Mary Pinter, LSA junior … I hear you. In yesterday’s paper, Pinter’s letter to the editor ran. The gist of Pinter’s letter was that she was disgusted. Disgusted with the attitude that Michigan students and alumni are beginning to show in the face of Saturday’s pass-the-Rolaids loss to Oregon.
Pinter begged for the Maize and Blue faithful to rally together, once again pack the Big House and engulf Indiana in a raucous swarm of excitement.
My guess? It’s not going to happen.
I’ve heard the rumblings, too.
People ’round these parts just don’t have much interest in Saturday’s game between Michigan and Indiana at the Big House.
This is my fourth year here, and the same thing happens every time the Wolverines drop a ballgame.
If Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan State, or Ohio State travel to Ann Arbor, the Michigan Stadium crowd gets going. The place is packed (see NCAA record crowd against the Irish), the students are loud and occasionally the alumni will even get into the act.
But, inevitably, there are games like this weekend’s.
As of yesterday, Michigan was a 35-point favorite over the Hoosiers. There’s about as much chance of Indiana hanging in this game as there was the Emmy broadcast last Sunday going an entire segment without a joke about the California gubernatorial race.
And this type of game – be it Indiana, Houston, Central Michigan, etc. – is exactly the type of game that gives the Michigan Stadium crowd its bad name.
I know that there hasn’t been a crowd of less than 100,000 for a game in the Big House since 1975. I know that the crowd was a factor against Notre Dame. I know that when Ohio State comes calling in November, Ann Arbor will be jumping.
I also know that none of that is good enough.
The thing that stands Michigan’s crowds out as a “champagne sipping” group is a game like this one. If everything goes as expected, Michigan will be up by the end of the first quarter, the crowd will be near silent by the second and seats will start emptying out at halftime.
That – and I think Mary Pinter agrees – is unacceptable.
Look, no one’s demanding that every single student go to every single game and stay for every single down.
But it would be nice if people went to Michigan Stadium not to hang out, but to watch football, and if they cheered, regardless of the opponent.
If the alums and students here are serious about erasing the Big House’s reputation of silence, then there’s your mission.
Go ahead, someone pinch me, wake me up.
It’d be great to hear Michigan Stadium erupt all day Saturday. Chances are that it’ll be closer to a three-hour awkward silence.
I didn’t get the opportunity to make the trip to Oregon last week, so I missed out on those festivities.
But Michigan coach Lloyd Carr claims that it’s the loudest stadium he’s ever been in – and I’m pretty sure he’s been in the Big House. I’ve been told by people who did make the trip that it was something you have to see to believe.
I doubt we blew away the Houston fans (if there were any) when they came to Ann Arbor.
The eventual goal has to be for announcers and coaches to talk about having to play in Michigan Stadium like they talk about having to play at Oregon, Ohio State or Tennessee.
A good showing Saturday would be a nice start.
See you there, Mary.
– Chris Burke will be counting on you. He can be reached at email@example.com.