Michigan-ND: Report from the Sideline

Submitted by MichiganPhotoRod on September 12th, 2011 at 11:36 AM

The Michigan-Notre Dame game under the lights was everything and more U-M, Dave Brandon, ESPN, et al, had hoped.  I give you my positive and negatives of the night (in no particular order).

1) Weather – The weather was perfect.  Rain remained in the forecast through the day, but it was dry, and, even better - not hot!

2) Pregame ceremony – The pregame ceremony at midfield for Desmond Howard was emotional for Des and his family kept the crowd pumped up just before kickoff.

3) The game – Despite Michigan's play in the first three quarters, the game ended up what everyone was talking about on Sunday/Monday.

4) Video boards – The video boards were INSANE at night.  The image from the opposite end zone was as if I were sitting in my living room.

5) Lighting – The lighting on the field was incredible.  In technical terms, the field is perfectly lit with the lighting falling off in the stands higher up.  A darker background is necessary when flash cannot be used.  The field was very evenly lit.

6) Michigan recruit Banner – Zack Banner was on the sideline just before kickoff.  His eyes were WIDE open with a "wow" expression on his face the whole time.  I took the opportunity to ask him if he liked what he saw.  He smiled intently and kept POINTING (linked).  I told him he is going to be a part of the largest crowd ever with at or near 115,000 fans.  The look on his face became indescribable.  Suffice it to say it was at least "wow" to the 10th power.  I then told his mom I'd love to be taking photos of him as a member of the Wolverines.  For the record, this guy is HUGE—as in LARGE—as in ENORMOUS!  In another three years after some Michigan weight training... OMG!!

7) Atmosphere – The atmosphere for the first-ever night game made it the best atmosphere of any game EVER.

8) The fans – The game kept the fans in the stadium and remained full until after the game (as it should have been).  The crowd was very into it.  The fourth quarter was the loudest I have EVER heard at any game at Michigan Stadium.  I heard of no negatives from Dave Brandon regarding inappropriate behavior from fans, as DB wanted Under the Lights to be a positive experience for the university.  I think this experience will help bring another night game to Michigan Stadium next year.  I know I want it!

9) Michigan – Great comebacks.  Won!

10) Notre Dame – Lost.


1) Wave – There was no wave!

2) Scoreboard Stats – The space set aside for drive stats was too small.  I am grateful they added the stats (which they didn't have for the Western game), but they need to <shriek> decrease the size of the video some and increase the stats bar so they can increase the font size of the stats text.



September 12th, 2011 at 12:01 PM ^

Two other minor negatives:

1. The flyover was really weak. I kept thinking how amazing it would have been to request fighter planes instead. That said, it might not have been feasible even if they did request it.

2. It would have been cool if they could have dimmed the lights for the halftime show with the band. I'm sure they didn't for safety reasons but I know they shut off lights for basketball game pregame introductions so I thought they could have at least dimmed the lights a bit.

That's it - two little nits. It was an amazing experience!


September 12th, 2011 at 3:15 PM ^

I thought figher jets or a stealth would have been cool - the plane was very sloooooow.

And I kept waiting for the lights to go out (or at least a bank or 2)  during halftime for the same reasons.

Overall, a great event - next time I hope the pre-game weather is better so we can tailgate on the golf course.   Get on it Brandon!


September 12th, 2011 at 6:08 PM ^

went with a buddy who is a former Army Ranger and he immediatly commented that the flyover was weak.  i did not think of it that way until he brought it up, but i agree.  Too slow, too high up, too something.  The flyovers for the UConn game last year were much, much better.


September 12th, 2011 at 12:01 PM ^

the east tower suites, i'm a server up there...

only a few ND fans up there, there more WMU fans the week before.

a lot of seriously drunk people, one of my suites didn't show up until right before kick off because they were at a bar.

jamie morris and john wangler were in the adidas suite

one of the universtiy suites cleared out when it was 24-21 so i watched the end of the game in there

the whole 5th floor was shaking when roy caught that TS pass

it was fun to listen to suite holders slam d-rob for all of his bad plays and then love him when he did something right



September 12th, 2011 at 12:04 PM ^

<br>Shot of Charles Woodson showing his SB ring.
<br>The stats on the scoreboards did not work for the entire first quarter.
<br>Restrooms - still a monumental hassle to go take a piss. I'm looking into getting a gorilla bladder transplant to prepare for future games.


September 12th, 2011 at 12:37 PM ^

Quick student wave section - at the Iowa game in 1980 (yeppers I'm old) we started a wave...except we were idiots and started it a) when the game wasn't in hand - Michigan lost 9-7 and b) Michigan had the ball. The noise actually caused Michigan to get a delay of game penalty.

Bo was so pissed he stood at midfield and yelled at us. All of us. The entire stadium.

We deserved it.





September 12th, 2011 at 2:17 PM ^

The fans were amazing.  That place was electric!  I have never seen fans stick around after the whistle like they did on Saturday night (except when we ran on the field after the victory over OSU in 1997).  It was a great fan experience and the recruits that were in attendance HAD to be in awe!  Nice work, everyone.