see bands of OSU fans at games.  It was just that UM kept the game closer.


November 28th, 2015 at 9:33 PM ^

I'm not kidding at all. My season seats are in 41 and that section is typically charged up. Maybe it was section 2 bit I felt like our crowd overall did not live up to our commitment as fans. We have one simple job and it's much easier than the guys on the field.


November 28th, 2015 at 6:02 PM ^

Stopped reading after "you could hear a pin drop." Just stop. The crowd was ready to be loud all game, and they were pretty damn loud in the first half. Of course we won't be loud when out D continually got dick punched. That's the definition of taking the crowd out of the game.
The crowd was just fine other than the usual invasion of hillbillies but that's been going on forever


November 28th, 2015 at 6:02 PM ^

I mean, I complained with my buddy for the majority of the second half about our fans' lack of enthusiasm. It took Charles Woodson imploring the fans to get the fuck up to move anyone. I'm not particularly surprised, but I expected the student section to take the lead. My first game as a student was also The Horror, and I honestly believe we were louder during our 3-8 season.


November 28th, 2015 at 6:10 PM ^

What do you expect us to do when it's 2nd and 2 after another 8 yard run and they've gotten 10 first downs in a row without a stop?


The Big House was damn loud in the first half. Even a bit early in the 2nd. But no crowd in America is going to be loud when they are being suddenly blown out and there is no hope. Even one TFL could've gotten the crowd going but our defense did NOTHING. 

True Blue Grit

November 28th, 2015 at 9:54 PM ^

Our fans were ready for this game. The team was not. Sometimes, no amount of cheering or yelling will change the fact the team is outmatched on a given day. Either way, it's a two way street. The team feeds off the crowd at times, and the other way around too. Today, at least in the second half,there was little to give hope to the crowd.


November 28th, 2015 at 6:54 PM ^

No...they wouldn't. This is from last week:


There is no fanbase in America that would have been continuously loud today as it was aparent that there was nothing that was going to stop them. We could have had a jet hover over the stadium today and it wouldn't have mattered. 


November 28th, 2015 at 6:05 PM ^

archrival in 13 of 15 years and get humiliated on national TV this is what happens..I am not so sold on the future against Ohio and most seem to be.... we are LEAP YEARS away  and I dont see that changing any time soon