Have the past two years made you a bigger diehard?

Submitted by My name ... is Tim on August 26th, 2010 at 8:47 AM


So I've been thinking about this of late, and I just wanted to put it to the board to see if it was a universal feeling:

I know that to the casual fan, adversity and poor performance by a sports team often creates apathy and lowers interest and overall fan support, but what about to the already diehard fan?

I think these past two years have made me an even bigger Michigan fan. Having to constantly defend my team against outsiders and people ready to trash the program based on what they heard in some newspaper (coughFreepcough) or on ESPN has raised my intensity level. The same thing happened to me at Michigan with my Yankee fandom. While the Yankees weren't facing the problems that Michigan is, everyone at Michigan HATED (hates) the Yankees, and I found myself having to constantly defend them to anyone I was watching a baseball game with because the animosity was so strong.

Has anyone else experienced this and felt this way over the past couple of years?



Section 1

August 26th, 2010 at 10:31 AM ^

on the field.

And the more angry I get about off-field attacks on our program.

We're always going to win games and lose games.  I can't control that; and if every loss makes you die just a little bit, you won't have much of a life.  It is better to just enjoy the spectacle.  And Michigan football is the best ticket in all of sports in this state.  It is the best, most highly educated, best-demographic fan base in the state's best city, in the best stadium, in beautiful conditions, at the best time of the year.  It is the best and most historically succesful team, and year in and year out, a season ticket holder at Michigan Stadium is virtually guaranteed to see nationally-important games.

So for me particular wins and losses fade into happy memories; I've seen many many years of both.  And yet the attacks that drag the good name of our program into national disrepute are the things that I find truly evil and really worth the effort of every supporter of the football to oppose and protest. 


August 27th, 2010 at 1:06 PM ^

The fact that Michigan is such a good school with such a rich history and tradition really puts everything into perspective for most Michigan fans.  Obviously football is important, but it's in balance with other aspects of the University.  This isn't true elsewhere; I did my BA at Michigan and my graduate work at Texas, and things there seemed really out of control; there's virtually no connection between the University and the athletics.  And Texas fans have little knowledge of anything outside of Texas and the Big 12.  I'm proud of the fact that we as a fanbase have an appreciation of the national picture, the rich historical context and the importance of the University as a whole, and not just the football team's performance in recent memory.


August 26th, 2010 at 11:15 AM ^

has made me more diehard than the adversity of the past two years.  I had been pretty hardcore for almost four decades.  This blog helps me enjoy Michigan and Michigan all year: my connection to the university, the seriously funny shit written here, the highly skilled analysis of the diarists and frequent contributors, prognostications -- both thoughtful and total BS, recruiting news of future stars, negbangs/posbangs, otter ennui, even the bloody trolls . . .

Long live MGOBLG.  The last few years would have been unbearable without it.


August 26th, 2010 at 8:52 AM ^

I'm a Mets fan and well, going to Michigan actually made me hate the Yankees a little less. Not really all that much, but just defending them here and there.  When I was a kid, I loved Mattingly and the Yankees from 90-96.  They beat the Braves... in exciting fashion (down 2-0.)

But, I digress.  Yes, the past 3 seasons have made me a stronger fan.  You take W's for granted (which I really shouldn't, i'm a Mets fan as well.)  But when Michigan started to lose, I got more into trying to find out why.  Not reading or listening to ESPN has helped.  Thank you, MGoBlog.


August 26th, 2010 at 10:12 AM ^

Overall, I'd say the Split is about somewhere between 65/35 to 60/40, Yanks have the advantage, obviously. 

I think you'll find a mixed bag.. but if I had to stereotype... Mets fans are more blue collar than Yankees fans, but i'd also argue we're more knowledgeable baseball fans.  Yankees definitely own the Bronx, Manhattan.  Queens is Mets for the most part.  I'd say Yankees dominate Staten Island, (if it matters.)  Brooklyn, I'd say is a toss up.  This is going strictly off of anecdotal experience. 

NJ is a Yankees strong hold.  Long Island is probably a toss up, but might lean Mets?  Upstate... and by upstate I mean Westchester, filled with Yankees fans.  Connecticut (west) Yankees,  Connecticut east - BoSox.

Does this help?  Anyone else want to offer some thoughts?

I think we can all agree, it was not difficult to be a Mets fan in Ann Arbor.  Tigers fans have empathy, I'm sure.


August 26th, 2010 at 9:01 AM ^

Agreed. I cared about Michigan football a lot before all this shit went down, but the whole ordeal has really pushed it to a new level of obsession.

Elno Lewis

August 26th, 2010 at 9:02 AM ^

I have never been able to understand this.  Its like if someone calls you an idiot and you spend three hours explaining why you are NOT an idiot.  Guess what--you fawking are an idiot it you defend yourself for not being an idiot.

Don't even dignify that stuff with a response.  If you are a Michigan fan, what the heck do you care what other fanbases think? 

EVer see that stupid movie, Roadhouse?  Is your mother a whore? 


August 26th, 2010 at 9:33 AM ^

I have had to defend the team. Not against other fan bases, but against people like my father who mourn the loss of "their program - the way Michigan football is supposed to be played.". These are the people that pretend that the game didn't pass Lloyd by, and refuse to believe that the program that Rich is building will bring us back to relevance on the national stage.


August 26th, 2010 at 10:46 AM ^

It is worse trying to explain why you are not an idiot to a Rich Rod hating Michigan fan.  Paper shredding, CARA reporting fail, "major" violations, players leaving, bare defense at the end of the Carr era -- all can be explained, debunked or put in perspective.  But only if you have a captive audience for the better part of an hour to address a litany of accusations that take 10 seconds to recite.  The facts take much longer to lay out than the cheap shots take to make. 


August 26th, 2010 at 9:07 AM ^

I have this glorious place to thank for that.

Before 2006, I only knew the names of the starters.  Now, I pretty know where every scholarship athlete is from.

It is now almost awkward to watch Michigan games with my family or friends, because when I start talking about the Pahokee pipeline I get confused/concerned/alarmed looks.


August 26th, 2010 at 9:07 AM ^

Probably. I was always a passionate about the team but I don't think I paid nearly as much attention to personnel and recruiting under Carr. It makes it a lot more fun to be have such a deep appreciation for the team, but I now find it frustrating chatting with more casual fans. Particularly those that want to assassinate Rich Rod but have no idea what he was given to work with in 2008 or what the team's issues are currently.


August 26th, 2010 at 9:35 AM ^

I'm with you about the casual fans.  I'll never forget a guy came up to me while we were tailgating before the WMU game and told me that if RR loses this game he's going to be fired "mark my words".  I didn't even have to respond...if looks could kill, I'd be in jail for murder.

The circling of the wagons has taken our fanbase to another level!


August 26th, 2010 at 9:07 AM ^

I got more involved starting with the coaching search.  I picked a great time to start following more...I feel like a gambler who keeps throwing chips into the pot and getting nothing but bad beats on the river card.  But I keep putting chips in because I know that when I win, it will be that much more satisfying.


August 26th, 2010 at 9:10 AM ^

Yes, it has. But, I dont know if its the last two years or if its just the presence and participation in the blog.

I think its more of the latter than anything else, but the lean times the last couple of seasons has hardly dampened that, and will make the MGoParty even bigger and more fun when the team does start winning again


August 26th, 2010 at 9:11 AM ^

No doubt

It has been set on fire and burned to the ground.  Some have walked away assuming there's nothing more to see.  Others are watching to see what comes out of the ashes.  I can only watch and hope and pray and believe

and mgoblog


August 26th, 2010 at 9:23 AM ^

My level of obsession has remained fairly constant since originally becoming a Michigan fan, but the last two years have forced me to delve deeper into the game of football.


August 26th, 2010 at 9:26 AM ^

The last couple of years have created the strong feeling that the team needs my fandom* in a way that it didn't before (I realize, of course, that I am only a very small drop in a very large bucket).  Michigan seems to be at risk, so I've dug my heels in twice as much as ever, though the practical effect of that is minimal at best...As others have said, this blog has increased my interest (obsession?) too.



*And the support of any other fan too. 


August 26th, 2010 at 9:30 AM ^

I have been a "diehard" since the 60's.  This is a new experience, though.  And it has made me appreciate exactly how good the program has been over the last forty years.


August 26th, 2010 at 9:34 AM ^

I have gone from a Michigan "follower" to a Michigan fan.  I did not realize there was a distinction until the last two years. 


August 26th, 2010 at 9:35 AM ^

I don't spend time trying to justify what is going on with our program to others (i.e. Ohio State fans), but I am obsessed with trying to learn more about our progress in getting back to the top. The more we lose, the more obsessed I get. I find it fascinating from a leadership perspective what Rich Rod is trying to accomplish and the obstacles that have been placed in his way. This could be a really great story down the road about perseverance.

SD Go Blue

August 26th, 2010 at 9:40 AM ^

I used to just pay attention during the season.  After the bowl game I would focus elsewhere until the middle of August.  Now it is a year-round obsession.  Is that weird for someone in their mid-30's?  Hope not.


August 26th, 2010 at 9:41 AM ^

That's an interesting question.

I've been a Wolverine since I needed help wiping my ass, and will remain so even when I get to the time that I need that help once again.  That being said, I have become more interested in the non-game information (recruiting, staffing, etc.) than I ever was before.  Maybe that's because the on-field performance has been so poor?  Maybe it's just a coincidence of that info being so readily available at the same time that our performance has been down.  Hard to say.


August 26th, 2010 at 9:48 AM ^

I am passionate about U of M Football again.  I was always a fan, but approaching 15 years since being in Ann Arbor my fandom was slipping.

I would still catch the National games - watch with friends (or ND people) for the ND and tOSU games - but U of M was steady and predictable - good but not great, same old same old and just wasn't exciting.

Now I am anticipating EVERY game, find a local bar (that serves breakfast) for any game not accessable via cable, and check MgoBlog several times every day.  I feel that Rich Rod has brought change (not always bad "the Game!!" gripers) and excitement to the program not there for me since Bo.  Unfortunately so far that has included a higher chance that any game could be a loss, but that is not why I have become re-energized about Meeechigan footbal.

Hoping Coach Rod survives this year and already have an "in" for tickets for a particular game in early January 2012 in Glendale, AZ.


August 26th, 2010 at 9:48 AM ^

I certianliy think mgoblog has something to do with my increased "fandom". I have been going to games in Ann Arbor since the 1980s, started hitting road games in the 90s so I am not too sure how much more of a fan I've become - always been a very high level. Though I do now know more about the make up of the team and the types of recruits we are giong after - but I think that has more to do with the information that is available. As for the last two years, what has made me sick, is how many times classmates of mine (UM class of '95) have turned on the program. I have felt I have had to defend Michigan to Michigan, and that is not right. I do believe (and hope) we are getting better, and a win on Sept 4th will be the beginning of a great start. And with a great start, the 2011 class of recruits will start to fill nicely. We'll be back, and beating OSU twice in 2011 on our way up will never be sweeter!

Go Blue!


August 26th, 2010 at 9:49 AM ^

I'm glad you posted this because I've been feeling this way for awhile now and have mentioned it to many of my friends.  Prior to the last two years, I NEVER followed recruiting or much about the football team in the off season; although I was and still am an avid supporter of the team and coaches.  I've been doing it almost daily now since Coach Rod's first season.  The situation the team has been in the last two years has made me a much better (more informed) fan than I ever was before.  Thank you for providing the impetus to share it here too.  GO BLUE!


August 26th, 2010 at 9:51 AM ^

from phrasefinder:

Tyburn, near what is now Marble Arch, in London, was the principal location for public hangings in England until 1785. The 'drop' method of hanging wasn't then in use and the process was sometimes a prolonged affair. There are records showing that some of those who were about to be hanged opted to take the opposite course to the 'die hards' and paid people to hang onto their legs so that they died quickly...

The wider use of the term came into being in the following century. At the Battle of Albuhera in the Peninsula War in 1811, William Inglis, the commander of the British 57th Regiment of Foot, ordered all ranks "Die hard the 57th, die hard!", i.e. to fight until the last. The regiment later became known as the Die-hards.

sounds like you die-hard or you don't.  i am die-hard.


August 26th, 2010 at 9:55 AM ^

I always was a huge diehard who followed recruiting, but since RR has came to Michigan my friends have been asking me more and more about recruiting and different players, so I think everyone is more interested.

I pray to god they dont get rid of RR no matter what happens this season.  Because when we are nasty as hell in 2 years I dont want to hear its because we brought in Harbaugh or Miles..

Think about that D in 2 years... Roh, Campbell, Ash, Black....Jones, Demens or Hawthorne, Robinson....Floyd, Buc-Nasty, Gordon or Vlad, Furman.

Also Denard and Tate's senior season.


August 26th, 2010 at 9:56 AM ^

I have been a HUGE fan ever since my first trip to the Big House at age 7. I have been to games every year since, and it remains the most important place I visit.  I don't think anything could make me a bigger fan. This website, over the past year and a half, has certainly made me a better fan. I am infinitly more informed, and like others, I know more about every aspect of the team. 

I think the past few years have really just hardend my skin. I don't take losses as hard now, and I try to look at the bright side of the team's situation more than just bitching up a storm (see Lloyd's years...)  Now that I am better armed to deal with anything this year throws at me, it will make it easier to enjoy regardless of the outcome. I really can't wait to go to the Big House in 9 days!!!!! 9 DAYS --- Anyone have a sleeping pill that lasts that long?


August 26th, 2010 at 9:58 AM ^

Although I have upped my daily intake of antacids and started seeing a shrink, I have definitely become more obsessed.  I have never experienced anything like the last two years of Michigan football so it has been tough to swallow.  I also can't wait to shove all the BS from naysayers straight back down their throats. 


August 26th, 2010 at 10:06 AM ^

Definitly much bigger fan. I didn't go to Michigan and before the last two years I knew nothing about recruiting or anything like that. I only knew about the star players on the team. Basically we cycle through a star receiver and running back with a decent quaterback and tight end. One great CB to go with great linebackers and Dline. Every couple years we'd replace them with versions of themselves automatically (in my mind).


After coming across this blog I have learned basically everything about all the players and I eat this stuff up. The downside is I can't have conversations about UofM with anyone else around me because they probably know 1/10th of what I know and I don't feel like arguing about this team anymore.

The bad times have made me a much bigger fan. This blog is the main reason.