Sure, Michigan Stadium could be louder. But anyone who sees
110,000 people preoccupied with cheering on the wave and thinks
Wolverine fans aren’t passionate has never been to Yost Ice
If you’ve never made it down to Yost, then you’ve never seen the
boisterous, non-stop support from students, alumni and others that
Michigan coach Red Berenson believes gives the Wolverines a
one-goal edge every home game.
You missed the NCAA Regionals at Yost the last two years, when
the Wolverines weren’t the favorites, but used the home-ice
advantage to pull off upsets and make it to the Frozen Four.
You didn’t see the fans explode with joy when Brandon Kaleniecki
and Jeff Tambellini scored game-winning goals this past Friday and
And you’ve also never seen the student section taunt an opposing
player who commits a penalty with a string of obscenities.
Before Friday’s game against Quinnipiac, Berenson walked onto
the ice with his five-year-old grandson and asked the students to
stop using profanity in chants.
Initially during Friday’s game, the “C-ya” chant was somewhat
subdued and followed by scattered boos.
But by Saturday, the message was long forgotten, and the
students were as loud as ever.
“I think Michigan hockey is known for its fans and its rowdy
crowd,” LSA junior Rob Stefan said. “I understand why he said it,
but I think it’s a shame we can’t cheer the way we want to. I’d
hate for this tradition to go.”
While it appears most students won’t hesitate to continue with
the chant, some understand why it should be stopped.
“I’m going to go ahead and respect his request,” LSA junior Ryan
Bates said. “I remember when I was younger, I felt uncomfortable
with older people saying inappropriate things.
“The atmosphere can still be here without that chant – one less
won’t really hurt anything.”
Berenson first made an effort to stop the chant before the
season when students were invited to pick up their tickets and
watch practice at Yost.
Last Thursday, an e-mail was sent to student season ticket
holders that said the cheer “belies the honor and tradition
Michigan seeks to represent at all of its events. The vulgarity of
the add-on detracts from the excitement of the competition, offends
the overwhelming majority of the fans in attendance and adds
nothing of value to the experience of Michigan Hockey.”
“I think it will go away,” Berenson said. “I think the message
is there, and I think there’s a lot more people obviously that are
offended by it.
“Let’s face it – the kids here are having fun, and they’re
trying to support the team. But they know they’re not going to get
away with it. We’re not going to tolerate it.”
Besides angering people, overzealous Wolverine fans have also
hurt Michigan in the pocketbook in the past. The NCAA fined
Michigan $10,000 for crowd-control issues during the 2002 Regional