Your favorite Michigan traditions

Submitted by BostonWolverine on September 17th, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Hey everybody.

I work in advertising, and I have a project that I'm kind of trying to shoehorn Michigan football into (because obviously).

As a result, I'm trying to consolidate the whole of Michigan football tradition into one spot. I figured - what better place to source from than the MGoBoard? If you guys feel like helping out by talking about your favorite Michigan traditions, bits of Michigan history, game watching traditions, cheers, etc...that'd be awesome.


Thanks in advance.




Hank Hill

September 17th, 2013 at 1:07 PM ^

Special K, Key plays, and losing on the West Coast.

In all seriousness, Touching the Banner and the legend of Bo are two of the best traditions in all of football.


September 17th, 2013 at 1:14 PM ^

I imagine nobody is better at talking about traditions than Hank Hill.  Hank has had the same haircut for decades - done by the same barber, he is involved in the Vogner Char King sales extravaganzas every year, have had the same seats in his church for years, and sits in the same chair for Dallas Cowboy games.


September 17th, 2013 at 1:09 PM ^

Game day festivities at the stadium as a whole are all the best, but the reality is that we don't get to that many home games I would say that when watching our team on TV, we always have the MMB cd primed and ready to play "Let's go Blue" at full volume. Once our team scores a touchdown, we hit "play" & just go nuts. Think of the rowdy parts of the Harlem Shake, but with lots of yellow pom-poms until the song is over. Kids love it.

Wolverine Devotee

September 17th, 2013 at 1:18 PM ^

Can someone please enlighten me on how the student section toilet paper/marshmallow throwing came about and what it meant (if anything)? Always been curious.

My favorite has to be the banner. Would love to see a picture of the original one which was just a blue bedsheet.

So much so that I made my own banner out of paper and put it above my door and hit before I leave the house for anything. I made mine on MS Paint but am replacing it soon with the authentic MDen fathead version. 


September 17th, 2013 at 2:52 PM ^

But what it meant, after TDs and such people would throw TP down. Mainly because it looked cool.  You can see it a little bit at around the 42 second mark here.


The marshmallows didn't really have any significance.  They were just good projectiles that the student section would throw around at each other, the cameraman stand, whatever. Bad games the marshmallow fight was more entertaining than the contest on the field. The new turf killed that because it kinda melts into it and sticks to shoes and stuff. When it was grass, or even the astroturf no one really cared about with no drainage they didn't bother to stop it. 

Swayze Howell Sheen

September 17th, 2013 at 1:22 PM ^

The first game of the season in the chill but pleasant Autumn air.

The PA announcer saying "Band, take the field!"

The initial sounds of the band marching into place.

Those first few notes of the Victors in slo-mo.

The music ramping up into that cool descending part before the Hailing begins.

The first time the crowd all Hails together.

The team running onto the field under the banner.

One time, a man who was told he would never walk again doing the same.

Small talk with people you only see at the game, 6 or 7 times a year.

Yelling like crazy for the offense to score, or the D to get a stop.

Although it's new, the seven-nation army chant.

The last game against OSU in the early Winter, often gray, sometimes snowy.



September 17th, 2013 at 1:25 PM ^

oooh, sorry wrong thread. 

I enjoy that my daughters have grown up loving Michigan.  I would sing HTTV to them every night before bed.  Once we got past the "...concrete heroes..."part, I added the fist pump.  They even count 1 Michigan, 2 Michigan, 3..... instead of saying "1 Mississippi, or 1 one thousand."

They went to the Akron game with me, but before that they were in their gradeschool cheerleading outfits asking for donations.  An elderly lady in an OSU sweatshirt put money in her jar, and immediately, my 10 year old told her "GO BLUE!" (Not really a tradition, and mildly "cool story bro"), but it just happened and seemed like a good spot to post it.



September 17th, 2013 at 1:28 PM ^

I guess this wouldn't be "tradition" but as a youngster I always loved the the dark navy blue jerseys and the bright maize numbers. There was something about the maize numbers on a sunny September Saturday. They seemed to just pop like no other color I had seen. I always loved too how pumped the D got when they would make a play. Always jumping around celebrating like they just won the Super Bowl after a TFL or a sack.

Indiana Blue

September 17th, 2013 at 1:33 PM ^

I have been going to Michigan Stadium since 1960.  Tradition infers longivity ... so for me it is the MMB coming out of the tunnel.  Ha - in the 60's you could actually hear the drumline as they came on the field ... but the entrance of the MMB still gives me goosebumps !

Go Blue!

ND Sux

September 17th, 2013 at 2:09 PM ^

"...thank you for being part of the largest crowd watching a football game anywhere in America today."  (apologies if I got the exact wording wrong)

Love it, and I bet recruits love it too. 


September 17th, 2013 at 3:26 PM ^

Revelli leading the band for  so many years, the drum major getting the crowd nuts by doing the head touch, tilted over backwards, "And I remember across the years Two banners that crowned the crest, When Yale was king of the conquered East, And Michigan ruled the West."                         ^Touching of the banner, of course, the "Family Affair" consisting of the Wisterts, Dufeks, Harbaughs, Woolfolks, Hammersteins, Mallorys, Elliots,and hopefully Wheatleys soon, et. al., Kramer taking over the tradition of supplying the team with apples after practice so it wouldn't die.  Probably longest average tenure of head coaches in major college football, i.e., so few that span so many years.   Don Canham.  All male cheerleaders from the gymnastics team until the 70s just because it was different. The girls were called just that, "Yell girls."  The backward flips after tds off the railing surrounding the statium,, homecomings and old band members and baton twirlers, cheerleaders joining in with the new and, of course, greatest fight song ever, Friday night pep rallies where rolling up the pant legs was mandatory prior to speaking. 'Roll em up, Roll em up," the crowd yells. Having the most universally recognized headgear in all of sports. You can find M gear in any spot on the globe with over 3 people in the town. Just so damn many. These are some of my favorites. 


September 17th, 2013 at 4:48 PM ^

Tailgating in the golf course

The band taking the field

The band playing the victors while marching down the field in a block M

Drum major back bend - touching hat or head to the field

Drum major tossing his baton through the goal post in the pre game

The team running out of the tunnel and touching the banner

Toilet paper from the student section after the first score (please, someone start that up again!)

After a score the cheerleaders doing one back flip for each point Michigan has scored

The announcer thanking the crowd for being part of the largest crowd watching a football game anywhere in America today, and then annoucning the attendance. 

Watching Michigan beating just about every team that comes into the Big House

After the game, spending time reading about the victory in blogs and in the Sunday paper.




September 17th, 2013 at 6:44 PM ^

1) Back in the 1970s/80s, before the stadium renovations, after each score the Michigan cheerleaders would stand on the wall surrounding the field and do backflips, one for each point scored by then in the game. You can imagine the cumulative effect in a game such as 69-0 vs NW. Probably abandoned due to safety concerns.

2) Cheerleaders used to grab the opposing team's mascot, spread its legs, and run the mascot's crotch into the goal post.


September 17th, 2013 at 6:46 PM ^

It's awesome to see so many people walking down Hoover before a game. The drum major is also one of my favorite traditions. But it's seeing the players run and touch the banner that is unparalled. 


September 20th, 2013 at 10:36 AM ^

The Band's March from Revelli. Starts half hour before kickoff so unfortunately it's diminished a bit now that the students are herded into the stadium earlier.

Wave variations -- sped up, super slow, both directions, etc.

Fruit-/Poop-Flavored Whistle! -- How we describe chinzy and non-calls by the officials

Hail to the Victors in the Stands -- The band goes around different sections and lights you up

Cowbell cheer -- Still very organic as fans of every section bring cowbells on their own to make this happen.

The Game -- Noon kickoff.