If you were in attendance when the Wolverines lost to Northwestern, 75-70, on Feb. 28, you can stop reading this column now.
I”m pretty sure I didn”t lose any readers.
While I was sunning myself on the sandy beaches of Jamaica drinking a pina colada, and you were probably also on some exotic island or skiing at some ritzy resort, Josh Asselin and Mike Gotfredson were struggling to leave their mark on Crisler Arena with a victory.
Unfortunately, they failed. Michigan lost its third-straight home game, and worst of all, handed the Wildcats only their third conference victory of the season.
This information may seem outdated, but since none of you were there, you didn”t have a chance to see the dismal number of fans that showed up to say goodbye to the two Michigan seniors.
There were no television sets broadcasting the game in Cancun or Acapulco. I”m sure everyone was already hitting up the bars around the 8 p.m. tipoff. I didn”t learn of the upset if one can really call it that until a few days later while riding a bus to the airport in Montego Bay.
The attendance for the game was recorded at 8,806 fans. But from what I”ve read and heard from those who viewed the game, that was a dramatic overstatement.
The entire upper bowl was empty and even fans in the blue seats were scarce. The actual attendance was apparently around 3,500. And this was supposed to be a send-off for two athletes who had dedicated themselves to Michigan one who had spent four grueling years battling for a mediocre, and then poor, basketball team and another who transferred to Michigan and started in just three games.
Each one got to start in his final game. Each one received a framed jersey. And each one participated in a pregame ceremony. But what each one didn”t get, which would have meant so much more, was a group of students cheering for what they accomplished. For a team that has only heard boos from its fans all season, a few cheers from its (few) loyal student fans would have given Michigan”s seniors a proper goodbye.
For the past two seasons, the Wolverines have honored their four-year players on Senior Day with no students and dismal attendance. It seems unnecessary that Michigan”s final home game is scheduled during our spring break. But that is not up to the Wolverines.
What is up to Michigan is in which game it chooses to honor the players who have dedicated themselves for so long to this struggling team. There is no reason the two seniors shouldn”t have been honored before the Minnesota game, when students were still in school and fans (at least some) were in attendance. That was the graduating students” last chance to see the Wolverines play at Crisler Arena.
It would have been nice to honor those loyal students as well those who had stuck with this team through it all all 200 or so of them.
Michigan will probably be back in Ann Arbor before this weekend begins. And Asselin and Gottfredson will probably be done with their basketball careers before Saturday. It is just unfortunate that no one was there to see them finish.
Stephanie Offen can be reached at