Michigan fans show lack of class at Saturday’s game
To the Daily:
I just returned from what was supposed to be a fun weekend at the University, to watch the Notre Dame vs. Michigan football game. As a 2003 graduate of Notre Dame and an avid college football fan, I’ve visited my share of college football towns to watch the Irish football team. I’ve endured and handed out my share of good-natured harassment and ridicule, sat through my share of humbling games, and seen the “Rudy Sucks” T-shirt at every college town I’ve ever been to. However, nothing that I’ve seen or experienced at any other college could have prepared me for what I would experience this past weekend in Ann Arbor. Being from Michigan, I’ve been surrounded by Michigan football my entire life – the Big Ten titles, the national championship and the victories over the Buckeyes and Spartans. I know Michigan fans don’t like the Fighting Irish, but that’s college football – the rivalries are deep and heated. I’ve experienced it at Nebraska, Michigan State, Florida State and Maryland. Fortunately, I’ve also experienced unknown Michigan State fans inviting me to their tailgates for food and drinks, and Nebraska fans offering an extra rain parka when the weather started getting bad. At Michigan, my experiences were slightly different. I experienced constant taunts, from grown men and students alike, of “Fuck the Irish!” and two different male students getting in my girlfriend’s face because she was wearing a Notre Dame shirt. One group of students tried their hardest to hit my girlfriend with water balloons. I witnessed one classy Michigan student spitting on my brother as he was minding his own business, walking to the game. Hail to the victors. I experienced another Michigan student trying to push my brother to the ground as we were walking to the stadium. Hail to the conquering heroes. Best of all, I witnessed the entire, University student body, in front of 90,000 other Michigan fans and families, chant “Fuck the Irish!” Hail, hail to Michigan, the leaders and the best. I would be the last person to claim that Notre Dame football fans act like saints or treat opposing fans like family. However, I’d be the first person to tell you that I’ve never seen anything quite like this at Notre Dame and hopefully never will. I also realize that not all Michigan fans and students acted in such a way this past weekend. For those who did, it might be time to grow up. I invite all of you to make the trip to Notre Dame next year for the game. If your experience is as disappointing as mine, then let us know. But, if in fact, your experience is somewhat enjoyable, and you get to witness how a group of classy, yet diehard, college football fans and students act during a football weekend, take some tips, and we’ll see you again Sept. 10, 2005.
Alum, University of Notre Dame
Student spirit a nice change from silence of the past
To the Daily:
Michigan Stadium’s fans have historically been dubbed the quietest 110,000 people in the country. Having frequented many football games in my tenure here (some while in the marching band), I have often found this to be the truth. However, this past Saturday was the polar opposite, and I commend the student section for its terrific spirit and intense volume.
First of all, the Maize Out worked spectacularly, and I have had several people tell me that it looked amazing on TV. Someone was definitely onto something when they designed the maize shirts for this year.
Secondly, I applaud the fans’ support of the team, particularly the student section. Every time the defense took the field, the crowd erupted and forced Notre Dame to take timeouts early. Because I am in the drumline, I was wearing earplugs, and several times throughout the game, the volume was almost too much for even me. That enthusiasm fed the players with energy and aided in the rout.
Finally, I would also like to cheer the fact that despite the inevitable outcome of a Michigan victory, nearly the entire student section remained in the stadium to watch the game’s finish. Toward the end of last week’s game against Houston, hardly any seats were filled, but this week, the student section was maize from start to finish. Bravo!
I sincerely hope that this support for our team will remain, in good times and in bad. The path to a national championship happens one game at a time, and we need to help our team achieve the goal that all Maize and Blue faithful desire so dearly. Keep up the good work and Go Blue!
Saturday’s game was great, but Michigan fans should be more respectful in future
To the Daily:
I’d like to congratulate the football team and the students for a great game on Saturday. Both came out with a purpose, and the result was the most dominant performance by a Michigan football team in six years. That was the best home game I have attended since the 800th win versus Wisconsin in 2000.
However, while I am extremely proud that our student fans were very loud in supporting our team, I wish that we could show more class and represent the University the way it deserves to be represented. It seemed the game wouldn’t go on for more than five minutes before there was a loud “Fuck the Irish!” chant. This makes us look bad as University students and really doesn’t accomplish anything.
It’s one thing when someone will scream and yell profanities at the other team; it’s something totally different when an entire section does it in unison. I’ll never forget how turned off I was at the 1999 Syracuse-Michigan game when the Syracuse students chanted “Fuck you, Michigan!” in the closing seconds of a Michigan victory, and I could hear it loud and clear across the Carrier Dome.
Cheer for our team and against the other team as loud as you want, but please try to represent the University in a classy way and keep it clean.