As many Michigan fans prepare to descend upon Bloomington for our game this Saturday I couldn’t help but recall a very unlikely/surprising experience at a Michigan football game in Bloomington a few years ago. I don’t recall the exact number, but I think I’ve now been to 20-25 Michigan neutral/road games in my life. But my very first one was at IU on October 4th, 1997. Our senior year a few of us knew even after only 3 games that we had a very special season unfolding so we just decided last minute to head down to Bloomington for the game.
None of us had been to a Michigan away game so I think we were all quite unprepared for what we saw/experienced. For one thing we were very good that year, but more importantly we were playing INDIANA, in FOOTBALL. This was really the first time I experienced the ever-present Michigan hate outside the friendly confines of our great state.
So here are my three most unlikely/surprising rival trash talk stories. I look forward to hearing about yours. (WARNING – name drop coming up)
1. October 4th 1997 (Bloomington, IN) – A few of us crashed at my HS buddy’s house in the IU student ghetto. We get up, throw on our Michigan gear, drink a beer or three, then head out. I remember thinking that we were going to kick their ass and it would be a very non-confrontational experience in every way. Our guards were certainly down. Nope, from the moment we hit the street we were fielding f-bombs from nearly everyone that we encountered, probably even Jared Fogle come to think of it. Some houses actually had “Fuck Michigan” signs in their front yards. We could not believe it, just kept looking at each other and laughing at our first experience of road Michigan hate. That hate fueled our football team apparently as we won that day 37-0.
2. December 2005 (Manhattan Beach, CA) – I was out having a beer with a buddy of mine (MSU fan). Four sit down at the table next to us. After a few minutes we realize the girl sitting closest to me is Tara Reid, so naturally I start chatting her up. This is a portion of how that went:
Her: “So where are you from?”
Me: “Michigan originally.”
Her: “Fuck Michigan.”
I certainly didn’t see that coming. Turns out most of her family, including her brother that I’m still friends with after that night, went to OSU.
3. July 2012 (Charles de Galle airport, Paris) – I was flying back from a two week business trip tired, hungover, gross, etc. I was wearing my block M hat per usual. Standing in the security line I hear some guy behind me say something to the effect that ‘Michigan sucks and Brady Hoke sucks’. I turn around and it’s some guy wearing an OSU hat. There’s nothing more to this story, but that was the last time and place I thought I’d have to put up with a cooler-pooping truck driver.
Look forward to hearing your similar stories, Fuck Indiana, and Go Blue!