Victory rioting in 1989 in Ann Arbor?

Submitted by Volverine on April 2nd, 2012 at 7:23 AM

I'm watching Mike and Mike in the Morning right now, and Mike Greenberg is talking about his two experiences with victory celebrations invlving rioting. 

His first experience, he says, was in Ann Arbor when we won the basketball championship. I was born in 1988, so I have no recollection of this, and google hasn't been very helpful.

Can anyone comment on the topic? It doesn't seem like anything I've seen in Ann Arbor before. 



1989 UM GRAD

April 2nd, 2012 at 9:32 AM ^

It still amazes me that - before the era of instantaneous communication - that so many of us instinctively headed up to South U.  It was as most have described above...huge crowd...some jumping on cars...some broken awnings and store windows.  I remember people hanging from the wires holding up the blinking light at the corner in front of Stucci's.  The Hash Bash/Grateful Dead crowd certainly contributed to the did the fact that there was still some leftover excitement from our 1989 Rose Bowl victory.  Not to mention the buzz created by the fact that Bo booted Frieder before the tournament...and that we were led to the title by a relatively unknown coach.  It was a great year for U-M sports.  Hoping 2012-13 might be similar.

The South U area was also packed after the Saturday night Final Four games during the Fab Five era.


April 2nd, 2012 at 10:08 AM ^

Mostly fun, but some a -holes tipping over cars. I remember the news van getting trashed...And I left, felt a but scared, like it could escalate, but mostly embarrassing, because people were just being dumb...oh, and I remember thinking a lot of the people weren't students...who knows.

But I never saw a couch on fire


April 2nd, 2012 at 9:39 AM ^

That was my sophomore year, I stole a traffic sign post along with some buddies of mine. Pretty tame all and all. The people jumping on the awnings were real lucky nobody got hurt bad. It was obvious to most onlookers some of those structures were going down.


April 2nd, 2012 at 9:45 AM ^

I was a junior and caught the tail end of the "riot" after we beat Illinois in the semis... then was out there after the final.

It wasn't a riot.  Period.  It was a bunch of college kids packed onto South U. cheering and celebrating.  There was some property damage and I do remember one car turned over.  No violence that I saw... police keeping watch.  It was pretty fun.


April 2nd, 2012 at 9:52 AM ^

bruce springsteen had a famous concert there 

I think the better show might have been the solo acoustic show he did in 1996 at Hill Auditorium, but that's just me. Add the Grateful Dead's 1971 shows at the Hill to the list of "Wish I had been there." Pigpen doing "Run, Rudolph, Run" for one of the last times as it was just before Christmas...


April 2nd, 2012 at 10:02 AM ^

While you might be right as to which show was better the reason the 1980 show was so famous was that bruce forgot the openning lyrics to the song "born to run" and had to be reminded of them by his singing fans.
Hill auditorium always got the better shows (i recall at least one outstanding stevie ray vaughn show there) but crisler got some big headliners back in the day and it is always perferable to drive 10 minutes for a show as opposed to 75 minutes to go to the palace or pine knob ( dte).
I always hold a special place in my heart for that 1971 dead show at hill. Wish i was older than 3 at the time so i could have gone.

The Squid

April 2nd, 2012 at 10:04 AM ^

I lived on Church St at the time and would have been in the middle of it, except that I had a paper due the next day and wound up pulling an all-nighter to write it after I watched the game. I do remember watching news the next and being surprised about the chaos. I also remember being a little dubious as to the events' status as a "riot" because one of the pieces of video evidence presented by Channel 4 was a clip of an overturned newspaper box.


April 2nd, 2012 at 10:33 AM ^


I was there.  The feeling was of a celebration a little out of hand and not a riot, although the property damage was a shame.  The police were pretty unperturbed, even while kids were flying off the bouncing traffic signal suspended in the intersection of South U and Church.  There were a lot a of broken beer bottles, a taxi was flipped and a large window there at Good-Time Charlie’s was broken.  Most memorable for me, we had a major group project due the next day, and Prof Levi Thompson (who himself had played basketball at Delaware) showed no sympathy and we were dropped a full letter grade for turning it in a day late.


April 2nd, 2012 at 11:04 AM ^

I lived in S Quad and we were watching the game in various rooms throughout our hall.  Some clown pulled the fire alarm at the end of regulation and we had to evacuate.  


Had you killed that person, I'm reasonably certain that would not have been against the law.


April 2nd, 2012 at 11:43 AM ^

I can’t believe no one’s mentioned the funniest part of the ’89 mayhem on South U and that was the fire truck.  Sure the street light dangler was funny, yet scary given that it was raining and electricity likes water, and sure some windows were busted including Stucci’s and the Chinese place got messed up, but the best part I recall was definitely when A2 authorities thought they’d disperse the crowd by – wait for it – driving the local Ann Arbor fire truck slowly through the South U crowd.  It slowed to a complete stop, and crawled its way through the other side, but the greatness of the evening finally arrived when a line of half naked, soaked hippies ran down the street the other direction with the truck’s fire hose, as if they had field goal post.  Absolutely epic.

That evening of genius was capped by me and my boys actually landing a table at Brown Jug later on, only to watch out the window as the tear gas and riot cops started happening.  We sat there eating, watching it all out the window as though it was a movie screen.  Hilarious.

Those were the greatest days – we won the Rose Bowl in ’89, the MBB NC, and the Bad Boys ruled the Silverdome.  Great times.


April 2nd, 2012 at 2:08 PM ^

Junior in 1989 when we won the title. There were a lot of people on South U. but it was far more festive than destructive. It was a heck of a party. Somewhere buried in my boxes of college memoribilia I have a part of the tail light assembly from the taxi that was flipped over!!!


April 2nd, 2012 at 2:52 PM ^

actually the night we beat Illinois in the semis is when the process started. We were actually on a bus coming home from a track meet...we rolled in and just out of nowhere students started gathering in the streets down South University. It was a light drizzle of rain but nobody cared about that part, everyone was just so excited that we made it to the finals. It was spontaneous gathering more than anything...people were singing the victors and hand in hand dancing in the streets, just kids having a good time...when we won the championship, the celebrating mushroomed a bit...and not throwing anyone under the bus, but headlines from the semi game drew a lot of additional folks into town and it was reported that a lot of the vandals who were arrested were not students enrolled at UM...some were from a campus to the east of us...same deal I just recall kids having a great time, I do recall the guy hanging from the trafic light and folks on top of buildings, certainly heard about cars being flipped into an ATM but never saw that happen...I guess it's perspective and any time you have alcohol and energy both flowing bad things can 'riots' go, it would have been rather tame and boring in contrast to Central/Western weekends and anything in Colonumbus or Lansing for that departments weren't involved, nobody was seriously injured, granted drunken stupidity ruined a few nights but it was pretty tame. I certainly never felt unsafe.


April 2nd, 2012 at 3:28 PM ^

The reason China Gate has that small little awning around the outside of the restaurant? 1989.  It used to be bigger. But by 1992 it was pretty climb-proof.


April 3rd, 2012 at 11:18 PM ^

 You can check the Michigan Daily archives from 1989, but I seem to remember that the only student arrested that night during the melee was a law student. He was just a couple of weeks from graduation and threw a parking meter through a window in the Law Quad (rumor had it that he was later expelled).

Most of the revelry during the first hour or two after U-M's victory were no doubt students. However, I remember clearly that as the "townies" and other people not associated with U-M began to come out en masse, the whole vibe changed. The atmosphere on the street became more like a riot. At that point, most of my friends and I left.

I'm guessing, however, that most people don't remember that there were actually two "riots" that weekend. The first one occurred on Saturday when we beat Illinois to make it to the championship game.

*EDIT: I stand corrected -- a few of us DO remember the Saturday street party (which is incredible, considering our current ages and the free flow of alcohol that weekend).