Have You Ever Regretted Leaving A Game Early?

Submitted by saveferris on November 12th, 2012 at 8:09 AM

I'm always baffled by fans who walk out of games early when the result is still very much in doubt.  Saturday after the Cats made their first down with a little under 3:30 to play, I started looking around and sure enough I see hordes of folks making for the exits.  After all the miracles Michigan has pulled off over the years, why would you leave when hope still lives?  Granted our odds of winning at that point were less than shitty, but I was pretty certain we'd get the ball back and we'd have a chance to run a play or two and I was going to stick around to see those plays.

Myself, I've only bailed out of one game early because I had to go to dinner with my future in-laws and that game was the 2008 Toledo game, so it proved fortuitous to not be around for the end of that.

So I put it to the masses; anyone want to cop to bailing out of a game early because you were convinced it was over only to miss a glorious finish?  How much of an ass did it make you feel like when you're in your car listening to the finish on the radio and realizing, "I could've been there for that....damnit."


ND Sux

November 12th, 2012 at 12:06 PM ^

We left our seats after the 3rd down conversion (review play).  Hit the john, next thing you they are punting to us.  We watched the rest on the TVs by the concession stand...with a LOT of other fans in the same boat.

Mabel Pines

November 12th, 2012 at 8:18 AM ^

I made him leave the Michigan State triple overtime when we were down 27-17.  At the time, my baby was 1, with my parents, I knew she would be crying for me, I had never left her with anyone before, blah, blah, blah....... 

She was screaming her little head off when we got there, if it helps.  And we got to watch the end on TV!  Yay!!


November 12th, 2012 at 8:43 AM ^

My dad and I were so close to leaving that game with about 8 minutes left. We told ourselves that if it got any worse we would book it out of there to beat traffic, but then Braylon took over the game and the rest was history. I still think this game was better than UTL, mainly because it was so exciting that one player could dominate the DB's like Braylon did. I will never forget the faces of the sparty fans after that game.


November 12th, 2012 at 8:55 AM ^

I will never forget the faces of the sparty fans after that game.

I was there with one of my old college pals and we were suffering some obnoxious 10 year old Spartan fan behind us the whole game. As the adults, we probably shouldn't have let some kids enthusiasm bother us, but it did, mea culpa. Anyway, Braylon goes ham, Michigan wins and I turn around to see this kid with his head buried in his fathers chest sobbing. I nudge my buddy and point behind me, he turns and looks, turns back to me and we both high five and giggle like 7 year olds. Not my proudest moment, but still on the schadenfruede scale, VERY satisfying.


November 12th, 2012 at 9:56 AM ^

That was my freshman year and I sold my ticket because I wasn't a huge football fan yet.  I was in my dorm with a couple other friends watching the game, and a couple doors down there was a guy with three of his MSU friends.  The entire time, they were cheering obnoxiously and came over regularly to rub it in our faces whenever Sparty scored.  After we pulled off that win, going over to that room and letting them have it was one of the most satisfying feelings ever.


November 12th, 2012 at 10:53 AM ^

I just got so excited about it that I had to look at the film again.

Go to the 3:44 mark to see the game with 8:43 left with Michigan down 27-10.

And overtime..

All of the touchdown catches were in our corner. Just unbelievable.


*Also this is my first time embedding so hopefully I did this right.


November 12th, 2012 at 9:29 AM ^

The Spartan fans were so obnoxious I thought I was going to slug someone, so each time I would say "ok, if we don't score here, I'm out of here"...and we'd score..."ok, if we don't get the onside kick, I'm out of here"...get the onside kic k...."Ok...."  then..."OK...I think everyone needs to stick around for this one."  After having that feeling, and fighting it off, I never leave early.


November 12th, 2012 at 10:38 AM ^

Funny, I had a similar experience. I was at that game with my now wife who I had just started dating at the time. I remember it being pretty warm during the day and the temperature just plummeted the minute the sun went down and neither of us were really dressed for it. She was cold and wanted to leave in the third quarter. I gave her my sweatshirt and told her she could go home but I was staying. I ended up freezing my nuts off in a t-shirt but man was I happy I stayed.


November 12th, 2012 at 8:21 AM ^

When ND scored in the last minute I was so pissed that I stormed out - actually got outside of the Big House when I heard the screams and cheers telling me that something was up.  I turned around and watched the last play of the game through one of the big screens that was still visible over the fence.


It was still a fun experience though, especially since I was actually watching with some ND fans who left a bit early beat the rush, feeling that victory was secured. :)

OMG Shirtless

November 12th, 2012 at 8:21 AM ^

I've left several games early.  I have never regretted it.  I left the RichRod/Wisconsin experience early.  Still don't regret it.  I was in the bar with a fantastic seat for the end of the game and the rest of the night.


November 12th, 2012 at 8:23 AM ^

It has to be a really big lead for me to leave early. At least three-four touchdowns, and not much time left. I've seen too much crazy stuff happen in football over the years, and to not be in the stadium for those moments would be some of my greatest regrets.


November 12th, 2012 at 8:30 AM ^

I left 1999 Illinois either at halftime or shortly into the second half.

Had a ton of projects to work on.  By the time I stopped to get a pizza and got back to my dorm room, the terror had struck.  I was dumbfounded.

Kinda glad I did stay for that though...

931 S State

November 13th, 2012 at 12:13 AM ^

I left that one too.  It was really cold and windy and I was hungover as hell.  M was up 3 touchdowns and had pretty much dominated the whole game.  Plus there was still the let down from the week prior when Plaxico went crazy in EL that had taken the luster off the season at that point.  Left at halftime and actually was paying more attention to the Northwestern/OSU (maybe it was Minnesota not NW) game IIRC because NW was on the verge of upsetting them. 


November 12th, 2012 at 8:47 AM ^

Same here, but I didn't wanna go. I was only 11 and with my dad. He sometimes wanted to leave early when it looked like someone was pulling away and I had to complain about it to keep us there. At halftime, he wanted to go and I gave in.

I wouldn't say that experience changed me because I never wanted to leave early anyway, but it may have made me more resolute. Don't think I've ever left early any other time, except maybe with a few minutes left in the 4th with Michigan up 30 or whatever on some MAC team. I'd actually be more likely to leave when Michigan is up than when losing. I didn't leave the 2007 game against Oregon or Ohio or 2002 against Iowa (was sprinkling too, never seen the stadium so empty). God, those were awful though lol. I know Iowa was the worst home loss ever at that point, which I think wasn't topped until 2007 against Oregon. But the 2007 Ohio game was the most depressing I've ever been to.


November 12th, 2012 at 8:31 AM ^

We left the Wisconsin game at halftime in Rich Rod's first year, down 20-0.  I vowed after that game to never leave early if there's even a remote chance.

One of my friends left after NW converted that 4th down, while the rest of us decided to stay since we figured there'd be 20-30 seconds for us to do something.  I think some people just need that one experience to make them realize that a game can almost always be within reach.


November 12th, 2012 at 10:52 AM ^

I also left this game at halftime because the 19 points by Wisconsin was more than the total offensive yards by M.  The five turnovers didn't help the cause either.  My buddies still remind me of this game all the time, but I can't say that I wouldn't do it again considering the entire situation... those were some frustrating times


November 12th, 2012 at 12:54 PM ^

Do you recall anything about the offense from 2008?  It was practically incapable of doing anything productive, and getting a first down against that Wisconsin team was hard enough (did we have any in the first half?).  That game was won by Brandon Graham and the defense.  I agree that 19 points isn't out of the question in almost any game, but the lack of talent and competency did not provide any reassurance that there was a chance at a comeback.


November 12th, 2012 at 1:09 PM ^

It was the fourth game of the season.  At that point we didn't know if we had a terrible offense or just were going through some early-season kinks.  We actually had moved the ball well the week earlier (ND) but killed ourselves with turnovers.

Anyhow, if you ever approach a game thinking we've got no shot, why even come to the stadium?  Once you're there you may as well stick it out and help cheer the team on.


November 12th, 2012 at 2:13 PM ^

Not saying that I went into the game with that mindset, but after seeing 6 turnovers against ND and then 5 more in the next 2 quarters against Wisconsin, the offense didn't look promising enough to play mistake-free and put points on the board in the second half.  I've sat through plenty of blowouts from start to finish across all levels of sports, but this game felt like it was over at the half.  I regret leaving, but I can completely understand why I left at the time I did, and always look back at this game as a reason not to leave games early now


November 12th, 2012 at 12:24 PM ^

My buddy was getting honored at half-time that Wisconsin game for being in the Olympics.  As a result his family got 2nd row 40yd line tickets.   They took off early and gave me their ticket stubs as they were walking out (I was up a ways behind them) and I watched the end of the game next to John Beilein, who at the time no one really knew who he was except me!  ha.   

And by the way - this past game (NW vs. UofM) our entire suite emptied out and there were only me and 2 other guys in it to watch the end of the game.  We were jumping around like little kids!  haha


November 12th, 2012 at 8:31 AM ^

My brother was home on leave after Marine boot camp in 94. Lucky for him he had tickets to the Colorado game that year. He took his future wife and with Michigan up 2 scores with just a few minutes left, he took off for home. Obviously, it wasn't a game we won, but it still taught me to not leave early unless its Baby Seal U and we are up by 3 scores with 5 minutes left to play.

True Blue Grit

November 12th, 2012 at 8:32 AM ^

left a game early - at least one that Michigan was behind in.   However, I really wish I HAD left that Northwestern game here a few years ago when there was that awful freezing, cold rain all day.  I had borderline hypothermia by the end of the game when most other fans had left.   Just me, my wife, and the equally nutty guy next to me were the only ones left in our section.


November 12th, 2012 at 8:38 AM ^

We were not dressed appropriately and it was freezing (and kind of rainy?).  I was drunk before the game and the weather was sunny and it was a beautiful day.  Went to the game and the temp dropped, I was freezing, had to pee really bad and Mich was getting handled.  We left the game in the 4th quarter and caught the end at a warm home with cold beer and no line for the bathroom.  

Did I feel bad that I wasn't personally at hand to witness history?  Yes.  

Was I mad that I was watching the game in total comfort with much better TV views, cold beer and an empty bladder?  Not even a little bit.


November 12th, 2012 at 8:38 AM ^

Colts fan here. I was in the 6th grade when the Colts were trailing the Bucs by 21 late in the 4th quarter... I went to bed mainly because I was pissed off... Go to school the next day and my teacher asked me if I saw the game.. Damn it.


November 12th, 2012 at 9:22 AM ^

i was at that fiasco too and stayed for the whole bell ringing bullshit not because i was holding out any hope of coming back but because i was in a suite and the beer and food was free and i wasn't going anywhere until i was drunk enough to completely black it out.  unfortunately my blackout only began later in the evening so the memories of those redneck hillbillies verbally abusing me and ridiculing my football team will be with me forever.  it's the reason i hope richrod never wins another football game.  he and his seed should be wiped from the earth.



November 16th, 2012 at 10:39 AM ^

 5 minutes into the third quarter as well.  I am not proud to admit that I walked out of the Gator Bowl, because I NEVER thought I would ever walk out of a Michigan Football game, and never will again, however I do not have any regrets about leaving that debacle.  I just could not take the RR buffoonery any longer, and apparently, neither could about 10,000 of my closest Maize and Blue wearing brothers and sisters that were walking down the exit ramps with me.

I will also say that my determination to stay in my seat until the clock reads 0:00 to see Michigan come from behind for improbable wins has suited me well over the years.

Took a buddy to his first ever Michigan game in 2005 against Penn State and watched Super Mario score the winning TD right in front of us.  Last year at UTL, my girlfriend wanted to leave as she had been to 3 games prior to that one, all losses, and she felt she was cursed when ND scored with 0:30 remaining...  I told her we HAD to stay because you never know what is going to happen in 30 seconds and I cited the Penn State game. (I was trying to convince myself that a miracle could happen just as much I was trying to convince her)  "28 seconds" later, Roundtree caught the winning TD, again, right in front of us.

LOVE Michigan Football.  GO BLUE!!!