question for experienced M fans

Submitted by sheepman on August 25th, 2009 at 9:57 PM

So I have only really be a "fan" since I got accepted into M and came to grad school two years ago. Both years at this time, I have been absolutely freaking out about football to start (as I see many others are). Both years - there has been something VERY new happening.

Year I - RR's first year. Noone knew what to expect.

Year II - First year off the suckiest year ever. We all just want to leave it behind and get a fresh start.

My question -

Does it feel like this every year when football is about to start, or are these two years different than others because of the circumstances?



August 25th, 2009 at 9:59 PM ^

Pretty much every year. Some years are more boring than others, especially when a lot of seniors graduate at once and you don't know the team as well and expectations are lowered... last year that was offset by duh.


August 25th, 2009 at 11:16 PM ^

For me, it's actually the opposite. In years like 2007, when we have a bunch of seniors returning and are ranked #5 coming into the season, I'm less anxious about the start of the year. When we're starting a bunch of new players, I'm terrified about how they'll do and trying desperately to learn their names and faces. I tend to find the latter much more "exciting" in the pre-season, even if the former is much more exciting during the season.


August 25th, 2009 at 10:03 PM ^

Most of my experiences started in 2004. Before that I was a few thousand miles away. 2004-2008 weren't nearly as bad as it seemed like the top players were always returning. That probably won't be the case the next few years.

That said, the more time I've spent around here, the more excited I get for season.

bj-ask you

August 25th, 2009 at 10:04 PM ^

Speaking personally, in years past, I have normally had a nervous apprehension/fear that we would lose to a team we werent' supposed to lose to.

Now, it is an excitement and optimism that we can surprise a lot of people. I will probably never take another game for granted. For me, it is way more fun being the underdog.


August 25th, 2009 at 11:00 PM ^

first off, you get a +1 for the user name (first time I have seen you post)

second, I agree that the optimism for this year has helped to fuel my excitement for the season. I have always followed Michigan football, but the biggest thing that gets me ready for saturdays in the fall is the fact that I am a student. The year I was accepted was the year of The Horror, but my first game after being accepted was the Minnesota Homecoming game that year. Being an actual student of the University is what jumped my fandom (is that a word?) to a whole new level.

cooler 517

August 25th, 2009 at 10:11 PM ^

The optimism, and the underdog role are both new in the sense that we have to regain respect and should shock some people this season! To answer your question, no, this is not normal. It feels like it's been around 20 months since I had something to cheer about. Thank God for Wisconsin , or that would be the unfortunate truth.


August 25th, 2009 at 10:20 PM ^

This is the first year I've been a mgoreader and this is the most impatient I've been for football to start in the fall, personally.

This could be partially because I'm in school again and have more time sitting in front of the computer than I have in years past. This has caused me to look for more new pages to read to pass the time I should be studying instead.

However, that being said, I would definitely say that the historical cataclysm that was last year has made me more interested in what is happening this year. I don't believe any difference in spare time would make this off-season any less compelling had it happened any other year.


August 25th, 2009 at 10:23 PM ^

I haven't been following as long as most, but each year I get more and more obsessive as the season approaches. MGoBlog didn't help with that problem. The events of the last couple years have definitely added to it though. I liked knowing I could count on the team to be the favorite in most games... this is a bit foreign to me. I like where we're going, just not sure if I'm patient enough to wait for things to get all sorted out.


August 25th, 2009 at 10:40 PM ^

"Does it feel like this every year when football is about to start, or are these two years different than others because of the circumstances?"

Well last year was simply traumatic, and I think most people would just like to pretend it didn't happen.

People generally only get really, really excited when they think the team's got a chance to win the big ten or even more, but with all the changes going on, the new coach, new offense, OMG BARWIS, stadium updates, perceived drop in recruiting (justified or not), there's just a lot of going on with the program this season (and last). In the past it was usually the "can they win the Big Ten" this year talk, but there's just a lot more going on now.

So to answer your question, I'd go ahead and say no, it's not always like this. At least that's my perception.


August 25th, 2009 at 11:06 PM ^

Well said. There have been way more changes during the last two years with the team, coaches and facilities. I became a UM fan in the Schembechler era. For 20 years it was the same coach, same stadium, no scandals and many wins. In the early seventies the real excitement seemed to start with the OSU game...they usually spanked the rest of the BIG 10 (aka LITTLE 8).


August 25th, 2009 at 10:45 PM ^

My excitement piqued a few years ago when I, like many others, believed Henne, Hart, and Long were going to run off tackle left 25 times a game, with a few bombs to Manningham and Arrington to keept the safties out of the box. Surely the man who could not fumble would lead us to a championship, the question was Big Ten, or more.

I was out with friends since it was impossible to find the first game on the air here in Columbus until my cell started to blow up.

When Crable missed the block and allowed midget white guy from D2 school mostly known for miss hot dumb blonde usa 2007 to block our disaster avoiding field goal attempt, a little piece of my soul died.


August 25th, 2009 at 10:55 PM ^

I think 2007 was a big offseason for everyone. Sure the D took some hits, but the offense returned every big name starter. It was THE year.

Then it all shook apart at the hinges.

I agree with other posters saying that now it's more about anticipation to see what surprises are in store, and not just a countdown to OSU so we can win and go to the Rose Bowl.

It's actually pretty refreshing to be on the ground floor like this.


August 25th, 2009 at 10:55 PM ^

Every year I go through the same cycle:

1. August hits - my god, it's almost football season!
2. August 2 hits - my god, will football season ever get here?!?
3. 3 weeks before first game, I start reading about practice, getting excited.
4. 2 weeks before first game - I am devouring every piece of M media in site.
5. Week before first game - the team looks good. Conservatively, I think we'll go 11-1, but I'm an optimist and think 12-0 is possible.
6. Also one week before first game - this is the slowest week of my life!
7. Day before first game (can't sleep - will Griese play well against UVA? Will Henson recover from his foot injury in time? Are we really stuck with Navarre? How much PT will Spencer Brinton get? This Guttierez guy looks great. Henne is going to improve to NFL caliber this year. etc.)

August is full of wild optimism and torture.


August 25th, 2009 at 11:19 PM ^

Seriously, 6'5 lefty transfers just in time to take over after watching Navarre struggle. It seemed too perfect. I thought he'd be handing off to Timmy Brackens (he was going to come back from injury faster than ever).

. . . There's a lesson there somewhere. I'll figure it out right after I watch some Fitzgerald Toussaint highlights and dream about a long career of 200+ yard games.


August 25th, 2009 at 11:10 PM ^

First some personal history. My earliest recollection of being a Michigan fan dates back to about 1972 or so, when I was about six years old.

With Bo roaming the sidelines and Ufer in the broadcast booth, I was turned into a young ,ravenous fan, dreaming of what it would be like to be on the team. I attended my first game when I was about eight, in 1976, when Rob Lytle broke the all-time rushing record.

The older I got the less "wild" I was about the upcoming season; age would provide a little equilibrium and some degree of rationale when looking forward to the season.

To answer your question, I think there is something good about the "mundane" expectations of where we will be placed within the top 10 preseason rankings each year. Having been out of that since being ranked #4 prior to App. State is, indeed, a dry spell.

Clearly, with the 24-hour news cycle, ESPN and like sports media outlets, as well as blog sites such as this, today's fan can tap into their favorite sports communities MUCH earlier than the Sports Illustrated preseason poll edition.

I think what has taken place at Michigan is no different from other programs whose paradigms have shifted: fans emotions will stir early and often.

Michigan has gone decades with winning records. And people wonder why our fans are so quiet. Success can breed complacency - even among fans. But with all of the losing the past few years, I would love to get back to the boring winning ways! Be grateful we can voice our thoughts and not have some news broadcast tell us what they think we need to hear.


August 25th, 2009 at 11:20 PM ^

It's always fucking exciting.

Let's get this shit going.

I'm saying "fuck" a lot because I drank Mountain Dew for the first time in a while, and that shit fucks me up like a sororislut shotgunning vodka.


August 25th, 2009 at 11:40 PM ^

This is the first time in 33 YEARS that we had a losing record. This year is very very very different.

I was 1 the last time I felt this much stress and "OMG What If" when thinking about the upcoming season


August 25th, 2009 at 11:59 PM ^

but as long as i have been seriously paying attention to mich football (since woodson's senior yr) it has generally been like this with it becoming much more accute since i have gotten older and since i got into aa on a regular basis


August 26th, 2009 at 1:47 AM ^

I feel like this year is much different breeding a good bit more expectation than normal, partially because I am anxious as hell to watch the new players show us what they can do, and equally so that I can shut up my friends predicting 6 or 7 win seasons.


August 26th, 2009 at 2:43 AM ^

i've been a fan for over 50 years. i'm 59 now and i'm telling you guys that august only gets more and more difficult. it's an affliction, i tell you. can't sleep well. i check this and multiple other michigan web sites incessantly, all day long. in the a.m., all day at work, and at night. i had to give up a premium subscription at scout just because it took over. it's harder than quitting smoking cigarettes or dope (i've done both...several times). maybe if you get professional help early you can avoid what i have suffered.
check this out: we have a sizable alumni group of old farts like me out here in honolulu. doctors, lawyers, professors, writers. the usual riffraff. the noon games kick off here at 6 am. we meet at a greasy sports bar, appropriately attired in our michigan tee shirts and hats. one morning the lowlife barkeep, who is supposed to open the place, doesn't show up. it's 5:58...6:00...6:03... we're missing the kickoff!!! not possible. we go around the back and break into the frigging place, figure out the satellite dish situation (it took a combination of about 5-6 advanced degrees to get this done). meanwhile, it's about 10 minutes into the first quarter. the putz shows up a few minutes later, hungover, cursing us out that he's going to call the police and have us all arrested. soon we smooth out the whole scene, pointing out that his boss will certainly can him if he found out about his dereliction.
i digress. the point is, as the years go by you can look forward to a pernicious progression of angst, apprehension and neurotic anxiety awaiting each successive season. i believe i am describing a heretofore unrecognize yet common middle age syndrome, "grey michigan fan(atic) fever." prepare yourselves. it's not pretty. i'm warning you.
go blue!


August 26th, 2009 at 9:40 AM ^

Hey cazzie, I'm moving to Hawaii next week (Air Force), and I was wondering where the best place to watch the game would be?

And to stay on topic, I have been a Michigan fan for 20 years, and I can't remember a time that I have been more excited for the season!!


August 26th, 2009 at 7:12 AM ^

wait when we lose to that team in Columbus. I live in Ohio and I can't stand listening to these clowns brag about their
team when they win a game. GO BLUE !!!!!!


August 26th, 2009 at 7:47 AM ^

a little kid once august rolls around. everyday that we get closer to kick off the more pumped up i get. i have had my own personal count down going on my facebook page since early june. and with me it continues through out the season i get excited starting thursday because i know that there is a michigan football game in 2 days.

who here still get chills when they walk into the big house, even though you have been there a handfull of times???


August 26th, 2009 at 10:38 AM ^

Ive been a fan for quite some time now. Ive been to 2 away games but never to a home game this year i have tickets to both the western game and the Ohio state game. I have never been more excited for football maybe its because i finally get to go to a game


August 26th, 2009 at 1:07 PM ^

I've been a Michigan fan since the early 1990s and it is the same for me every year - I can't wait for the season to start. However, being an undergrad at UM from 1997-2002 did help to intensify my anticipation to an absurd level.

Brother Mouzone

August 26th, 2009 at 6:37 PM ^

From an old guy...

It has been very much the same in the anticipation of the season and how it will play out for most of the past 25 years as a fan. Like a marriage, you know what is likely to happen in your routine, but the variations on the unknown can make it great...or awful.

Up until two years ago we've been involved with variations of our "Stepford" wife. Divorce has happened, your resources have been depleted, you are distracted by the drama. You move on. Some of the family don't like the new relationship, and the transition to everything new has some hiccups along the way,so you endure the trash talking. All the envious tramp enjoys seeing you off of your game for a minute just adding a bit to your irritation.

But you know that given the time you have something that's perfect for the stage of life you are in, and the risk you took to make the change will be rewarded nicely.

You've moved into a new home, have some of the things you need but not everything yet. Will the young trees you have be able to produce enough for you to eat and be full? Will your partially installed security system provide enough protection until you can complete it next year?

How much of the potential is realized this year -- and the amount of progress towards where you KNOW it can go is what makes this season so interesting. It's year two after a big change from the past 40 years, and the angle of trajectory is what I'm looking for.