"I Stopped Watching UM Football Games" Comments

Submitted by alum96 on September 22nd, 2014 at 6:06 PM

As a long time Lions fan I am a bit surprised at what I am reading on Brian's main post today in the comments section.  It seems like quite a few fans have reached the point of not even watching Michigan football games anymore.  I am surprised by that because of my own condition which is even as my team sucks, AND I feel less and less emotion each year about those losses I still watch football because well... it is football.  And its Michigan.  I might know the outcome is doom but I still will watch.

Background:  I've watched just about every Detroit Lions game (that was not blacked out) even in the darkest Matt Millen era.  I've watched them in the 80s - the 90s - the 00s and the 10s.  All with the same result.  Mostly bad.  I only mention that because if there is any franchise I can compare to modern UM it is the Lions.  .. ONLY in terms of "no matter who the coaches are, who the players are, who the GM is - the product on the field is the same."   Whatever we change, the end result is identical - that Lions football for 50 years and its UM football for the past 7. 

I would think the average MGo poster is a fringe 5-10% of the UM fan base who is REALLY engaged with UM sports far more than the average UM fan.  Hence I am shocked to see so many comments about not even bothering to watch the games.  If this fringe 5-10% of the UM fan base doesnt even turn on the game anymore, I can only imagine what is happening to the greater fan base. 

Am I just picking out the 10 people who make this comment or is this happening to a lot more of you? I get turning it off in disgust after ND goes up 28-0 but waking up each Saturday in fall and not even turning on the game?  Gotta say it shocks me.

p.s. not judging you for doing so :)  we all cope in different ways!  And I admit to not watching a lot of basketball during the Ellerbe era but football and Michigan are intertwined.



September 22nd, 2014 at 6:11 PM ^

You can only give so much of your heart to something before you have nothing left to give. I'm not at that point yet, as I'll still watch the rest of the games (probably), but I can't blame anyone disgusted enough to not watch another minute.


September 22nd, 2014 at 6:22 PM ^

How many people were watching every basketball game for the decade or so when we weren't going to the tournament?  Having had student tickets during that time, I can guarantee people weren't watching in person.

Michigan football has had sustained loyalty and viewership because we've pretty much always been good and had something to play for. 

snarling wolverine

September 22nd, 2014 at 6:32 PM ^

I am one of them.  I had student tickets in the Ellerbe/Amaker years and have always kept the faith, even when it was brutal at times.  I remember watching Avery Queen, Dom Ingerson, Josh Moore and all the other assorted head cases we had.  

It was a long, long road but the payoff now has been fantastic.



September 22nd, 2014 at 6:37 PM ^

Just saying you know how much elbow room you had at those games.  Nothing like storming the court and then realizing the crowd jumping up and down barely fills up the center circle. 

Fewer folks are going to care if a team is struggling, especially if they don't see the potential for a payoff in the near future.  We just aren't used to that because Michigan football has been so good for so long.


September 22nd, 2014 at 6:48 PM ^

Devil's advocate: Filling a football stadium 6-8 guaranteed Saturday afternoons when most people are not working is probably a little easier than filling Crisler 16-20 times when a lot of those games are played throughout the week and people are busier. 




September 22nd, 2014 at 7:19 PM ^

Being a fan means supporting the team no matter what, even when they are not winning.  That doesn't mean blind loyalty, you can boo, ask for more or your coach to get fired or not pay to go to games. But if you stop following the team and only care when they are good you are not really a fan of Michigan, just of being good and you might as well just root for msu, or oregon for the rest of this year since all you care about is wins.


September 22nd, 2014 at 7:27 PM ^

Absolutly right!  I will never not watch a Michigan football game.  Sure I want them to always be a great team, but just becasue they are not playing good, I should just turn away and look somewhere else?  Not going to happen.  I was at the game last saturday, and will be there next saturday as well.  I am there to support the team no matter what. 


September 23rd, 2014 at 3:57 AM ^

I haven't quit on the team or quit watching games, but I certainly wouldn't pay the box office for a ticket if I was there right now.  I would go to a "lesser" game and see how badly I could beat scalpers down after the game started, though.

Anyway, there is a cool point being made here: the difference between professional and college sports.  Until David Brandon, Michigan treated us like an elite college program would treat their fans.  Now, David Brandon is treating us like a professional sport team treats their fans.  In other words, it's all about the money.

Consequently, I have no problem with those who have given up on the Universtity of Michigan football program as it is right now.  I haven't given up on the players or the coaches, but I have given up on David Brandon and the joke that he has made of one of the proudest programs in college football.



September 22nd, 2014 at 7:27 PM ^

Still, you were about 8 years old when Michigan's Amaker teams were on the bubble year-in-year-out.  Those were great teams compared to Ellerbe.

Saying you "know" what it was like before then to people who were actually at all those games is a little condescending and flat out false.

For all of your conscious fan-life, the program has been led by Jon Beilein.  For most of your fan-life, the program has been excellent.

Wolverine Devotee

September 22nd, 2014 at 7:36 PM ^

You're incredibly naive if you think that.

I went to my first Michigan Basketball game when I was 7. I remember those years.

I remember them winning the NIT in 2004, I remember them getting blown out by better teams, losing to MAC teams. I remember the 10-22 season in 2007-08. I was one of the 3,394 people at that NIT First Round game in 2006 against Utah State. 

Every basketball season was an opportunity for people to pick on me in school. Elementary and junior high. 

For you to say the program has been excellent for most of my fan-life, is flat out false. 2010-11 was when things finally began to come together. That was my freshman year of HS. 


September 23rd, 2014 at 12:30 AM ^

WD, you have some nerve.  You're not the arbiter of fandom here.  If you want to take umbrage with anyone who decides they have better things to do with their Saturdays than watch an enormous amount of talent absolutely squandered in the most inept way, by all means, go ahead.  Just know that you look like an idiot doing it.


September 22nd, 2014 at 7:24 PM ^

There is a line where someone is a fan or just a fairweather person with no real loyalty.  If you stop because being a fan because of 8 years of being an average to bad football team you are not and were never a fan of that team or in this case of michigan.  My suggestion to you would just be to root for alabama to saban retires and then pick a new team because apparently if a program isn't constantly winning its not worth supporting.


September 22nd, 2014 at 8:03 PM ^

Loyalty comes with an expectation that it will somehow be rewarded.  Right now there's not even hope that the program will get better.  This whole thing is just sad and to a certain extent it feels like the season is dead.  It may be that in the past teams have pulled out of crap like this, but those examples are few and far between and are up against a vast array of teams that completely shit the bed.  Guess which way Michigan's going to go?  <Hint, not in the good direction>


September 22nd, 2014 at 8:54 PM ^

I was as loyal as you can be to the Michigan football program, and Dave Brandon told me I was a sap for believing in the head coach, that things were going downhill fast, and that he knew better.  Then when the success I thought was right around the corner came to pass, I was told it had nothing to do with all the reasons I had believed things would be better or anything to do with guys like Denard, Fitz, Roundtree, Gallon, Lewan, Omameh, Schofield, Roh, Kovacs, Floyd, Countess, Morgan, Ryan, Gordon X2, etc.  Nope, it was the five guys leftover from the Lloyd Carr days, none of whom had ever seen the field when Lloyd Carr was still here (somehow his spirit had magically been implanted in them though and that made the whole team good).  When things then went downhill a few years later, I was told this was all the last guy's fault.  Recruiting was blamed (when Dave Brandon is the one who said one recruiting class wasn't as important as finding "the right guy").  But boy, just wait until all those highly touted players the Hokester is bringing in get here and start kicking ass.  You'll see a big brawny powerhouse that can run the ball down people's throats and shut down the opposition whenever it wants to.

He got what he wanted and we're in the toilet now.  DB and his ilk can go fuck themselves at this point, as far as I'm concerned.


September 22nd, 2014 at 8:59 PM ^

"Loyalty comes with an expectation that it will be rewarded" - NO sorry. That is called an investment not loyalty. A person is loyal because he or she believes that there is some value in that to which they are loyal that justifies their effort or sacrifice NOT because they expect some payback. 

Some folks would catagorize my support as loyalty and I'm fine with that, but I support this program and the university of which it is part because it inculcated me with a set of basic values that I think have exceptional worth and therefore are worthy of my support. I don't expect a payback for my support, rather I think that creating a  scenario where other will see and adopt the values I learned at the U of M is among the best things I can do for the society in which I live. 

In some sense I get a reward from feeling like I have done something worthy, but I don't think that is what you meant by your statement. 


September 22nd, 2014 at 10:20 PM ^

I had no idea I was limited to only one up vote per post...
You either embrace all that Michigan football stands for or you don't. If the win loss record means more than the rest then no, you are not what I would consider a Michigan man. MSU could use a few 'good' men...


September 23rd, 2014 at 7:00 AM ^

You can be loyal to the University and be loyal to the idea of Michigan football without having to buy into the mentality that you have to be all in when the program is in complete free-fall.  There's no hope that it will get better and frankly, the team has somehow even gotten worse than last year.  Why should we support this?  I want the team to be better and will come back when I have a reason to believe it will be.  But I don't feel a need to blindly support the program as constituted anymore.


September 23rd, 2014 at 7:05 AM ^

By all means continue with the personal attacks if it makes you feel better.  I'm not going to get into a tit for tat about what makes a real fan, but I argued for Rodriguez until Penn St. and I argued for Brady until Utah.  Everyone has their breaking point and I hit mine.  I'm done with this coaching staff and will tune back in when there's a new regime in town.  Otherwise it's too painful/frustrating to make the central part of my fall Saturday's anymore.

814 East U

September 22nd, 2014 at 6:14 PM ^

Have had Lions tickets for 15 years (and still do). What Michigan is going through now isn't even close to what I have seen. 

The one thing I always bitch about with Michigan is this...At least at Lions games I see professional athletes and stars (aaron rodgers, aj green, calvin, etc). I also get a designated seat with a backrest (get off my lawn) and know what to expect with the prices I pay.

What DB and M are doing to the fan base is just flat out wrong. I get the tradition, the band, etc but I couldn't name a single player from Utah before game week...and we lost to them. If prices were a little more reasonable I would not complain nearly as much. The product is going to be the product. I want better and hope for better but feel I have no say in such matters so I let it play out.

I will always watch Michigan...I may not always continue to go to the stadium however.


September 22nd, 2014 at 6:18 PM ^

Yes the Lions futility is once in a lifetime; I am only comparing the "SOL" comment where no matter what is changed the end result is doom.  Some years you have great hope, some years average hope, some years no hope.  But the end result is always the same. Thats how it feels now - obviously 7 years is not 50.

My comment wasnt about attending games - I understand people choosing to watch at home over the stadium.  My comment was surprise at how many people I am reading on Brian's story who no longer even turn on the TV to watch. 


September 22nd, 2014 at 6:16 PM ^

I used to watch every game.  Now sometimes kids activities get in the way but the big reason is I'm not upp'ing my TV bill to get BTN.  If it's a good game on BTN, I'll hit the local bar to watch it.  If it's a shit game, like Miami two Saturday's ago, I pass.

With regards to the greater fan base, if people aren't even going to games don't you think that is going to translate to a lot of the casual fans in that they won't even watch the game?


September 22nd, 2014 at 6:15 PM ^

I too am a Lions fan as well so i understand the misery. I think the issue though is we expect nothing from the Lions because we have always got nothing. With UM we have a tradition of success and so we expect such. I still watch the games (usually till the end) but i am getting to the point of getting tempted to not bother watching at all. Its a miserable time being a UM fan right now and i love the fall and college football too much to constantly be depressed.


September 22nd, 2014 at 6:23 PM ^

This was my first theory as well.  People still have high expectations for UM (myself included).  We have no expectations for the Lions.  Hence there is more pain associated with watching UM.  I detached myself from Lions emotion about year 5 of Millen so now its just watching because its the home game and I want them to win but if they lose its the expectation anyhow so little emotion is spilled.  UM losing still kills me even when I know we have little chance i.e. MSU last year.

I also am a big football fan who will watch 2 Pac 12 teams play at 10 PM so I know its different for others.


September 22nd, 2014 at 8:27 PM ^

Watching the lions is like hanging out with the ex that you know it's never going to work out with. No pressure, any fun had is a bonus.

Watching Michigan is like hanging out with the ex that got away. You do it Bc you sill love her, but it hurts. And sometimes you'd rather just skip the hangout altogether.