Experiences visiting UCONN

Submitted by Michigan Arrogance on September 22nd, 2013 at 12:45 AM
A few observations:

Lots of parking for tailgating

Lots of M fans- probably 50-50 based on the tailgate and the stadium.

Not much hospitality from the hosts, and not too much vitriol except for the DB in back of my group.

Definitely a ton of piped in music, 3rd down music and "another UCONN! 1st down!- type shit.

Comments

Bando Calrissian

September 22nd, 2013 at 12:50 AM ^

They just set an attendance record that would pretty much number our student section plus the teams and the press box. What kind of unique atmosphere could you possibly expect? 

The other 6-7 home weekends this season, that place is basically a high school stadium. Guaranteed.

willywill9

September 22nd, 2013 at 10:46 AM ^

Don't be fooled, It was at least 50-50 michigan, but these Michigan fans were like the odd cousins you have that you rarely see.  For example, I was working hard to get chants going, but no one was biting... it's as if they didn't know them.  I told fans next to me to start wearing Maize in the future- it stands out on TV, and it's easier to band together etc.

We really needed the Michigan band there to bring the noise and some cohesion among our fans.  The Cheerleaders were decent, but we really struggled until the fourth quarter (as a fan base.)

Their fans kind of suck to be completely honest.  Not violent or anything but not hospitable- you get that cold northeast stereotype thing going.

tl;dr: Our fanbase/alumni showed up in person, but left a lot to be desired in terms of making noise.  UConn surprised me with how engaged they were, but their fans are meh.

willywill9

September 22nd, 2013 at 11:34 AM ^

Absolutely seemed to be the case.  After Desmond Morgan had that game saving interception (IMO), i started a chant "Des-Mond Mor-Gan..." No one bit.  I kept doing it for at least a minute.  That to me, was the most frustrating of all.  One guy did bring a cowbell, but i only heard him use it a handful of times. (Maybe 2-3 times.)

It was surreal that our Michigan Wolverines were playing on the east coast... I can't wait for Rutgers next year.  My friend's dad (donor @ Rutgers) is saying they're talking about moving the game to Giants Stadium- which I think would be smart.

Crazy Canuck

September 22nd, 2013 at 5:20 PM ^

There seemed to be a lot of older Alumni there. One lady walking into the stadium said it was their first game in 20 years. This is maybe why not so many people were chanting with you. This was my first game ever to see them. I don't know all the chants, but did pick them up rather quickly. You are right in that there was many fans wearing blue, so it was hard to know how many were really there. We tailgated on the baseball field across the street from the stadium. The Michigan fans there easily out numbered the UConn fans. I think for the most part the fans of each school primarily stuck with their group. Uconn had a huge tailgate bbq going on in there. They all had tshirts that said UM vs UConn tailgate party. We met a group of UConn fans and hung out with them before the game and after. They were awesome. Gave us beer and food at midnight while we waited for the place to clear up a bit. One guy showed up wearing a UConn shirt then put on the best shirt I have ever seen. It said "I'd rather my son shower at Penn State than become a Buckeye fan". I'll post it here once I get it off of my buddy's camera.

Wolverine Devotee

September 22nd, 2013 at 12:59 AM ^

Thank you Bill Martin for agreeing to a play at a school that was an FCS team a decade ago. 

DB should try to one-up him and get a road game at app state. They're FBS next year so it would make sense like the UConn roadie did.

WolverineHistorian

September 22nd, 2013 at 1:02 AM ^

This all goes back to the dedication game for the new luxury boxes in 2010. Truth be told, I would have rather played UConn instead of a MAC school for that game. If it meant a return trip to Connecticut, so be it.

However, that game was scheduled at the very last minute, when it should have been scheduled in 2008. We knew when the renovations would be done. I guess the futility under RichRod became the bigger issue and this scheduling conflict got put on the back burner.

Bando Calrissian

September 22nd, 2013 at 1:11 AM ^

The alternative, apparently, was playing an FCS school. Martin wanted a one-game contract, no FBS school would do it. And Martin thought UConn at least offered an opportunity to bully a lesser school into letting us schedule the return game at an east coast NFL stadium. It didn't work, but that's the deal we signed instead of scheduling another phenomenally shitty home game against an opponent no one wanted to see in the wake of The Horror.

So what exactly did you want? A stadium dedication game against Delaware State?

SysMark

September 22nd, 2013 at 2:06 AM ^

I was at the game and just watching the replay, and heard McDomnough say that about wanting to move it to an NFL stadium.  That's not accurate - it was never going to happen because UConn's contract with the State of CT for the stadium barred it from being moved.  Michigan's only option was to cancel it outright and pay the penalty which would have come off as kind of sleazy.

Bando Calrissian

September 22nd, 2013 at 2:20 AM ^

Whatever UConn's contract was with the state, it didn't change the fact that Michigan tried repeatedly (both under Bill Martin and Dave Brandon, which both Martin and Warde Manuel have separately confirmed) to get this game moved to an NFL stadium. DB was still telling the press as recently as last summer that Michigan actively and repeatedly tried to make it happen. From the moment this game was scheduled, Michigan was operating under the expectation that it was a more than reasonable expectation that UConn would eventually cave. It was a gamble. It didn't work. 

But, really, this isn't the first time we've played a game like this. I mean, in the '90s, we played Boston College in a stadium of similar size (twice), traveled out to Colorado to play at Folsom Field, the Carrier Dome to play Syracuse... We forget there indeed was a time we played non-conference away games that weren't in South Bend. 

EDIT: See:

http://espn.go.com/colleges/michigan/football/story/_/id/8293435/dave-b…

http://www.annarbor.com/sports/um-football/dave-brandon-wanted-13-michi…

SysMark

September 22nd, 2013 at 3:12 AM ^

Martin and Brandon may have tried but it wasn't going to happen - it was buyout or nothing.  They may have felt they had to try for appearances sake but it was a no-go.

I agree with you on the non-conference games - I was there tonight and the BC game Desmond Howard played in.  For whatever reason these games have become taboo and it's unfortunate.  They can be terrific venues to watch football.

Personally I really enjoyed tonight and I know a lot of Michigan fans around me felt the same way.  I'll get ripped for saying this but the atmosphere was great.  There's always going to be a few yahoos but it was a fun presentation - their band was really good, they rolled out Geno Auriemma and his women BBall champs, Ray Allen bunch of others.  Derek Jeter was walking around the concourse and it didn't rain.

WTF?

EDIT: Saw those articles but they say nothing new - it was never going to happen and they should have known that.  No, I don't hink Warde Manuel was going before the CT legislature to move this game to NJ.

M-Dog

September 22nd, 2013 at 12:48 PM ^

This^^^.  I really hope that when we play Maryland and Rutgers it is not at FedEx and Giants stadium every time.  I want the full college campus and gameday experience.  

If I want to see a football game in a sterile pro stadium, I'll go to a pro game.

 

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

September 22nd, 2013 at 10:41 AM ^

DB was still telling the press as recently as last summer that Michigan actively and repeatedly tried to make it happen.

Honestly, I felt like Brandon was being a real bully on this.  Trying a couple times to move the game to a neutral site is no problem in my book.  But the way he kept trying and trying and trying, and going to the media fairly often to talk about how totally unreasonable UConn was being, was over the line.  Why, these parochial UConn schmucks just don't realize what a great deal I'm offering, was the implication.

It's part of the reason I think DB is all money, money, money all the time and doesn't seem to grok anything else.  His argument was this: if we split the receipts from playing in Giants Stadium, you'll get more money than if you took all the cash from Rentschler, and conveniently Michigan will get some money too.  Win-win!  And a wow factor to boot!  What could possibly be so bad about that?  Well, what if UConn wants to treat their students and fans to a game at their own stadium against a big-time opponent?  It's not specifically on campus, but it is the UConn "experience," and juuust maybe the UConn fans want that convenience and excitement.  The UConn AD owes it to them, at least somewhat, to deliver, and not just hand over all the seats to all the Michigan fans in New York and pretend it's a home game in front of 60,000 Michigan fans for a few extra bucks.

M-Dog

September 22nd, 2013 at 1:00 PM ^

Don't be so gracious.

We only went out with you because we thought we could talk you in to putting out.  When you would not, to your credit, the waiter had already handed us the check.  Even then we considered walking out, but we scraped up some minimal standards of decency and paid up.  

Turns out you gave us a pretty interesting night anyhow, so hat's off to you.  

(P.S.  Now that you have some self confidence, don't let some troll like Cincinnati have their way with you.)

 

 

NeilGoBlue

September 22nd, 2013 at 12:57 AM ^

Also,

Only 1 scoreboard which was beyond annoying since i was bascially sitting in front of it.. I could never tell the down and distance without looking at the yard markers.

Marketing everywhere... subway this, western bank that.. it was bad. I really hope we never do that crap.

samber2009

September 22nd, 2013 at 1:02 AM ^

There was a TON of michigan fans. Basically the entire endzone (camera left) was completely Michigan, and the rest of the stadium had a ton of maize and blue.  I'd say it was probably 60-40 Michigan but we were pretty quiet most of the game (because in shock).  Uconn fans were really nice.  Halftime was brutal sitting there listening to them talk trash but that's understandable. First time I've ever seen Rentschler Field remotely full. Great atmosphere.  I can say all this now that I'm calm and we won. 

Tshimanga Cowabunga

September 22nd, 2013 at 1:02 AM ^

The fans actually weren't too bad for how few of them they were. Got loud at important times. The band was pretty much non existent. The Uconn fan sitting next to me said he would have left when Michigan tied it if it wasn't the only time he'd get to see Michigan at Uconn.

Tailgating was okay. Most people seemed friendly. Few hecklers. Got offered more than a few brews. There were a lot of Michigan fans tailgating that I saw but prolly only 30% ish inside the stadium from what I could tell.

Add in the game and there was very little memorable about the experience.

RickH

September 22nd, 2013 at 1:10 AM ^

Not enough Guns N Roses or pig faced DJs. Seriously though, their atmosphere was terrible. But who can resist a good kiss cam?

EDIT: Also, their student section is about as big as my high school's (my high school had 3k students) and traffic leaving was a fucking nightmare.

CT Wolverine

September 22nd, 2013 at 1:37 AM ^

Honestly, the fans were rude, nasty, and inconsiderate around us. One told my girlfriend to "shut the hell up" because she was making noise while UCONN was on offense. Another barged right in front of us before the game, yelling "you're in my seat" at my mother (he was in the wrong section). Oh, and what's with seemingly every UCONN fan also being an Ohio fan? I must've heard it 10x after the game how we're gonna get creamed against Ohio at the end of the year.

tl;dr I've had much better away game experiences because of some jackass UCONN fans.

rb4kb8

September 22nd, 2013 at 1:49 AM ^

So it was all Maize & Blue for us.

Pre-game, in out lot across the street from Rentschler was also all Michigan. Hardly any UConn at all.

Had no bad experiences... Only a few people tell us good luck and they love the AA area. It was a great experience for us. Of course we weren't ever really near UConn fans.

JHendo

September 22nd, 2013 at 2:15 AM ^

Seems about right. Not sure how much you missed of it that we saw on tv, but a surprising abundance of UConn players (but not all) played with a complete lack of class (i.e. - a lot of subtle late hits, cheap shots, non stop trash talking/taunting, and just what seemed to be an overall disrespect and disdain of their opponent). For a team that plays like that, I'd fully expect their fanbase to follow suit.

With the combination of what I saw from their team on TV and what your family experienced at the game, I have a much different opinion of UConn now. I'm not happy at all with how close that game was, but I now find a little pleasure in the heartbreaking manner in which such a program defining win was snatched away from them like that.

zls44

September 22nd, 2013 at 2:10 AM ^

It's not the Big House, but its home for us. You have to market a lot when the TV deal plays $3 million a year, I guess. Can't believe we were in it as long as we were, that was legit shocking. I guess you never know, right? Had a good time talking with the UM folks I interacted with in the Aero Lot.

Sorry to those of you who had rough experiences (I hate that they sell beer at the games, it does not mix well with natural New England curmudgeonnry), but I hope you travel home safely. Good luck the rest of the way.

And should we meet in Arlington, I'll buy a round.

Yes, that's right, I'm already looking ahead to the Men's* Final Four!

*necessary qualifier in these parts

GoBlueBrooklyn

September 22nd, 2013 at 2:27 AM ^

Just back to NYC... My second visit to Rentschler (saw Liverpool there a few years back)...

I though our fans were poor, mostly because we played poorly but also because we had no band-- I know, I know-- but it is hard to get a disparate group of people in synch on the Victors and Let's Go Blue without some kind of musical framework. Saw a couple of our fans get booted for exchanging beers dumped on people's heads-- really lame. 

As one of the only stadia that serves beer for college games, I was expecting worse, but it was ok. My five year old's first game and he will forever associate WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE with 3rd down for Michigan... wish the DJs would have let the band play more.

The game: oof. 

Worth it: Always! and my son is 1-0...

 

 

Needs

September 23rd, 2013 at 1:26 AM ^

My five year old twins made the whole game. They really got into high fiving everyone around them and getting the section singing the victors. They had also slept almost the entire way up from NYC, and that definitely made the difference. We were in the very last row of the end zone, which was a blessing too, because they had some space to move around (there was about an eight foot walkway on the top of the temporary bleachers in the end zone).

UESWolverine

September 22nd, 2013 at 3:39 AM ^

I just got back to NYC a few minutes ago. The guy a few rows behind me was hilarious. It's really too bad we didn't do better because I would've loved to have heard him complain the whole game. I knew I was lucky to be sitting by him before the game even started when he blew a gasket as their band played our fight song. He immediately lost his mind and suggested they play the song everytime we scored. Unfortunately, our performance kept him quiet most of the game, until the 4th quarter. 

We sat next to some really nice UConn fans. They warned us that the stadium could be brutal at times, mostly because of all the alcohol, but we didn't experience any negative comments directed our way. Also, it was really hard to tell who was rooting for who since 90% of the people there were wearing blue, but we were 35-40% of the crowd - in my best estimate. 

At halftime, some UConn folks in the mens rooom were chanting things like "Akron, Akron" and "Urban Meyer" but they couldn't keep it going and seemed they were just more giddy that they were even ahead. The local radio broadcasters mentioned in pre-game that they were just hoping to keep the score close after all the early blowout scores today. The players obviously played like they didn't want to be 0-3.

That's all I got. A win is a win. And I finially got to see them win on the road after a bad streak (South Carolina, Alabama, and Penn State). This might be a great time for a bye week.  

CTAlum

September 22nd, 2013 at 8:34 AM ^

While many complain about having to come out here and play in a small stadium, this was great for the faithful out east.  With a family, expensive and difficult to get back to AA for a game.  This visit let me take my kids to their first Michigan game.  My 11 year old daughter calls herself a future alum, so was an incredible experience for her.  What is the harm of a small stadium?  Not as big a payday?  As fans, what does that get us anyway, not going to lower ticket prices or concessions because of that.  Looks bad, beneath us?  We are Michigan, wherever we play we are the red letter game for the opponent.  Not good for strength of schedule?  Given the result, will not even address that.

Frankly, Michigan fans from across the northeast showed how Michigan can make it's presence felt.  At the tailgate, felt like A2 with such a heavy Michigan presence.  Sitting in the Michigan corner, was fun and no problems with UConn fans.  Living in CT I am a UConn fan, but a distant second to being a UM alum.  To me an awesome experience.  To me, only bad part was that this will be a one time experience.  Was looking forward to this for 4 years!  Maybe I will get to a game in A2 again sooner, but this was special to me and my family.

Wolverine15

September 22nd, 2013 at 9:33 AM ^

Not particularly good fans. A good number of them wore ohio clothes and made the O-H hand signal every time UCONN made a play, trolling us more than they were supporting their own team. Once we made it 21-14 they simmered down quite a bit.

Nice to go to a game on the east coast, but UCONN football at Rentschler was not a "wow" experience

drcarp

September 22nd, 2013 at 10:00 AM ^

The UConn fans near me were friendly. I did experience the Ohio trolling as well. Pretty lame, but their fans didn't expect to be in the game and were expecting the worst.

The Michigan fans were too stunned to make much noise. I'd say it was a 60-40 split, UConn-M.