Game Day Experience

Submitted by Winged T on August 28th, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Hello to all.
I live in Southwestern Ohio and have been a Michigan fan my whole life.  I have 3 sons and am raising them in Buckeye country as Michigan fans.  I coach my 11 year old son's football team and because of the committment am not able to attend as many games as I would like.  When his schedule came out this year we checked the calendar and the UM schedule.  It turns out he has a game on September 27th, his only Sunday game.  He jumped for joy after figuring out that UM was home on the 26th and asked me to get tickets. I ordered them the next day. This will be his first Michigan game.  After years of begging me to take him to a game, he's finally going to have his dream realized.   Since this is his first game, I want to make it as special as possible.  In the past, I have parked at the golf course and tailgated until about 15 minutes before game time, then entered the stadium.  I want to make sure that this game is special and never forgotten by my son.  I've heard that you can walk to the stadium with the band?  I've heard that pre-game warmups are important to see.  I want to make sure this time that anything that everyone feels is "can't miss", isn't missed.  I'm not sure when the next time I'll be able to take him to a game will be.  If anyone could provide advice on what any first time fan HAS to see on Game Day (locations and approx. times, please), I would greatly appreciate it.  Thank you all in advance, and Go Blue!



August 28th, 2009 at 2:04 PM ^

I think you should start at the diag and walk through campus and down state st (especially if you want him to someday be a Michigan student).

If you go early enough for the pre-game warm ups you should be able to avoid the drunkest of the drunks.


August 28th, 2009 at 2:06 PM ^

give him a quick tour of the main campus (like walk down the diag and see the M) ... then walk him down state street to get the feel of the town ... make sure you get to the game earlyish if he wants to see the warmup and bands ...also i believe they will still ahve the player walk into the stadium 2 hrs before the game ... he might like that


August 28th, 2009 at 2:10 PM ^

Rodriguez had a champions walk ( I think that is what he called it) where fans could cheer the players as the walked to the stadium. That might be cool too. I am not sure what time it occurs but the probably have more details at


August 28th, 2009 at 2:53 PM ^

the name, I believe. I believe this is still in effect, but ask again after the 1st game to confirm. From memory, it is about 2 hours before kickoff, when the team comes off the bus and walks into the stadium. From what I hear, everybody seems to love it.

Hope that helps. Go BLUE!


August 28th, 2009 at 2:17 PM ^

I'm a sucker for pageantry, so I usually leave the golf course tailgate a bit early to see the step show (drumline performance) and the marching band processional to the stadium. I think the step show starts about 1.5 hours before gametime at Reville hall on Hoover st. and the marching band processional leaves about 1 hr before gametime. It's a pretty cool display of school spirit and tradition, and I think I'd enjoy it if I were 11.

Also, a request: I'm too new to post on the board, but my wife and I are traveling to Italy and will be missing the CMU and ND games. Can anyone help me out and post a simple board message to see if there are bars in Rome/Florence that broadcast the Michigan games? I'd greatly appreciate it.


August 28th, 2009 at 2:52 PM ^

Your best bet to watch any American sports is the Red Garter. It's on the East side of town.

You didn't ask, but I'm gonna tell you anyway, Florence is better than Rome, and the food in way way way better.

For dinner go to La Giostra, order the pear ravioli and the balsamic steak. I'm not kidding, it's the best meal I've ever had.

Everyone is going to tell you to go to lunch at the oil shoppe, but there is a place around the corner that it much better, I'm blanking on the name but it'll come back to me:…
It's in that little arch.

I have tons more info if you're interested. Let me know.

EDIT: Sandwich place is called L'Antico (or L'Anico) Noe. Google it, it's the shit.

EDIT 2: FYI Red Garter is pretty much Skeeps, it's all Americans. And it might be blasphemous, but unless you really have nothing else to do, I would just Tivo the game and watch it when I got back. Others might disgree, but if you've been to Florence you know that there is way too much to see to be stuck in a EuroSkeeps.


August 28th, 2009 at 2:53 PM ^

Hey man, I really appreciate the info. We're spending ~ 2.5 days in Florence and about a week in and around Rome.

I've heard from a couple other people that Florence is a nicer city. Hopefully we'll be able to give it its due in the shorter time period.

I'd definitely appreciate any more info you have. We've got some of the big stuff (Uffizi, Accademia etc.) nailed down, but any advice, especially other favorite restaurants/cafes/bars etc., would be greatly appreciated.

Normally I'd be skeptical of pear ravioli, but that's about the strongest endorsement one can give. I'll let you know how I like it.


August 28th, 2009 at 4:18 PM ^

Places like the Red Garter were always scenes, but if you have a solid group of friends and hang out with Italians, your experience is what you make it.

Love Barca too, but Rome is huge and dirty. You can walk from one end of Florence to the other in under 30 min. Everything is way closer together. I had friends that studied in Rome that had a 40 min bus ride to school. I had a 3 minute walk. No knock on Rome, it's incredible, but Florence is definitely better.


August 28th, 2009 at 4:31 PM ^

So my comments are only based off of the 3 days I spent in each city. However, since filth does not factor in to my equation (hell, I loved Istanbul) I'd still take Rome any day of the week.

If the question is where to study abroad, you may have a point. However, for a place to visit, Rome is a must see while Florence is more of an added bonus.


August 28th, 2009 at 4:12 PM ^

I made a Google Map, hopefully it helps.

I left out the main stuff like the you said you were going anyway and any book can tell you about it.

For dinner you should do La Giostra above all else. Make sure you get a reservation. Outside of that, Acqua al Due is crowded and touristy, but the food is still top notch. Osteria dei Benci is highly recommended and right next to the Red Garter. Get the drunken spaghetti.

You could hit Ana's Bagels for breakfast. A bagel and cream cheese could start you off, but I always went with a "surprise me" on a bagel. Antico Noe is a must for lunch, you could do Oil Shoppe if you have time, but like I said, way overrated. If you want a street foody snack, get a kebab on Faenza with spicy sauce, simple and greasy but delicious.

Depending on your interests, the Medici Chapel is great if you're huge Michelangelo fans. Piaza Michelangelo has amazing views of the city. Really good for sunset with your lady as it looks west over the city.

Also, I'm sure your concierge can help you out, but don't let them sway you from La Giostra for dinner and Antico Noe for lunch.


August 28th, 2009 at 6:31 PM ^

Dude, you are an all star.

We'll definitely get to La Giostra and Antico Noe, and hopefully see as much as we can. As much as I want to hang out in Italian Skeepers, WMU might have to wait until we get back to the states.

Thanks again for all the info. I'll let you know how it goes.

Winged T

August 28th, 2009 at 2:59 PM ^

Thank you all for your comments. I don't know the campus very well at all. I went to UM baseball camp when I was in 5th-8th grade. That's when my love for UM started. I lived in a campus dorm room for one week (I think South Quad??), walked to the baseball field everyday and then toured the campus after camp most days. On the last day of camp they gave us the opportunity to play 2 hand touch football on the field in the Big House. Man was that awesome. I couldn't believe that out of roughly 500 kids at camp those weeks, only about 30 decided to play on the turf at the Big House. One year I even got to meet Bo when we were playing. That was about 23-25 years ago. What is the easiest way to get to the diag from the golf course (where we will be parking as soon as it opens)? I wish the Indiana game was a 3:30 start so we could see more things - and maybe we will do a little more walking around after the game (anything that is a "must see" after a game?) to see more of the campus before getting in the car for the ride home. Thanks again.


August 28th, 2009 at 3:39 PM ^

Start off tailgating at the golf course. Then walk across the Stadium Blvd into the Crisler parking lot and watch the Victors walk at 10a. Then head towards campus and stop at the band building and watch the band stuff. Follow the band to the stadium. Once the band gets to the stadium they play The Victors and Let's Go Blue at the Steps of the Tunnel and then go into the stadium. You will miss most of the warmups. If you have to leave the golf course in 2 hrs after the game ends I would suggest leaving and parking down near campus and giving your son a tour of campus at that point. But if that doesn't sound ideal then I guess you could walk down to campus early and be back to the band building by 10:30a. Best way to get to campus and work your way to Hoover and take a right then follow Hoover until it dead ends to State St. and take a left.

Hope this helps.


August 28th, 2009 at 3:13 PM ^

His first game at the Big House will be unreal to him no matter what you see. I live in Virginia (formerly lived in the worst state ever) and I always go to 1 game a year. My first time at Michigan stadium was in 2000 and I was 23 but was as giddy as an 11 year old. No matter what you do, nothing will outdo the look on his face when he walks up the ramp and into the greatness that is the Big House. Priceless. Enjoy the game and, as always, Go Blue!

Winged T

August 28th, 2009 at 3:30 PM ^

I just looked at campus maps online (hey, the technology age)!! It appears as though the diag is just north of S. University St and that we should be able to get there by walking up State St. from the golf course. We might have to hold off on taking that stroll until after the game.

I know he'd like to see the Victor's walk. That will definitely be a highlight for him. Anyone know where the Victor's Walk starts, or is it just them getting off the bus at the stadium and walking into the stadium? Either way, I'd have to believe that's a can't miss for him. I'd also like to see the step line from Revelli Hall and will hope to be there by 11am. Then we'll follow the band to the stadium and go in to see pre-game. Man, I am getting totally amped up just thinking about this.


August 28th, 2009 at 3:41 PM ^

I live in southern ohio and grew up a michigan fan. Like the rest of the post on here your son will never forget the first time he walks into the staduim. There is pleanty to do and see all around the Big House,I also think the drum line meets after the game like they do before the game. Taking your son you will give him memories he will never forget. He's lucky to have a good dad like yourself. GO BLUE!


August 28th, 2009 at 4:11 PM ^

I would suggest taking your son over to Elbel Field to watch the marching band warm up around 10 am. You can get pumped up and play catch with your son before he experiences Big House Nirvana. I know that I will be there prior to the Ohio State game when I fly in from Back East. This is located right across the street from the Central Campus IM Rec building and is a about a five minute walk from the law quad (towards the Big House).

Breakfast at Zingerman's Deli and some Pizza at Cottage Inn Pizza afterwards are also wonderful additions to your day.

Enjoy and Go Blue!

Transatlantic Flight

August 28th, 2009 at 4:46 PM ^

The band leaves from Revelli Hall on Hoover Street and marches to the stadium about a half hour before kick-off, there is a drum show that takes place just before that. I'm not sure if the Victor's Walk is really cool or not (I'm a member of the band, and a few people play at it), but that takes place about two hours before kick-off. Walking through campus is definitely a good idea.