Snowflakes: The Fans

Submitted by akim on November 9th, 2013 at 11:59 PM

I saw a lot today.  I saw special teams make plays.  I saw defense try to stand their ground despite 3 and outs by the offense.  I saw lots of poor playcalling, in my humble opinion.

That’s not what this is about.

I saw a stadium of fans boo their team in front of 4 commits and 15 prospects. (it was probably meant for the play call, but how would they know?)

I had to listen to an idiot next to me talk about how he thinks Devin Gardner is the worst QB in the world and that he wanted him to get injured so that Morris would play.

After I got home, I saw a thread polling fans about cutting their support for the program.

For a school that prides itself in being one of the best, to me at least this seems like a low point for the fandom.

Brady Hoke is doing an excellent job of recruiting, and he has an aspect of aggressiveness (fakes, going on 4th down) that we have not seen in the past, and I think we like it.

Greg Mattison’s defense created the Heininger Certainty Principle, and who can forget the drastic improvement in guys like Jake Ryan and JT Floyd?

I’m not happy with Borges, but I do think that we will improve in a couple years, given the opportunity.  Borges seems unable to adapt to an RPS situation where Rock is more like clay and is really weak but scissors is made of titanium as he doesn’t want to keep throwing out the same thing (would this make paper the bubble screen?).  Once we have the talent and experience to execute reasonably on run and pass they will put up points (I hope).

If you want to fire Brady Hoke, you are asking for a decade of mediocrity.  Who would want this job where 2 coaches have been fired in 6 years (one of them being the “Michigan Man” that everyone wanted after Rich Rod)?  Even if you hate Borges, I'd prefer to keep it to the message boards and support the team on the field.


There is a reason why the team touches the banner at the start of the game. 


None of this would be possible without the support of the fans.  250 consecutive games over 100,000 was a mark reached today.  That is another record for Michigan, but in the midst of that, I guarantee that the one thing that will end this program is if the fanbase gives up on their team.

I’m not asking you to not get upset when things don’t go well; that’s what makes sports what it is.  The highs would not be highs unless there were corresponding lows.


I don’t know I was feeling really bummed after the game and thought I’d start a thread for the first time.  Hopefully there’s not too much hate because that would make me a bit sadder.  I was gonna add some crap about work and how I've seen people get frazzled when they don't perform and get fired eventually, and others rebound with proper support, but now I am tired and I just want the day to end.

I’ll end off with the words of someone wiser than myself.

"We want the Big Ten championship and we're gonna win it as a Team. They can throw out all those great backs, and great quarterbacks, and great defensive players, throughout the country and in this conference, but there's gonna be one Team that's gonna play solely as a Team.

No man is more important than The Team. No coach is more important than The Team. The Team, The Team, The Team, and if we think that way, all of us, everything that you do, you take into consideration what effect does it have on my Team? Because you can go into professional football, you can go anywhere you want to play after you leave here.

You will never play for a Team again. You'll play for a contract. You'll play for this. You'll play for that. You'll play for everything except the team, and think what a great thing it is to be a part of something that is, The Team. We're gonna win it. We're gonna win the championship again because we're gonna play as team, better than anybody else in this conference, we're gonna play together as a team.

We're gonna believe in each other, we're not gonna criticize each other, we're not gonna talk about each other, we're gonna encourage each other. And when we play as a team, when the old season is over, you and I know, it's gonna be Michigan again, Michigan."



November 10th, 2013 at 12:38 AM ^

Been a huge fan my whole life. I just can't do it anymore... Same shit every year. Time to focus on the important things in life and spend Saturdays doing something productive


November 10th, 2013 at 12:51 AM ^

Who cares how old he is - is he wrong?  I almost wish Michigan hadn't always been good so that people were fans just because they loved the school, not because they were good.  It makes me wish I went to Cornell or something.  I'd be a Big Red fan with all my college buddies whether we were 8-1 or 1-8 and the next year we would be again because of how proud we were.  We wouldn't all bitch because we expected more.  

Sometimes the things that make a program great are the same things that make it suck really hard.  

Wolverine Devotee

November 10th, 2013 at 12:56 AM ^

The age is always something Bando uses against me. Like it's my fault and I had control over when I was born.

Really not surprising. Kind of why for all these years on here I was reluctant to reveal my true age (18). Because nobody cares or respects what some kid thinks. 

Even though, they're on a site which is dedicated to covering sports played by people my age. 


November 10th, 2013 at 6:47 AM ^

That's why sometimes it is actually more fun to be at the games when your team is not very good.

Don't get me wrong, I want to see my teams win, but actually going to the games is not always a pleasurable experience when you have a bunch of angry bandwagoners shouting, "Fuck you player/coach X" because we couldn't convert a 3rd and short early in the 1st quarter when the score is tied.

I remember going to Michigan basketball games with a dozen or so people and there was no one there except for students. 

Some of my best experiences going to games has been when the teams, either Michigan or professional, weren't very good. 

Monocle Smile

November 10th, 2013 at 1:04 AM ^

but I concur completely with the fairweather fan issue. Fandom endurance through struggle is ultimately more rewarding when the team comes back and does well. I'm a Lions fan, so I understand investing emotionally a bit less when mediocrity or worse is the norm, but I would never renounce my fandom or choose to not root for my team.

Bando is kind of a cock sometimes. Don't worry about it.


November 10th, 2013 at 1:18 AM ^

Booing does not make you a shitty person IMO. You guys are entitled to your opinion but people who want to express their displeasure are entitled to theirs as well.

Letters and emails are not read. The ordinary fan has no real power except their voice and wallet. Those fans should be allowed to use these tools if they wish and should not be shamed for doing so.


November 10th, 2013 at 1:53 AM ^

You're always gonna have those dbags that leave when the going gets tough, like the hockey team last year.

But the football team is not the hockey team. The football team has been mediocre for years. They hockey team went to a national championship three years ago. Way more people are irritated about the whole football thing, and with good reason. 

And I'm 19 fwiw. 


November 10th, 2013 at 12:39 AM ^

1.  Stop charging the fans like they're going to receive the best product in the country if you aren't going to deliver it.  Enjoy watching the student section's apathy with next year's schedule.

2.  We aren't students, alumni, and fans anymore, we're customers - Dave Brandon has ensured that.  Booing is feedback in the suggestion box showing how he might adjust the WOW factor to increase future delightfulness.


November 10th, 2013 at 12:41 AM ^

So a 3-8 season and snapping a historically long bowl streak won't make people jump ship but a 6-3 season with a bevy of 4 and 5-star recruits on the horizon will?

Man this fanbase is soft as hell


November 10th, 2013 at 12:55 AM ^

The why are we freaking out over 6 and 3 argument is bullshit and you know it. The team almost lost to Akron and Uconn who are both horrible. The team looks worse every week and staff has not been effective at trying to adapt to the current players capabilities. I don't disagree that firing hoke after this season would be a questionable decision. Replacing the offensive staff however is not unreasonable.


November 10th, 2013 at 8:12 AM ^

This is the reason the boos are coming out. The players know its not them, they're not oblivious to things around them.

Borges is going insane. doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Why else would we be running off tackle plays? It's one thing to set up another play (which seems to be Al's greatest explanation) but when the defense doesn't honor it and still makes a tackle for no gain or negative yards you're not setting anything up...only a 3 and out.


November 10th, 2013 at 1:08 AM ^

3-8 we all saw coming. The 6-3 with a team that is regressing with each snap of the ball and is led by a coaching staff that suddenly exhibits the inability to accept a failed strategy is not something any of us foresaw. In the post-Carr era I've seen damn some bad Michigan football, but there was always effort put forward on the field by the coaches and players (even if it was in futility). This year has been marked by apathy all around. That's what I'm most pissed off about.


November 10th, 2013 at 12:42 AM ^

I am not sure it helps when he is so conservative relative to his offensive approach. An aggressive coach would be willing to forgo his philosophy in order to put the talent he has, not the talent he wants, in a position to win. Hoke/Borges want to run power but the current players are not capable of doing it. Hell they would not even stick with the quick passing game after it worked for the first drive of the second half. The current approach is not working. It's not just failure to execute. The current players are not capable of executing this offense. Throw caution to the wind and try something else for Christ sake.


November 10th, 2013 at 12:44 AM ^

Anybody who wishes physical harm on a player, especially one in college, is a low life. With that being said, I have no problem with the boos. I know the kids are trying - I know - but sports are supposed to be a form of entertainment and whatever that was this afternoon certainly wasn't the least bit entertaining (at least to me).

Throw in the fact that Michigan's ticket prices are among the highest in the country and that a sizable portion of the home games this year have been poorly played and I don't blame those booing one bit.

Missed tackles, abysmal blocking, dropped passes, and, most importantly, horrible playcalling do not make for a fun Saturday. Two of the game's most exciting moments were the opposition flubbing a punt and a banked in field goal. It's inevitable that some boos were meant for the players, which sucks, but for those booing the coaching, the playcalling, or the wasted Saturday watching mediocre, boring football - I'm with you.

Bando Calrissian

November 10th, 2013 at 12:44 AM ^

i operate under the premise that if a player is an adult, who signed up knowing they were going to be a part of a major football program with an intense fanbase and intense media scrutiny, who is sold on the fact they'll be playing in front of 112,000 people every week, and gets a free education in the process...

They can deal with a little booing, not just when their coaches are failing them, but when they aren't executing, either. That's what's happening here. I'm not saying I'm quick to boo at a college sporting event, but I'm not going to pretend to be morally opposed to it.

These aren't children. These are adults playing a sport in front of a crowd paying a rather substantial amount of money to watch them do so. This isn't the Little League county championship or your daughter's rec soccer league. 


November 10th, 2013 at 12:53 AM ^

My aversion to booing has nothing to do with whether the players can handle it or not.  I make most of my decisions on a cost/benefit analysis type of process.  What good does booing do? What ill can it cause?

And the argument of "it sends a message" is complete bullshit.  We lost and played like shit.  The coaches and administration don't need boos to know this.  They don't think the fans are psyched about that outcome.  Booing just makes us look like shitty fans, if to no one else, then to the recruits who are deciding whether or not this is the place for them.  


November 10th, 2013 at 10:25 AM ^

the boos arent to let the coaches and administration know we played like shit, because they for sure know how bad we played.  its to let the coaches and administration know we aren't going to tolerate it and that there needs to be a change, because i dont think they would think that a change was needed or that we weren't ok with it if we werent booing

NOLA Wolverine

November 10th, 2013 at 12:54 AM ^

If you're going to ask a family to throw down $500 to get in line for tickets and then hundreds upon hundreds to actually aquire the tickets, and then gouge them on parking, and then gouge them on concessions under the premise that you're going to play a legitimate football game for them to watch , and then don't deliver, you've earned your boos.  This isn't high school football. This is one of the most expensive events in the state of Michigan. And if you don't have any expectation of a return on your $1000 dollars then so be it, because that's not the usual response as we learned today.

NOLA Wolverine

November 10th, 2013 at 1:10 AM ^

Who says the fans weren't upset with the players? I wasn't at this game and I'm not at a point where I would want to boo a player for their performance, but listening to the color commentary's reaction to the blocking and Devin's performance showed that at least some people seriously question what they're doing out there. I would argue that the booing further enforces that. 

NOLA Wolverine

November 10th, 2013 at 1:35 AM ^

I said earlier that I wouldn't have booed a player today , and it hasn't been my point that I would want to. What I'm getting at is that you keep bringing up the point that "players hear the boos as well as the coaches do" as an argument for people to stop booing, yet there's a pretty good chance the players were exactly why they're booing. I don't care if it's right, wrong, or in the middle in regards to this discussion, a lot of people did that today and got their point across. 


November 10th, 2013 at 1:01 AM ^

I also hate this argument.  No one promised you a win when you bought your tickets.  You were promised admission to the game.  And whenever you buy tickets to a sporting event, you risk your team not playing well and/or losing.  That doesn't mean that you didn't get your money's worth.  If you book a trip to Hawaii and it rains all week, you can't ask the hotel for your money back.  That's just the risk you take.  

I almost wish Michigan would suck for like 5 years.  Like really suck.  Have like a Noah's Ark fo Michigan football where the people who want on the boat can stay on, and then we'll see who's left at the end.  And then if we get good again, everyone who chose not to stay on the boat would get left out.  

I know this wouldn't happen, because in real life people would just jump back on the boat when things got good again, but that would be my wish.  

NOLA Wolverine

November 10th, 2013 at 1:06 AM ^

Did anyone ask for their money back? If I went to Hawaii for a week and it rained the whole time you'd better believe I would be upset. I probably wouldn't boo the hotel staff seeing as they're not responsible for the weather, but I certainly would still be upset. Instead in this scenario you have the people who are directly responsible for the product on the field standing right there. Thus, people boo. If I went to a hotel and the staff was terrible the whole time, then yeah, I'd let them know about that. 

Bando Calrissian

November 10th, 2013 at 1:08 AM ^

How is booing akin to asking for your money back? Why should you just sit on your hands and not voice displeasure at a sporting event, when it's perfectly acceptable in nearly every other venue of the human experience?

I guess I find the least of our worries when it comes to outside conceptions of our program to be the fans when the OC can't call a game for shit, the quarterback is playing like he's scared of getting hit because his offensive line won't protect him, our starting running back forgets how to block, and our coach keeps giving "aw shucks" pressers that make him sound increasingly inarticulate and out of touch.

But, hey, recruits care more about the fact the paying customers are booing instead of appealing to the better angels of their natures and accepting it all with a smile and a "you'll get 'em next week!"

Bando Calrissian

November 10th, 2013 at 1:34 AM ^

OK, I'll bite. An MMB performance is a performance, not a sport. There's no good outcome/bad outcome with measurable results (yardage, points, wins/losses, etc.). The people in the stands paid to go to a football game, and get a band performance along with it. What exactly are they going to boo that is akin to an inability to get a first down, or a complete blocking fail that results in yet another sack? I get what you're saying, but the analogy doesn't work.

That being said, what I'd say having been booed plenty of times is what I expect a lot of players would say: You use it as fuel to be better the next time. That's how you react to it like an adult. 

(Also, wouldn't it be required for people to hear it to boo it? Too soon?)