Why this means so much...my fellow Michigan Men

Submitted by MGoPietrowski on November 26th, 2011 at 1:10 AM
My father went to UM. He has seen the Big House plenty of times. As a boy scout from Detroit in the 50s, as a student in the 70s, as a fan in the 80s and the 90s. He raised me to be a wolverine from birth.

Last Thursday I hopped a plane and by Saturday he and I had the privilege of standing in the Big House for a football game, together, for the first time. It only took 25 years. As the stadium filled out and the Maize and Blue took the field, he looks at me with a smile and said,

"I'm sorry I got you involved in all of this."

Fellas (and the ladies out there)... This is truly a special thing we serve. Ive never felt this way or realized it like I do until this very evening. Sure, there are Seminole fans, and Cheeseheads, and Wing Nuts and all of those things in the wonderful world of sports. But we are Michigan Men. It means so much more to me than any other of my favorite teams, or any of anybody else's. Living in Evansville Indiana, people see my hat and my shirt and think I like Michigan Football the way they like IU basketball, or the Cardinals. They don't even get it. They never will.

Tomorrow, my most favorite class of seniors, ever, will touch the banner for the last time. Well have another chance at handing the Buckeyes a loss. The buckeyes. Evil, personified.

And as my father, I and my best friend settle in to an 18 pack of Busch Light, and some doctored up turkey sandwiches, there will be no one else in our city that knows what this game means, what a win means, nor what it means every time I pull a Michigan shirt over my head or toss a UM hat on, but there's at least 100,000+ of you out there somewhere. And most importantly, 22+ young men take the field tomorrow, some of them having given all their blood sweat and whatever other cliche you can think to serve us, and this school, and what it means to be Michigan Men.

I have never regretted following my fathers foot steps. I understand now, he knew exactly what he was doing, "getting me involved in all of this."



November 26th, 2011 at 1:23 AM ^

...was The Game in '89, Bo's last.  The first game I scored tix for my dad as a student was the 1995 edition where Biakabutuka went nuts.  I'll never forget those memories now that my father is gone and I'm honoring what would have been his 69th birthday this weekend.

Have a blast this weekend!


November 26th, 2011 at 1:23 AM ^

Those 100 thousand plus who will have the honor of attending this game. This is for molk, rvb, martin, hemingway, woolfolk, and all the seniors. I love them all. This game is for them. I think I might fight off a tear or two when they raise up to touch that banner for the final time as players. They stayed when others were too weak to make it. 3 coaches. These are Michigan men


November 26th, 2011 at 1:23 AM ^

I have other teams I root for, but Michigan is much more than that. I think you mentioned the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the way Michigan Men feel about their team. I never attended the  University of Michigan, so I can't really call myself a true Michigan Man. But I do have a deep love for all things Michigan. I live in ohio, so I get to go to war each and everyday defending and representing what I love in sports. 


November 26th, 2011 at 1:28 AM ^

I think a Michigan degree on the wall is a dream for alot of us. It didn't happen for me. When I meet someone who graduated from UM I am instantly envious. However, if you embody what this whole thing means, I consider you a Michigan Man. As I said as much as that piece of paper would mean on my wall ( a shitfuckton) I dont think it's essential to the things and ideals BO spoke of.

Brown Bear

November 26th, 2011 at 7:09 AM ^

....right outside Chicago(Novak, Mcgary, GRIII country). I became a Michigan fan when I was 11 years old, primarily due to my dislike of notre dame and Jerome Bettis. The runs of Ricky Powers and Wheatley, great catches by Howard and Mercury Hayes, a qb named Elvis. All things that mesmerized me as a kid. These guys were different then the other guys.....special and molded by devotion. I never realized my dream to attend the greatest university on the planet as a student(grades not being good enough for a scholarship nor my parents being able to afford out of state tuition) but my passion for MICHIGAN is like no other. There are notre dame, Bears, Cubs, sox, Indiana, purdue and so on fans around here a plenty but none of them "get it" when it comes to truly supporting and being passionate about an institution/team. I am a Michigan man to the fullest I can be. I turned my younger brother, cousin and best friends son into passionate Michigan fans because the greatness that is Michigan needs to be passed on and I hope to one day when I have a child to do so. One of the best days in my life was when I took my cousin on his first road trip when he was 13 to his first game at the Big House. To see his joy at the game made me realize how special it is to be a fan of MICHIGAN. He goes to school at Marquette now but watches every game and texts me and makes me proud to have brought him to the good side. His dream is to eventually go to UM law school and if he does I will be like a proud papa. I know....cool story bro.
<br>BEAT ohio!


November 26th, 2011 at 1:24 AM ^

So much because I grew up in Youngstown and tressel is God there. I care do much because super Mario was a teammate. I care so much because clarrett was a teammate. I care so much because it's Michigan fergodsake! #gbod

Mark G

November 26th, 2011 at 2:36 AM ^

Among many other landmarks this year, my 12 year old son has gone "all in" this year. And I'm glad.

I'm proud to tell the stories from the past. My first game in '72 with my Dad. Seeing Dennis Franklin and Ed Shuttlesworth mismantle Minnesota 42-0. Watching Leach and Lytle run the option. And so on.... And I'm proud to think of the future we have with Coach Hoke and the standard set by the seniors of Team 132.

And I'm honored to share this with all you Michigan Men. I was lucky enough to attend and graduate. But "all in" also means anyone who wants to be in is welcomed. It's the spirit, the values, the passion, the hard work and the commitment that make us all Michigan Men.

Go Blue. And Beat Ohio. Now. Right now.


November 26th, 2011 at 3:10 AM ^

Some are Michigan men by birth, some by graduation, and some by the grace of God.  Brady Hoke never graduated from Michigan either, yet he's a Michigan man. Go Blue! Beat Ohio!


November 26th, 2011 at 4:16 AM ^


I'll be waking up at 1am Korean time.  Wake my son up at 1:45am.  He's 10 and doesn't remember watching Michigan beat Ohio.  We have our jersey's laid out and ready to wear.  Dr. Pepper for him, Beer for me, and nacho dip chillin in the fridge.

It's father-son time and it'll last our entire life together.  And I'm certain, without a doubt, that he'll share these same moments with his children, too.

We live in Korea and he goes to an international school.  For "International Day" when people dress in their native costume, can you guess what he wore to school?  Michigan uniform with a Michigan helmet (signed by Jamie Morris and Jake Long).  The boy does me proudl.

But that's the thing.  He does me proud, b/c I did my father proud - b/c my father shared that time with me first.  So many Saturdays as a kid I watched this game with my dad.  Then we'd go to the park - me wearing my Anthony Carter #1 jersey - and play more football.

It's Michigan fergodsakes. 


November 26th, 2011 at 6:49 AM ^

I went to college out of state, followed my girlfriend foolishly to Louisiana, left the country to work in the middle east.
<br>I have now returned to Ann Arbor where I was raised, and have been able to return to the games I used to never miss. 95 Biakabatuka, 97 Woodson, and 03 Perry..
<br>I am so blessed to have been raised a Michigan fan by my father and mother, both alums. With my fathers health, I don't think I'll have many more opportunities to go to games with him. He was tearing up after the Notre Dame game, and later told my mom it was because he was so happy we could share that memory.
<br>Michigan, please give me another memory to share with him.


November 26th, 2011 at 7:12 AM ^

a sparty sister (older) was difficult.  My Michigan Man dad and mom divorced so my sister tried to brain wash me by taking me to see Magic in 1979.  I was awe-struck by Magic, who had a class with my sister and introduced him to me. 

I never waivered and when I shook his hand, I said "Go Blue".   My sister was pissed.  She got over it.  We never speak of it.  Now that I am a graduate student at M, she has the sparty complex, bigtime.  I tell my sister the M has only 1 rivalry,  exactly 1.

Then I took a job with a company in Findlay Ohio.  During hate week in 1998, I was traveling to HQ when I was pulled over by ohio's finest.  My car was decked out in M gear and the trooper was just f*cking with me.  He gave me a "safety inspection" and held me up for 30 minutes.  When he walked away he smiled and said, "go bucks".  @sshole.

All I can say is that "Its great, to be, a Michigan Wolverine"

Go Blue, Beat Ohio.


True Blue Grit

November 26th, 2011 at 8:36 AM ^

the 10 Year War in the 1970's.  Every Michigan-OSU game day, we'd get the Detroit Free Press (back when it was a good newspaper) in the morning and there'd be a funny cartoon on the front page of the sports section showing Bo and Woody.  Even though my Dad grew up in Ohio and was a "Closet Buckeye" he never pushed his interest in TSIO on my brothers or me.  My favorite game of all (as you can probably tell) is the 1978 game when Michigan went down to Columbus and shut out the Bucknuts 22-0.  I'd have loved to see their fans marching out of the Snakepit in stunned silence that day!

After living away from Ann Arbor for years (save for a short stint for grad school when I was blessed to witness the famed Harbaugh to Kolesar bomb against OSU) we're now blessed to be able to live in Ann Arbor again.  My 2 daughters are U-M students and we have season tickets.  So, I'll be marching down to The Game today anxious to see us regain our position in the rivalry and send TSIO slinking back to Columbus.  Despite all the years watching this game, I still get butterflies and really worked up.  But all that goes away when the ball is kicked off.

Don't ever give up.  Don't ever let up.  And don't ever shut up.  Keep the Big House loud and proud past the last second of the game and beyond.  Go Blue and Beat Ohio!


November 26th, 2011 at 9:10 AM ^

I also cut my teeth on the 10-year war. I've seen every UM-OSU game since 1974 and Mike Lantry's near-miss. Who can forget the epic moments over the years? 22-0 in 1976, all on the ground; John Kolesar in 1986; Touchdown Tim; Charles Woodson.
<br>I had the privilege of following my brother to UM as a student in the 80s - was the only school to which I applied, in no small part because of my love for Michigan football. Got two degrees, as did my wife whom I met in Ann Arbor (though she doesn't really care about football, only to the extent it affects my mood).
<br>Go Blue!

U Fer M

November 26th, 2011 at 10:48 AM ^

I can relate, growing up in A2, grandfather was faculty, went to the games as a kid 70's and 80's, back when you could walk up to the window and get student tickets, or if grandpa didn't want to go, I'd use his tickets on the 35. Though the faculty section was way too boring for me.

First game I remember, was the '73 OSU game, the other memory was the '79 Indiana game, sat in the endzone where AC scored the game winning TD. No matter where I live or how long I've been away, there is nothing like Michigan football.


November 26th, 2011 at 11:43 AM ^

It's been seven long years.  It's been especially bad here in Columbus.  It's pretty much a truism that Michigan is the better university, with better fans and better men of character in the maize and blue, but that carries pretty much zero weight in an arguement and I know it.

It's time to beat Ohio on the only place where it's relevant and on the only place it really cares about - the gridiron.  After seeing what team 132 has been through the last several years, this is bar none my favorite group of guys to ever wear the maize and blue, win or lo...  F. it.  We're not losing this game.  

Go Blue!