November 23, 2003
A “Big House” Party
***Entry and photos (except one) by Michigan überfan Justin Spitzer, special to the "little read book." Thanks to Justin for the coverage.***
Final score - Michigan 35, Ohio St. 21.
As the clock struck 0:00 Saturday at Michigan Stadium, Wolverine players and staff stormed the field in celebration, followed quickly by a large contingent of the student section. Not since 1997 had Michigan played such a meaningful home football game, and while the National Title was likely not on the line this time, the victory was nearly as sweet as that epic win over Ohio State six years ago. I was fortunate to be among the record crowd of 112,000+ in Michigan Stadium to witness Michigan’s thrilling 35-21 victory over the hated Buckeyes, experiencing a combination of jubilation and relief as the Wolverines held off OSU’s comeback attempt and ended a painful two game losing streak in the series. U of M clinched the Big Ten Championship with the win, and will likely head to the Rose Bowl to ring in the New Year.
The pre-game festivities were certainly fitting for a game of such magnitude, including a send-off for each of Michigan’s Seniors, the presence of 700 former UM football players, a taped message from former President and UM Alum Gerald Ford, and a flyover by four Air Force jets. As you would expect from members of the student section in such a big game, many fans went “all-out” with their appearance. Kilts, maize and blue camouflage, and plenty of face paint could be found among the crazies, as well as my personal favorite: a hairy, shirtless guy who shaved a block ‘M’ on his chest!! (Sorry, no picture!) Unfortunately, there was a buckeye fan in front of me who proceeded to act very buckeye-like by chewing tobacco throughout the game and spitting the residue in a cup seemingly every 10 seconds! Very nasty.
Those of you of have attended big Michigan games with me in the past realize that I am a very vocal and passionate fan, to the point that I can become “mosh pit-like” violent after a big Michigan play! Saturday was no exception of course, but fortunately there were some equally rowdy (and also drunk) Michigan students next to me who shared my “enthusiasm”, so I fit right in. As the game ended, and despite the laughably pathetic pleas from the P.A. announcer to stay off the field, the 20,000 strong student section began “flowing” in that direction. This part is always interesting, for there is a 7-foot drop-off from the stands to the field, and some care must be taken to avoid injury when jumping down. Naturally, this causes the fans to get backed up as they near the wall, which leads to a lot of pushing. Now I know what it’s like to be crushed during a riot at a European soccer game! I wisely found a spot behind a rather large guy who helped clear the way through the masses, and eventually found my way down to the field to join in with the celebration.
All in all, a great day and a great win! Nothing beats being in the “Big House” (as Michigan Stadium is called) for a big victory, especially when the Big 10 title is clinched with a win over OSU. The sad part is that Michigan will not play again until January, but at least the regular season ended on a high note. It’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine!
Justin, facepaint and all, before the game.
Justin, after the game,
before after storming the field.
Ohio State's Shane Olivea - HAHA!
Posted by tien mao in Sports at 10:06 PM
One clarification: the post-game picture of me is actually AFTER I stormed the field. By this point, I had climbed back up into the stands for a better picture and because the bands were trying to start playing.
Posted by: Justin at November 23, 2003 11:14 PM
Nice work Justin.
Did anyone watch the ESPN Game Day telecast? I think Rocket Ismal has replaced Mike Irvin as the worst color man in all of television. His segment this week was how he liked to take a "shower-bath combination" before a big game. My brain hurts just thinking about it...
Posted by: John T at November 24, 2003 2:27 PM
Thanks John. I hate the rocket too. His voice is so annoying, and he bounces around and waves his hands like a hummingbird or something! I don't know what the heck they were thinking when they hired him, but hopefully his stint will be short-lived.
Posted by: Justin at November 24, 2003 8:33 PM
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