Section 21 cheerleaders and stadium etiquette

Submitted by blueheron on October 14th, 2010 at 10:22 AM

At the State game I was mostly surrounded by Spartans.  A few of them were very annoying, but the fans that bugged me the most in the immediate area were a couple with Maize 'n Blue gear.  Why?  As far as I could see, they had a poor grasp of stadium etiquette, at least as I understand it.  I'm accustomed to standing up often for big plays as the "standing" wave cascades upward from the field.  No big deal ... I usually enjoy the process and it seems healthier than sitting for the whole game.  But, outside the student section I rarely see people standing continuously.  That's what these two fans, who were apparently boyfriend and girlfriend, were doing.

When it became clear that this was going to be their baseline posture, I decided to engage them in conversation.  (They turned my seat into an obstructed-view location.  It was that simple.)  I had to reach over a row to do so and the woman was closest, so I started with her.  When I asked whether she wouldn't mind sitting for "less important plays" she gave me a really nonlinear answer along the lines of "GO BLUE DEFENSE AHHHHHHH!!!"  Ever accidentally step on a cat's tail?  Remember the sound the cat made?  Multiply that by six or seven and you'll have some idea of how the chick sounded.  It hurt my ears.

It was my brother-in-law's turn, so he tried poking the guy, who went ape$hit.  In spectacularly nonlinear fashion, he started screaming to everyone in the area about how Michigan hadn't beaten State in many hundreds of days and how we needed to STAND UP and support the team.  The doofus was the self-appointed spirit bunny of Section 21.  Even the meathead Spartans behind me were stunned at the outburst.

Anyway, I'll spare the readers the rest of the details.  They settled down a bit and, shortly after the dude screamed himself hoarse in the third quarter, they left (!).  So much for the cheerleader role ...

Were they justified in standing up in a sea of sitting people?  Spirit aside, I just wanted to see the game.  I honestly didn't understand why they couldn't sit like everyone else (since their own view would not have been obstructed).  What do MgoBloggers think of this?



October 14th, 2010 at 5:34 PM ^

If you're sitting in section one, rows A-20+, you can't see the corners of the field/endzones at all. If the play is on the near hash, forget seeing the strong side of the play. I go to the games to watch them, and cheer on the team, not yell at people to sit down and grumble about Rodriguez. That's just me though.


October 15th, 2010 at 2:20 AM ^

Don't allow you to see the whole field? Sounds like your have a complaint with the University of Michigan that they charged you full price for a seat that doesn't allow you a full view, not with the guy behind you. Have you thought about requesting that your seats be moved to an unobstructed view? 

Section 1

October 15th, 2010 at 10:16 AM ^

You are saying that, for instance, if you are sitting in Row 3, that you can't see, but if you stand up in Row 3, you can see?  And if you are five feet "taller" yet, in Row 8, you can't see if you are sitting down, but you can see if you are standing up?  Explain.

If you are in Section One, you are on the fifty-freaking yard-line!  And, Timmmaay, if you are sitting in Section 1, Row 20, I think you will have a pretty grand time.  Some of the best seats in college football.  Matter of fact, Timmmaay, I can assure you of this remarkable factoid:  If you are sitting in Section 1, Row 20, the old 53 year-old alumnus sitting a few rows behind you won't be some old slug who is "grumbling about Rodriguez."  That old alumnus will be a Michigan Hall of Fame athlete, and one of the handful of the most vocal, impassioned and important supporters of Rich Rodriguez among the entire Michigan Lettermen's Club.  That alumnus will be Rick Leach.


Any questions?

Section 1

October 18th, 2010 at 12:43 PM ^

Is this like being able to yell louder when standing?  Does the standing position allow freer use of the optic nerve, or something?

The one thing that standing does, is to make it impossible for anyone sitting behind you to see.

And my point, which you seem to have missed altogether, is that whether you are sitting in Row 8 or standing in Row 5, you are at the same height.  Either everybody can sit and see, or everybody can stand and see.  There is no place in the Stadium where sitting versis standing is the critical difference in your being able to see.  If you don't like the view, you should get higher-up tickets.


October 14th, 2010 at 8:14 PM ^

I'm sure no one cares about my 2 cents, but here goes.  Arguments like these are why people say that UM has the lamest fans in the country, or why the Big House is the quietest 100,000 people in the country.  Chances are if you're sitting down, you're also not cheering, or not cheering as loudly.  I physically cannot make my voice go as loudly sitting down as it needs to be to cheer on Michigan football.

This is not tennis or golf.  This is football.  Fans at football games are a little rowdy, they are loud, and they are on their feet.  If you don't want to be on your feet, stay at home or buy a box.  I don't care if you've had season tickets since the Lincoln administration.  This is the nature of the sport.

There are a lot of great things about Michigan football.  Unfortunately, the fan atmosphere is not one of them, and everytime I hear someone complain that they want fewer people standing up, I cry for a little bit.


October 18th, 2010 at 1:15 PM ^

"Arguments like these are why people say that UM has the lamest fans in the country, or why the Big House is the quietest 100,000 people in the country.  Chances are if you're sitting down, you're also not cheering, or not cheering as loudly.  I physically cannot make my voice go as loudly sitting down as it needs to be to cheer on Michigan football.

This is not tennis or golf.  This is football."

I posted my similar discontent with our fans, the noise, etc.  The cliches and utter drivel posted in response to my comments kept me from reading posts for a long time.  People on this blog said they likened The Big House to Wimbledon(!), and liked the quieter atmosphere when compared to other stadiums.  I've seen posts on here that claim that it was an "unfair home field advantage" when the other team couldn't hear the play call because of the noise during one of our games.

I choose to ignore them, mostly; but Section 1's elitism set me off a bit today.

Section 1

October 18th, 2010 at 6:12 PM ^

I never said that making noise was bad, or that enthusiasm was bad.

I never suggested that the students' stand-up routine was bad.

I even suggested, to people who want to re-live their student days but who can't buy student tickets anymore, now that they have graduated and should be making some money, to open a dialogue with the Athletic Department about looking into the possibility of creating some "standing" sections within the stadium.

I didn't tell anybody else how to enjoy the games, other than to suggest that if you are standing, and someone behind you asks you to sit because you alone are standing when you have no need to, that you should sit, with apologies to the people whose view you were blocking.

On the other hand, some of you ignorant assholes want to enforce your view on the entire stadium.  You want every person in every section to stand because, well, that is how you like to enjoy your game days and you think everyone else should, too.  You think that Michigan will win more, if there are noisier crowds (and of course you think that people need to stand, in order to make that noise).

Most of you are operating in complete ignorance of the fact that it not only takes noise at games, but, uh, also very large private donations to keep our football program operating at the highest levels.  And some of you are going out of your way to insult the very people who purchase mid-field season tickets, who make the donations needed to do that, and who don't care to stand for entire games. 

To the "stand up" crowd, I say:  Man up.  See what it might take to authorize 'standing' areas of the Stadium.  Talk to the Athletic Department, the way other interested alumni do.  Find out what the technical, physical and liability concerns might be.  Find out what it would take to make such a plan worthwhile on the part of the University.  Organize enough like-minded donors to make it a reality.  In the meantime, either get yourself student tickets -- if it is the 'student section' experience that you crave -- or get yourself high-row seats where you can stand, yell, do whatever, without bothering other patrons.


October 19th, 2010 at 10:28 PM ^

Well said.

As much as I always want to stand because I'm 5'2 I tend typically respect the wishes of those around me.  

At the MSU game I sat in section 23 in the 1st few rows with some recruits and their families (from what I gathered some ladies basketball recruits).  

Many of them weren't that into the game and I kept thinking if I was a recruit I would want to go to a school where the fans were really excited and engaged.  

Shop Smart Sho…

October 14th, 2010 at 12:03 PM ^

I love people like you who bring up season tickets when I'm at the game.


I get this a lot in Section 12.  When I can get up to Michigan, I sit about halfway down the aisle, on the aisle.  Two or three rows behind us is an elderly gentleman that really doesn't like me, because I'm going to stand for about 80% of the game.  The last time this became an issue, he told me that I had to sit down because the season ticket holders like him wanted to sit.

I first informed him that I was going to stand when I wanted to, along with the thousands of people in front of me that were standing.  I then informed him it was a better than even chance that my family has owned our tickets longer than he's been in his seat. 

We are currently celebrating our 40th year in the same two seats.  We used to have four, but as people moved out of Michigan it didn't make sense anymore.  So, even if the person in the seat looks younger than you, it doesn't mean they aren't season ticket holders.  I'm the third of four generations that have used our seasts.  I'm currently teaching my eight year old nephew when he should stand and when he can sit. 


Hopefully, in 20 years, fans like him will outnumber fans like you by a wide margin, and we can get the noise at the stadium it deserves.  While standing doesn't make you louder when you are yelling, I've found it much more likely that those standing will make noise.


October 14th, 2010 at 1:07 PM ^

you used it wrong.

And if you are comparing how people interact at the movies to how people interact at a Michigan football games, then I hope it is because you have never been to a game.  I have never high fived a random stranger at the movie theatre, yet I have done this hundreds of times at football games. I think its more rude for people to sit in wrong sections or are to big for a seat and cause me or my wife to have to sit cramped for the entire game, cause noone will offend the fat guy, but have no problem yelling at the guy who stands up during a third down defensive play.

If we were to ask the team if they want the fans up on these plays, I think that is answered when I see the players signaling for the team to get up.

Clarence Beeks

October 14th, 2010 at 1:43 PM ^

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you've never been to a major college football game anywhere other than Michigan Stadium, right?  Because, seriously, Michigan Stadium is the only place I've ever been where people have the attitude that you're expressing in this thread.  Everywhere else I've been people stand.  The entire game.

Clarence Beeks

October 14th, 2010 at 1:49 PM ^

The two most recent other places I've been have been Penn State and West Virginia, and people stood there the entire game.  In fact, at Penn State, I don't even think it would have been possible to sit.  There were just too many people ticketed for each row and not enough space for each seat.  I'm not saying it's everywhere, just where I've been.  It's pretty common down here in SEC country, though...

03 Blue 07

October 14th, 2010 at 2:14 PM ^

Really? I've only been to Death Valley once, and, admittedly, I'd been drinking (sidenote: OUTSTANDING tailgating. People showing up in RV's on Monday and Tuesday to tailgate all week? Phenomenal), but I recall everyone standing where I was, which wasn't in the student section. Granted, though, this was in 2003, when they were on their way to the MNC.

Section 1

October 14th, 2010 at 4:05 PM ^

and to the Rose Bowl, as well as a few others:  Boise State, Duke, the LA Coloseum, the (old) Orange Bowl, etc.

Outside of student sections, there are very few places I've seen, where standing the whole game is routine. 

Sure, in lots of places there are fans who stand when its late in the game, it is a critical play, etc.  But this thread was never about occasional standing.  Nobody in their right mind is going to argue about that.

The only time that there is an entrenched argument on this subject, at least as far as I am concerned, is when there are people who insist that they will stand the whole game, no matter if they need to (the whole section is standing and it would be pointless to yell at anyone), AND if anyone asks them to sit when there is really no other need to stand, they either refuse to sit or they get confrontational and say, "Up in back!"

There is a word for those people:  "assholes."


October 14th, 2010 at 5:03 PM ^

I have been to alot of stadiums too. PSU is pretty much standing only. Last time I went to Illinois it was in 2004 for Purdue at Illinois and that was Turner's last season for his reign of terror in UC. So, there was not much crowd support there and everyone sat on their hands as purdue kicked their butt. The Rose Bowl is pretty much Michigan Stadium west. If you think our fans are laid back, then you have never seen USC fans. The USC fans tend to show up whenever they feel like it. It took a good 1.5 quarters before all of the USC fans showed up when we played USC in the 2008 rose bowl. Other stadiums like Williams-Brice, Auzten, Clemson, LSU are pretty much standing only. Standing only is not rare as you think it is.

Buddy, if you are not eldelry with a replaced hip or knee, you can stand for 3 hours. You will get some health benefits out of it while not pissing standers like me off.


oh section 1, UP IN BACK!!!

Shop Smart Sho…

October 14th, 2010 at 3:24 PM ^

Nope, not doing it to "get my game on, dude".  I'm teaching him that in a venue like that is okay to be as excited about what is going on the field as he wants to be.  If the kid gets bumped, you know what happens?  He doesn't care because he sees other people having a great time.  Most of the time, I had a hand on him, just in case he were to lose his balance.  The people around us thought he was great, because he has a pretty good grasp of what is going on in the game too.

Why don't you just move to the club seats or the suites?  That way you don't have to mix with those of us there to enjoy the game and have some fun.


October 19th, 2010 at 11:51 PM ^

I don't really have a dog in this fight, as I somewhat agree with both viewpoints.  My question is, do you ever go back and read your posts?  You might realize what an arrogant prick you sound like.  I understand where you're coming from; you have the best job ever, season tickets that were purchased from the athletic department that you donate millions of dollars to every year, and those assholes that buy tickets on stubhub should all be lined up and shot because they can only make it to one or two games per year.  I'll always sit if i'm in a "sitting section", however I can only pray that my next tickets are directly in front of you.  I'll be sure to stand on the seat so you have an unobstructed view of my ass.  Then you can tell this "new grad" to "grow up".  Or you can simply stay home and watch the game on your 347" plasma, sit on your italian leather couch with a glass of 1961 Chateau Latour, and tell your bichon frise dog to sit down all you want.  It's presumptuous assholes like you that give the big house the reputation it has.

...I'm done  


October 14th, 2010 at 10:37 AM ^

I wish everyone cared about the homefield advantage instead of just the student section. If Michigan had 110,000 fans dedicated to doing their part, Michigan Stadium would be the hardest place to play in the world.


October 14th, 2010 at 10:45 AM ^

The down in front crowd are really annoying. Home field advantage is important, yet a lot of these fans just want to sit quietly and watch the game as if they were home watching on tv.  Granted there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it, but damn this is football, not golf.  Stand up be loud, heck amybe the crowd might casue a false start or a wasted timeout.


October 14th, 2010 at 4:02 PM ^

No one ever thought them that the lungs aren't connected to the legs. You can be just as loud sitting down, as you can standing up. (Technically, louder, because you can more easily stomp your feet too, if your goal was really noise, and not just being a douche). Standing quietly really doesn't do anything for "the team".