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 11:09 AM ^

Do you guys think there has been a mindset/culture change over the past few years? When I helped coach a middle school cross country team that was really dominant the head coach made sure to let all the coaches and runners know that when we heard the team results we would clap a little and cheer mildly but not jump around like idiots because we expected to win.

With a few rough years recently do you think the guys on the team don't expect to win like Michigan teams in the past? Maybe this is part of the reason they get so excited after winning a close game and forget? to shake hands.

For the record, I like to see the guys shake hands with the other team before heading over to celebrate. Act like you've been there before. Act like you expect to win.


November 11th, 2012 at 11:09 AM ^

I think this is a fair point.  All of you that are butt hurt by Section 1's comment exaggerate his criticism.  The players (or at least most of them) can go shake hands before they run to the student section and the coaches can encourage this.  It is sportsmanship.  If we can't teach that, what the hell is the point of the university having athletic programs?  Just to make money have have excuses for tailgating? 

I have no problem if some of these guys got so excited about the end of the game that they ran over to the students without waiting.  I had no problem with the little celebration they had after the Ohio State game before they shook hands.  I had no problem with the team crashing the south endzone when Carter beat Indiana in 1979.  There is room for spontaneity, but in general the players need to be reminded (I guess) that they are ambassadors for the university.

Section 1 is not saying that we are worse than or the same as anyone else.  He is just saying we can do better.


November 11th, 2012 at 11:10 AM ^

I am ashamed to say that I for once completely agree with Section 1. Its a worthwhile observation of something that legitimately needs to change. And by 'legitimately', I mean if we want to legitimately hold ourselves to a high standard. 


November 11th, 2012 at 11:16 AM ^

I would also like to see the team shake hands afterwards. Northwestern played a tough game and often looked better than Michigan. Northwestern has classy kids and deserve to be congratulated for their efforts just as they were willing to congratulate Michigan for their efforts.

I've been part of state championships in the past and it was no problem whatsoever to jump around a bit, then go shake hands, and then go running around like a lunatic celebrating with the home fans.


November 11th, 2012 at 11:14 AM ^

Section 1, this isn't to say you're wrong, cause I agree with you, but you will literally find any excuse to bitch. If you have a bad taste in your mouth after such a thrilling, unanticipated victory then nothing will make you happy. If you have a grievance you can raise it, just stop sounding like a petulant child and maybe people will treat your ideas with more respect


November 11th, 2012 at 11:17 AM ^

Man, can people just accept, that you can't please everybody. We win and you complain about how we didn't shake hands? The Michigan team can't make everybody happy with every move they make.


November 11th, 2012 at 11:18 AM ^

I disagree. For years Michigan stadium had the energy of a funeral and quite frankly it was pretty boring. Now with the renovation, and new energy is really feels like we have a substantial home field advantage. There is a reason Hoke and company picked the student section end-zone to defend. I have no problem with them being rewarded after.

BlueSpiceIn SEC.hell

November 11th, 2012 at 11:21 AM ^

    I think you are absolutely right.  If we say we respect our opponents, our actions need to be respectful in triumph or defeat. To me that includes the end of game handshake. I am somewhat surprised Hoke has not gone out of his way to assert that with the team


November 11th, 2012 at 11:28 AM ^

A Michigan Man always offers a hearty handshake before commencing a celebration.

To do otherwise is to fail to comport with the ethos of The Michigan Difference.

These kids need to follow the examples set by their elders

Section 1

November 11th, 2012 at 9:07 PM ^

And no, I don't think the selected videos refute anything.  I think that the wide-angle posted YouTube video of the Northwestern game shows exactly what I originally described.  If you want to argue that there have been other big dogpile midfield celebrations, that's okay.  And sometimes, opposing teams that have just lost a tight game walk off the field into the tunnel since it's right behind them.

Again, you're welcome to all of the evidence you'd like.  It's fine with me.  My first witness in this case will be Jordan Kovacs.

It is interesting to me, that when I first posted this thread, the MGoMembership was downvoting me by about 3 or 4 to 1.  Since the wide-angle video of the end of Saturday's game was posted on YouTube, the vote is now even. 


November 12th, 2012 at 12:50 AM ^

That it was something you noticed Michigan doing just the last couple of years. This completely refutes that even if you don't admit it. I'm sure he could have found just as many videos of last second wins of other teams that would refute that too. But who wants to waste the time?

Hard to believe you claim to have insight to the game and have watched Fitz the whole game but didn't see him jumping around like a jackass when his QB was hit late, rather than seeing if he was hurt or anything. And blaming it on tv. It's been all over the blog. And others.…

Kinda brings into question everything you "watch closely."

And people bring it up because you can't demand class in return if you're not going to show it. Otherwise you'd have to act classy to the Free Press, even if they don't deserve it.

Rocking Chair

November 11th, 2012 at 11:31 AM ^

From my viewpoint on the east side I watched all the NW players--who most probably just wanted to duck into the tunnel behind them at that moment--nevertheless walk out to mid field to congratulate The Victors.   THAT was class and I was disappointed that only a handful of Wolverines met them there to shake hands.  Thank you Jordan.

For most of the game we were outplayed and we would have lost to the better team but for one very fortunate catch with 8 seconds left.  The Wildcats earned our respect and most of our players absolutely ignored them so as not to delay their celebration with the students for 30 seconds.

That's not the way we do things at Michigan. 


November 11th, 2012 at 11:35 AM ^

I have to agree with Section 1 here.  Not the end of the world, but definitely not good sportsmanship.  And for those who say "they're only kids", there are 18 year olds out there fighting wars and holding down jobs and attending classes and doing all sorts of grown-up things.  I don't see how it's too much to expect an 18-year old to show a little bit of self control, especially if coaches and seniors are willing to serve as examples.

As far as piped-in music goes, that's something the NCAA should look at.  IMHO that should be limited to time-outs.  Give the teams a fair chance to call their signals.


November 11th, 2012 at 11:37 AM ^

Should the players, perhaps, been a bit more gracious in victory and shaken hands with NW players? Sure.

But even I, as a 44 year-old man, standing in a crowded AT&T store watching the final plays in regulation and OT, leaped in the air and shouted with joy when Demens made the final tackle to end the game. Last year, I raced out onto the field after the OSU win with a friend of mine, as exhuberant as I can ever remember over a win. I was high-fiving and hugging everyone around me. 

Should I (or you) expect any less raw emotion from 18-22 year old kids? Was I just too immature? Or are you too much of a stuffed shirt, endlessly (and needlessly) in search of perfection from what - at the end of the day - is a game.

Life is just too damn short for your kind of grumpiness. Get over yourself.


November 11th, 2012 at 11:51 AM ^

upset you, is just so damn disappointing.  And embarrassing, quite frankly.  Step away from the computer, breathe the fresh air outside, and let the 18-22 year olds celebrate however the fuck they want.


November 11th, 2012 at 12:00 PM ^

What, have you mistaken Will Campbell for a 1950's-era housewife straining to reach the upper cabinet shelves?

This man is 300 torso-baring pounds of Tackledom.

What we need is an industrial lift.

Or a ramp. A ramp could work, too.

(Edit: Hell. Misplaced response to an earlier post. Point remains, though...)


November 11th, 2012 at 12:01 PM ^

God forbid children from celebrating an emotional over time win with their classmates....this term "class" is getting over used an is having overly high expectations of people barely old enough to buy beer


November 11th, 2012 at 12:05 PM ^

I think people should just be happy and quite whining.

Just remember the low of Northwestern's go ahead score with seconds left to play.

Then remember the high of Demens textbook hit and wrap tackle.

The gap of your experience between all of that is called "a full life". You're living it.






November 11th, 2012 at 12:22 PM ^

Pat Fitzgerald jumping up and down like a giddy schoolboy when Michigan would get penalties? I have more of an issue with that than not meeting the opponent at midfield. Besides, Michigan usually does congratulate the opponent on a good game. The only time they don't is when there is a win on the last play of the game. You don't see baseball players meeting to say good game after a walk-off win, do you? Michigan's win yesterday is equivalent of a walk-off win.

Perkis-Size Me

November 11th, 2012 at 12:23 PM ^

I find a lot of merit in what you're saying. I really do. While I do think yesterday was pretty emotionally charged, I think someone ought to have a talk with the team and just explain that they need to go and shake hands with the other team before commending the celebrations.

We can say that these are just kids, but we all like to say that we're Michigan and that we hold ourselves to higher standards. That shouldn't exclude the football team. Shake hands, congratulate the other team, then rage your face off with the student section.


November 11th, 2012 at 12:24 PM ^

I like how we play Hells Bells and 7NA just like all the other stadiums too.  Gives us a professional atmosphere instead of having to hear the marching band plays those old songs from last century.  

Can we serve beer and get some billboard advertising too?


November 11th, 2012 at 12:53 PM ^

From your lips to Brandon's ears.  Bells Two Hearted if you please.

I promise you this...put THAT in the concession stands and the "where the Hell are the students" question goes away in a nano-second.  Hell...install Bells in the stadium and we probably won't be able to get them to leave.


November 11th, 2012 at 12:25 PM ^

Since when has there been any organized handshakes in football?  The two coaches are expected to meet at midfield and shake hands, and that's about it.  Anything else is pretty much unscripted.  It sounds like you are just looking for things to bitch about.


November 11th, 2012 at 12:45 PM ^

We won. Relax buddy. They hit a miracle pass to tie the game and then go on to win in overtime. They are 18-23 year old adults. They might have some excitement after a win like that. Relax buddy!


November 11th, 2012 at 1:11 PM ^

Shake their hands THEN go to the student section. That was really awkward looking with Northwestern just sitting at midfield and hopefully doesn't happen again.


November 11th, 2012 at 1:50 PM ^

What Michigan did was completely classless.  After the stop it is fine to run on the field, but immediately afterwards you should shake hands with Northwestern.  Then, when that is finished, it is fine to run to the students.  But I expected and expect More from Michigan.  I hope to not see this again.


November 11th, 2012 at 1:59 PM ^

I hate when people bring up class with sports. It's not a lack of class or childness. It's a team who is excited about a victory and want to celebrate with there fans , screw the other team if they feel disrespected then good! They should of won if they don't want that feeling,


November 11th, 2012 at 2:06 PM ^

Location, location, location.

Had the game-ending play in OT happened in the south endzone, this probably wouldn't have happened.  Who picked that end for OT anyway?  Yeah, it's Kovacs' fault.


might and main

November 11th, 2012 at 2:32 PM ^

though I'd say calling it childishness is going a bit too far.  But yeah, give the opponents their due respect as the top priority, as a general rule of thumb.  It's more understandable to me that the team rushes to the students after an unbelievable and emotional win like this game, so I give them a break here. But going forward, shake hands first.


November 11th, 2012 at 3:12 PM ^

really see why other fan bases have arrogance issues with UM fans. As an athlete, it's THE RIGHT THING TO DO, probably more so in such an epic come from behind unthinkable win. BOTH teams deserved that win, we thankfully came out on top. I'm sorry, THIS IS MICHIGAN FERGODSAKES...shaking the hand of the opponent is the class thing to do, it's the spoils of war, it's what you DO. I understand emotions and running to the wall to great students who cheered you to victory.

Kovack's acknowledgement at the coin toss was awesome! But as a coach, letting that moment happen sure...but it would be addressed in practice as the first item. These are MICHIGAN MEN...they get it, all it would take is coaching direction and I can guarantee it wouldn't happen again. Kovacks is the man for a reason...deserving team captain who has heart and class. What we did was classless against a worthy and respectful opponent. Am I going to stop attending games because of it? Hell no but it leaves a bad tatse. Some of the comments in this thread are just flat out rude...sorry if that earns me all sorts of negs and flamebait, guess I live by the same class I'm ashamed to have missed yesterday. Great win, stay classy UM.


November 11th, 2012 at 6:24 PM ^

after the late hit penalty, am I the only one who thought it was simply a "Bronx Cheer?"

He had previously been upset about a number of calls (including the holding call on the kick return and, as metioned above, several no-calls for PI) and no-calls, and to me, was clearly celebrating the officials calling something in his favor.  That's the way I saw it  immediately, and I still think that's all it was.

Just sayin'.


Section 1

November 11th, 2012 at 6:38 PM ^

Again, having been seated behind Fitzgerald with him in my near-direct line of sight for much of the game, I was amazed at the number of people freaking out about it.  It just had to have been something that television distorted for people who weren't at the game.  I don't think anybody in the Stadium thought a whole lot about Pat Fitzgerald other than that is just what he always does.  He's significantly younger than just about all of the other coaches in the Conference.  Except for Bielema, he's young enough to be the son of most coaches in the Conference.

But as much as I agree with you, what the heck does Pat Fitzgerald have to do with Michigan's post-game celebration?  Why are we discussing Fitzgerald here?

Blue in Yarmouth

November 12th, 2012 at 6:30 AM ^

and it showed a close up of Fitzgerald during the celebration and it certainly didn't't look like a Bronx cheer. it looked like a pure jock rubbing something in the face of a nerd after he was taught a lesson. you know the kind I mean. jaw clinched, fists in the air and jumping looking for someone to high five.