Watching Michigan football - My "unhealthy" obsession

Submitted by Mr poonsniffle on November 16th, 2017 at 4:25 PM

It is that time of year again when holiday get-togethers are planned out. Families, friends, and co-workers collaborate to figure out the best date and time to meet up.


This reminds me of last year when I declined an invitation to go to my girlfriend's Thanksgiving dinner with her family because they chose to have it during the exact time of THE GAME. I followed this up by declining an invitation to their family Christmas party because it was scheduled for the same time as the bowl game against FSU. Needless to say, she is now my ex-girlfriend. It would have never worked out...


I'm sure that there are some fellow fans out there that have been asked the question "Why can't you record the game and watch it later?" and the accompanying look of confusion on the other person's face when you answer the question.


The list of events that I skipped out on to watch Michigan football games is pretty extensive. I even watched a Michigan game on a pocket tv while standing in on my friend's wedding.


Who has a good story about skipping out on an event in "real life" to watch Michigan play? I'm sure there must be some good child birth or funeral stories out there...


Bando Calrissian

November 16th, 2017 at 4:36 PM ^

Real talk: I'm getting to the point in life--and maybe this is also a function of Michigan being generally middle-of-the-road for so long--that I just can't imagine doing this kind of thing anymore. Over the past few years I've missed games for any number of reasons, particularly as I've gotten busier with adult things, and not even really thought about it. Granted, I'm never going to miss an Ohio State game or something, but I'm finding myself less interested in scheduling my life 100% around Michigan Football as a matter of course. There's just too much life to experience, too many things to do with people I enjoy, and someone else playing a football game I can just watch later doesn't seem as important.


November 16th, 2017 at 4:59 PM ^

Agreed. There was a time when I couldn’t imagine missing a few plays, let alone a whole game. These days I have three kids and a new job. I watch highlights or the complete game on YouTube later that night if possible. I used to watch a ton of sports though and now I only watch Michigan football, so I’m still (relatively) a huge fan compared to other sports. But not compared to other fans on the blog. I think I enjoy the games more now though. Not as painful.


November 16th, 2017 at 7:00 PM ^

Same here on sports. There was a time when I knew every player on every team, when I lived and breathes sports. I didn't even realize Troy Polamalu had retired until I mentioned him at work the other day and people just lol'd at me... I just totally tuned out everything other than M football and even that is on the backburner 


November 16th, 2017 at 5:46 PM ^

This is sort of where I'm at. My story:

I graduated in 2007 and immediately moved to Wichita for work. I'd say that was the peak of my fandom. I was a casual fan in college, but became diehard when I left A2. I moved back to Ann Arbor in 2010 and I was ecstatic to be back home and to be able to go to the games.

Since then, I've moved to Switzerland for a year, then back to A2, then out to California for the past couple years. I still love watching the games, and I've only missed a couple over the past 10 years, but it isn't my highest priority like it used to be. I think the fact that we haven't even won our division/conference since my sophomore year is a big reason for it.

I still have season tickets in my family that I will never give up, and I'll always be "obsessed" with Michigan, but I now see it as just another thing I enjoy, instead of something I shape my life around.


November 16th, 2017 at 6:56 PM ^

Yeah, there was a moment earlier this year when some friends were moving and told me they understood if I couldn't help because of the Air Force game and I was just like "who gives a shit about the Air Force game?". There's just so much more to life. 

I used to cry when Michigan lost when I was a kid, this year I didn't even watch 5 of our games due to other commitments. Who has time to care about Michigan playing Indiana when you could be attending your best friend's wedding in Europe? I got engaged to my fiance in London the day we were playing Penn State. It was way more enjoyable. 

The Krusty Kra…

November 16th, 2017 at 8:08 PM ^

And midway through the 2nd quarter of that field goal fest, sitting in 85 degree heat, I even found myself asking: why am I here? (I later went to the MSU game and while it was a loss that was a more pleasant expereince.) WHO Michigan is playing factors in a lot more for me than it used to in terms of prioritizing watching or attending the game.

Bando Calrissian

November 16th, 2017 at 10:23 PM ^

I'll even say that going to the stadium is a pretty crappy experience now. After sitting in a fairly stable area for decades, with people we've known for years, our section got scrambled when they did the ADA renovations 10 years ago. Now we're in a half-sit/half-stand/constant confrontation section. I'm sick of getting into arguments with drunk meathead fans who bought their tickets on StubHub and don't care, not being able to hear myself think over the constant RAWK, a severely diminished tailgating situation due to the complete death of the Blue Lot post-luxury boxes, sitting through endless TV timeouts with sound blasted in my ears, and paying out the nose for bottled water so I don't pass out when it's a hundred degrees.

I had a moment in the middle of the MSU game where I flat-out thought to myself "I kind of hate this. Why do I keep doing this? My couch is pretty nice."


November 17th, 2017 at 12:14 PM ^

My fiance is in grad school and we thought it would be fun to buy student tickets. 

It is not. There is nothing more intolerable for a 30 year old than watching drunk teenagers who are there primarily to sing Mr. Brightside (a new tradition I like, otherwise) and (I shit you not) are not even aware which team is Michigan. 

Mr. Elbel

November 17th, 2017 at 7:32 AM ^

I'm kind of in this boat, but I also got married in the past year so this season my wife and her kids have actually made an effort to watch games with me when they're on. Did a little bit of that last year too. Also contributing is that we don't have BTN so we can't watch half the games without streaming them, and don't have a great system for doing that yet as we're in between moves.


November 17th, 2017 at 10:42 AM ^

and I think it comes with age. When I was in my 20's and even 30's I wouldn't miss a game for anything. As you grow older and wiser you realize there are a lot more important things in life then a football game. You have somethings in life, like deaths, that make you take pause and realize do I want to schedule my life around a football game and spend all fall Saturdays sitting on a couch?

I still follow the team and watch most of the games, but if I have a chance to do something fun with friends or family, I won't pass that up to watch a football game anymore. I would guess the OP is probably in their 20's and in another decade will realize there is more to life then football.


November 16th, 2017 at 4:39 PM ^

My wife and I visited our daughter in D.C. for Thanksgiving, and we had just a couple of days with her after not seeing her for several months. I had a choice between sitting my ass in front of the tube that Saturday for several hours—which would have ended up pretty fucking miserably for me—or spending time with them at a couple of museums.

Since neither of them give two shits about sports of any sort, it was an easy choice, and football came in a distant second. Since we're doing the same thing again this year, I'm going to make the same decision again. I can always watch the game on replay later, but I can't put my daughter on replay.


November 16th, 2017 at 5:00 PM ^

Not as hard as it might seem—I thought we would lose last year, and I've seen so many losses to OSU since coming to UM in '71 that I really don't enjoy it. The way the game ended last year would have killed me if I was watching it live—I'm a lousy loser, and I'll stew over it for hours. 

"They can't put you on replay either!"

The problem with that is that I don't pay attention to anybody in the room if there's a game on, whether OSU or somebody else, and I'll reject any attempt at conversation so I can focus on the game. In short, I'm an anti-social fuck when I'm watching Michigan football, so there's no incentive for them to be in the same room with me, especially since I tend to swear very loudly at the TV after another non-call of offensive holding on Gary.

CRISPed in the DIAG

November 16th, 2017 at 4:45 PM ^

OP - your screen name is distracting me from whatever it is you were trying to say. 

My simple anwer: you will not watch Michigan football when you find a compelling reason to stop watching it. When I met my wife, I quit smoking, went to church (for a little while), bought a car, decreased my recreational drug use to a sustinence level and generally became a more tolerable/tolerant person. Now that my kids are grown and I don't feel the need to impress anyone, I'm back to caring about the 18-22 y/o men playing tackle football for free.  

Mr poonsniffle

November 16th, 2017 at 4:56 PM ^

Saturday was the only time that her family could all get together. Some of her family members were busy on Thursday going to other thanksgiving get-togethers. It was basically a 2nd thanksgiving for most of the people there, which made it a little bit easier to say that I wasn’t going.


November 16th, 2017 at 4:46 PM ^

Actually my wife and I the last couple of years since getting together fight about this regularly in the fall. Why can't you DVR it? How is a game more important than friends or family? I have to explain they only have 12 for 3 hours at a time (I know they go longer but for the sake of my discussion), I say that is 36 hours a year. Not asking for much. Have family/friend stuff other times!! lol. The worst are fall weddings. Just had one this past weekend, had to follow game on my phone.

Biggest fight was this years' PSU game. Friends of ours (more hers) were in town for the weekend. First time getting together in a year. They did a bon fire gathering, and I said I wasn't going. Got me the couch Saturday night.


November 16th, 2017 at 4:48 PM ^

As 2 ex-wives will attest my real, not phony, love for Michigan football has precluded real life far too often in my life. I only miss home games if there is a death in the family. My own.

As a young married husband and father of 2, I once let my Blue Cross lapse in order to renew my season tickets. Exit wife #1.

As a follow-up, I spent most of my daughter's wedding reception in the parking lot listening to a Michigan football game. Not my fault. I told her not to set a wedding date during football season. Also, the people at the hall should have had the good sense to provide a TV at the bar. Exit wife #2

I'll be in Madison screaming my lungs out and fortunately my current wife gets it. Even though she is a Sparty. Nobody is perfect.

Everyone Murders

November 16th, 2017 at 6:40 PM ^

Does putting major life events and responsibilities behind taking in a game make one's love for Michigan football phony?

My wife knows I'm a bit nuts about Michigan sports.  She also knows that Michigan sports can't hold a candle to the way I feel about her and the kids.  If that makes my love for Michigan football phony, I'm cool with that.

All that aside, I'm glad that you found someone with similar priorities. 

SirJack II

November 16th, 2017 at 4:53 PM ^

For some games (e.g., Maryland, Rutgers, some of the sadder nonconference ones) I think, There is no way I'm going out of my way to watch that. If it works out, fine, but if there's anything else going on I'm all for it.


November 16th, 2017 at 4:53 PM ^

Women are like busses: If you miss one, another one will be by in a few minutes to RUN YOU OVER AND KILL YOU AND TAKE ALL YOUR MONEY AND EMASCULATE YOU... 

Just kidding, ladies. Men suck just as much or more... 

M go Bru

November 16th, 2017 at 4:56 PM ^

Watch espn has replays online for multiple days after the game has been completed.

It's the Fox / BTN broadcasts that blow since replays are not available