Some of my favorite pictures from November:
It was a dark and stormy night…..
No, seriously, it was. My dad worked for Manufacturers Bank and then Comerica in a role where he sold banking services to other smaller banks across Michigan. Each June, all the bankers in Michigan gathered at the Grand Hotel for the two-day Michigan Banker’s Association convention, and my dad was usually responsible for handling Manufacturers presentation at the show. This included booths between sessions, and hosting hospitality suites (yes, there were lots of red-cheeked couples whenever I was allowed to sneak in) at night for things like magicians and handwriting analysts or other crazy entertainment.
With the intent of shooting more pictures, I sold our normal seats on StubHub and bought some Row 1 tickets on eBay for the Michigan-Indiana game, completely forgetting the fact that Rows A & B are ahead of Row 1. Thanks to the hail and chilling rain, that didn’t turn out to be a huge problem, as there was nobody in the 8 Row A seats in front of us the entire game, and the Row B seats in front of us were empty most of the second half as well. I picked corner of the south end zone to make sure we wouldn’t be behind the uprights or the field goal nets, and the location turned out to be great, except for the cold rain blowing in our faces during the first quarter.
My first time taking a camera to a Michigan game
We had a nice day for football, and I was joined by lead guitarist and strategist Andrew. For the first time in my 30+ years attending Michigan games, I brought a camera. It will not be the last. I brought just one lens, my Canon 70-300m F4-5.6L, which worked out quite well for shooting from the ninth row. I had a friendly drunken girl falling onto me much of the first half, but it was nothing like the obnoxious drunk guy who was falling on us the entire Notre Dame game a few weeks back.
Rachel and I attended the Michigan-Michigan State game this past weekend, which ended correctly for the first time in four years or so. It was a great day for a game, despite the promised rain and cold, neither of which showed up during the game. We had an excellent time, except for the lady sitting in front of us, who kept sitting while everyone else is standing (no problem there), but sat far back on the bench seat (again, no problem) and continually leaned back (now we’re starting to have a problem), using my groin as a seatback. I tried standing sort of sideways, but there wasn’t room for that. I resorted to digging my calves into our bench and leaning way back – first time I’ve had to protect my package at Michigan game, lol.
Kicking things off with Corso (“ahh, fuck it”):
I can’t decide which is funnier: Fowler’s shock and disappointment or Herbsteit’s little boy giggling. I’ve watched this clip at least 25 times trying to figure out, and now my stomach hurts. Thanks Coach!
Michigan Stadium Card Stunt
We arrived to our seats yesterday to find colored paper ‘cards’ wrapped in plastic, taped to the bleachers with two pieces of wide blue painter’s tape per sign, one sign per seat. So much for “Don’t trash The Big House” and all the green efforts they’ve made over the last few years; the stadium was a total pit as we left yesterday.
I joked to someone about ten years ago that Michigan football was my religion, but now I wonder how much I was joking. There are many parallels between the fervor of sports fandom and organized religion. We use both religion and sports as excuses to do stupid things, get in arguments, and celebrate shared experiences with our fellow devotees. We act one way six days of the week, and then become different people when we attend on the weekend.
Faith, Hope and Love
The basis of any entity-follower relationship is adoration (love) that the follower feels for the entity. Churchgoers love their God, and football fans love their football team. Think that religious adoration is stronger than the love of a football fan? My Saturday experiences might argue otherwise.
I’ve been going to Michigan nearly my whole life, certainly as far back as I can remember. I’ve seen many great games, even though several of the great games ended up in Michigan losses: #1 Notre Dame 1989, #1 Miami 1988, #1 Florida State 1990, #7 Colorado 1994, and the list goes on. I’ve been at some great wins, too: Notre Dame 2011, the Virginia comeback game, blanking Ohio State 28-0, too many others to count. In other words, I’ve been a Michigan fan all my life, and I’ve been to many games at the Big House. Which brings me to my point.
For about twenty years now, I’ve been saying that my favorite moment each year is the moment I emerge from the tunnel in Section 3 at Michigan Stadium and see the green of the field(turf) for the first time. When you come through the relative darkness of the tunnel, the saturated colors of the end zones and player uniforms almost hurt your eyes, but it’s impossible to look away – it’s quite nearly breathtaking for the passionate football fan.