What sort of home did you grow up in?

Submitted by Blazefire on April 14th, 2011 at 12:40 PM

As we approach the spring game, I've been put in mind of the fact that until I was about 16, I didn't even know there was a spring game. My parents andthe rest of my family were and are Michigan fans, but of a certain variety.

Dad is a "state of Michigan" fan, and will cheer for Sparty in all cases where they are not playing U of M. Michigan is his #1, but anything of the state is his number two. His Michigan fandom is most evident in his intense distaste for ND and OSU. Mom is a Michigan fan because dad is, and my granparents and her siblings were and are, but really, if Dad rooted for OSU, that'd be her team. My sister couldn't give a rat's rear end.

Growing up, I never knew the player's names, because my family didn't go in for big time fandom. I knew Timmy B, because Mom thought his name was hilarious. I didn't really become aware of players till round about Henne's freshman season. Oddly enough, I can now talk about players from earlier eras with my dad, and he knows all who I'm talking about. I guess he was a pretty big fan, but it never occured to him to discuss it.

It's weird that, coming from these rather topical fan origins, I should become such a diehard. I mean, my Dad doesn't even know a guy exists until his third game starting. Meanwhile, I pore over recruitng and watch spring games and hang on every word of practice reports. I study UFR's and game evaluations with rapt attention. I follow our players into their NFL careers should they have them. I'm just trying to figure out how from those origins, I got so craze for the Maize and Blue.

What was your M upbringing like?



April 14th, 2011 at 12:46 PM ^

Dad is a Michigan fan, but would root for State when if they weren't playing Michigan, pretty much like your father. My mom is a Michigan fan only because of me though. She didnt care, or know, very much about any kind of sports until I grew old enough to cheer for teams, and like a good mother she took the side of her only son.


April 14th, 2011 at 12:48 PM ^

My best guess is 65% osu 35% UM their..  But it was strange for me because my family who watches college football like a religion, didn't care who won between the two. Instead they would attend every Toledo game home or away, driviing from Penn St (UT beat theam), all MAC games, and once to central florida.  But as soon as I saw the "Hello Heisman" when I was 5 I knew i was Blue.


April 14th, 2011 at 1:32 PM ^

same..  grew up in toledo (and go to UT)  made the choice at a very young age of choosing michigan over osu mainly cause my family was all osu and I found it more exilerating to cheer for the other team. yeah I know real mature of the 4-5 year old I was. But it just grew and grew. My family is really into osu, pretty much they have every starters autograph from the last 8 years some where in the house, so everything they knew about osu I had to learn about michigan. Just took off from a young age and now its to the point I look at this site during class, work and to top it off, when the girl friend falls asleep and I dont feel like laying around

Dark Blue

April 14th, 2011 at 12:49 PM ^

I've written before over at midnightmaize.blogspot.com (and even had something linked by Brian once) about my Michigan upbringing. 

None of my family attended the University of Michigan, Yet every single person in my family, from my Dad, to my Grandfather, to my most distant cousin, is  a huge MICH fan. Every Saturday in the fall we would be at my Grandfathers house, watching Bo scream at officials, watching Remy Hamilton kick game winning field goals agains ND, watching Desmond run one back against the Buckeyes. These are my fondest memories of my childhood.

And the tradition continues today, now that my Grandfather has passes, we all gather at my Parents house, crack some brewdoggers and watch MICH. My parents are now Grandparents so the traditon has most definetely continued. 



April 14th, 2011 at 12:49 PM ^

My grandpa was a huge school of Michigan fan. My first memory was him singing The Victors with me and talking about how proud he was to send 3/4 of his children there. He died too early on for me to be talking football with him, and my parents were kind of ambivalent.

I wasn't a really avid fan until late in high school, something my mom doesn't understand at all.

Mr Mackey

April 14th, 2011 at 12:51 PM ^

I was raised an insane Michigan fan.. from the time I was born, my Dad would drill me with love for Michigan. Both my parents, all four grandparents, all six aunts, and three out of four uncles all attended Michigan. Now both of my sisters and I are all at Michigan. 

My entire family and my future family will be filled with Michigan stuff. All of us are insane Michigan fans, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Great way to be raised.


April 14th, 2011 at 12:54 PM ^

Growing up in South Dakota, I cheered for the team that graced the networks most often: Notre Dame.  I actually recall laughing at my Michigan-fan neighbor after the Kordell Stewart Apocalypse.  That fandom came to a head when I ultimately decided to apply to ND.  Come April of my senior year, I had an acceptance letter from the Domers, as well as a block-M emblazoned letter from a little school in Ann Arbor.

I thought my mind was made up: my parents and I pictured me at the Grotto, strolling through South Bend, cheering on the golden helmets.  But I also had the opportunity to learn from a world-renowned cadre of professors in the Aerospace department, and even WE knew that Ann Arbor was a world-class college town (even with never visiting it).  Plus, the chilling, exciting thought of potentially running out of the eastern tunnel with the marching band was something that nearly made me squeal.  After resting on it, the next morning I literally yanked my enrollment deposit to Notre Dame out of the mailbox and decided to attend Michigan instead.

The rest, friends, is history.


April 14th, 2011 at 12:54 PM ^

Let me tell you a little story:


My mother and father both are graduates of this fine institution, and are die-hard M fans (my dad literally goes into depression for a week after each loss).  My brother and I naturally matriculated into Ann Arbor's finest, and my fiancee as well.  Needless to say, we bleed blue.

Howeva, there arises an issue in the fact that my mother's entire family are cow-herding Spartans (literally). This caused a lot of angst at family gatherings growing up, with all the smack-talking that is bound to happen.  The best (and worst) thing ever, was every time M would beat little brother in football during my childhood, my dad would take my brother and I to my aunt and uncle's house, and write "Sparty sucks, go blue" and block M's all over their drive way in chalk.  One year, my dad got the great idea to bring his lawnmower, and we mowed a block M into their lawn.  The problem was, he had it set on the lowest setting, and it burnt a beautiful block M into their lawn for the entire summer.  We haven't been over to dinner at their house in over 10 years.

Naked Bootlegger

April 14th, 2011 at 1:39 PM ^

Love the lawnmower story.  My bigger question, though....was there major payback for your dad in recent years?!  I can't imagine that they didn't dream up some especially sinister payback after events like The Horror, etc.    This is why I don't have the cajones to pull major stunts like the block-M, burnt grass, lawnmower trick.  I can't stand the payback that usually ensues!

house of pain

April 14th, 2011 at 12:55 PM ^

I'm from Pennsylvania and have no ties to Michigan at all. I grew up in a bi-racial as well as two different religions in my household. In my part of PA, UND and PSU, and hate them both. I started loving Michigan in 97, I was 10. I wish I could have attended UM but the funds just simply were not there. As I researched UM, I fell more and more in love with it because of the culture and welcomed diversity Ann Arbor seemed to have. Maybe I'll end up at UM for a graduate degree someday.

Steve in PA

April 14th, 2011 at 10:25 PM ^

My father was the only real football fan in the family and at the time he was into PSU because he went to lots of games with his friends.  My uncle (his brother) went to Michigan for grad school after getting his undergrad from PSU.  I remember visiting (couldn't have been more than  4 or 5) and from then on I was hooked.

I too wanted to attend, but the funds just weren't there since my parents divorced and all the money that had been set aside "disappeared".  My father did get a sweet 56 corvette after they divorced though.  (coincidence?)

I started dating my wife when my (step)son was a year old.  She and her first husband were pretty hardcore PSU homers.  The ex even has a gay looking PSU lion tattoo on his shoulder.  I made sure that David was raised properly and he is Michigan all the way.  I converted my wife and it still drives her ex nuts that David loves Michigan.  It was even worse when they were losing to Michigan annually.

It is his dream and my hope that his grades are good enough and I will have the means to send him there in about 5 years.


April 14th, 2011 at 12:55 PM ^

My fandom started from birth. I'm 18 now and have had season tix since i was 5. My aunt was the first all american softball player for Michigan so that's pretty much where my families hardcore tendencies took off. Pretty sure I have taken the hardcore part to the extreme compared to the rest of my family.


April 14th, 2011 at 12:55 PM ^

My fandom started from birth. I'm 18 now and have had season tix since i was 5. My aunt was the first all american softball player for Michigan so that's pretty much where my families hardcore tendencies took off. Pretty sure I have taken the hardcore part to the extreme compared to the rest of my family.


April 14th, 2011 at 12:55 PM ^

I grew up in an igloo in Florida.  Needless to say, my father always had me working on the house "get out there with the dry ice... get on the roof and sweep away the water... get to the store and buy 400 more bags of ice, blah blah blah".  So, I was never allowed to watch UM football on Saturdays because of my chores.

El Jeffe

April 14th, 2011 at 12:59 PM ^

My father played for Bump (during one of the good years) and met my mom at Michigan. My earliest memories of M football are in our awesome suburban Detroit 1960s-era tract house basement rumpus room with orange shag carpet (did I mention it was the 70s?), watching my parents both go apeshit over some Leach/Lytle/Huckleby play. It was at that point that I realized just how important Michigan football was.


April 14th, 2011 at 1:00 PM ^

Both of my parents were born and raised in Ohio, my dad went to OSU for his undergrad and masters so both of them are huge Buckeye fans.  Thankfully, they moved up to Michigan well before I was born so I didn't have to experience the full Buckeye experience.  My three brothers then went to Michigan since it was the best school in the state (and one of the best in the country) and my love for all things Michigan grew as I became more influenced by my siblings and I thankfully have the privilege to attend U of M as well. 


April 14th, 2011 at 1:03 PM ^

My dad use to wear a Michigan sweater when I was a little kid. He told me a couple years ago he use to follow the Wolverines during the Bo-Woody era. One day I saw the Wolverines on tv  and decided to watch the game because of that sweater. Over time I watched more and more games and now I love the Maize & Blue. 


April 14th, 2011 at 1:05 PM ^

I grew up rooting for the maize and blue. My maternal grandfather was a student at UofM in the early 40's until he was drafted to go fight in WW2. He lost his eye building airplanes and never saw action but when he came back he never went back. He still loved UofM and every occasion that a gift was given we always received a UofM book, or shirt, or etc. My mom is a huge michigan fan and had me chanting "Oh How I Ohio State" by the age of 4. My first real memory of intense fandom was Timmy's 313 yard day against TSIO. My dad could not care less for sports in general.

Atleast loving Michigan is in my blood somehow though. I do not know what I would do without such a passion for Michigan sports. I would have a lot of extra time I guess....

Blue in Yarmouth

April 14th, 2011 at 1:09 PM ^

I'm from Nova Scotia, Canada and neither of my parents were fans of American college football. My Dad was a sports fan and taught me to play sports growing up, but he was always too much of a work-a-holic to take time off to watch sports on TV. He would watch the occassional game, but very rarely.

My Mother is from Wales so her sports fandom is centered around rugby and the other football. She raised me to have an appreciattion for those sports and of course, to always cheer for Wales.

I don't remember the exact season (it was in the late 80's), but I was in my early teens when we first got cable TV and turned on the TV to find a football game on. The scoreboard said UM v OSU and I didn't even know which was which. What I did know is I LOVED those uniforms and the winged helmet!Ever since I have been a huge UM fan. It started with Moeller and continues today.

I owe my parents more than I could ever explain or repay, but my UM fandom was one thing I forged on my own.

An interesting aside is that only after I gained my love for UM did I find out that my Uncle did his PHD there in the seventies and went to every game while there. He still loves UM and in fact He, myself and my brother are planning to make a trip to see the next UM v OSU game that I think we will actually have a shot at winning...might be this year!

Laser Wolf

April 14th, 2011 at 1:12 PM ^

My grandfather long ago played scout team defensive end for the Ohio State Buckeyes. My Mom graduated from Ohio State. My Dad grew up his entire life in Ohio and is a Buckeyes fan by proxy.

I saw Tim Biakabutuka tearing the Buckeyes a new asshole right in the middle of my formative years and went blue. Broke their damn hearts.


April 14th, 2011 at 1:13 PM ^

Started my own appreciation/love for michigan... once i enrolled.  I grew up an ND fan, with ND family... but pro-sports were more of my passion as a kid.  My how things change..


April 14th, 2011 at 1:15 PM ^

My parents do not care about sports at all. My mom prefers U of M over State because of their colors and my dad is from New York but I  remember him wanting Penn State to win a game  once, whatever. Unfortunately this meant I often had to miss games because my parents would make me do chores/go shopping with them on Saturdays. Not to mention the many times I was grounded for losing my cool during/after a game. They were always telling me "It's just a game." Parents just dont understand.

My Grandpa introduced me to Michigan football during the 97 season. The first memories I have are of Charles Woodson with a rose in his mouth after the ohio state game and then having a party at my Grandpa's house for the championship game. 

Louie C

April 14th, 2011 at 2:38 PM ^

I LOVE that movie. It's gotten to the point to where my wife say's one of two things:

"Oh God, you're watching The Jerk again?" Or "I don't understand why the movie is called The Jerk, and you're not in it." The second one she kids about. I think.


April 14th, 2011 at 1:17 PM ^

Well I lived mainly with my friend, Butthead, since the age of 10.  We had a pretty shitty house and the neighbor was a dick.


April 14th, 2011 at 1:19 PM ^

my grandpa and great grandpa went to U of M, my aunt and uncle have lived in dexter for 20+ years and have had U of M football tickets since I was a young kid, so I grew up a U of M fan.  My dad on the other hand likes to root for any team playing U of M so he always roots for msu, notre dame, and osu when we play them.  what a douche huh?


April 14th, 2011 at 1:24 PM ^

...both of my parents are from Cleveland and are OSU fans, along with most of my family.  I have several who attended OSU, including an uncle who was a cheerleader.  (As I hang my head in sorrow)  there are several pictures of me as a kid with OSU clothing, but that was when I had the intellect of small girbel.  My first game was a Mich-OSU game in Columbus when I was 4 or 5.

I also have a large Irish Catholic side of my family who loved ND.  They are my second favorite team.

Contrary to what my handle implies, I was born in Detroit.  So the pure awesomeness of UofM drew me in when I grew older.  Now, I have 2 degrees from Michigan and I'm the biggest fan on this board (for real).


All Aboard

April 14th, 2011 at 1:24 PM ^

Dad played baseball for a year at Michigan before transferring, Mom is a State grad. Neither of them are too enthusiastic with their fandom, my dad usually just watches UM/MSU games because he's interested, but doesn't seem to get too worked up. He's a Mich fan on the inside. My mom roots for both teams because she's a woman and doesn't really know what to think. I've been a Michigan fan for as long as I can remember, my earliest memories are of Woodson, A Train, Brady, etc.


April 14th, 2011 at 1:25 PM ^

My parents didn't follow football, but my grandma did.  Grandma was so fond of Michigan football that her Oldsmobiles were given the names of players.  I think her favorite car/player was Anthony Carter.  She was the biggest influence for my love of football and Michigan.

Thankfully I spent a lot of time with Grandma at a young age and don't remember a time when I was not rooting for Michigan.


April 14th, 2011 at 1:26 PM ^

The details of my life are quite inconsequential ... Very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low-grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a 15-year-old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize; he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes, he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament ... My childhood was typical: summers in Rangoon ... luge lessons ... In the spring, we'd make meat helmets ... When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds — pretty standard, really. At the age of 12, I received my first scribe. At the age of 14, a Zoroastrian named Vilmer ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum — it's breathtaking ... I suggest you try it.

Chippewa Blue

April 14th, 2011 at 1:26 PM ^

Dad didn't attend school at but was a huge Michigan fan. Mom and sister always rooted for MSU, then the sister attended MSU making that even evident. Was a huge fan since I can remember, which also happens to be when I was five and was the '97 season.


April 14th, 2011 at 1:29 PM ^

I never watched college football growing up.  No one in my family did.  I went to U-M because an introduction to business (Business for Dummies) instructor at  a community college said that if I could get into the B-School, I should.  I went for academics as a transfer student.

Fall 1985.  I bought season football tickets because the application was included in my registration package.  My first game was a victory over Notre Dame.  I could kick myself for having missed Michigan football for the first 22 years of my life.  My parents don't get it, but they love me just the same.