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Saturday, October 15, 2005

More on The Big (Quiet) House...

A friend sent the "PUT THE DAMN KEYS DOWN" column below to some of his Michigan pals who responded to him instead of posting here in the M Zone, so he forwarded the comments to me. In my opinion, their comments confirmed everything I wrote about in that column. You decide. Here are those forwarded emails (with my comments inserted in bold blue):

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Those 100,000 people in a closed room would be a lot louder. So it IS the shape of the stadium, to some extent. Not entirely, of course, but it does make a difference.

Yes, 100,000 in a closed room would be louder. And I'm guessing 100,000 with bullhorns would be even louder still. But until they enclose the stadium or pass out bullhorns, I'm sticking with my crazy hypothesis that 100,000 fans cheering and clapping like mad would be a hell of a lot louder than 100,000 waving their damn keys in the air. Now that would make a big difference.

We do have many old alums, and we drink less than a lot of other crowds, both of which definitely contribute.

First of all, from this statement, is one supposed to assume that Michigan draws more "old alums" to its games than, say, Notre Dame does? Or more than Penn State? Hmm. Interesting. Must have missed that little factoid in the last Alumni magazine (or was it AARP?).

But taking that as gospel, since they're "old," they don't cheer as much? Is that it? Christ, what section is that and how old are these people? I thought the folks with blue hair at the games were frat guys showing their school spirit. Didn't know they were just "blue hairs." Must be a GOLDEN GIRLS DVD boxed set included now with season tickets that I'm not familiar with. Or coupons for a free dinner at Bill Knapp's drawing in all these non-cheering elderly.

Then again, maybe they just seem old because they're so quiet.

As for drinking less, like the "old" comment, I'd first love to know what data this comment is based upon because, call me crazy, but I've noticed a tailgate or two around the stadium on football Saturdays. And you're not going to believe this but, get ready, I've seen...alcohol served. Swear. Then again, didn't realize that chaste M fans drank less than "a lot of other crowds." All that booze must just be for show.

Furthermore, I also didn't know one had to be drunk or part of MTV's target demographic in order to cheer loudly for the Maize and Blue. I guess sober old people are required to root for their team by quietly shaking the keys to their retirement condo in Boca.

We also get fairly loud at times. (So the stadium is not a complete excuse).My own take is to call it, "Smells (or maybe better"Sounds") like M Spirit"-- here we are now, entertain us. We don't scream our heads off just to scream. But when something big happens, or a major play comes up, we can get pretty loud.

I beg to differ. Here is a fan that obviously hasn't traveled to a lot of Michigan away games and has no point of reference to what "loud" is. But then again, we're old, we're sober, we're Michigan.

And for Michigan Stadium to be an intimidating place to play, fans must get loud more than just a play or two on third down in the 4th quarter.

Used to bother me that we weren't as loud as we could be. Now I've just decided that's just the way it is at Michigan.

Why? Why, why, why is that "just the way it is?" And why must it continue to be that way?

I know that I'm hoarse every Sunday after a home game from screaming on all those key third downs your friend references.

Well that's good. I guess at least this writer is young and a drunk.

Another writes:

I only go to one game per year, but fans don't do that key play thing much anymore.

That's just not true. For starters, see the picture in the "Key Play" post below. That's the student section. The picture is from the 2003 Ohio State game. More importantly, watch the games on TV when you're not there. You see it all the time.
Plus, the games I've been to, there seems to be a decent effort to make a lot of noise when the other team has the football at critical points in the game. Is Michigan the toughest place to play? No, from what I've heard, places like Oregon are much tougher.

Much tougher. Maybe, just maybe, that played a part in 2003 when 3rd ranked U-M lost to 22nd ranked Oregon in front of a paltry 59,023 fans who were twice as loud as 110,000 Michigan fans ever are. I know, I was there in Eugene. Pretty impressive.

But let me ask this. Would we trade won-loss records with Oregon? Number of national titles, Heismans, bowl games, etc? Somehow the team has amassed this impressive list of accomplishments over 126 years without having the loudest fans. Maybe other things are more important.

Yes, I would trade won-loss records with Oregon this season. True, over the last 50+ years, we do have...*ONE*...National Title (shared, technically) more than Oregon. Got me there. Then again, poor ol' Oregon just took up the game in 1894 so we do have a couple years on them.

But why is it so wrong to strive to be better? We're disappointed with the team this year because we think, expect, KNOW, they can do better. Why is it so bad to ask more of the fans? Why does it have to be either/or? Why can't we have great fans and a winning team? How would giving our team a bigger home field advantage be a bad thing?

4 comments:

Benny Friedman said...

Despite the stress of today's game, every time they had that shot from the student section - and showed some kid shaking their keys (I think at least one time they were BMW keys) - I had to laugh and think of Yost at home freaking out. I do think we caused a couple of motion penalties today. But, boy, when they returned that fumble it was quieter than the stacks in the grad library.

Yost said...

You have no idea, Benny. No idea. I had about 7 or 8 folks over my house to watch the game on the dish (Gameplan SUCKS, but that's for another post), every time they showed that shot of the keys being "jangled," I felt I was being taunted. Folks kept looking at me to make sure I didn't burst a blood vessel.

LAGuy said...

As one of the guys at his house, the great thing was even before the keys came out he was ready to lose it--they were just the icing on the cake.

Yost said...

I can't argue with you there, LAGuy.