Opening Game Dreams and Traditions

Submitted by BlueMarrow on August 31st, 2018 at 1:29 AM

I'm an old guy. The count down to kick off is about the closest thing I have, to what I can only compare to Christmas Eve, when I was a kid.

One of my traditions was always calling my Dad before kick off. He was an alum, and avid fan. He attended the Snow Bowl with my GrandPa. They traveled by train from Detroit, if you can imagine! 

I always called him on opening game day, and rambled about how great the season was going to go. He then brought a more subdued perspective, which was usually correct.

Since my Dad passed, I always make it a point to connect with one of my best friends and room mates before kick off.

I'd be interested in reading about your traditions.

As for dreams: I think the spread is off. Bookies have Michigan with no QB improvement, while Wilton starts for UCLA. I think Shea is for real and has flourished under JH, just like the rest of the QBs. I think defense wins championships and ours will account for some points on Saturday. 

I think we may see a blow out. Go Blue! And enjoy the game with friends and family. That's what it's all about!





August 31st, 2018 at 1:52 AM ^

A connection between parents and children that can be explored through football is awesome.

Every football Saturday my dad would call his dad and they would talk about the game. I'd occasionally chip in. His dad lived in Toronto, wasn't a natural Michigan fan, but he adopted the team and even after my dad passed away we'd chat about it occasionally. 

My dad and I of course also shared Michigan football as well, and the seasons always make me miss him. When something big happens our whole family connects over it. I work to continue that with my kids. 


August 31st, 2018 at 2:01 AM ^

Sorry for your loss. It’s always nice to be able to reflect on positive moments with a loved one who is no longer with you. Hopefully Shea is as good or better than advertised. It would be nice to walk out of South Bend with a victory. This team has a few concerns but I think they are more talented and better equipped coaching wise to handle such issues. The defense is going to be rock solid. Michigan 24 Notre Dame 13. 

Go Blue!!


August 31st, 2018 at 2:11 AM ^

I have lived in Switzerland for almost 15 years now and my previous tradition was panicking about how I would be able to watch the game. Now that the tech has improved, that is no longer a tradition. 

I would normally BBQ for the opener, but this year's game is a 1:30am start, so my intention is to have a nap before the game so I don't fall asleep during. 


August 31st, 2018 at 5:25 AM ^

Here here. This will be my first season living overseas (France). I too am nervous about ensuring streaming the games is adequate. As you say, technology has improved, so hoping for the best! I did get a trial run in for the bowl game, which was successful. Although in hindsight, maybe that wasn't a good thing.

I'd love to take a nap as well, but I'm afraid I'll be too excited. Sunday will be painful! Hopefully for just lack of sleep reasons, and not the depression of a loss. I'm confident though! 27-7 Michigan win.


August 31st, 2018 at 6:25 AM ^

Luckily my sis has Dish Network and I use her login on the DishAnywhere app and have 0 problems now.

I normally wouldn't nap, but I have to be in the car at 8:30am sunday to go to an all day course... until 4:30pm. Nap is necessary to function the next day. 

Don't worry too much about streams, they are really stable now and you can normally pay a few bucks if you want a legit one. 

I really need Michigan to win as I will be visiting my Notre Dame friend on the 22nd... would be nice to not have to endure his torture!


August 31st, 2018 at 10:40 AM ^

I was in Paris for the 2009 game. Before I left for the trip at went to great lengths just to be able to watch the game. I bought a SlingBox and streamed to a laptop over the hotels WiFi. It was choppy at times, but otherwise worked perfectly.

After the game, I treated myself to McDonalds on the Champ-Elysees.

Hard to believe it's been almost 10 years. I'm sure you will have no problems.


August 31st, 2018 at 3:09 AM ^

This years tradition is going to be different. I’m on holiday in India and the game starts at 5am local time. So I think I’ll start drinking early, so I pass out early, so I can get up early.

I'm definately excited to see this this years Team, especially the quarterback play. We should be able to see all 4 at some point with the new redshirt rules. Is Shea as good as the hype? How much has Peters progressed in the offseason? McCaff, is he the future? Milton, give me one 80 yard throw for a TD in garbage time!

OL, can they pass block a little?

Most of all, really excited to see the Defense crush some QB!

For me, still the same butterfly’s on the day before the first game, just in a different country...


August 31st, 2018 at 6:41 AM ^

Great post, thanks for sharing!  My dad and I text before and during the whole game, as I live out of state.  His company had many season tickets to entertain vendors, and somehow we ended up with tickets once a year.  My first game was in 9th grade, the 1991 UM vs Florida state game which we lost, 51-31.  I was hooked.  Throughout the ‘90s I was able to see us take down Ohio state 3 times in the Michigan Stadium.  I’m pumped for Saturday!  Go blue!!!


August 31st, 2018 at 6:49 AM ^

My parents had season tickets when I was a kid so they went to most of the home games without me in tow.  I went to probably 2 games a year with my dad and / or mom.  So when I wasn’t going, I got to spend the day with my grandfather.  He died years ago, but I still think of him when the football season starts.  He was the real wolverine fan in our family - the OG who started the love.  Before game time, he’d tell me stories of the times he was in the stadium (throwing hats when AC scored against Indiana) or when he wasn’t (skipping the game the week I was born).  We always did this thing - we’d turn the TV on to watch the game but listen to the M announcers on the radio.  I try to do this from time to time still, because of him, but it rarely syncs well in the world of HD.  Excited to start this season in South Bend and I’ll make sure to say a little something to the heavens from the stands - hoping he brings us a victory against the golden domers.  Go blue! 


August 31st, 2018 at 6:52 AM ^

I don't really have any traditions, but do have several nervous OCD-ish habits.  Most of them make full-on appearances as the game gets closer.  I suspect this is a general trait amongst serious fans, and not something pertaining only to me...

I also miss talking to my dad about the the team and games.  Too many fond memories to avoid the feels...


August 31st, 2018 at 7:06 AM ^

I wear yellow pants and a Michigan t-shirt or hoodie and watch at one of the two watering holes within walking distance that tolerates that kind of thing here in semi-rural Ohio (owned by people who aren't that interested in college sports, so I don't get too much grief, and I mostly get treated as an eccentric rather than the enemy).

It's a solo thing for me: no one else in my family follows college football that closely, and my gf has no interest in sports at all. So it's my weekly me-time, more or less. 

Killer Khakis

August 31st, 2018 at 7:26 AM ^

I relate to this sentiment. My dad and I don't talk often about anything deep or personal, but during football and basketball games we sit in our respective spots in the man cave, toss a football to each other, and talk about the game and life. I look forward to football beyond just the sport, but the bond my dad and I share over sports.

He and I both agree that this year is akin to 2016, where we have the experience and talent to contend for a championship with potential to go down in history as one of the greatest Michigan teams and along the way. Our prediction: 31-17 Michigan, GO BLUE!

SD Larry

August 31st, 2018 at 7:27 AM ^

Miss watching Michigan football with my Dad too, but am truly blessed to watch with my wife and at least one daughter this year.  Both daughters are Michigan fan's, and its part of our bond. It looks like my oldest will be working in Seattle when Michigan opens the 2020 season there vs. Washington, so I plan to attend that one as a family.  Like the great vibe of this thread too, so thank you Blue Marrow and commenters.


August 31st, 2018 at 7:39 AM ^

My dad passed away in January.  Our relationship wasn't as close as we both probably wanted it to be, but we were both huge UM football fans in a family full of MSU fans. 

This year I have decided to wear his favorite UM Football baseball cap during games.  Maybe it will bring some positive vibes for the season.



August 31st, 2018 at 7:57 AM ^

My father and I watched games together, but we never really had anything that was a full-blown tradition. There was not that much investment from either side, sad to say. 

However, I have tried to start a small one with my own kids - the Michigan gear comes out, The Victors is played in the morning, and there will be all-day grilling since it is an away game. Home games? The grilling is after the game.


August 31st, 2018 at 8:09 AM ^

I am honestly trying to start something new this year.  In past years, from about 2:00 PM on every Saturday, I would drink all day.  Beer, light beer, so I could just keep drinking pretty much all day and still at least be conscious for M games no matter the time.  But I have began to realize that by doing this, I often don't get the full experience of watching the game and if is a late game, half the time I don't even remember details of the game and am in just kind of a fog by the second half.  I also am kind of "pass out" ready by like 9 or 10 o'clock and don't really get to enjoy the marquee non-Michigan games late.

So, I am going to give Sober-Saturday a try.  I am the first one to admit that this idea could be scrapped by tomorrow afternoon, but I am at least going to give it a try.

scanner blue

August 31st, 2018 at 8:22 AM ^

IMG_0143.jpgMy first opening day was 40 years ago and Ricky Leach was my QB as a freshman. So they were down in South Bend and the campus was kind of dead in the morning. Just to be a dumbass I wore a bright  green satin H.S football warmup from St. Patricks in Wyandotte. It had a shamrock on the back and IRISH accross the chest. I got a few heckles as I paraded around East U and South U. (still have the jacket in the back closet ...faded as hell). Beat ND!


August 31st, 2018 at 8:31 AM ^

Regardless of when the game is, the tradition of road games at ND includes the zebras throwing flags all over the field on Michigan.


Eat Your Wheatlies

August 31st, 2018 at 8:52 AM ^

I always wake up way too early due to excitement. I'll put the coffee on, make a good breakfast, put on my maize and blue, and wait for College Gameday to start. To kill time, I end up streaming hype videos and playing The Victors loud enough for my buckeye neighbor to hear. I always get together with my brother about an hour or so before the game, and we watch together.

This will be the first college football season with my girlfriend, and she is nervous due to the unknown. I have tried to prepare her, but I don't think she's fully aware of how big this is. Hopefully she is patient and kind.

Hotel Putingrad

August 31st, 2018 at 8:57 AM ^

No traditions, as I'm the only fan in my family.

I suffered a sudden onset of ennui last night. After all, they are just games. Maybe none of it matters: the wins, the losses, the scandals.

I don't know.. I just don't know anymore.



August 31st, 2018 at 10:08 AM ^

"I don't know.. I just don't know anymore."

Sounds like you need another day of shirtless horse riding, followed by another day of shirtless fishing, followed by another day of remedial facial injections, followed by a final day of relaxing in the sauna sipping vodka while a gorgeous young thing from Novosibirsk thrashes you with a birch branch.


August 31st, 2018 at 10:44 AM ^

My first real Michigan Stadium memory is the ND game to open the 1985 season. A 20-12 victory.  We sat as a family in the north endzone.  A group of guys behind me spilled a beer on my program and I dropped a souvenir cup full of soda about 10 seconds after buying it.  Despite that, it was a great Saturday.  I still have the plastic cups at my mom's house.  My favorite is one with pictures of Michigan Stadium, Crisler, and Yost with the capacity of each listed.

My dad indoctrinated me at an early age and he always seemed to dislike Notre Dame more than any other rival.  I'm glad they're back on the schedule.

This will be the second football season since my dad passed.  Over his last few years, he struggled to keep up with the details of the team (players, schedule, etc.) but he always watched and we still usually spoke after the games for a brief discussion.

I feel fortunate to have a handful of good friends from my grad school days at Michigan that like Michigan football as much as me, so our texting during and after the games has helped fill that void.

I'm excited for the season to start and look forward to seeing what the team can accomplish over the next 13 weeks.


August 31st, 2018 at 11:02 AM ^

My Dad was blind for the last few years of life, but still planted himself in front of the TV for the entire game, every game. Usually, he had the radio on as well. 

He was overtly hostile to ND, because he respected the institution. He viewed MSU with humor, like their program was about as interesting as cow tipping.

OS was never spoken in our home.