Michigan Football And The Death Of The Die-Hard Fan

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I wrote a piece a couple of weeks ago about how I didn’t understand how the HD TV era should impact whether or not you want to go to a live sporting event – specifically a football game.

I stand by my initial rant, as I firmly believe there is nothing better than being there.

I recently came across another article about how the University of Michigan’s ticketing policies have alienated fans. Reading the headline, I was expecting a story about the athletic department going out of its way to rip people off and make a quick buck or something along those lines. I ended up reading something completely different.

What I gathered was Michigan students weren’t attending Michigan games because in order to sit with their friends, they needed to show up early, food was expensive, lines were long and TV timeouts suck. Because of these things, apparently sitting at home — whether that is a tiny dorm room or a ratty apartment just off campus — and watching the game on a 60-inch TV was a better option.

Come again?

If you aren’t showing up early, why show up at all? Stadium food is expensive. That’s why you tailgate. Lines for everything are going to be long. That’s what happens when you cram over 100,000 people into an area smaller than a city block. And TV timeouts are long and do suck, but they aren’t any shorter on TV. You just get to watch beer and boner pill commercials instead of participating in student-section shenanigans like asshole-ish chants about the other team and slow motion waves.

Everything is blamed on the convenience of NOT being at the stadium.

I have one question: When did we all turn into a nation of spoiled pussies?

Pardon my French, but we are talking about The FUCKING Big House. It’s one of the hallowed grounds of college football. It’s a bucket list item for millions of football fans – Michigan fans or not. And here we have a collective group of students who have this bucket list stadium at their disposal for what really amounts to a bargain price for a period of four years – 28 games – if they’re lucky.

But these assholes would rather not go. These “bros” and gals would rather pack into shitty apartments around campus with the TV tuned into the game and half the people in the room giving zero fucks about the outcome – all while getting hammered off Busch Light cans that have probably been sitting in some basement fridge for two years.

Screw’em.

If I was the Michigan A.D., I’d eliminate the student section altogether.  Go watch the game in some frat house next to a guy with a sock on his dick.

Then you have the crowd of adults who are bitching about things like seat licensing and “skyrocketing” ticket prices. Cry me a river. It costs money to do things. You can either afford it or you can’t. If you can, fork over the cash and go. If you can’t — don’t.  Here’s a little secret: Most of you can afford it.

The median household income in the state of Michigan is roughly $50,000. I might make a little more than that, and if I lived within a 3 hour drive of the Big House and was a die-hard fan, you bet your ass I’d be there every week.

Look at it this way: A married couple might take a vacation once a year. Figure the airfare runs them $1,000, 5 nights in a chain hotel runs another $1,000, eating out costs you a grand and I’ll give you another grand just to blow on whatever. That’s $4000.

Now imagine, like most Michigan football fans, that Wolverine football is your passion. It’s what you do. The most you’ll pay for season tickets in the “Victors” section for two people is gonna be around $1600. That’s for seven games. I’ll give you $100 for gas each weekend, $100 for the cost of food and beer for the two of you to tailgate and $150 for a hotel each weekend. That’s $4050. If you are sitting in the “Victor’s” section, there’s a $600 donation.

So for roughly $650 more than the cost of an annual 5-day getaway, two people could enjoy SEVEN weekend getaways centered on their passion: MICHIGAN FOOTBALL. I don’t see the problem.

All I see are people bitching about – of all things – the experience. If you are one of these people, maybe you just aren’t a real fan. Maybe you just like to have the game on in the background while you hobnob with your pals over some shitty homebrew you whipped up in your unfinished basement. Maybe sitting in the hot September sun or the bitter November cold rooting on the winningest college football program in history isn’t your passion.

Maybe this is more about you and your fandom and less about the “ass-pain” of attending live games.

Or maybe, just maybe, we are seeing the slow, painful death of the die-hard football fan in America.

Dear God, I hope not.

BY J.P. SCOTT ON JUNE 25, 2014

Follow @TheJPScott on Twitter!

(Photo credit to Touch the Banner)

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About J.P. Scott

Owner and editor of Know It All Football, contributor to AthlonSports.com and GridirionExperts.com. Member of the Football Writers Association of America.

One thought on “Michigan Football And The Death Of The Die-Hard Fan

  1. June 25, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    That escalated quickly!

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