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Monday, November 14, 2005

Blue about the Blue Out

So I see that the University has asked all Michigan fans to wear blue to the game on Saturday. This has been done before, including the "Maize Out" against Pennsylvania State earlier this season as we copied the Nittanies for their "White Out" against tOSU. I have a few problems with this.
First, does this put us on par with rinky dink schools that have to resort to gimmicks to generate interest in the football program? For example Louisville plays so many games during the week, that I don't know how their students study. Oh, wait, it's Louisville. Never mind. After all, this is Ohio State we're playing this week, when even the most passive or jaded fan shows some enthusiasm. Plus, it's not as if the sight of blue will intimidate or affect the Buckeye players in any way. I'm sure if our fans wore shirts with SAT questions, that would cause far more confusion to the Bucks. On the other hand, does the "Blue Out" provide some sort of unifying force for the fans? Will the sight of 100,000 people in blue show our fans that they need to make some noise and intimidate the opponent? Does it inspire the Wolverine players enough to provide just a little bit more motivation?
Second, I have a personal issue with the Blue Out for Saturday. For years, I've worn some sort of Michigan shirt on game day. It doesn't matter if we played Eastern or Notre Dame, I would wear a Michigan shirt. Nothing too fanatical, just one of my many Michigan T-shirts. At one time I even took to wearing a white shirt when we played on the road and a blue one when we played at home. Over the past few years I'd wear whichever shirt was clean and hadn't been worn for a while. Well this year I wore my maize shirt when we beat Sparty in OT. I didn't wear it the day of the Minnesota debacle, but went back to it for the Manningham Miracle against Pennsylvania State. I've worn it for every game since then. I hate these superstitious things - I know that what some schmuck watching the game in his basement 250 miles away is wearing has no bearing on the game. But when we beat Iowa and even when I was in attendance for our spanking of Northwestern, the maize shirt was with me. Confident that we'd romp over the Hoosiers on Saturday, I even considered not wearing the maize shirt, just to prove that we could win without it. But right before gametime I donned the maize shirt. So here's my quandary: Thanks to Yost, I'll be in attendance against tOSU. Do I go along with edict of the University and join my fellow fans in wearing blue? Or do I not tempt fate (which I don't even believe in) and wear the maize shirt?
Finally, does it even matter what shirt I or anyone else wears if the forecasters are correct and it's 40 degrees on Saturday? If they're right, I'll be wearing my winter coat. Which is black.


Katie said...

Might I suggest you purchase a blue or maize winter coat? Black is so "yesterday" anyway ;O) oh...and please wear the maize shirt underneath!

Yost said...


I'll be sitting next to Benny at the game and he damn well BETTER have that yellow shirt on underneath or I'm sending him home to get it.

Yost said...

Great post, Benny. And I think you set an M Zone record for number of hyperlinks in one post. Well done.

I actually like the idea of a "Blue Out." While I agree that at most schools, the occasion of the biggest game of the year against a hated rival wouldn't require extra incentive for the home crowd to get into the game, we all know things aren't normal when it comes to crowd reaction at The Big (Quiet) House. Although, I would have preferred a "Key Out" instead.

Yost said...

Is it just me, or do you sometimes feel like you're entering the launch codes on a nuclear submarine when you try to decipher and type in the Word Verification stuff?

The King said...

Blue is stupid, because it doesn't work. It's not bright enough. At best, it looks like there is a big dark area of the stadium. This is the administration's own fault, though, for approving a blue student shirt this season.

In general, though, the "whole student section wears the same color" thing is a great idea and when executed properly, it's very effective. It demonstrates solidarity and I would be willing to bet it even assists in recruiting for both players there and for prospective students watching on TV. When you saw Notre Dame pull out their green T's a few years back when that black fellow started out 8-0, it was impressive.

Maybe next year we'll get it right and do it the Maize way.

IC said...


I suggest you follow Katie's suggestion and wear the maize shirt underneath a thermal long sleeve and blue sweatshirt. Doing so will prevent you from:

1) Tempting fate-sure it's probably a bunch of bs, but this is the tOSU game. Don't screw around to prove any points.

2) Invoking the wrath of Yost-he was nice enough to be your ticket connection. Don't be an ungrateful asshole.

3) Angering the M administration-you spent six years of your life there. They don't ask you for much (except money).

Jeremy said...

It doesn't matter if everyone in the stadium wears the exact same shade of blue, then it will look like dull nothingness. It only works if it's a bright color. You can smear the whole student section in shit if you want -- sure they'll be uniform, but they'll still be smeared in shit.

Finally, consider this:

Since the athletic department started promoting this kind of color unification in 2002, we are 3-2 in "Blue Outs."

We are 14-0 in "Maize Outs."

IC said...

Thanks for including the link to the Manningham Miracle vs. Pennsylvania State.

From seeing it live, replaying it on Tivo, and now watching it on my computer, I've seen this play at least 40 times. Like a great piece of art, I find something different in each viewing. One thing I just noticed is how funny it is to watch Breaston on that play. He lined up in the slot to Manningham's left. Pay particular attention to his:

1) excited head turn when he hears the roar of the crowd.

2) unsuccessful attempt to corral Manningham for a celebratory hug.

3) ultimate planting in the turf by a rampaging Mike Hart.

Yost said...

Good point, Loef.

IG, thanks for keeping Benny on the up and up re: that yellow shirt. NEVER mess w/ fate before a big game. Dumb superstition? Sure, maybe. But let's debate that AFTER the game. :)

Jeremy, have we really had that many "PICK A COLOR Outs" since 2002? Wow, where did you hear that? Can we maybe have a "Shout Out" to replace "Key Plays?"

My bigger problem is -- what the hell is a "Maize" or "Blue Out?" I understand "White Out" at Penn St and "Black Out" at Iowa but can't we at least come up w/ something that makes sense?

Yost said...

Benny, didn't realize at first you put video up in your post links. Very impressive, sir. Very impressive.

Benny Friedman said...

The only link to video is the Manningham catch. I didn't want to kill the guy's monthly bandwidth allotment. But check out his site - he has tons of video highlights.
And everyone can be assured that the maize shirt will be in attendance this weekend. It might be the first of many layers, but it will be there.

Jeremy said...

I consider having Maize shirts for the entire 2003 and 2004 seasons Maize Outs, just like I considered this year to be Blue Outs (unless otherwise noted, like at the Penn State game).

I guess we're 4-2 in blue now. But still.

mayday said...

I just don't really care about the color. They usually have handed out pompoms for the big games this year and that supplies the maize in the student section.

I do care about the noise, which is probably still below par this year, although it's hard for me to tell because, oddly enough, I'm in a patch of the student section where a lot of people do make noise. About the keys, there's nothing wrong with the keys if you don't view as a free pass to stay otherwise quiet. It's perfectly feasible to jangle the keys, cup your mouth, scream and holler, and stomp on the bench all at the same time. And for Christ's sake, any students NOT SINGING THE FIGHT SONG should be expelled. There's only five lines to learn!!! Get the hell with it!!!!

As far as converting the alumni, I don't think you're going to have any luck. I've met too many of these fossilized dingbats up close and personal.

BTW, Purdue jangles keys also, in the student section. Maybe that should give us pause. Their student section, if anything, can sometimes be even MORE quiet than Michigan's...I think sometimes they drink themselves into catatonia before the game. Wisconsin fans drink just as much, but apparently they can handle it better.

Yost said...

I'd drink a lot, too, if I went to PU.

And I'm right there w/ ya on the noise, Mayday. Also, you're probably right about getting the alums to raise the roof -- not gonna happen. Which is sad b/c alums at other stadiums seem to be able to find the "on" switch for their vocal chords during big games.

Jeremy said...

You're preaching to the choir. I'm in the marching band. I put twenty times more effort and energy into the games than the average student does, and it disappoints me. If I'm not hoarse by the second quarter and nearly unconscious by postgame, I'm doing something wrong.

The bottle idea is cool though. Someone should set up outside the stadium selling water bottles with a bag full of pennies.

archieblue said...

i think you have to wear whatever you think will make us win, whether you feel silly about being superstitious or not...

have a great time, in any case. go home hoarse.

Jeremy said...

Well, I wear the same uniform to every game no matter what.