Published October 16, 2003
With 110,000-plus capacity, the Big House has the potential to
be a very intimidating place for visiting teams to play. But right
now, the noise level leaves much to be desired. But that is going
to change. Michigan fans have to believe that by doing their part,
they can have an impact in the outcome of the game. Follow these
simple steps to unleash that crazy Michigan fan that lies within
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Step 1. Become the 12th man!
You're a Michigan fan. Think about that
for a second. You're very privileged in comparison to the rest of
the nation, and yet you don't seem to care as a majority. You come
out to every game expecting to be entertained with a victory and
nothing short of it - which is fine. But did you ever consider that
you could win the game? No, we're not trying to sound corny like
certain Coca-cola commercials starring Michael Vick.
You can win a game. We've seen it. Autzen Stadium, for example.
Oregon sure as heck didn't beat Michigan - did you see the Ducks
against Arizona State this past weekend?
Fans in Eugene believed that they could will their team on to
victory, and guess what, they did. We're asking you to do the same:
Believe. Believe that you can make a difference as an individual.
Believe that when you are alone cheering, others will join in to
create an environment even louder than Autzen Stadium (imagine
standing next to a 747-jet engine).
Believe that when Michigan is on defense, you can create a noise
so loud that it forces multiple timeouts, false starts or delay of
games. Just believe that when you step into the Big House, you are
the one difference-maker. Not Marlin Jackson, not Steve Breaston,
not Lloyd Carr. You and you alone must win this game. You must take
on that responsibility of putting all of your emotion into the game
- to the point where you actually need halftime to rest and to
where 10-degree weather can't cool you down at all. You must treat
each game like you are protecting your house with your voice.
Step 2. Every play is a key
Stop it with the keys
already! It's a nice tradition when used properly, but it - along
with the claw (formerly the chop) - has become more routine than
something that has been thought out during the action. Most
noticeably on fourth down (you know, that play after you go crazy
with keys and claw) you seem to forget that other teams will run a
play that isn't a punt. Unfortunately you are caught up in this
concept that just third down is a "key play." EVERY PLAY IS A KEY
PLAY! Teams can score on first and second down, too. What this
means for you is that you need to make every play - especially when
the Wolverines are on defense - as if it were to decide the game,
mainly because it could.
You might be asking yourself, "What are the best
ways to make every play seem like the last play?" Well, this is why
we're here. First of all, jump up and down. We're not talking big
jumps, but keep your body moving (try lifting your heels rapidly
while keeping your toes on the bench). Secondly, eyes are to be on
the field at all times. No cell phones (call people at halftime),
no second-hand discussions about the post-game party ... just
football, baby. Third, what happens in the past is the past. Just
because Michigan gives up a touchdown does not mean you have to
give up your volume level. Until all plays have been run, you are
focused on the game.
Finally, just be loud. Be loud until you lose
your voice - only to get it back for the next game. Just go insane
with your friends the same way you've been going nuts for the
Chicago Cubs. Don't let up. Don't ever let up.
Step 3. Come to cheer for 60
This rule may not seem that
important, and it can be the hardest to follow, especially in a
blowout. But still, it can make a big difference. The only thing
better than a packed Michigan Stadium for kickoff is a packed
Michigan Stadium at the end of the fourth quarter.
Look at it this way. Even when the Wolverines are
leading by 30-plus going into the fourth quarter, they have to play
until the end of the game. There is no special rule saying players
can leave the game early if they're winning by a ton. So fans
should take this mentality to heart and really look at themselves
as a member of the team.
And if the Wolverines are down, you never know
what can happen. Leave early, and you could be missing the greatest
comeback in Michigan history. Just ask those fans who turned off
this past wekeend's game against Minnesota at the end of the third
Step 4. Set an example for Michigan