Post-game celebration needs to change.

Submitted by Section 1 on November 11th, 2012 at 9:28 AM

After a great and thrilling overtime win yesterday, a few bad bad things stuck out. 

You know the chronology; Demens' superb tackle ends the game; he is then mobbed by teammates, such that the throng sort of drags itself over to the wall at the north end of the Michigan bench; after which the team congregates in front of the student section to sing The Victors.  But not just a verse of The Victors; a prolonged celebration to the exclusion of all else.

Meanwhile, the Northwestern team stood at midfield to shake hands with Michigan players and coaches.  There may have been two or three players from Michigan who were at midfield; but it was such a plainly awkward show of poor sportsmanship on the part of Michigan that Jordan Kovacs, in a very captain-like act, made a point of running back to midfield to shake hands with Northwestern players.  A very nice act by Kovacs; an otherwise complete failure of classlessness and childishness on the team's part.  The Northwestern team then walked off the field.

It was a repeat in large part of what happened after the Ohio State game a year ago, and what has become increasingly common after Michigan wins; instead of congratulating opponents like virtually every other team in college football, it's off to a party in the north endzone.  And it is different from what two of our rivals do.  In Columbus, they shake their opponents' hands before singing Carmen Ohio with the students.  In South Bend, they meet opponents before doing their own singing.  Both of those traditions are conducted with a lot more class and respect than what Michigan is devolving to.

I expect that I'll get a lot of criticism for this observation.  What I know, is that Jordan Kovacs knows exactly what I am talking about. 

This was one of two unacceptably failed 'new' traditions in Michigan Stadium on Saturday.  The other was the Stadium press box deejay playing Seven Nation Army and similar canned rawk, at maximum volume, as the visiting team set in an offensive formation.  The kind of thing that happens at places like East Lansing, and is an affront to sportsmanship.

On a great and thrilling day at Michigan Stadium, these things -- both easily correctable --left a bad aftertaste.



November 11th, 2012 at 9:41 AM ^

yes, the team should have shaken hands with NW at midfield immediately after the game, but that was a dramatic comeback and a crucial win towards the goal of winning the division. These are also 18-22 year olds who tend towards the emotional in games like this one... let's not attempt to find fault in every situation.

Mr. Yost

November 11th, 2012 at 12:56 PM ^

...cause I don't want to read this crap either.

Half the team goes and celebrates with the students who helped them to victory, the other half shakes hands with the other team. The celebration with the students usually lasts 2-3 minutes per player. Do you not realize, that they jump into the stands and then get out to go greet the visiting team while other teammates jump into the stands?

Dumb thread.

Section 1

November 11th, 2012 at 8:42 PM ^

Dumb comment.

As for posting this in the Sunday Snowflakes thread...

I thought about it.  I really did.  But I had an idea about what might happen; I was right.  This one thread has double the number of posts, and 30 times the active +/- votes, than the entire Snowflake thread.  And now, thanks to the "final play video" thread, viewers can see for themselves what I was talking about.  Better, I think, and more usable for everybody, to have this one by itself.


November 11th, 2012 at 9:33 AM ^

For once, I agree with Section 1. Can't they shake hands then run to the student section?

But as for the rawk, yes I believe that it should be stopped before the other team goes into the huddle. BUT, the rawk selection yesterday was pretty good.


November 11th, 2012 at 9:35 AM ^

You realize this was a dramatic come from behind finish at home. Usually when this happens the away team tries to get the hell off the field as fast as possible.


November 11th, 2012 at 9:39 AM ^

I would be upset with this after a 20 point win.  However, with 18 seconds left this team was dead, the game was over, and everyone knew it.  A dramatic come from behind win warrants this kind of reaction.

As CRex said, water is indeed wet.


November 11th, 2012 at 3:50 PM ^

They had their hearts ripped out in an OT loss and still were sportsman enough to go shake hands. I actually agree w/ Section1 on this.

And to those that noted Hoke was fired up: Yes he was, and he promptly went out and shook Fits' hand and seemingly said some nice words to him.


November 11th, 2012 at 11:00 AM ^

that was weird.  I don't think I have ever seen a coach do that.

That being said, Michigan is getting a little carried away with hits close to the sideline.  There were two or three that were not called that could have been and it seems to happen in about every game.  They are not malicious and are certainly just a product of being aggressive and finishing plays, but that gets called a lot more now than it used to.  They need to ease up on that or it is really going to start to cost them.

On a related note, it does not look like the refs think that Kovacs is capable of committing pass interference, and thank god, because he got away with about three of them.  On the whole, the crew yesterday was uneven.  The breaks went both ways but it was not a well called game.

Section 1

November 11th, 2012 at 11:07 AM ^

Was this a tv thing?  Was there a camera on Fitzgerald?  Some replay?  Because I've been watching Pat Fitzgerald since he was a Northwestern linebacker and that is just who he is.  Emotional, emotive, yelling.

Fitzgerald had a much bigger and more dubious meltdown last year in Evanston when we (Kovacs, right?) ripped off his quarterback's helmet.

But Fitzgerald is no more emotional in working the refs than Bo was.  And I sat directly behind him yesterday, and Fitzgerald was little different from a lot of college coaches.

I'm really curious now; are the people who are so focused on Fitzgerald people who watched the game on tv?

SirJack II

November 11th, 2012 at 11:51 AM ^

Yes, I'm doomed to watch almost all games on TV. Hence I have little idea as to how the postgame celebrations have been this year. But even from the little I've seen, it seems that they make for the student section immediately after the game is over.

The first time I noticed this was after the OSU game last year, but in those circumstances you could argue for a free pass. I remember we both bitched about it.

Section 1

November 11th, 2012 at 3:44 PM ^

I wondered, "What the heck is any mention of Pat Fizgerald doing, in this thread that had nothing originally to do with him?"

But I got the point, sort of.  Some people, who weren't at the game but who apparently saw a video highlight of a few scant seconds of Fitzgerald on Northwestern's sideline, wanted to somehow blow back against me and my thread, which they very inaccurately presupposed to be anti-Michigan, with something that was, uh, anti-Northwestern.  I think that's about as far as you can go, in attempting to articulate that sort of low-level thinking.  Hey, what about the bad behavior of the other guys?

So under the theory that a picture is worth a thousand words, and not wanting to waste a thousand words on this derivativie backwater of an argument, I thought I'd just post one of the several iconic photos of Bo Schembechler, the avatar of all that is Michigan tradition, in the act of one of his rare, Fitzgerald-like spasms of gesticulation when a call went against his team.

Honest to God, don't any of you guys know Pat Fitzgerald, one of the better young football coaches in college football?  Did any of you see him play as a linebacker for Northwestern?  Against Michigan?  Any of you remember seeing Fitzgerald's Wildcats beat Michigan?  He wants to win.

There.  Is that better for you?  There are only about ten million opposing fans who regarded Bo Schembechler as a "dick," in the parlance of our young friend above, for just the same reasons that Michigan message board members might say that about Pat Fitzgerald.  Some of you kids need to get out more and see the rest of the world.

Sten Carlson

November 11th, 2012 at 5:54 PM ^

Section 1, Pat Fitz is a jackass.  Any coach that says, "Go Cats..."  or the like, after an interview, is a jackass.  Bret B from Wisconsin says, "On Wisconsin..." after his interviews too.  Could you imagine Hoke saying, "Go Blue..." after being interviewed?  It's fucking lame, and Fitz is an overly emotional douche bag.  He was good LB, and is a very good coach, but he's a douche bag.  As to his response to the flag against Beyer, he looked like a fool.  It is one thing to clap, or even to pump your fist, but the jackass jumped in the air a la Phil Mickelson after winning the Master.  Not only did he do it once, but several times. 

I realize that Bo gestulated, but Bo never did fairy jumps like that, and if he did jump in the air, it was ONLY in response to a play by his team, not to a flag.  Fitz thought his team was going to win because of that flag, and I think that is why his team lost.  Not because of Karma or something, but because he lost control of his emotions and got ahead of himself.  Ever notice how Hoke remains calm and stoic in heat of battle.  Well, the players feed of that.  When the coach freaks out, the players freak out.  Fitz is a clown, and I've lost all respect for him.


November 11th, 2012 at 11:15 AM ^

Of course, the TV focus exaggerated it, but Fitzgerald's reaction was weird and inappropriate.  His QB was (allegedly) hit late.  Coaches shouldn't cheer for that.  It is like applauding when your baseball team's batter gets hit by a pitch in a tight game.  It might help you, but at the moment you are either concerned about the guy or you are mad at the opponent.

I'm not judging Fitzgerald generally, but his actions at that point diminished his reputation a bit in my mind.

the unsilent m…

November 11th, 2012 at 9:36 PM ^

and he did look like a douche.  Replace the clip board with a PBR and you could superimpose his antics into any frat house living room on Northwestern's campus (more likely a Heineken).  Raising his hands triumphantly like he or his team actually did something on the play.  Dildo-brains 


November 11th, 2012 at 9:44 AM ^

The only thing that needs to change is that they need to put something up next to the student section for the players to jump up on.  I'm just waiting for one to blowout a knee or ankle trying to get their cleats to grip on the 1.5" piece of granite to get themselves into the students.


November 11th, 2012 at 12:52 PM ^

Seriously.  I was watching Big Will Campbell trying to jump up, struggling and almost falling.  The entire time I was thinking, this is not going to end well.

But the loud music is just part of the home field advantage.  I've seen it in many a non-EL stadium.

Edited to add:

Based on this video that someone took, there were Wolverines out there shaking hands. Not just Kovacs. Not all the players certainly, but there definitely were some. Some ran right to shake hands, some ran to celebrate and then shake hands.

Lucky Socks

November 11th, 2012 at 9:46 AM ^

I see your point and agree that it's not always the most sportsmanlike, but I think this only really happens when it's a theatrical win or on the last play -- OSU, MSU, this game, ND games past, the Illinois OT win -- those aren't normal, businesslike wins.  Players had been fighting for 60+ minutes to earn that win up until the buzzer and emotion takes over during the celebration.  I think it's acceptable in these situations and most opposing coaches and players would probably agree that they would reach the same way.  

Did we do this against Air Force?  UMASS?  Illinois?  Hopefully not.  I see your point, but the simple solution is to stop winning games on the last play.  


November 11th, 2012 at 9:48 AM ^

 I don't know that's any protocol or code for all the players to shake hands in football, unlike say, hockey. The only standard is for the coaches to shake hands. That said, I do think Michigan should at least make an attempt to address their opponents, at least just the captains.


November 11th, 2012 at 9:49 AM ^

Agree on the handshaking before celebrating, disagree on the concept of making noise (whether it is crowd noise or music) being "unfair" to the visitor. The second issue is commonplace..well, everywehere, not just EL and is simply a part of the "home field advantage" that every team enjoys.