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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Michigan Student Section: FAIL

I know it hasn't been easy.  Especially for the seniors who, coming into the fall, have endured the worst three year stretch in the history of Michigan football.  Still, it's no excuse for this...

Where the hell are the students?!

No, that's not the spring game.  It's not the waning minutes of the Minnesota blowout.  And it's not the turnout for some *NSYNC reunion tour.  Sadly, that mass of emptiness in the picture above is the student section in The Big House, just three minutes before kick off of the Purdue game last Saturday.  On Homecoming.  For a team with a then 6-1 record.  Ranked in the Top 20.

Oh, the rest of the stadium was packed.  The rest of the Michigan fans somehow found a way to make it to the game.  Folks who drove in from Detroit, or Grand Rapids, or Flint.  Points all over the state and beyond.  They were there.  But not the students.  Who only had to stumble over from West Quad, or their fraternity, or their apartment off Packard.  They couldn't make it.

How sad.

You'll notice that there is no line snaking down the aisles.  No harried or hungover students rushing to their seats.  Students simply late due to a rough Friday night.  Nope.  Those lines never materialized.  Because it didn't get much better than the picture above all game.  The top remained empty througout.

I know I mentioned the invisible students in our MZone Autopsy of the Purdue game.  But the more I thought about it, the more pissed I got.  And we're not alone.  Brian at MGoBlog had this to say:

There's no reason to sell those people tickets at discounted rates if they're not even going to show up and be loud.

Preach.  You think Dave Brandon wouldn't love to get "X" thousand of those discounted tickets back from the students so he could sell them at full price to fans who will also spend another $100 bucks on food and ugly throwback jerseys each game?

There will be plenty of time to miss games.  When that big project is due and you have to work all weekend.  When one of your so-called friends gets married on a football Saturday.  When your son is sick or your daughter has a dance recital.  When life moves you far away from A2.  Then you'd give anything to spend one more carefree Saturday in The Big House with your friends.  Cheering on the Maize and Blue.

But it will be too late.

So get your asses to the games.  This isn't some 8 o'clock on North Campus.  This isn't IU.  This is Michigan, for God's sake!

(thanks to RG for the pic)


VictoryForMSU said...

I'm curiouos about this. Why isn't the student body showing up? How was the attendance before this past week?

Bigasshammm said...

I've noticed over the last few years of the games I've been to it's been like this. Maybe it's a product of the RR era and after a good season it will start to get better? Idk. But I do agree with Brian's point that there should be a point system or something that tracks the tickets being used. Otherwise no ticket.

James Graham said...

It's obvious the reason they didn't show up is because it was Purdue.... Boiler Suck.

GoBlueBob said...

The students normally are late arrives but this game was exceptional in that the student section never filled up. It is normally full by the middle of the 1st quarter. The only time I have seen it full early was for the night game this year but I attribute that to the novelty of the night game. When I went into that game tht night there were 65 minutes until game time and the student section was already full.

Michigan Sports Girl said...

Preach it, Yost. My family and I were in attendance at the Minnesota game, and my mom turned to me before kickoff and said, "Where are all the STUDENTS?" Talk about disappointing. Weak opponent or not, the students should be there to support this team. There are hundreds - if not thousands - of fans nationwide that would do anything for those tickets. I'm with you and Brian on this one - there needs to be some accountability with the student ticket distribution. THIS IS MICHIGAN FOR GOD'S SAKE!

Victoria said...

I agree, this is absolutely ridiculous. I am a student and I am routinely there at least a half hour early but usually more AND I'm so far away I have to drive to the games.

Our student section is deadful this year. I understand what a pain in the ass it is to have all these noon games. It sucks and I hate it. I would relish a 330 Nebraska or OSU game but that's not an excuse. Usually when I show up to a game the bottom rows are full even though mine (row 39) is always fairly empty. I would love a points system because I am always there, always early and I actually care about Michigan football so I think people who are like me deserve the better seats.

Not only was the student section never full, there were a ton of students leaving early and when the rain came they cleared out in droves. It's absolutely disgraceful that our students couldn't be bothered to show up to a game that meant a lot given the loss to MSU the previous game.

Dennis said...

Maybe all the years of being told about the evils of Jumbotrons they are worried about readiation exposure? :)

I'll try to poke my head at the stands this weekend and see how our student sections look. This will be our first noon game of the season since the students got back. Everything else has been 3:30 or 8:00 pm. I know Colorado (3:30) wasn't a fully packed stadium, but the student sections looked full.

On the plus side we are energized after beating Wisconsin. On the negative side of the ledger, this has not been a great season, it is a noon game and it is Indiana. Though I will say that is what most in Iowa said about Minnesota and we see how that turned out.

I do like the point system idea, especially arrival time. I would think the technology wouldn't be too hard to implement since they already scan them. Hell, I'd love to see that for Alumni tickets, but I know that $ > arrival time for those tickets. I'm not sure I would cut back student ticket numbers just yet, but I might threaten it.

Mikoyan said...

If I weren't busy taking pictures of Eastern Michigan games, I would love to be at the Michigan games (peferably on the sidelines but...). Given all of the people that would kill to go to a game at Michigan Stadium, I think this is a travesty. Admittedly, it is Purdue but still it is a Big 10 game and could have ramifications for a Big 10 title.

Given all that...it still looks better than Rynearson...

Yost said...

I think we have found our new MZone Student Section correspondent: Victoria.

Pictures and updates, V.

GoBlueBob said...

Dennis... Is that why tosu students cannot read, because they are worried about "readiation" exposure? We already know it applied to msu students (go green go white can't read can't write) Dick and Jane books are tough.

Ramona said...

This is about the dollar, although YEAH I have a problem with students not showing up... keep in mind, the students have always been more fickle than fervent, compared with the alumni. Back in my undergrad days, 79-83 the student section was still more about a good time than about football, but at least the students SHOWED UP... but take heart, today's students are tomorrow's alums. As an academic leader, Michigan has many more students who worry more about Monday's test or term paper, than about attending a game if they think their future is at stake in a competitive environment, and will study through the weekend.... Yes I even remember that from the 80s! Back to the dollar... bring back the system where any student could stand in front of the M Union on Friday afternoon and scalp, or even sell at a loss, their tickets to passing townies, and you will revitalize the student section in a more consistent way.

Ramona said...

AND BTW our loyal alums don't just DRIVE in for the games... they FLY in for each and every home game! That means they are willingly shelling out bucks for airfare on top of the tickets... I repeat, make it easy for students to sell their tickets and you will have a full stadium. Canham understood this fact, no one since him. Let GO of those dollar signs you think you can get and watch what happens.

gobluehtown said...

What I have heard anecdotally, is that the academic standards are being raised in a slow but progressive rate. I think it may be a combination of the raised standards i.e. "nerds" and the last three seasons and a noon kickoff. BTW the last line should be "fergodsakes"

Dennis said...


I hate Microsoft some days. We are required to use IE here, which, for some reason, does not have a native spell checker. And we aren't allowed to install third party spell checkers. Maybe I shouldn't post at work, but then I would have to work and that is no fun.

I also lurk over at Rock's House and they have been going BSC about the idea of a Jumbotron there, so it was on my mind. However, I had written the rest of the response, then looked at the picture to see how close the students were to the screens and tacked the funny on at the begining. However, I didn't proofread that section, which worked out well for you. That was a funny comment.

Dennis said...

Victoria (or anyone else who knows),

Is there any option for students to sell their tickets? Down here, in theory, you have to present your student ID with ticket when enetering. I have no idea how strictly that is enforced. However since they can make money on it, I'm guessing more than it used to be.

OSU has an official process where you turn your ticket in and get charged the non student price (and a processing fee) to make it usuable without a student ID. You have to plan ahead because they don't do it the day of the game and only during business hours.

You can also give your student ID to parents or siblings and they can use that to get in without incurring the extra costs.

The processing fee goes up each time you do it until you hit the $20/ticket cap. If you upgrade one game, service charge will be $5 per ticket. If you upgrade a second game, service charge will be $10 per ticket. If you upgrade a third game, service charge will be $15 per ticket. If you upgrade a fourth, fifth, sixth, or seventh game, service charge will be $20 per ticket.

The Block O tickets are not upgradeable. Those are in the North and South Endzones and to quote the ticket office, Block O is:

...responsible for spreading energy throughout Ohio Stadium through leading cheers,
starting Stadium "O-H-I-O", starting the Wave, creating visually stunning card stunts, and creating a defining white Block
"O" with capes. Block "O" has been featured in local and national media, including ESPN and Sports Illustrated, and is
recognized by sportscasters and television cameras at every home game.

GoBlueBob said...

I know the student tickets can be "validated" which means that the student has to pay the difference between the discounted price they paid and face value and then the tickets can be used by anyone. Not sure if there is a fee to do it but it also must be done in advance.

Dennis... I could not stop myself from commenting on your "readiation" theory. Are you coming to AA for the game on November 26th?

Ramona said...

OK but why make it so difficult, so they can squeeze out a few extra bucks? Back in the good old days, we all bought our tickets at the steep discount and then either went to the game, or sold or gave our tickets away. Certain games, like OSU of course, generally would recoup the cost of the entire season, if for some odd reason you didn't want to go. There was thus more of a mix in the student section but the crowd was always enthusiastic.. I never heard of any structured organization such as what Dennis describes. What, support has to be scripted now!? Do we have this here?? Then again, spontaneity has been slowly dying ever since TV took over.

James said...

I don't even really understand the whole "They had to put up with three bad seasons under RR" excuse. Shouldn't that have made them starved for success and quick to embrace this year's team, which had a chance to do a lot more than those teams did?

Dennis said...

Go Blue Bob,

With the still mostly new baby and it being Thanksgiving, I will be watching from home. Heck, knowing Sergei's coach he probably has practice that day anyhow.

But, speaking of Sergei, I will be in A2 for St. Patrick's Day. Unless he gets hurt, he will be competing at The Jason Whitfield at Cliff Keen Arena there on campus. Not sure what our travel plans are yet.

Ramona, back when I was at OSU in the late 80s there was Block O in the North stands, student seating in the south and the Greeks sort of in the NW corner of the closed end. Block O did the sign things and yes, they usually were the ones to start things like the wave, O H I O, etc. It is students who lead it and who have always lead it. That's not to say some other group, like the Greeks, couldn't have or didn't, but with that many people a little organization helps get the ball rolling. The big thing they do are the signs, targets for our kickers, chaos for opposing kickers, etc. They have since added another Block O in the south stands.

I posted it because it looks so much more organzied and much more pr'd than what I remember it being.