An SEC Fan’s Impression of the Big House- Nice People but Wearing Red Might Have Been a Bad Choice

We flew into Detroit on Thursday and drove to East Lansing to tour the MSU campus (got to watch the hockey team practice in Munn Arena) before returning to Brighton where we stayed for the long weekend.

We spent Friday in Ann Arbor, mostly on the Michigan campus. Main Street in Ann Arbor is very much like Broad Street in Athens. We were really impressed with the Michigan campus. Of all the campuses we have visited, I would say Cal-Berkeley comes about as close as matching the UM campus as any we have seen.

Had lunch at the University Club, climbed to the top of the Tower, and watched the Michigan intrasquad baseball game before attending the hockey match at Yost Friday night. This was one of the highlights of visit. Yost Ice Arena reminds me so much of the Palestra in Philadelphia and somewhat of Cameron Inddoor Stadium at Duke. The students and pep band were a hoot! Every bit as entertaining as the Wisconsin students at their hockey matches. Several of the students came over to our seats (we were in the area behind the goal nearest the student section) between periods when they saw our UGA coats and were probably the nicest of so many nice people we met during our trip.

On Saturday we parked on the golf course and walked to the practice field to watch the Michigan band rehearse. Might have made one mistake on Saturday. We both wore our UGA coats and sweaters and several Michigan fans mistook the red for OSU – got cursed out a couple of times but most people were very nice and very curious as to why we were so far north of UGA on gameday.

Went back to the car and a number of people asked us to join them in tailgating on the golf course. Lots of good conversation and friendly people.

Went into the stadium early so that we could walk the perimenter. Really impressed with the architectual features of the original structure. Took our seats among friendly UM folks (and a few MSU fans as well). Both bands played the other school’s fight song. That’s pretty unique. Cannot imagine that happening at an SEC game. As a matter of fact, many SEC bands deliberately play right through the Alma Mater of the other school. The atmosphere at this game was so much more friendly than at SEC games. There are places like LSU and Alabama where, if we win, we don’t leave their ball yards for a long time after the game because of the venom spewed. At our ball yard, when the PA announcer gives scores of other games, he never includes Georgia Tech, Auburn or Florida unless they are losing! The opposing team at Sanford Stadium enters the field through a tunnel next to the student section. It’s not a pretty sight for the opposing team. It was hard to realize that there were about 20,000 more people in Michigan Stadium than our sold out Sanford Stadium could hold. Great game with real defense played. I wonder when was the last time Michigan defeated MSU without scoring a tourchdown.

Quite a weekend. No doubt we chose right this year. I would love to return for weekend when the basketball and hockey team are both playing at home. Next year we have decided to go to either the Texas-Oklahoma game in the Cotton Bowl or a home game at Notre Dame. Maybe the Washington-Washington State game in Pullman.