UTL: I need stories!!!

Submitted by M-Dog on September 12th, 2011 at 10:17 AM

I'm jeleaous as hell that I could not attend UTL in person.  Therefore I need to live vicariously through you.

I know how the game went, but what was the entire experience really like?  Tell me how your day (night) went.

How was Game Day?  How was it tailgating in the dark?  Did y'all burn down the town post-game?  Did bars stay open late?  Any epic hook-ups with new friends made after the game when nobody would leave?  Should we expect a boomlet of little Wolverines next June?  Was any body able to actually get home before daylight?

C'mon people, give me stories!!!  Any corresponding you-are-there video of the whole scene makes you an internet Viking. 




September 12th, 2011 at 10:29 AM ^

I didn't tailgate or anything, but I have plenty of news from the Stadium. Pre-game was fantastic, Desmond's ceremony was amazing. Everybody cheered when we saw his highlights, and then went silent when he gave his speech (before cheering even louder after it). The speech was short but good, and it had a huge impact on everyone in the stadium (especially, I would think, the recruits). God Bless America was very impressive as well, almost everyone sang.

The game itself was underwhelming at first, but we know how that turned out. After Rees' fumble, a guy in my section shouted "By god! Holy Toledo we can win this thing!" which got a few laughs. We were all high fiving after Gallon's TD. Even when ND scored again, I think everyone still had hope. After the final score, me and a good 8 people around me started screaming, and had a huge group hug, patting each other on the back and jumping around. By far the loudest I have ever heard the stadium.

Post game, nobody really wanted to leave. 20 minutes after the game, I would say 75% of the stands were still full, singing all kinds of songs together. I eventually left the building at 12:05 or so, after the band played The Victors. Best experience of my life.


September 12th, 2011 at 11:47 AM ^

On the play before the fumble, I was in screaming match with a man twice my age over whether there was p i on avery. Thank god for instant replay shutting him up because my inhibitions went out the window a long time before that play.

Obviously we all know the call was bs. I watched the broadcast when I got home and even herbie thought the call was wrong.

Still best game I've ever been to.


September 12th, 2011 at 11:47 AM ^

On the play before the fumble, I was in screaming match with a man twice my age over whether there was p i on avery. Thank god for instant replay shutting him up because my inhibitions went out the window a long time before that play.

Obviously we all know the call was bs. I watched the broadcast when I got home and even herbie thought the call was wrong.

Still best game I've ever been to.


September 12th, 2011 at 10:31 AM ^

I slept maybe 10 hours all weekend.  Walked about 5 miles on game day.  Drank enough to kill a small adult (hit up Rick's, Brown Jug, and Packard Pub for good measure - vomited after Packard Pub on Friday night).  

Nothing really interesting to report, other than mistaking Banner for Garnett and seeing him with Payton (they were by themselves at the time - no other recruits).  Ann Arbor was soft to start Saturday.  Some people tailgating around noon, but it really didn't get started until 2 PM or so.  People were probably a little gunshy, not knowing when to start for a 8 PM game (hint - it's fine to start at noon, I ripped 4 shots around 1 PM and was perfectly fine at the game).



September 12th, 2011 at 10:42 AM ^

When  we got to our seats, there was 35 minutes on the clock until kickoff. The stadium was packed and already rocking. I had never seen it like that before a game. You could tell the crowd just wanted to explode but we didnt have a ton to cheer about the first three quarters. 

In between the third and fourth quarter, you could hear the ND section chanting " It sucks to be a michigan wolverine" over and over. Needless to say, they shut the hell up 1 quarter later. I doubt I will ever experience the electricity that was flowing through that stadium in the 4th. I have been to great games at Michigan stadium before, but nothing compares to how loud and crazy that place was in the 4th quarter. My girlfriend is a MSU grad, but to her credit she always supports Michigan except once a year. I turned to her at the end of the game and said this is why I am LOVE Michigan, state could never have an experience like this, and she 100% agreed. All in all an amazing day and night!



September 12th, 2011 at 10:44 AM ^

Agreed re: Desmond - his speech was short, but very emotional and sincere, noting how proud he was not just to play for U of M but to be a student (citing various places on Ann Arbor, as in, "from Schembechler Hall, to the Diag, to the Union...")


Honestly - and Brian may dock me 1000 points - but the crowd energy didn't really get going until (a) obviously UM started turning it around, and (b) [here's where the points come in] some RAWK music started getting it going.  As to the former, that's obvious. As to the latter, I really do think the music helped organize the crowd's energy.  Prior to that, it was disparate pockets of cheering and chanting, but the RAWK music sort of focused it.  


After the Irish went up 24-7, the small pocket of Irish fans under the south scoreboard were chanting "It SUCKS --- TO BE --- A MICHIGAN WOLVERINE" (to the beat of "it's great ... to be ...")... I'm not going to lie, I was livid.  Clearly their mocking didn't turn out so well.  After the game, I was there another 30 minutes or so (and, by my count, so were 90K plus as well).  It was fun, a lot of singing along to RAWK music, but I wish the forces could have organized with 90K+ post-game chanting "It's great ... to be... A michigan Wolverine" to sort of give the final eff you to those ND fans.  Alas.


All in all - best game day experience, in stadium, I've been to, though 2003 OSU (storming field), and MSU 04 are close.  The uniqueness of it all really did add to it.


September 12th, 2011 at 10:52 AM ^

The chant associated with 7 nation army was defeaning.  

The stadium was so loud, in my section (a couple over from the students), you could not hear the Victors after a TD was scored.  Too many people going nuts.  It was everything I thought a Michigan game always could be.


September 12th, 2011 at 11:08 AM ^

But they may have found the perfect balance, finally.  A little warm up stuff, not too much during the traditional introductions, not excessive during the game early on...just time killer stuff, and really play it to get the crowd hyped at the right times during the stretch run of the game. If they did it like that every week, I wouldn't complain.

Even Neil Diamond was cool to sign along to in the post-game of that night.

Feat of Clay

September 12th, 2011 at 10:48 AM ^

It wasn't dark during tailgating; still plenty light out.  Once we got in the stadium, it was really cool looking over at the student sections and seeing silhouettes of cheering fans on the top row, against a beautiful sunset.

I confess to crying when Desmond did.

As cool as some of the TV shots were, most of the coverage I saw later couldn't capture how the entire crowd was PULSING as those pom-poms waved. 

For me, the piped-in music was a huge plus at the end.  I thought to myself that more haters might like that Pop Evil song, going forward.  I know I'll never hear it without thinking of those final moments. 

I felt as much disbelief as joy at the end, and that's saying something.

Otherwise, I will defer to others with better powers of description.


September 12th, 2011 at 10:47 AM ^

All I will add is this awesome nugget. 

When it became evident that Gallon was wide open, an ND fan behind me yells at the top of of his lungs "JESUS TAP DANCING CHRIST, WHERE IN THE HELL IS THE SAFETY!?!?!?!?!".  My father-in-law leans over and says to me, "in the middle of the field, covering a ghost". 


Todd Plate's n…

September 12th, 2011 at 10:49 AM ^

in 20 years of attending games, I have never seen the atmosphere anywhere close to that.  From 20 minutes before kick-off to 30 minutes after the final whistle, the stadium was just raucous.  It seemed like on every single defensive play, the crowd was screaming at the top of it's lungs, even when we were down by 14 early.  I've seen/heard the wind get taken out of that crowd in the past in similar situations; not on Saturday.

The way the final minutes unfolded was surreal.  I still don't believe it. 

The most vivid memory I may walk away with is the look on this kid's face sitting in front of us and about 4 seats over.  It was something beyond a kid who just opened his dream gift on christmas, it was like he just found out christmas existed.  He looked at my buddy and I (it was my buddy's first time attending a big time college game, he still is overwhelmed), this kid looked at us with that look, it was pure-yet-untainted-by-anything-in-this-god-forsaken-world joy, he extended both arms towards us and went in for a huge hug.  He'll never forget it and I know I won't either.  Piss on mascots; one of this kid's best memories of his childhood M fandom is going to be seeing Roy haul it in and then turning around hugging some 32 year old stranger, who for a brief moment, not only remembered but truly felt what it like to be a kid again.

Go Blue and god bless.  What a great night. 

Maximinus Thrax

September 12th, 2011 at 10:50 AM ^

I was not there, and not to hijack this thread, but that stupid leprechaun cheerleder guy was so damn annoying.  His little fist dancing may be arguably more annoying that Sparty's constant flexing.  Let's let Brandon keep the rawk, but under no circumstances should we lay down and let him impose a mascot on us as well.


September 12th, 2011 at 10:53 AM ^

When Roundtree caught that, it was the closest I ever came to crying tears of joy. The only thing I felt the first half was anger. 3rd quarter was confusion. 4th quarter was an emotional rollercoaster. The last 1:30 was...man, I don't know. Insane, crazy, amazing, terrifying, sad, it was everything. When we scored the first time we were all going crazy,and when ND scored, well, that was the first time I've ever been stunned silent. I literally could not have felt worse when they scored. People started to leave ( including this girl with the most sultry eyes that I've ever seen who was sitting in front of me) and I didn't know what to think.But when we scored, holy shit, I've never been that happy or excited before. Everybody was giving everyone hugs and high fives, everyone was singing and just going batshit crazy. The ND fan sitting next to us just sat there with his hands in his face, feeling what all of us had been feeling just moments before. The next day waking up exhausted with a hoarse voice, having no time to study for my organic chemistry quiz, which I probably just failed btw, I asked myself at 5 in the morning if it was worth it. Hell yes. I wouldn't trade this weekend in for anything.


September 12th, 2011 at 10:55 AM ^

Randomly, does anyone who has watched the ESPN broadcast know if the giant penis balloon that was being tossed through the stands was visible on TV?  I know it landed on the field right behind the uprights when ND was kicking an extra point,and I couldn't believe no one ran out there to pick it up and get rid of it.

Feat of Clay

September 16th, 2011 at 10:16 AM ^

Ha. that was one of my funnier moments of the day.  Not sure if it was ever on TV, but it sure caught the attention of my son.  He asked what it was and I had decided to be honest and I told him. 

His wizened old 12-year old self took that in a second, then said "well, let's pretend it's a carrot."


September 12th, 2011 at 10:56 AM ^

And surreal. The whole night. Simply wow! The AD nailed this one. Walking into the stadium with 55 minutes still and walking into seeing each team warming up under the sun setting...awesome. I was sitting with my brother and two buddies in row 4 in section 11, yup that endzone where all the action was in the 4th....i will never forget what i was a part of and what I witnessed. It was the most electric atmosphere i have been a part of for a college football game. The UTL, the spectacle of the event, ND vs Michigan, all of it came together to create a moment these eyes will never forget, especially since it was with my whole family. (40 people for tailgate and the whole fam went to the game...awesome)


September 12th, 2011 at 11:02 AM ^

I was in row 21 of section 11 and it was the shit...


I was recording with my gopro for most of the TD's in our endzone, including the last V Smith TD and the final TD.  Ill post some HD video when I edit it all.  I had it running when i crowd surfed after the Smith TD, then got wild and shaky after the final score, but still awesome.


September 12th, 2011 at 11:06 AM ^

Got to the Moe's/Underground printing tailgate right next to the stadium at 1. Ate, drank, beer pong, flip cup, more eating. Walked around A2 for a while to see the crowd and other tailgates (and to waste time more than anything).
<br>Walking into the Big House was electric and the atmosphere was unreal. Had 3rd row seats in section 11 so we got to heckle the ND cheerleaders and leprechaun for a while. Then some a$$hat a few rows up, also a UM fan, started throwing popcorn at me and my brother because we were standing up during the first quarter. The ushers quickly asked him to stop and told us we needed to sit if everyone else was sitting. That whole situation was embarrassing as a UM fan but other people around us were saying that guy who threw the popcorn was a huge dick and that we should stand if we wanted. Regardless, by the 3rd quarter everyone was standing anyway. I don't have to tell you what happened in the game but the last 2 min were an absolute rollercoaster ride. Roy caught the winning TD in our endzone but on the opposite corner so we couldn't see it cleanly but we knew what happened. We ended up staying in the stadium for almost an hour after to celebrate.
<br>My voice is almost completely gone and I don't regret standing one bit. I did sit when everyone else sat to comply with the ushers request but, like I said, by the late 3rd quarter everyone in section 11 was as excited as I was (except the 3-4 ND fans of course) and we were all standing and cheering like crazy. The White stripes song got the crowd so pumped!! My brother in law (a life long Gator) even said it was the best college game and stadium he's ever been to. I'm so proud of our team and our fans, I hope it looked and sounded as crazy on TV as it was in person. Go Blue!


September 12th, 2011 at 11:09 AM ^

I have been to almost every home game over the last ten years.  This one was different. It had the energy of an OSU game and the feeling of a party.

I got to the stadium early and went to my seat with more than 90 minutes pre-game.  I was amazed at the number of people already inside.  As it got darker, the stadium became alive. Thirty minutes before the start of the game, the place was almost full, even the student section was filling up.  The night was perfect, not too cool, not to warm. 

I was in a section where people do a lot of sitting and stand only for big plays, and then begrudingly.  There were a couple of guys a few rows in front of us who kep standing and people kept telling them to sit, which they eventually did.

In the second half, something changed.  People started standing and never sat down during the whole fourth quarter.  Lots of older people started waving pom-poms.  Near the end of the game, when we got our two TD's, strangers were hugging each other, high fiving, screaming at the top of their lungs.  Normally, after a game, you kind of have to deal with waiting for the crowd to slowly work its way out.  Not on Saturday....I didn't even think of leaving for over half an hour.  I just didn't want the night to end.



September 12th, 2011 at 11:15 AM ^

But on my way to the game, I took a bit of a detour, and was coming east on the north side of Stadium, and one of the houses across from Pioneer in the last block had a "Lewan hates donkeys" sign. I should have known it was going to be a good night then.

The Shredder

September 12th, 2011 at 11:17 AM ^

That was the loudest game easy. I thought the crowd even did a nice job during the 24-7 times. Stayed with the team. After Nard threw the his last INT some older folks started to leave and I said "where the hell are you going?"  "Its over".. Huh there was like 4 mins and all we needed a 3 and out. I talked them into staying. They thanked me later.  Leaving games early blows my mind... But anyway it was the best Michigan experince I have ever had. Oh and the Jumbo HD at night is...Drool........


September 12th, 2011 at 11:39 AM ^

the more I resent my wife for not allowing me to buy $600 worth of tickets on stubhub and $400 for two roundtrip tickets to Detroit.

At the same time, it was pretty awesome walking around Annapolis Sunday morning decked out in Michigan gear and trading "Go Blue!" with other fans/alums.

Curiously, did not see any Notre Dame gear.


September 12th, 2011 at 12:06 PM ^

I was the old guy in the student section and second time I made my best friend and ND guy endure the students (first time was Tater game). 

The Pom-Pons from the student section effected visibility and away from us watched some plays on big screen...The students did not disappoint and gave my ND friend HELL all game.  When ND went up with 30 seconds remaining he was screaming "FINALLY leaving this place with a win!" and at the end of game he turned to me and said "What ginat fucking Kharma issue do I have where my team endures this?" 

We stayed for 45 minutes in the student section enjoying the moment...

After the game met up with another friend who got us into the downstairs of Mirage?  Some bar on Main Street that is kind of a night club-owners name is Terry-Nice guy.  Some Red Wings were there hanging out-eventually Charles Woodson made an appearance and I got to shake his hand-very cool.

Never bothered with a gotel room-stayed out all night and ended the evening at Pizza Pinos talking with friends until 4AM and slept for a couple hours at the airport until my flight let at 6:30.

Incredible experience!


The Baughz

September 12th, 2011 at 11:47 AM ^

This was only my 3rd game at the Big House,  but let me tell you, it was insane. I went to gameday, got there late so I hung out in the back, but still was fun nonetheless. Did not tailgate, but went to the game around 6. I like to get there early to watch everyone warm up. Im a coach and pregame warm ups gets me fired up. lol. I sat in section 18, row 2, so I had some great seats.

Everything was perfect from the start. The tribute to Desmond, the bands, the flyover, the fans, the atmosphere. It was truly a once in a lifetime moment. The first 3 qtrs were rough to watch, especially since there were a pocket of ND fans a section over talking shit after every play. One ND fan pointed at me and called me out for some reason, but I kept quiet until Roy saved the day. I looked over and he just shook his head and smiled and put his head down. That was great. I enjoyed the going back and forth between the two fan bases, especially when we started our comeback. I'll never forget the looks on their faces after Roy caught that pass. It was great.

Also, the atmosphere was absolutely electric. My ears were ringing all day yesterday from the game. Also, the little things like celebrating like little kids with strangers and giving them hugs and high fives was great. I met some new people and it was definitley worth every penny. Like I said, it was a trip of a lifetime.

One more thing. Anyone sit in section 18 or near those group of ND fans that were sitting in the corner of the endzone? If so, who was the guy wearing the #33 ND jersey. It def looked like a former player and it looked like a game worn authentic jersey. He was a beast, so it wouldnt surprise me if he did play at some point. Almost every ND player went and talked to him during pre game warm ups. Anyways, he was a bitch. lol


September 12th, 2011 at 1:55 PM ^

the atmosphere at the game still gives me chills. I've been going to Michigan games since I was 5, and I have never seen the crowd that fired up. When we finally won, the student section was essentially a giant mosh pit. I was hugging random strangers and...I can't even describe how awesome it was.


September 12th, 2011 at 1:56 PM ^

On Friday me and the wife were going to hit up the Tigers game since we were in town and instead we went down to the MDen and bought Desmonds book and stood in line for the signature (not a bad line at all), after that we went to check out the College Gameday set and the pep rally, and we finished with some Zingermans.  On Saturday we woke up at 5 and were in line for Gameday at 7 as were a lot of other people.  Hung out at Gameday until about 11 and I received a text from a friend saying that she had been tailgating at Pioneer since 6am and that they weren't letting a lot of people in but they were some.  We decided to leave Gameday around 11 and head to Pioneer to scope out the parking situation, plus my wife is pregnant so standing for 4 hours in a crowd was starting to kill the feet.  Luckily enough after getting drinks and some food to hold us over until the rest of my group got there I pulled into Pioneer at 11.50 - LUCKY!!! because about 30 minutes later it was full.  Did some good tailgating and pretty much destroyed everyone at washers. 

Went into game about a hour early, which is way before I usually go in.  Watched the depressing two and a half quarters and then switched seats and gave my wife my hat because I wanted to throw it and I really like that hat.  After they made it 24-14 she tried giving it back.  I took it back when we got back to the car haha.  Hung out for about 20 minutes after the game and flew home Sunday out of Detroit which by the way, was PACKED with Michigan fans. 


September 12th, 2011 at 2:44 PM ^

Really disappointed that ESPN didn't cover the halftime ceremony for Desmond Howard.  They gave him respect pre- and during the game, but I really wanted to see it and hear his speach.  

Has anyone found any video of this?  Any details (transcript), etc?

Thanks for posting on this thread, ya'll.  Love reading these stories.


September 12th, 2011 at 3:25 PM ^

The atmosphere there was terrific to say the least.  However when everyone says "the loudest it's ever been" I would agree to that statement for the 4th quarter.  Quarters 2-3 were nothing out of the ordinary.

I had ND fans on my left and in front of me in section 44.  They were a couple with their two young kids and the other group was a father with his 3 young kids so they were all classy the whole game.  Annoying when they were up 24-7, but still classy.  The best was when Smith scored the touchdown to put us ahead i was jumping like mad hugging everyone and the ND kids in front of me were sitting down with their heads in their hands.  I actually felt sorry for them having witnessed their hearts being pulled out.  Then of course with 30 seconds left I'm standing there in a blank stare as they are going nuts.  Group i was with debated leaving at that point, but we ultimatly decided to stay and "see what happens". Thank goodness we did.  Never seen so much hugging and jumping and h-fiving at that point.  it was insane.  my ears were still ringing Sunday Morning.

We left shortly after the game, but people we were tailgating with all day in the Stadium parking lot decided to fire the grills and tv back up.  Wish i stuck with them, because they were watching Sportscenter which was almost exclusively about M vs ND and a group of 30 or so people gathered around.  I guess Denard stopped by afterward on his way from the stadium as well as Roundtree, Molk, Martin, etc...  When Denard and Roundtree were told they made Sportscenters top play they were both like "no way, you serious"?  Guess Roundtree and his family sat there for about 10 minutes chatting and they were "really cool".

That would have been the perfect nightcap had i been there.  regardless it was amazing lying in bed that nigh with the sound of the 7 nation army song still in my head!

Go Blue!





September 12th, 2011 at 5:13 PM ^

We are golf course tailgaters and not local to Michigan.  So we did not discover the courses were closed until reading it here on Friday.  Thus some adjustment - we were up early Sat AM, out the hotel by 8am to scout an alternative since of course ParkNParty was fully subscribed.  We ended up at one of the $20 lots on ScioChurch just south of the Pioneer football field around 9am.  Secured front-row spot, then headed into town for GameDay.  Bought ponchos @ MDen tent @ Stadium & Main on the way up just in case.  Had a great time @ GameDay on Ingalls, stayed till the end when Des brought his kids on set for the predictions, loved one boy on Herbie's lap and one boy on Desmond's.  Corso brought the house down when he predicted UM win and pulled on our helmet.  Ponchos only needed for maybe 10 min there but glad we had them.  Added bonus at GameDay is the full band onsite under Burton Tower, performing during all the commercials. 

Headed back through campus, now the State St parties are in full swing.  Stopped at Stadium & Main for a couple of brats @ Pioneer LAX benefit booth and then hit up the Sports Illustrated Heisman tent which was awesome.  It was early, not yet 1pm - no celebrities yet but we registered and had our pic taken with the trophy, it was a cool thing and only took 5 min.  They email you the pic for free, and we get a free copy of the special edtion of SI for UTL with Desmond on. the cover

Got back to our tailgate and now the entire lot is sold out and in full swing - cornhole and grills smoking everywhere, we love that we got there early.  Next to us is a big party of 30+ from Adrian, really nice folks who know the Threets and have some Domers in their party to spice it up a bit.  Good times all around, they are displaced golf course folks too, lots of that going around.  Around 2pm the cloud cover starts to break.  By 3pm it's sunny and bright like a caribbean beach.  We are loving it, hope it holds for the game. 

Meet my cousin and his 2 daughters 6pm @ Revelli Hall for Step Show.  His oldest is a Soph this year and youngest is Sr in HS and on her official visit this weekend.  Poor guy lives in Chicago so he will have double out-state tuition if they are both enrolled next fall.  Write those checks!  I have a plastic bag with a 12pak in it which we enjoy thru the Step Show, then walk to the stadium with the band on a glorius Sept evening, the sundown is beautiful and casts a neat aura over the whole stadium area.  We get someone to take a group photo and then break up and head to our respective seats.  We are in Section 5, Row 41.  30 minutes to kickoff and we are just about the last ones in our area to arrive.  Really great crowd, everyone standing thru the whole game and very vocal, no "down in front".  Pep Band pays a visit to our aisle and we all give them props for their hard work.  All the 4th-quarter scoring in the south endzone right in front of us and the rest is history.  Someone on 97.1 after the game says "the play on the field matched the stadium atmosphere" and we all agree thats exactly right - it was electric in there and so glad we were there in person.  I paid $250 apiece for these tix on StubHub back in January anticipating an epic day and it lived up to expectations in every respect. 



September 16th, 2011 at 1:41 PM ^

My family was in section 9 like row 75?. Two rows ahead of us there were 2 younger ND fans that were some of the most annoying people that I ever sat by. One of them was shirtless exposing his slighly over weight and hairy body whilst draped in an ND flag. The other was wearing a 49'ers Montana jersey, something you would buy at Value City.

So as ND got off to a good start they became obnoxious. They were cheering loud and highfiving and one of them was holding up the Montana jersey like it meant something. Obviously due to these guys mental retardation they couldnt make the connection that Montana and 49ers DO NOT have anything to do with ND. They pissed off an old man a row ahead of us so he snatched the jersey out of the guys hand and threw it into the back of the crowd. They got it back after people tossed it around like a volleyball, then the old man got security because he somehow found out the guys had alc. They had an IV bag filled with rum in their seat cushion, and they would sit on it and fill their bottles. They got taken away but somehow were let back in for a second chance.

So its the end of the game and ND scores their last touchdown. They turn around and start flipping all of us off and swearing and being obnoxious. Then we score, and a guy infront of me started yelling at them calling them names, and it was classic. They walked out instantly with their heads down hidden by the crowd jumping up and down.

I hate ND fans so much now.