What is your favorite Michigan sporting moment?

Submitted by Craze for Maize on February 16th, 2013 at 6:40 PM

On a painfully slow day on the blog, I thought I'd try to generate some discussion.


For me, I'd have to say the Under the Lights Game, but the Ohio basketball game from last year is close.



February 16th, 2013 at 7:24 PM ^

That one is tied for second for me with the 1993 Final Four game against Kentucky.   That was the finest game the Fab Five ever played IMO and they were up against a Kentucky team that was slaughtering anyone and anything they played until that night.

Braylonfest was amazing cause it was the first time (and i'm 53) I heard the big house get loud....REALLY loud....and it was so surprising given we were all but dead with 6 minutes to play down 27-10.

Fun memories.


February 16th, 2013 at 8:27 PM ^

I can definitely vouch for the loudness.  After one of Braylon's touchdowns it went from dead to loud so fast I got a ringing in my ear for a few seconds.  Not even exaggerating.  It was like the whole place held its collective breath while the ball was in the air, held it even more to see if it was actually a catch, and exploded at the touchdown signal.  The only time I've ever heard anything like it was at the Joe for JoeVision during the Cup finals in 2002.  It was triple OT or something and getting pretty late so the crowd was like blaaaaaaaaah until the Wings scored and made it sound like a bomb went off.  That's what the Big House was like, at least as my memory recalls it.

Darth Wolverine

February 16th, 2013 at 7:19 PM ^

First thing that came to mind is the 2004 MSU/M game where Braylon went Braylon on dat Sparty ass. I was visiting a friend at Ohio University in Athens that weekend, which happened to be Halloween weekend. GOD DAMN that turned out to be a great night.

Cheesecake Wizard

February 16th, 2013 at 7:19 PM ^

I know I'm the third person who said it.  Had front row seats in the endzone exactly where Manningham caught the ball. Still remember it in perfect details.  Remember specifically seeing the dimples on the ball spinning into his gloves.

I was at UTL and Ohio in 11, ND in 09, and Wisconsin in 08, but for me Henne to Manningham still trumps everything.

Bill in Birmingham

February 16th, 2013 at 7:20 PM ^

  1. The 1998 Rose Bowl-I could die happy after that
  2. Wangler to Carter on the last play-I hugged people I didn't even like in the stadium that day
  3. The 1981 Rose Bowl-Bo's first that he won (my senior year)


February 16th, 2013 at 7:21 PM ^

I was in the corner endzone for UTL, and it was just an awesome experience.  Henne to Manningham was probably the loudest I ever heard Michigan Stadium prior to the renovations.  UTL was a great experience, and probably wins out.

M Fanfare

February 16th, 2013 at 7:25 PM ^

All of mine would have to be things I witnessed in person. '12 Sugar Bowl, UTL, '07 Henne-to-Manningham in East Lansing, 2010 Illinois 3OT game, 2009 Forcier-to-Mathews vs. ND, 2007 ripping ND 38-0 after a terrible 0-2 start, Big Chill, Hunwick's miracle run through the 2009 CCHA Tournament, being in Crisler for the 2008 NCAA Tournament Selection Show, 2008 Cap One Bowl vs. Tebow/Meyer/Florida.


February 16th, 2013 at 7:31 PM ^


In The End, Kolesar Was Wolverines' Saving Grace

By Mitch Albom

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The ball was coming down from the sky, there were two men around him, the angry crowd roaring like death, he was on the goal line, he bent his legs and he leapt in the air and all he could think of was . . . practice.

"A drill," wide receiver John Kolesar would say later, after he made a spectacular jump-ball catch in the end zone to give the Wolverines the final edge, 34-31, in the most exciting Michigan-Ohio State game to never really matter. "We do this drill in practice all the time, throwing the ball up between two men and trying to catch it. I was just thinking of that, really."


February 16th, 2013 at 7:32 PM ^

Lots to choose from - great topic. January 1st 1998 at the Rose Bowl. We had split tix - 2 and 2, but I could see mom and dad from my seats. Never saw my dad any happier (RIP pops). The hug in the crammed tunnel walking out will be with me forever.


February 16th, 2013 at 7:34 PM ^

1997 OSU game and rushing the field was awesome...

1998 hockey championship came on the same day as hash bash and a ton of us went and partied down on state street...

2001 I was at the horseshoe the last time we won there and that was awesome...


Ps.  you didn't ask but the worst ever was driving to buffalo for the frozen four only to lose in overtime to minnesota... worst ride home ever  (worse than coming back from purdue when we were up 28-10 at the half, or losing to minnesota the year before in frozen four in minny, or getting spanked at notre dame in 1998)... yeah my trips weren't always success.


Wolverine Devotee

February 16th, 2013 at 7:35 PM ^

Little hard to say overall. So I'll go by sport-

  • Football- Michigan winning the 1998 Rose Bowl & winning their first National Championship in 49 years.
  • Men's Basketball- B1G Championship last year after years and years of frustration and struggling in the dark period.
  • Women's Basketball- Today, breaking the streak against state.
  • Hockey- 2010 CCHA Playoff Championship where Michigan finished 7th in the regular season, had to win the playoff to keep the tournament streak alive with an unknown goalie by the name of Shawn Hunwick.
  • Baseball- "The Comeback". 5/16/2010. Michigan was down 14-0 on Senior Day to northwestern. Michigan stormed back and won 15-14. 
  • Lacrosse- First win in program history against mercer last year.
  • Softball- Walk-off homer to win the 2005 National Championship

Wenham Wolverine

February 16th, 2013 at 7:41 PM ^


mainly because I called the route and that Manningham would be the one to get it, which blew my smarmy teenage brain when it actually happened.

CSB, I know.


February 16th, 2013 at 7:46 PM ^

I'd probably go with the end of the Rose Bowl 97 or Howard's catch in 91. 

Shocked at how few people mentioned Rumeal's free throws/Rice's insane tournament performances to win us a national championship in favor of regular season football games like MSU 04 or PSU 05. But maybe the board demographic is a little young and football focused for that. 

Agree with whoever said 1993 Kentucky. Great game and the highest caliber college basketball game that I've seen in person or that Michigan has played in in the last 30 years IMO. 


February 16th, 2013 at 7:52 PM ^

Michigan 80, Seton Hall 79 - first OT national championship game in 26 years, Rumeal Robinson hits both free throws in the Seattle KingDome to win it.  

Robinson to Roundrtee to win UTL a very close second - the view from Secion 6 row 35 was spectacular we saw it all and erupted in true joy.  


August West

February 16th, 2013 at 7:56 PM ^

For me, it was the 47-21 win at Notre Dame in 2006.  Such a huge win that almost nobody saw coming, and I had the joy of witnessing it in person.

Why is this off topic?  I'm pretty sure Michigan sports is the core topic of Mgoblog.


February 16th, 2013 at 7:59 PM ^

1977  Michigan beats # 1 Marquette 69-68 at Crisler.  Crisler was rocking and our point guard Ricky Green was limping around with a leg injury.  That Marquette team went on to win the National Title.  


1969 Michigan beats OSU in Bo's first year

2nd Braylon Fest



February 16th, 2013 at 8:00 PM ^

1974 -- I forget which game, I'm ashamed to admit -- the first time I walked up the hill and into MIchigan Stadium.  The moment my eyes beheld the expanse of that "hole that Yost dug, Crisler paid for, Canham carpeted and Schembechler fills up every Saturday" I knew I would forever be a Michigan football fan.


February 16th, 2013 at 8:01 PM ^

pure, only-happens-to-other-fanbases I gotta go UTL. Close second was Tate to Matthews with zit pickin hot chick.

Again, mainly because that kind of shit usually eludes us. Seems for the past decade UM is the team giving other teams those moments.

I expected to beat osu in 97, beat wazzou in that season's Rose bowl, and win it in '89. Disclaimer for '89: once we actually made the NC game I expected to win it, that is.

Send Brain Donor

February 16th, 2013 at 8:10 PM ^

Favorite live: my first game in person was the 1995 season opener against Virginia; Dreisbach to Hayes last second touchdown to complete the comeback victory.  Favorites overall are the 96 and 98 hockey championships.


February 16th, 2013 at 8:12 PM ^

My son and I flew in from Atlanta to see the M -Penn St game. On our way from Flint to AA we heard about the M-Boston College hockey game.

Our first time at Yost!! Great finish to the football game!

One of my best Michigan memories ever!!


February 16th, 2013 at 8:17 PM ^

I'm not sure how 90% of the responses aren't 1997. That's easily the best for me even witnessing all of it on tv as a high schooler. I don't think anything even comes close.


February 16th, 2013 at 8:21 PM ^

Although it didn't have the same exhilaration as UTL or the '11 OSU games, I will never forget the  Capital One Bowl my freshman year. Although not the most prestigious bowl, to see that Michigan team, which had underperformed all year, dismantle Florida (a team I've always hated) and Tebow, immediately after he had won the Heisman, will always stick with me. That may be due in part to the fact that it was the only game I got to experience as a student where the team lived up to the expectations I had when I decided to go to Michigan. Since that game, although there have been many fun and great performances, there has not been another team that was capable of so thoroughly beating a good SEC team, like that Florida team. Hopefully that will change in the coming years.


February 16th, 2013 at 8:28 PM ^

and there are a number of them i was blessed to attend.   three in particular that have not been mentioned (or not much) that were just out of this world were

- 1989 final four- beating Ill in double OT
- 1989 final four - beating seton hall in OT
- 2010 football - beating Ill in 3/OT in Ann Arbor


February 16th, 2013 at 11:04 PM ^

Mine would definitely be being at the Under the Lights game. Spent an awesome day in Ann Arbor followed by the best game I've ever seen in person.

A close second would be the Big Chill. That was the coolest thing I've ever seen and I got to skate on the ice in the Big House the next day, which was amazing.


February 16th, 2013 at 8:34 PM ^

Rushing the field against Ohio 2 years ago was awesome. Probably the only chance to ever do that in my life. I also got to hi-5 Timmy Hardaway jr when we were on the field.

Also saw Mallet beat Penn State for the ninth staright time and the crowd starting chanting 9 in the final minutes.

gustave ferbert

February 16th, 2013 at 8:44 PM ^


bum calf, made OSU look stupid, Eddie George crying his eyes out outside of the big house knowing his heisman trophy season was tarnished.  Hubris of John Cooper "he's good but not that good." 

My senior year. Priceless.

Section 1

February 16th, 2013 at 9:56 PM ^

Against Wisconsin.  1968.  The great Bump Elliott's last great win in Michigan Stadium.  A record-setting, unbelievable performance by Ron Johnson.  And the program for that day, of which I still have a copy, quite appropriately featured Johnson, and the great modern runner, Harmon. 

I was just a little kid, and I might not have gotten to go to the game if it had been an MSU or OSU game.  Sat in Section 2, behind Willis Ward.  And there was no tv, and the weather was atrocious (rain, snow, sleet all in one day) and there weren't that many people there.  I felt like I was a part of history that I would have to be a personal witness for.  Because so few other people were personal witnesses.

Ron Johnson was magnificent.  Just the most polished runner I have ever personally seen in the winged helmet.  Like Gayle Sayers.  With Tom Harmon on the cover of the game-day program, I remember thinking, "this is our Tom Harmon..." 

Three-hundred and Forty-seven yards.


The 1968 team record.  (Note particularly the rankings, and the attendance figures.  And an away game at Duke!  I had totally forgotten about.)  We were unranked when we knocked off Duffy Daugherty's 12th-ranked Spartans.  And we were ranked 4th by the time we finally went down to Columbus and lost the "Couldn't go for three" game against one of the best teams ever produced in Ohio, the #2 ranked Buckeyes.

1968 Michigan Football



Opponent Rank Date Site Result Attend.
California   -/- 09/21 H L 7-21 71,386
Duke   -/- 09/28 A W 31-10 25,000
Navy   -/- 10/05 H W 32-9 56,501
Michigan State   -/12 10/12 H W 28-14 102,785
Indiana 18/19 10/19 A W 27-22 51,951
Minnesota (HC) 12/- 10/26 H W 33-20 69,384
Northwestern  9/- 11/02 A W 35-0 40,101
Illinois  7/- 11/09 H W 36-0 56,775
Wisconsin  4/- 11/16 H W 34-9 51,117
Ohio State  4/2 11/23 A L 14-50 85,371
Totals 277-155 610,371  


In second place for me for great Michigan athletic thrills, at least at the time, was being in Crisler for the first time that the Fab Five were on the floor at the same time.  Everybody in the Arena knew what it meant.


February 16th, 2013 at 10:07 PM ^

What he said.

Bless Canham, without his promotions, there is no way I would have been there.

Cold - I was a skinny little kid, and we didn't have the foul weather gear that exists today. We ended up huddled together up by the pressbox.

My program got soaked and didn't survive - great to see that you managed to keep yours.

Ron Johnson ran over people, through people and around people in absolutely atrocious conditions.


February 16th, 2013 at 9:08 PM ^

I've appreciated many different games and moments.

But I'll go with the following:

  1. In person:  The AC catch against Indiana. I was a sophomore, and that win was just incredible and improbable. The distance covered and the time left on the clock make that win harder to get than UTL or Mario against PSU.
  2. On TV:  the Rumeal Robinson free throws against Seton Hall, NCAA Championship in 1989 (I was in Korea, and this was a little slice of home.)
  3. Personal:  Playing basketball with Rice in 87, iirc, at the CCRB. I don't know with the new practice facility if basketball players ever rub elbows with mere mortals. But there were several occasions back in the day when I was able to play basketball with guys who were either at Michigan or NBA / CBA guys who were in Ann Arbor for the summer. Those are great Michigan sports moments for me.


February 16th, 2013 at 9:16 PM ^

Multiple. Beating Ohio in AA in 1997 in football, the run for men's hoop in 89, UTL, softball home run for the NC, Woodson's INT vs Sparty, beating Washington on a last second FG (with my son), Woodson's punt return vs Ohio. Too many good moments. Oh I forgot, firing RichRod. Hiring Hoke "... it's Michigan fergodsakes."


February 16th, 2013 at 9:32 PM ^

Everyone's covered the basics (UTL, Ohio State 2011, Penn State, etc), so I'll add my first trip to the Big House - 2002 against Western Michigan.  This was one week after Phillip Brabbs and Washington happened, not that I knew it at the time.  For me, a wide-eyed nine-year-old in a dorkishly big Michigan hat, walking into that gigantic stadium with all those people was just incredible.  Some things you just don't forget.


February 16th, 2013 at 9:37 PM ^

There's lots to choose from: UTL, Braylonfest, but let me throw an obscure one out there: 1989, beating OSU in Bo's last game at Michigan Stadium.


February 16th, 2013 at 9:40 PM ^

I loved the Mercury Hayes TD against Virginia to win the season opener in 94. I was 15 and and it was the most memorable feelng a sporting event has ever given me. Just remembering that whole day puts a smile on my face!