Well that certainly explains things a bit.
Between the pic above and the cheerleaders holding up "key play" signs in front of the student section, I'm starting to realize that - in addition to some fans who want the atmosphere at the game to be the same as their living rooms - either the athletic department doesn't have a clue about creating a real home field advantage or they want the stadium to be nice and quiet for the blue hairs on the 50. Just having folks wear yellow t-shirts doesn't cut it.
Contrast this approach with Happy Valley. Did you see - and hear - the Penn State/ND game last Saturday? The fans were deafening with several reports on the game even mentioning how much if affected the Irish playcalling.
And now, even other college football fans are starting to notice this lame Michigan Stadium "tradition" and ask, "Why?" (only using a lot more colorful language).
In a memo to Michigan fans, the Granddaddy of College football blogs, EDSBS, had this to say after seeing a shot of students jangling their keys during the broadcast of the Michigan-Oregon game:
"This would be less appalling if it were alumni…but STUDENTS JINGLING KEYS? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Young, healthy people with clean, fully-functioning lungs JINGLING KEYS TO MAKE NOISE!!!! My god, why don’t you hire Salvadorans to come yell for you? Or better still, they could just come in and cheer for you while you watch the game in the parking lot in peace and quiet and save you the trouble of screaming “DOWN IN FRONT!!!” (Because that would hurt your lungs, wouldn’t it?)
Yes, this is coming from a boorish, decorum-free SEC fan whose fellow fans bring cowbells to games and set off seismometers at the geology department during games in between handing out sociology and leisure management degrees to illiterate, well-muscled athletes. It is also directed at a school in a conference where some schools actually cheer their asses off and force teams into penalties with crowd noise. And some Michigan fans have been railing about this for way, way longer than we have.
Don’t blame the architecture either. Instead, scream. At this point, you should be screaming, anyway. Who cares if it’s at your coach? Notre Dame doesn’t have to know that. This is football. Blood. Screaming. Tribal violence. Bizarre rites and rituals. Put away the keys. Pick up the torches. Less Roman, more Vandal, dammit!"
The struggle continues.