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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Sad but true...

While poking fun at our Big 10 brethren in Columbus is our favorite pastime, we also enjoy a good joke at our team's expense if it's good. The below is good. It was sent to us by a Buckeye reader who wishes to rename anonymous lest his Tosu friends discover his dirty secret of spending time here at the MZone. Also, he wasn't exactly sure about the original source of the piece although a Google search seemed to indicate it came from SportsPickle.com.

Michigan Expanding Big House to Meet Fans' Insatiable Desire to Watch a 7-5 Football Team

The University of Michigan announced plans on Tuesday to expand historic Michigan Stadium – already the largest football stadium in the country – from 107,051 to 108,251, in addition to adding new luxury boxes.

Athletic director Bill Martin says the move comes from the growing – and somewhat peculiar – demand of Michigan fans, students and alumni to take in some mediocre, disappointing football by a 7-5 or 8-4 team.

"Our fans can't get enough of this team," said Martin. "At the end of every season we look at our final record and think: 'Hmm, I wonder how we're going to fill 107,000 seats six times next season.' I mean, most teams like us who consistently fall short of expectations have trouble selling tickets. But sure enough, we send out our season ticket renewals and everyone signs back up. It's amazing."

Many Michigan fans say it's the team's mediocrity that brings them back year after year after year.

"With a lot of top teams that we're theoretically in the same realm as, you pretty much know that they're going to win all of their home games. It gets boring, it gets repetitive. No one wants to watch that," said longtime season ticket holder Mike Laurey. "But with us, you know we're going to change things up a bit. No matter who we're playing, you know there's a decent chance we could lose. That uncertainty keeps me coming back."

Others say it's the memories that make them such diehard fans.

"I don't want to say I wasn't there when we have one of our patented, soul-crushing losses to Ohio State," said season ticket holder Larry Reynolds. "That's the kind of stuff you tell your grandkids about. Plus, it's cool to be able to say that you saw future NFL stars play in college, back when they were poorly coached and didn't have all of their talents drawn out of them yet. It's amazing to see their growth from their Michigan days to the pros. I mean, jeez – look at Tom Brady. Think how good he would have been in college at a school where they know how to coach quarterbacks."

No matter the reason for the unyielding fan support, head coach Lloyd Carr said he knows he is lucky to coach a team that has ardent backers no matter what happens on the field.

"No one cares how badly we fall short of our goals, they still come out and cheer," said Carr. "And that's the kind of support we'll need in the future, because the longer I'm here, the more of a chance there will some 6-5 and 5-6 seasons, or even worse, mixed in. Heck, I could go 3-8 in a year or two, and we'd still probably add on another 1,000 seats to Michigan Stadium."

Thanks again to our anonymous Buckeye friend for the link. That was really funny. No, really. We're laughing. It doesn't hurt. Or hit too close to home. Really. We swear.



Neal said...

Yeah, this is a satire article from sportspickle.com. It's pretty funny, updated every Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

It's OK to cry.

JayMo_4 said...

I was enjoying a good laugh at my own team's expense right up until the line that said, "look at Tom Brady. Think how good he would have been in college at a school where they know how to coach quarterbacks."
At least all the stuff about mediocrity and losing home games makes sense - it has some basis in reality. But saying that Michigan doesn't know how to coach quarterbacks is like accusing Ohio State of having trouble developing linebackers. Pick almost any other position and I'd agree and continue to laugh at my own favorite football team. But quarterback? Come on.

Benny Friedman said...

This article is way off base. The reason why the fans keep coming to the games is the top-notch schedule. Who wouldn't want to pay $60 (plus PSL fees) to see Central Michigan. Or Ball State. In November.

cottoncandy said...

You guys really are pussies. Never in a million football Saturdays in a Buckeye blog site would Buckeye writers/fans also poke fun at themselves out of some altruistic fairness feeling. Fuck you guys is our attitude. Buckeyes hate Michigan, and would never even admit that Buckeye Nation could have flaws. We're kind of like Republicans in that regard.

Yost said...

LOL, C2!

Anonymous said...

I hardly even watch the games in the big house, I keep coming back for the food.

Matt S said...

The irony in the harsh Buckeye comments is that it came from a guy named "cottoncandy"

Barry said...

Yeah jaymo_4, Michigan has been GREAT at developing their QB's in the last 10 years. Besides Brady, look at how much success Henson has had in the NFL, or John Navarre! C'mon!

Ever wonder how 1999 would turned out with a QB controversy? Yeah, me either. It hurts to think about. Stupid freshman year.

IC said...

While I suspect that Cotton Candy is joking, a major loon, or both, I do indirectly agree with his sentiment: Michigan fans need to relax on the self-flagellation.

Firstly, this article wasn't even funny as satire. It read like one of those endlessly tedious and predictable Saturday Night Live sketches that runs for what seems like a half hour.

More importantly, the notion that Michigan Football is or has been in any meaningful way "mediocre" is ridiculous. With the exception of last year, M Football has been very good or excellent over the past 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 year periods. It ranks with or above any program in the country.

I'm not happy about tOSU's success over us in the Tressel Era or our recent tendecy to relinquish leads and lose games that--on paper--we would be expected to win.

But M fans need to take a deep breath. Last season is over. Carr made significant changes by naming two new coordinators. And though we can still taste the bitterness of the 2005 season, Michigan Football is not mediocre, though if enough of us start believing that we soon will be.

cottoncandy said...

That's right ic, pile on the rah rah. That will get you more wins. And, if the fans succumb to the "mediocre" talk, it will by osmosis attach to the football team, so that you then will REALLY be mediocre. 3 bowl losses in 4 years; 3 OSU losses in 4 years; last four seasons, 10-3, 10-3, 9-3 and 7-5. That's not mediocre, that's Michitastic!

Sis boom bah baby!!!!!!!

Beaker said...

what ic said sounds eerily similar to what i was hearing in Husker Nation a couple years ago....

IC said...


I understand what you mean and my comments shouldn't be interpreted as a prediction that Michigan will remain among the elite teams just because it has been in the past.

My point is that while it is critical to recognize the program's problems, it is also important to not overreact and spiral into self-loathing because of one subpar season.

Will Michigan end up mired in mediocrity like recent Nebraska teams or the late-80s tOSU squads? Maybe, but I don't think so.

Now if you'll excuse me, cheerleading practice starts soon and I have to paint my face.