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."



November 12th, 2012 at 8:44 AM ^

The only game I can remember where the weather was worse than that NW game was the 1995 Purdue game.  It was colder, rainier, sleetier, snowier than the Northwestern game, it was MISERABLE.  Michigan won 5-0 and all I can remember is my buddy and I sitting there shivering and hoping Michigan could score a touchdown, go up by more than one score and we could get out of there and get warm.  Alas, we were forced to stick it out to the bitter end.

[EDIT:  Intended to be posted as reply to True Blue Grit above]


November 12th, 2012 at 10:47 AM ^

I wasn't at the 95 Purdue game so I can't comment on it's coldness/suckiness, but the '08 NW game was miserable, and ended with a dong punch out of bounds call on a pick 6 that wasn't reviewable.  I'm still convinced we would have won had that play not been stopped.

So perhaps the weather wasn't quite as miserable, but the outcome surely made it more miserable.

French West Indian

November 12th, 2012 at 1:41 PM ^

Wow, the weather was dreadful that day.  I remember walking to the stadium and I couldn't even look up because the rain/ice felt like frozen razor blades being thrown against my face.  Myself and a friend did tough it out and stay for the whole game and I'm still kind of proud of that.

And as a side note, I'm pretty sure that game was not 100,000 people that day.  Michigan Stadium only looked about 3/4 full at kickoff and was probably less than half by the end.


November 13th, 2012 at 1:18 AM ^

I would say way less than half by the end, and closer to 1/3.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember that as the only time I've ever seen a team (Michigan) defer to the second half and then opt to kick off again to try and gain the field position advantage.  Worst weather I've ever been outside for.


November 12th, 2012 at 3:11 PM ^

I was also at the '95 purdue game.  Rain, snow, sleet, hail....miserable!!!  I was 8 years old and my parents still say that they would ask me if we should leave and I wouldnt let us.  


At '04 MSU-   didnt leave

At '07 MSU didnt leave

At '08 Wisc - didnt leave

At UTL-  didnt leave

After that '04 MSU game i will always have hope when i am in the stadium.  Watching sparty obnoxiousness turn to tears in just a matter of an hour was something i will never forget!



November 12th, 2012 at 8:42 AM ^

I don't regret leaving UM vs. Colorado early back in the 90's.  As far as my memory serves, we won that game.  YES!

I lied.  I stayed and it crushed me.  Still does.


November 12th, 2012 at 8:52 AM ^

Left the Penn State game in 2009 early. Left the Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan State game in 2010 early. Don't regret any of those because I knew Rich Rod's teams were not coming back from 21 pt deficits against these teams.


November 12th, 2012 at 8:52 AM ^

Two people in front of me left the game on Saturday after Northwestern scored to make it 31-28 in the 4th.  But everyone else in my section stayed.  I never planned on leaving.  I just stayed in my seat and sulked until Roundtree caught the hail mary and then I lost my mind with excitement. 

I didn't leave the triple overtime game against Sparty either when it was 27-10.  I just looked like a zombie.  As crazy as that game was, I still had some hope we could come back if Lloyd would let Henne start throwing the damn ball. 

I really don't like it when fans leave early when WE are blowing a team out either.  But it's always been like that since the beginning of time.  The 2000 Indiana game (where Antwan Randle-El was their QB) was a 58-0 win.  We were up 45-0 at the half and a good 25,000ish people left in the middle of the 3rd quarter.  Why not stay and root for the backups?  They finally get some time to shine.  Plus, when you're up that big, there's no stress.  You can enjoy yourself so much more. 


November 12th, 2012 at 9:11 AM ^

I was strangely calm going into that final drive in regulation, and I don't know why.  I just felt we got a pretty decent punt return and I felt good that Devin would be able to complete a couple passes to give us a shot at a long field goal.  I never imagined he'd connect on a 50+ yard bomb, but hey that was pretty good too.


November 12th, 2012 at 4:29 PM ^

That was the one game I left early for in my 5 years as a student. I left sometime in the fourth quarter.  If my memory serves me right, it was a very cold day, and the game went a long time (3:30 start), and I ended up bailing with around 5 or 6 minutes in the half to get back to Markely to catch the last of dinner.

I did miss the Washington and Penn State games when I visited my girlfriend (now wife) in Boston in 2002. I really wish that we had a bye that fall break weekend.

And my only story about the leaving early, is that my friends and wife and I were at the alumni bar (our side east) in Boston watching the MSU game in 2004.  The bar emptied out with 8 minutes left and 27-10.  We stayed, and ended up getting to watch an amazing game.  I always wanted to see the looks on peoples faces after they had gotten home, since most would have taken the T and would have no knowledge of how the game transpired. 


November 12th, 2012 at 8:53 AM ^

When I was attending CMU I left a Central/Western game that turned into an epic CMU comeback after a girl I had been seeing gave me the "let's go back to my place" line.

I'm lying. I'd do that all over again, no regrets.


November 12th, 2012 at 8:54 AM ^

I was witness to the greatest exit of fans at a meaningful game of all time.

Growing up in upstate NY I had the privilege of following the late 80's and early through mid 90's buffalo bills. My father is a die hard bills fan.

Naturally the game I speak of is the greatest comeback in the history of football when the 92' bills overcame a 35-3 third quarter deficit to win in overtime 41-38.

The crowd stuck around til after halftime when on the Bills opening drive Frank Reicht through a pick 6 to Chris Dishman I believe which made it 35-3. After the extra point hoards and hoards of fans to the tune of about 45-50,000 exited the stadium.

Thankfully my father and I had come on a party bus that wouldn't leave until the game was over. Our nosebleed seats quickly turned into amazing seats where our only intent was to see legends such as Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, Andre Reed, and Jim Kelly.

The Bills scored quickly and then intercepted Warren Moon, leading to another quick score. 35-17 was the score. Fans began pouring back in, climbing fences, doing anything they could to catch a view.

The fourth quarter the Oilers could not do anything!! After an entire game where they shredded Buffalo they became non existent on offense and looked like us in 08 on defense.

Before we knew it the Bills had sent the game Into overtime. After Steve Christie kicked the winning field goal we rushed the field and I brushed bodies with several future hall of famers. The fans that couldn't get back in had staged the greatest post game tailgate I've ever seen. Too bad I was only 8.

Unreal experience that ill never forget!!

Frank Reicht I believe also holds the largest NCAA comeback for Maryland at 42 pts? Great game. Unreal


November 12th, 2012 at 8:54 AM ^

It was brutally hot, the game was terrible, Michigan did absolutely nothing through three quarters, so we left with them down 17-0.

Walking back to the parking lot, we hear a big roar from the stadium.  Cool, probably not a shutout.

Almost to the car, roar #2.  Beginning to get sinking feeling.

Listened to the winning score with a bunch of other rueful fans.  Oh well, at least we had beer.


November 12th, 2012 at 10:24 AM ^

I had never left a game early, but I was burnt to a crisp and feeling pretty dehydrated (not enough Absopure), and Michigan had never overcome that large of a 4th quarter deficit. The worst part is that I convinced my then-girlfriend and best friend to leave with me.  Pretty sure they both still hate me for that.

(To a poster above, I skipped that 5-0 Purdue game because I was sick as a dog and convinced I would get pneumonia if I went.  Only game I missed in 4 years, but I think I made the right call that time.)

Wolverine Devotee

November 12th, 2012 at 8:57 AM ^

Fuck that shit. I stay until the MMB plays the Yellow and Blue and is done playing It's final verse of The Victors in the postgame show.

The dirtiest words I ever hear in regards to going to games are "beat traffic". Seriously. Don't come if you think your Saturday night plans are more important than the team. Give them to someone who really wants to be there.



November 12th, 2012 at 11:48 AM ^

Don't leave early to beat traffic, and also don't get there half way through the 1st quarter and try to get through everyone in my row.

I left the 2009 osu game early I believe. I was crushed.

I left early for the msu game in 2010 when rich decided to punt instead of going for it on 4th down to at least try to comeback. I thought that was a bitch move and it really pissed me off.

I may have left the 2010 wisconsin game early also. Can't remember. I try not to. 



November 12th, 2012 at 8:57 AM ^

I left Braylonfest early.  I was surrounded by Spartan fans who were getting more and more obnoxious as Michigan's odds of victory got smaller and smaller, and the odds that I was going to wind up in a fistfight with one or all of them was approaching 100%.  So I left.  On the way out I passed two spartan fans posing for pictures next to a puddle of burning... something... on Main Street.  I walked the five miles back to my parent's house and was just coming in the front door when my dad called to tell me that Michigan had won in triple overtime.

I can't say for sure whether I "regret" leaving the game or not.  I honestly was about to kill a sparty - they probably don't put the game on in lockup.


November 12th, 2012 at 8:57 AM ^

I was there for the beatdown we took fom Syracuse in '98.  It was painful, but I did get to see McNabb vs. Brady, and got to see Drew Henson make his freshman debut.  Michigan made it somewhat exciting toward the end, so that helped somewhat.  I was also there at the end of the UTL game, which was going the same way as Syracuse till the last ten minutes.  As you may have heard, the game turned out somewhat interesting.

I never leave early, because I couldn't live with myself if I left a game like UTL and heard how it ended from my car radio.



November 12th, 2012 at 9:00 AM ^

I rarely ever leave any game early, but if I do I never leave if there is any chance.  There are a whole bunch of people who have no idea when a game is actually over.  There are so many things that can and do happen, I always keep watching. 


November 12th, 2012 at 9:01 AM ^

I left the 2011 Minn game early.  I got so despondant after they marched down the field in the 4th quarter and looked like they were going to score.  I couldn't take it anymore.  And then, I hear a roar as Avery returns an 85 yard fumble for a TD.  I vowed never again to leave early.


November 12th, 2012 at 3:19 PM ^

... I learned that lesson when I was 12, and my dad took me to the Michigan Indiana game in 1979.  Once Indiana scored (on a cold wet day), my dad wanted to leave.  I persuaded him to stay since there were only a few more minutes and it wouldn't make that much difference - we were already cold and wet, right?

I am still somewhat amazed I managed to survive the day, since I don't think I stopped talking once on the way back to the car, nearly deaf and hoarse, covered in rain and stinking of beer (our neighbors beverage control failed when AC stumbled into the endzone) ... and all I could say to my dad was "You wanted to leave!  I can't believe you wanted to go home!" ...

... anyway, I've never left a game early since then.  I've sat through major blowouts both ways (1981, Michigan Illinois) and a couple of 14-inning baseball games and a 16-inning game in the rain.  The one time I was ready to leave an extra-inning baseball game, the Giants scored and won in the bottom of the 14th and allowed us to escape hypothermia :)


November 12th, 2012 at 9:09 AM ^

2002 Washington game.  I was with my girlfriend and her parents - they got the tickets for us so I didn't have as much "say" in the matter on if we stayed or not.  The Dad got tired and wanted to leave at the end of the third quarter.  So we get back to the Brown Jug and I end up seeing the replay... talk about a FML moment.  Small consolation - I got a few free beers out of the deal.


November 12th, 2012 at 9:07 AM ^

I've never left a game early while actually in the stadium.  My biggest regret, however, and what keeps me going every Michigan game no matter the deficit, was letting my college girlfriend convince me to stop watching the 2003 Minnesota game right before the 3rd quarter ended.  When I saw that they won later, I was PISSED at myself for my lack of faith.  Luckily for me, it made ESPN Instant Classic, so I had the opportunity to watch it again.  Lesson learned.  It is that memory that makes me never leave a game early.


November 12th, 2012 at 9:39 AM ^

I left the Illinois game after the 3rd quarter - I normally stay for for some time after the end, and I have never regretted it. I get to hear the band, see people enjoying themselves, and it makes for a leisurely walk to the truck, not to mention a stress-free exit from A2.


November 12th, 2012 at 9:11 AM ^

This has become a superstition in my house. When the game is really tight (like it was Saturday or the Notre Dame game last year), I leave the room. Inevitably, and I really think statistically significantly, we come back to win.  I go upstairs and wait. I hear the footsteps of my husband and I know he's going to say, "You're not going to believe this but...." or I hear him scream "Touchdown!!" I was at the Ohio State game last year, and at the end of the game, I sat there, my head down, my fingers in my ears, as everyone around me stood. My son would tap me and tell me what was going on or I would just wait to hear the crowd. 


This did not work for the Alabama game. 



November 12th, 2012 at 9:17 AM ^

I had to leave the Penn State-Michigan game early because of a prior commitment and had to hear about "TOUCHDOWN MANNINGHAM!" later that evening. My wife, who taught at a high school at the time, was working homecoming and I foolishly agreed to help her there, not making the Saturday / typical day for homecoming AND Michigan football connection in a moment of inexplicable forgetfulness.

I have improved my time organization since then, of course - that was the first time I had left early actually, and thanks to improved communication about my relative unavailability on several Saturdays in the fall, it has been the only instance.


November 12th, 2012 at 9:21 AM ^

I don't know if 'regretted' is the right word, but I left the famous Michigan/Colorado game with the Kordell Stewart hail mary earlier.

Almost drove off the road when the final play was announced on the radio. 

Feat of Clay

November 12th, 2012 at 10:14 AM ^

My husband left that one early.  This was before we met; the girl he was with who made him leave early?  Yeah, he didn't marry her.

We came super close to leaving UTL at the half last year.  We were behind the obnoxious ND band, my son couldn't see very well, and what we could see wasn't too promising. Fortunately we were able to swap seats with family members elsewhere and stayed through the glorious, wonderful, electric end.  


November 12th, 2012 at 9:29 AM ^

I've never left a Michigan game early.  I'm irrationally optimistic 99% of the time.

But, I did once leave a Georgia-Georgia Tech game in 2008.   GaTech was down big late, and came back to win 45-42.


November 12th, 2012 at 9:34 AM ^

1994 Mich v Colorado. Of course I was 12 at the time so it was really my parents decision. Even though it turned out the way it did, I still wish I could have seen it with my own eyes


November 12th, 2012 at 10:07 AM ^

I almost left with my dad. I was 16. But at the last minute I said I wanted to watch from one of the gates and saw Westbrook come down with it in the end zone. I was in shock, but I'm glad I was part of such an amazing game.

This year I got to see my first game winning field goal (MSU) and overtime game ever. What a great year!