Experiencing the Big House

Submitted by MichFan1997 on May 15th, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Have you ever been so overwhelmed by experiencing the Big House that it has got the best of your emotions? For the home opener in 2010, my and one of my friends took her mom to her first ever Michigan game. It was her mom's birthday and everything. Her mom cried the first time she saw the team run out onto the field because she never thought she'd ever see that live. 

So my question to you guys is, do you have any similar stories? Have you ever been overtaken by your emotions from experiencing the Big House live?



May 15th, 2012 at 8:29 PM ^

At one crucial point late in the 4th quarter (can't remember exactly what drive), when the whole stadium was chanting to '7 Nation Army' and pumping the maize pom-poms in unison, my brother turned to face the crowd (we were 3rd row endzone). He looked up, looked to both sides, then looked forward again. He said, "this is what college football is about", then opened his arms and closed his eyes to just take in and embrace the moment. I'll never forget it.


May 15th, 2012 at 9:05 PM ^

My father and I decide to sell our tickets for 325 each. I was trying to find a ticket to replace the one I sold. I found one for 150 and bought it. Before I could get to the gate a guy offered me 200 for the ticket. I looked on my phone and the score was 14-0 ND so I sold it. Regret is the only word to describe that decision to this day.


May 15th, 2012 at 8:39 PM ^

I cried after OSU '97.  But I think it had more to do with the pepper spray deployed by Ann Arbor's finest as me and my fellow classmates celebrated on the field.  I cried at Crisler a few months later when the University held the National Champions rally, but for all the right reasons that time. 

no joke its hoke

May 15th, 2012 at 8:39 PM ^

My first game was against Ohio in 99. Me and some friends drove up from southern ohio and i was the only with a ticket. I sat there alone about a hour before kick off around the 32 yard line and thought " I finally made it." I didnt cry but even tho i sat there alone it was still magical.


May 15th, 2012 at 8:46 PM ^

The good, Michigan vs Ohio 97. The bad, Rickey Powers fumbling the game away in 93 against Illinois. I was an eighth grader and had never felt so heartbroken before.


May 15th, 2012 at 8:49 PM ^

It was the home opener against western.  It was a blowout but the second i walked into the stadium and saw 110,000+ people wearing maize and blue. I just stared for a good 30 seconds in shock at how awesome it was.


May 15th, 2012 at 8:56 PM ^

I've been to 25 home games in the last 15 years, the most notable ones being Braylonfest and 2005-Penn State.  I also went to the first home game that had to be rescheduled post-9/11 with the moment of silence.  But an easy emotional experience I had at the big house that is most memorable didn't happen during a game.

Up until a couple years ago, they used to keep one gate open at the stadium during the summer.  Several years ago, I walked inside and had the entire stadium to myself.  I sat in different spots in the stands and then walked on the field.  I walked and stood in all the exact spots in both end zones of the most memorable plays.  Mercury Hayes catch against Virginia, Howard's 4th down diving catch against Notre Dame, Chris Perry's rushing TD in overtime against Penn State, Anthony Carter's game winning catch against Indiana, Billy Taylor's game winning run against Ohio State and of course I did the Howard Heisman pose against OSU. 

Yes, I'm a dork.  But I was simply following the advice Keith Jackson gave to all fans on the Michigan football CD Rom that was released in 1995.  In the offseason or the night before the first home game, go to the stadium while it's empty and soak up all the history that is everywhere you look.  Stand in the spots of memorable plays that led to victory and listen to the crowd cheering in your head.  It was a really cool feeling that unfortunately is not allowed anymore as the stadium is now completely locked when it's not football season.  It was great while it lasted, though.

And so ends my cheesy post.   



May 15th, 2012 at 9:59 PM ^

I also used to jog to Michigan Stadium from my dorm (Markley Hall: 5th Blagdon FTW) and just enjoy the stadium. I did the Mercury Hayes. I did the Desmond Howard. I did Hello Heisman. Man I loved that

I'd also forgotten about the first game after 9/11. It was my freshman year, and I don't mind admitting I got pretty damn dusty during that moment of silence and the playing of God Bless America.


May 15th, 2012 at 8:59 PM ^

I remember the national anthem the first game after 9/11 really got to me - think it was Western, but doesn't really matter. Brock Mealer was another for non-football reasons. Projecting ahead to this fall, it will my first season without my dad by my side. If you see a guy in Section 7 crying for no apparent reason, that will be me.


May 15th, 2012 at 9:08 PM ^

The immediate memories that come to me:

1991 - I was sitting right by the goaline when I saw Howard lay out absolutely flat in the air to catch the 4th and 1 pass from Grbac. The time just kinda stood still as ball was in the air and I remember saying to myself "Holy SH(T Desmond is perfectly parallel with the ground!!!" as he was catching it. Still the best single football play I have ever seen

Also at my first Ohio game at the big house, I remember towards the end of the game, there was a guy with Ohio jersey on lying on the floor in a fetal position in the student section surrounded by about 30 people who were pelting him with marshmallows. The guy was absolutely covered head to toe in it. That was awesome...


May 15th, 2012 at 9:30 PM ^

1997 row A student section, vs OSU! Woodson was awsome.  Anthony Thomas was pretty damn good in that game too!


May 15th, 2012 at 9:35 PM ^

Bourbon Street pretty much defeated me, so I felt shitty the entire game. But when Gibbons kicked the winning field goal...pure bliss. Michigan had just won a BCS game, and I was finally able to run to the bathroom to throw up. UTL was okay too.


May 15th, 2012 at 9:35 PM ^

Living a couple states away and working weekends kept me away until the Illinois game in 2010. Triple overtime and an emotional roller coaster ride of a game. Got chills seeing the stadium and feeling like I finally belonged wearing Michigan gear. I didn't have to defend my hat to SEC fans. It was like finally being home. The chills stayed as we walked around the stadium. Then the band started and we walked to our seats to watch warmups. I had to stop and delete pictures to make sure I had room for pictures of the actual game. Now every time don't stop believing comes on the radio I get chills. I left that day unable to talk, legs hurting and physically exhausted. But never been happier. There is not a better place on earth.

Beavercreek Blue

May 15th, 2012 at 9:45 PM ^

I was a little to intoxicated for UTL! But on a emotional roller coaster from 10 min before kickoff until the field rush against Ohio! I live in Ohio and listen to these mouth breathers everyday! I have been to 20+ games at the Big House but 2011 Ohio felt electric from 11:45 until they kicked people off the field!


May 15th, 2012 at 9:46 PM ^

We were spoiled last season with UTL and the Ohio game and I still get chills when I think of being there for those games.  The only moments that can match those games for me was Penn State 2005 and Ohio 2003 (The 100th game in the rivalry).  I live in the next town over from The Mealer's and have a lot of friends who know them, so the UCONN game in 2010 was a very special moment for me as well.  Man, I love the Big House!


May 15th, 2012 at 9:49 PM ^

Braylonfest '04: During the TV timout after the first OT, the entire student section collapsed onto the bleachers for a breather; we'd been hopping up and down for a solid 30-45 minutes straight at that point.

Brock Mealer: Because... yeah.


EDIT: Also, Ohio '03 and '11, and Notre Dame '03 (Houston's better... Clap. Clap. Clap clap clap)


May 15th, 2012 at 9:50 PM ^

We were on row 5, on the end zone line where the final touchdown was caught. The Notre Dame fan that was sitting next to us was being a real tool the whole game...my wife's cousin gave him a wrestling style chest slap when time expired asking him "how do you like that buddy"...the entire stadium just stayed in place for the next half hour...we couldn't bring ourselves to leave. It was, for lack of a better word, epic.


May 15th, 2012 at 9:58 PM ^

UTL with my father and UConn with Mealer and the stadium dedication, and the unleashing of Denard.

Conversely, 2007 Oregon made me quite angry.


May 15th, 2012 at 10:04 PM ^

Conversely, 2007 Oregon made me quite angry.

I'll take "Understatements of the year" for 400, Alex.

I was originally very pissed that I had to go to a wedding that day instead of going to the game. But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because (a) I didn't have to be there for... that, and (b) open bars heal all wounds.


May 15th, 2012 at 10:03 PM ^

I vividly remember screaming as Westbrook came down with the ball.. It was my Grandfathers 50 year reunion that game, and the alumni had already all begun their exit from the stadium, totally unaware of what had just transpired.


Was only 14, but remember it like it was yesterday.,

Johnny V.

May 15th, 2012 at 10:04 PM ^

First post since the Haloscan days i think, but you guys have made me nostalgic.

Good: my first game as a student. We were a little late to our seats. One of my floor mates was from a really small town, and when we walked in, he said "there are more people in here right now than in my entire county!"

Bad: the Kordell Stewart game. Followed closely by the Ricky Powers fumble game.


May 15th, 2012 at 10:07 PM ^

For me, 2011 Ohio.  I was class of '09, and wasn't really an M fan growing up despite hailing from southeast Michigan.  After losing to them in '06, and watching the team implode the next couple years, not only had I never experienced a win over Ohio during my fandom, I was starting to doubt it was even possible to beat them.

That seems to me to be the game where we really put all the anguish of the mid-late 00's into the rearview so we can finally move on.  Not only that, it was an objectively very exciting and hard-fought game, with lots of offense.  Would have stood out without any symbolism...


May 15th, 2012 at 10:10 PM ^

Too many great moments to cover, but the top three for me:
Wangler to Carter, Grbac to Howard, UTL
(With due respect to Braylon, Carter will always be #1.)

The worst? Well, I won't mention The Horror by name.


May 15th, 2012 at 10:24 PM ^

I was sitting in the Ohio fan section at this past years Game (mom got tickets through work) and to see the look on all of the Ohio fan's faces after the INT was great.  They talked shit all game and they were dead silent following that, as i was screaming at the top of my lungs.  

It was such a large relief, knowing i wouldn't have to spend another year of being bashed by Ohio fans (I live in Ohio by the way).  Maybe the happiest moment i have ever had in Michigan Stadium.  

On the other side of emotion was The Horror.  I took my dad to that game expecting him to see a great Michigan dominat win, but he said the look in my face following the blocked FG was just pure shock and frustration.  I drank very heavily that night.  The same can be said about the Toledo loss, being that i live i the Toledo area.


May 15th, 2012 at 10:36 PM ^

My wife and I took our two sons with us to the Nebraska game last year, and we talked a couple into going with us. They were lukewarm VT fans......that is until they walked into the stadium. They couldn't speak for a couple minutes. It was our youngest son's first game as well. We went in early so they could walk around and get plenty of pictures of the team warming up. Ended up being an awesome day, great football weather and a lopsided victory. 

We converted our friends to Michigan fans and my wife and I got to spend the day at the game with our boys. I laughed and teared up a little when my oldest put his hand on my shoulder and asked, "dad, can I go to college here when I grow up?" 


May 15th, 2012 at 11:08 PM ^

My youngest son spent six years at Michigan and earned two degrees.  He left Ann Arbor in 2011 to go to med school.  We decided to go to two games together this past year.  What were the two?  ND and Ohio.  We had seen a lot of games together at the stadium, Tate's ND win, Wiscy in 08, Manningham's last second TD against PSU, and dozens of others, but I think we both realized that ND and Ohio in 2011 were games for the ages. To have shared them together made it very special.

Then there was Brock's walk...still get emotional even thinking about it.


May 15th, 2012 at 11:49 PM ^

Thought this quote was appropriate:

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love.” - Washington Irving

Unspeakable love indeed. I am not one to shed tears over a bad loss... that doesnt seem right at the big house. Usually when we lose we should tip our hats to those that beat us... the horror included.

I would say I had a few tears during the Brock walk... A little watery during the Desmond pre-game at UTL... and certainly just a bit of a joy tear as relief hit and we beat OHIO this year.


Go Blue!


May 15th, 2012 at 11:52 PM ^

Well I am a Michigan fan from Ohio and my wife and I made the 4 and a half hour journey to Michigan the night before the spring game. Got to the Big House about 7:45 that morning. But at about 9:15 or so it was like I stepped into the greatest place in the world. Walked up the ramp and through the little tunnel and you could see the field down below. It was better than I ever imagined. It was just plain awesome. Craziest thing was we were sitting right in front of a couple from Columbus who were also Michigan fans. Cannot wait to get up to A2 for a real game.


May 16th, 2012 at 12:13 AM ^

There have been several, most of mine have already been mentioned and I realize how lucky I am to have been at so many of the previous posted games. 


The earliest truly nutso win I remember being there for was when Phil Brabb's kicked the game winner at the end to beat Washington.  I was in the end zone row 6 and felt like I could have caught the ball if the net handn't been raised.  I was jumping up and down hugging some guy next to me before I realized my Dad had been siting on the OTHER side of me.  The guy hugged back, it was weird, in retrosepct.

An Angelo's Addict

May 16th, 2012 at 12:26 AM ^

Also I truly believe UTL could arguably one of the best experiences ever in the big house. No matter if a fan at that game was there for their frist game or 100th, everyone tells me that's their best experience. 

Also, seeing the 80 year old fans dancing to dynamite was just icing on the cake

rob f

May 16th, 2012 at 12:34 AM ^

as I've been there at Michigan Stadium for almost every one mentioned in this thread. 

First game I went to was in 1974 against Navy, I'l never forget the feeling of walking up to the southwest corner outside the stadium fence and remarking to my friend how I expected something bigger.  Then the shock and awe of entering the stadium itself from below the south scoreboard and being amaized at how huge Michigan Stadium really was!

Took in 2 home games each of the next 2 seasons, then got our season tickets in 1977 and have only missed about 15-20 home games in the 34 years since.

Most memorable single play I've ever seen had to be the AC catch to win the IU game...or was it the Woodson punt return TD vs. ohio...or was it Grbac to Howard vs. ND for the win...or Mario's winning catch vs. PSU in '05 (or was the Chris Perry TD to beat PSU in '03 better)...or was it one of Harlan H-Bomb Huckleby's many TD's?  Impossible to choose from so many...

Anyway, the most memorable games as a group for me have been the odd-year finales---I haven't missed any Ohio @ U of M home games since '77 (we're 11-7 in those games) and we're1-0 in my only U of M @ Ohio game, in '96.

Who knows what's in store in '12? Season can't get here soon enough!


May 16th, 2012 at 12:47 AM ^

Unfortunately, I graduated in 2011 and therefore missed UTL. Talk about a disappointment. I wish I could have been there! The 2009 ND game probably pales in comparison to those who were at UTL, but it was probably the craziest the stadium ever got while I was a student at Michigan. I remember losing my voice from screaming so loudly and everyone just going absolutely insane when Tate made that final TD pass. Such an awesome moment. So 2009 ND, 2010 triple OT Illinois, or 2008 Wisconsin were definitely some crazy, crazy moments.