“The Big House is too quiet. Our past football dominance has replaced our enthusiasm and pride with expectation. Out football team’s success is suffering from the unenthusiastic cheering.”
These remarks are taken from a letter sent to University students from Michigan Marching Band Drum Major Matt Cavanaugh, who is encouraging the student section to cheer in the upcoming Penn State game tomorrow as fervently as in the last-minute field goal win over Washington on Saturday, Aug. 31.
“Believe in this team. Look at the game quarter by quarter, minute by minute,” Cavanaugh said. “The spirit we’re trying to get out is contagious.”
This weekend marks the first Fall study break in the University’s history, and many students will not be attending the game because they can take a trip home or a vacation during the four-day weekend ahead. Combating this possible loss of fan support and spirit, the marching band, cheerleaders and dance team will practice together for the first time in preparation for tomorrow’s game.
“The students’ getting involved and cheering will get others involved as well as the other people who are just buying tickets to go to the game,” he said.
One of the complaints found in Cavanaugh’s letter concerns the fan’s booing heard during recent games.
“Remember that everyone out there is a student here. At Michigan we don’t boo our fellow students. I’ve talked with students who say ‘we’re not booing a player but a play,’ and I respond that that’s not how it’s taken,” he said.
Other members of the marching band consider the Michigan fan’s noise to be a fraction of the noise at other schools.
“The fans need to get up,” said Rob Farley, a Music sophomore and tuba player. Notre Dame “had 30,000 fewer fans and were eight times louder than us. If the rest of the fans can get up the way we can, then we will be where we want to.”
Students who consider themselves active fans agree with Cavanaugh’s accusations about the student cheering problem, but they also believe that all the other sections are too quiet as well.
“I’ve heard our crowd been called a ‘symphony crowd’ – we all stand up, clap and sit down,” LSA junior Peter Gudritz said. “If you watch Miami’s games, or Florida’s games or Tennessee’s, their fans are all going nuts.”
Saying that the student section support is “decent,” Gudritz attributed the lack of cheering and fan support as a problem in “the rest of the stadium.”
Shant Norsigian, an LSA junior, said that the fan support problem lies in the lacking alumni support.
” … You see the alumni, and they are sitting down and watching the game with a monocle,” Norsigian said.
Students attending the first 3:30 p.m. game of the season will have an extra amount of time to prepare for the game by grilling or barbequing. The game against Penn State will mark the sixth game for the Wolverines, who are 4-1 this season.