Bygone Traditions at Michigan Stadium

Submitted by Kalamazoo Blue on February 19th, 2010 at 6:00 PM

Despite being a tradition-bound place a number of traditions at Michigan Stadium have faded away over the years. A few I recall:

*All-male cheerleaders doing back flips off the 3’ high brick wall after touchdowns.

*Getting a contact buzz sitting in the student section (mid 1970s, with my mom!)

*The Bullwinkle song

*Our cheerleaders ramming the opponent’s mascot into the goal-post spread eagle style


What else has faded away over the years?

[edit: H/T to bjk for suggesting the better title]



February 19th, 2010 at 6:05 PM ^

You listed some great ones!

On another thread a while back, someone mentioned that the score of the Slippery Rock game is no longer announced - which is a shame.

For me, the biggest tradition killed is that the band no longer is the source for in-stadium music. The current piped-in low grade techno and hip hop, to me, is the opposite of Michigan tradition. We can do better than spinning Jock Jam 43 in Michigan Stadium.


February 19th, 2010 at 6:20 PM ^

That is not true. I guarantee everyone that goes to the game still loves the M fanfare, The Victors and Lets Go Blue one after another more than the piped in stuff. It's just easier to get the crowd loud during 3rd downs with piped in stuff.


February 19th, 2010 at 6:58 PM ^

I understand the point about amping the volume (and crowd). Those are indeed important. I just think that, hey, we can do better. I bet that we could find a lot of amazing hype music with which we could create our own version of Michigan Jock Jams (if we must). As it stands now, our musical experience is the same as the majority of minor league hockey teams. Not a good thing.


February 20th, 2010 at 4:50 PM ^

While I'm willing to keep an open mind, I really don't see why the band doesn't just play louder and/or eliminate the woodwinds that nobody can hear in a stadium anyways. Turn in your clarinet, pick up a trumpet.

Why not also pipe in band music if it's clear that large sections of the stadium cannot hear the band at all.... /sarc


February 20th, 2010 at 7:40 PM ^

I think there's an inherent difficulty in wiring a marching band for sound (especially given the need for wireless mics and different channels for the different sections). Not being a sound engineer though, I'm not sure...

Worst case, we could easily record the band playing various drum segments and whatnot as the fire-up's to pipe in instead of Neil Diamond. Think about one of the most popular stadium tracks ever - boom boom clap, boom boom clap - simple can work very well.


February 19th, 2010 at 6:21 PM ^

We can beat the music debate into the ground but for the record, you can't hear the band all over the stadium. I hate the Jock Jams as much as you do, but it's more disappointing that the band is quieter/ill-positioned/lacking family values, or whatever the reason is that you can't hear them. Clearly, piped-in music cannot replace the band, but it does offer something that the MMB has been lacking in recent years: volume.


February 19th, 2010 at 7:13 PM ^

My first year at UofM, we would throw out TP after the first Michigan score.... Stopping the game for 5 min to clean up the field was kind of a downer. The best part was, the dorms would stop handing out TP on game week on Tues/Wed. we would just stock up on Mondays.....Then they started searching you when you enter the stadium to stop the TP tradition in 88' or 89'. That did bring on the rise of an even better tradition in my opinion....MARSHMALLOWS!!! I still remember throwing them at the Minnesota tuba player as they lined up on the sidelines getting ready to march.... that was awsome...


February 19th, 2010 at 6:08 PM ^

Although this wasn't just UM -- it was the going thing late 60's-early 70's. Dad and I had season tickets to '69, and he finally let me bring a roll, maybe it was for Purdue. Unfortunately, my arm wasn't of the best and it only went 10-15 rows. Must have been hell for the cleanup crew in those days.

edit: Tripp beat me to it.

I remember the back-flips. Did the wall height change since '69? I wonder if that was the reason for the demise of that tradition?


February 19th, 2010 at 6:12 PM ^

The wall height can't be the issue, as male cheerleader alums flip off them like nobody's business, and they risk having their bones turn to dust upon landing (and are thus extraordinarily awesome).


February 19th, 2010 at 6:08 PM ^

To quote Mike Ditka, "The past is for cowards and losers." Seriously, I respect and appreciate the traditions of Michigan Stadium. But a topic like that only ignites the haters. Just like Lloyd said, "Appreciate what you had AND WHAT YOU WILL HAVE HERE."

Go Blue!!!!


February 19th, 2010 at 6:37 PM ^

Tradition has always made M different and, well, better. When Bo came to shake up the Crisler-Oosterbaan-Elliott succession, he stressed tradition. Tradition isn't for haters -- those are called fair-weather fans. Real haters don't last long. Go Blue!

Edit: Maybe if the thread title were called "Bygone traditions," it would neutralize the impression some have that it rallies malcontents and haters.


February 19th, 2010 at 6:09 PM ^

Well, until recently, Michigan hadn't had a male cheerleader on the field in years which would probably contribute to the lack of back flips as well as the notable absence of the awesome twirling ninja knives that we're treated to at homecoming. Also, the M-I-C-H-I-G-A-N locomotive cheer has been "lost" or at least homecoming only.

I do seem to remember Goldy getting crotched on the goalpost as recently as 2005 (or possibly even 2007), as well as Purdue's creepy mascot being screwed around with, so I don't know that that's really lost, just less uncommon.


February 19th, 2010 at 6:36 PM ^

I really just miss the random squirrels that would sneak into the stadium and run rampant to the crowds delight... let those critters back onto the field!


February 19th, 2010 at 6:42 PM ^

the tradition i miss is the four years when i would get up at 7am and drink beers until stumbling into Michigan stadium to watch football games.

now i live 2500 miles from dear Ann Arbor town; though, i've tried to keep up this tradition by replacing "Michigan stadium" with "my unsuspecting neighbor's living room."


February 19th, 2010 at 7:01 PM ^

This is quite nitpicky, but I'm not a huge fan of when the players have undershirt sleeves coming out of the jersey. For some reason, it seems like part of the uniform has been altered when they do that.

However, if it is 35 degrees out, players can do whatever the hell they want.


February 20th, 2010 at 9:27 AM ^

Yeah, I've tried not to let it bother me, but I'm with you on this one. Especially because it seems like a distinctly adidas-brand addition, though I can't really put my finger on why, as there's no three stripes. It's too Nike Pro Combat for me. Ah well, I'm sure I'll get over it.


February 20th, 2010 at 3:34 PM ^

It's hard to see with a small avatar, but if that's you getting lifted up and down, like a push-up as seen at ND and such, that's not what they were talking about, though glad to see it happening, legally.

They're talking about where a girl would get picked up (hopefully willingly) in like row 5, and be carried over the crowd, crowd surfing up to say row 88. Or sooner if she got dropped or tired of people copping feels.