Calling MGoStudents: Stop messing up The Wave

Submitted by MGoBender on September 8th, 2013 at 10:53 PM

Yesterday, the student section tried to start the wave during the third quarter when we were up 14 points with plenty of time left in the third quarter.

Notre Dame had the ball.  While some students half heartedly attempted the wave, ND scored to cut the lead to 7.   At the time I thought "ok, some freshmen or sophomores got down low and didn't know better."  Embarassing, but at least the rest of the students knew to focus on the game and get loud for the defense.

Then the unthinkable happened.  Immediately after the score, the student section kept trying to start a wave.  We were up just 7 against a rival in the third quarter.  This time, the entire section was participating in the act of sacriledge.  Of course, the recent alums and non-students were having none of it.

Now, I'm not a crotchedy old alum, rather I'm a mid-20's, always yelling, "up in back" recent alum.  I love the Michigan Stadium version of the Wave.  There's none better.  However, even though it is great and amazing, it's true beauty is a result of doing it properly and at the correct time.  Doing it incorrectly and at improper times will lead to a substandard wave.  This is serious business.  During the RichRod years, blowouts were few and far in between and the Wave's standards dipped.  Now that we are basking in the glory that is the Hoke era, let's bring the Wave's standard's back to where they belong.

Here's your MGoPSA.  Wave Guidelines:

  1. The wave is only to start late in the third quarter or in the fourth quarter.
  2. The game must be "in hand."  This means that even with a miracle, the outcome is not in doubt and we are the team that will be coming out on top.  A safe number for this is a 21-point lead.  However, depending on the amount of time left, this could be as low as a 17-point lead.
  3. ONLY when requirements (1) and (2) are met is it acceptable to start the Wave.
  4. The Wave's order is as follows:
  • Regular speed
  • Regular speed (second round of regular speed recommended if first cycle was weak)
  • Slow wave
  • Fast wave
  • Reverse wave
  • Split wave
  • Split wave until it dies

Thus concludes your MGoPSA.  Let the debate commence (though, I think I have everything correct).



September 8th, 2013 at 11:00 PM ^


You are preaching to the wrong crowd. Students patrolling the blog at 11pm on a school night probably know how to do the wave. Myself and my MGoRoomate were having none of it and trying to dissuade others from trying to wave, but 2 guys in section 26 can't really do much to stop it.

But its not our fault. Blame Dave Brandon for putting in a system that makes it easy for the freshmen who have no idea what is going on sit in the front. Once someone tries to start it a lot of other students just say screw it and join in since they may or may not even know what is really going on down on the field.

Yes, its a problem, but I don't know how to solve it short of having a PSA during the game about the wave, which would be lame and amateur.



September 8th, 2013 at 11:11 PM ^

Eh, change/improvement starts with a desire to change or improve.  If 100 current students decide to try to spread the gospel and maybe get the 10 other people around them at the game to do it properly, then that's 1,000 people.  Go from there.

Like I said, the Daily used to print something about it that they gave to freshmen. We certainly don't want an actual in-stadium PSA.  However, word-of-mouth can spread quickly if some students decide to make it so.  You have more power than you give yourself credit for.


September 8th, 2013 at 10:57 PM ^

Im just gonna say it....

Its general admissions fault

Instead of the upperclassmen who have learned the nuances of the wave during their time at school we now have freshmen sitting up front at games.

kevin holt

September 9th, 2013 at 12:47 AM ^

I was a senior in 2011-12, and we definitely learned on our first night from our head RA exactly how to cheer, do the wave, and everything else in between.

I was one of the people futilely telling everyone to start it later or not at all. I actually figured out that the wave was being started by underclassmen (god I hope they were underclassmen) in the middle rows of the end zone, not students in the front. So not only were they doing the wave wrong, they were disrespecting the hierarchy of the student section. I think that year the AD gave freshmen tickets in the endzone that were closer than mine, and our group was pretty pissed.

Point is, they start the wave higher up sometimes. Just takes some idiots who don't understand that it's a tradition and think it's like a baseball game.


September 8th, 2013 at 11:04 PM ^

I remember during freshmen orientation we were given a special issue of the Michigan Daily and somewhere in there was a breakdown of several traditions including the Wave.  I went into my first freshmen game knowing the "proper wave technique" without having ever experienced it myself.

Perhaps something like that isn't happening anymore?  Can any freshmen or Daily people enlighten us?


September 9th, 2013 at 7:30 AM ^

As a freshman & sophomore (06 & 07), I think the rules above were pretty well known in the student section but when Richrod started we never blew anyone out and people still wanted to do the wave, it sort of descended into chaos. I definitely remember multiple times where they triedto start the wave with us only up by a few points. I actually remember one game where the student section was so focused on trying to do the wave that the other team (Illinois maybe?) marched right down the field and scored in the fairly-silent Big House


September 8th, 2013 at 11:36 PM ^

I don't specifically remember it, but I believe that's true; that was certainly an exceptional game.

I also believe, and have mgocommented about it at some point, that the "You Suck" chant was born (and should have been laid immediately to rest - perhaps with occasional revivals) at that game.  Rare is the confluence of [game that is so well in hand that we can chant You Suck] + [team we hate enough that we would chant You Suck in such a situation instead of feeling sorry for them or thinking, "hey, thanks for letting us keep this Jug" or something like that].  It's just mean to chant You Suck at Baby Seal U, and it's just dumb to chant it when a team's about to go for it on 4th and/or could still beat us.

So, er, what I mean to say is, there are exceptional games even in rivalries, and the appropriate reactions to them should be exceptions.  Not that I thought you disagreed with that in the first place.  (Did the students still chant "You Suck" on Saturday?  Sounded like they might be, but it was pretty faint from Section 13.)


September 8th, 2013 at 11:00 PM ^

Don't start the wave when Michigan has the ball.

That's still a rule, isn't it?  I assumed that was going to be the first thing you mentioned when I clicked on this thread.


September 9th, 2013 at 4:26 PM ^

The wave creates noise, and worse, a moving background for the offense to see. It's distracting. You never do it on offense. (Unless the team you're playing is so bad no one gives a shit).

Players don't like it

And the guy who helped popularize the wave disagrees with you


September 9th, 2013 at 4:52 PM ^

Sorry man, I believe you're wrong on this one.

Relative to college sports, the wave is not loud.  Sure it's loud in the pro arenas where there are rarely loud moments, but the wave is much quieter than the noise on a standard defensive play.

As for the wave being distracting?  Come on.  If a player in the game is distracted by the wave, then they shouldn't be in the game. That's laughable.

All of this is moot anyway because the wave should be reserved for blowout situations.


September 9th, 2013 at 7:59 AM ^

Should be on defense; but that's less important if the lead is huge.

I don't think of the wave in the same category as an "overrated" or "warm up the bus" chants.  Those are last five-minute-with-insurmountable-lead kind of cheers.  (Anyone who remembers '88 Miami knows what I mean.)  I think of the wave as a frivolous distraction when things are going very well.  The problem with starting it on offense is that it is *really* hard to keep going when there's a big play. 


September 8th, 2013 at 11:03 PM ^

It's not GA's fault.  I've seen the game-still-competitive-wave in my last year as a student (2010) and at the 2012 Northwestern game, which were back in the seniors-in-front days.

(Side note: that said, if y'all really have to wait in three hour lines now, please use anything you can to get rid of GA)

snarling wolverine

September 8th, 2013 at 11:13 PM ^

If they get rid of GA, they've got to replace it with something else, because the students actually have showed up on time these first two games.  They can't just go back to the old honor system.

One thing they could do is have a points system that rewards people who show up on time by giving them the chance to buy better tickets the next year.   I think the technology is there to do it. 

In the meantime though, if students really have to wait 3 hours, someone should take the lead and have them practice the Wave and other stuff to pass the time.


September 8th, 2013 at 11:01 PM ^


This. this. this.

I was in row 6 or the student section (but not in the same side of the band that was starting the wave), and me and several people around me were trying to do whatever we can to get people not to participate/stop calling the wave.  Sadly it didn't work. 

Unforetunately, I think the people who read the MGoBoard are not going to the be the ones participating in the wave during games during these kinds of situations.

El Fuego

September 8th, 2013 at 11:12 PM ^

I thought it was inappropriate to do it at that time.  I literally stood there and thought, "what the hell are they doing?"  I clearly wasn't the right time for it.  I blame general admission and freshman...

I'm with BiSB on this one.  The wave shouldn't be done against rivals.  There is too much anxiety, IMO.

Prince Lover

September 9th, 2013 at 1:41 AM ^

While I admit I do not like participating in the wave, watching my daughter's face experience it for the 1st time, and watching her participate for the 1st time, I realize it is a tradition of attending a game and it is these traditions that beget love and loyalty to a team. She now wants to do the wave around the dinner table. God I hate the wave....

rob f

September 9th, 2013 at 4:13 AM ^

the wave has been boring for some time now.  I half-heartedly participate most of the time but wouldn't miss it much if it disappeared.

But not this coming week!  I'm bringing my granddaughter (soon to be 5 years old) to her first game this Saturday vs. Akron, and she's been fired up about it for weeks. No, she has no idea yet what a "wave" is, but I can't wait to see her reaction.


September 8th, 2013 at 11:12 PM ^

But blame RR. As a class of 2012 grad, I can tell you that losing games at home prevents underclassmen from learning the protocol, so when we became upperclassmen we had no clue, so we couldn't teach underclassmen who are now upperclassmen and now need to be able to do it and teach the underclassmen. Side note, RR also didn't teach me how to avoid run-on sentences.


September 8th, 2013 at 11:18 PM ^

of going to the Big House, I love the wave when it's done right. People who have never been remember it for a lifetime. Maybe a student should print the wave rules and hand them out next week. Get a teacher to print them for you