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4B - The Michigan Daily - FOOTBALL SATURDAY - October 18, 2003
The Michigan Daily - FCN)TRar.i. Sari
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With 1 10,000-plus capacity, the Big House has the potential to be a very intimidating place for visiting teams tof
desired. But that is going to change. Michigan fans have to believe that by doing their part, they can have an im
steps to unleash that crazy Michigan fan that lies within you
play. But right now the noise level leaves
pact in the outcome of the game. Follov
ou're a Michigan fan. Think about that for a sec-
ond. You're very privileged in comparison to the
rest of the nation, and yet you don't seem to care
as a majority. You come out to every game expecting to
be entertained with a victory and nothing short of it -
which is fine. But did you ever consider that you could
win the game? No, we re not trying to sound corny like
certain Coca-cola commercials starring Michael Vick.
You can win a game. We've seen it. Autzen Stadium,
for example. Oregon sure as heck didn't beat
Michigan - did you see the Ducks against Arizona
State this past weekend?.
Fans in Eugene believed that they could will their
team on to victory, and guess what, they did. We're ask-
ing you to do the same: Believe. Believe that you can
make a difference as an individual..Believe that when
you are alone cheering, others will join in to create an
environment even louder than Autzen Stadium (imagine
standing next to a 747-jet engine).
Believe that when Michigan is on defense, you can
create a noise so loud that it forces multiple timeouts,
false starts or delay of games. Just believe that when
you step into the Big House, you are the one difference-
maker. Not Marlin Jackson, not Steve Breaston, not
Lloyd Carr. You and you alone must win this game. You
must take on that responsibility of putting all of your
emotion into the game - to the point where you actu-
ally need halftime to rest and to where 10-degree
weather can't cool you down at all. You must treat each
game like you are protecting your house with your
When you're at The Big House, it's time to put the phone away. Focus on the
field and what's going on in front of you. Besides, if you can hear the person
on the other end, it's not loud enough.
Every play is a
BtL I MOUNTAIN/Daily
Keys on third down are great because everyone gets into it, but every down
is important and should be treated with equal enthusiasm. We're not saying
whip out the keys on every play, but make noise.
S to pit with the keys already! It's a nice tradition
when used properly, but it - along with the claw
(formerly the chop) - has become more routine
than something that has, been thought out during the
action. Most noticeably on fourth down (you know, that
play after you go crazy with keys and claw) you seem to
orget that other teams will run a play that isn't a punt.
Unfortunately you are caught up in this concept that just
third down is a "key play." EVERY PLAY IS A KEY
PLAY! Teams can score on first and second down, too.
What this means for you is that you need to make every
play - especially when the Wolverines are on defense
- as if it were to decide the game, mainly because it
You might be asking yourself, "What are the best ways
to make every play seem like the last play?" Well, this
is why we're here. First of all, jump up and down. We're
not, talking big jumps, but keep your body moving (try
lifting your heels rapidly while keeping your toes on the
bench). Secondly, eyes are to be on the field at all times.
No cell phones (call people at halftime), no second-
hand discussions about the post-game party ... just
football, baby. Third, what happens in the past is the
past. Just because Michigan gives up a touchdown does
not mean you have to give up your volume level. Until
all plays have been run, you are focused on the game.
Finally, just be loud. Be loud until you lose your voice
- only to get it back for the next game. Just go insane
with your friends the same way you've been going nuts
for the Chicago Cubs. Don't let up. Don't ever let up.
Come to cheer for
T his rule may not seem that important, and it can be the
hardest to follow, especially in a blowout. But still, it
can make a big difference. The only thing better than a
packed Michigan Stadium for kickoff is a packed Michigan
Stadium at the end of the fourth quarter.
Look at it this way. Even when the Wolverines are leading
by 30-plus going into the fourth quarter, they have to play
until the end of the game. There is no special rule saying
players can leave the game early if they're winning by a ton.
So fans should take this mentality to heart and really look at
themselves as a member of the team.
And if the Wolverines are down, you never know what can
happen. Leave early, and you could be missing the greatest
comeback in Michigan history. Just ask those fans who
turned off this past wekeend's game against Minnesota at the
end of the third quarter. Whoops!
Michigan fans have many cheering tradi-
tions, and several of these are classic and
should never change. But there is always
room for inprovement,
Waving the hats around during kickoffs is a good way to
start the game, and this cheer should stay as is. It's a good
start, but the key is to stay energized after it.
The third-down chop is no good. It's time to replace it
with the claw. It's the same idea, but instead of extending
your flat hand out in front of you, curl your fingers, and
claw away. This should definitely get the people around
This is another great Michigan Stadium tradition -
especially when you get through every single form. But it
must be used catiously. For example, if the game is close
in the third quarter, watch it. Don't stop watching or
cheering at the top of your lungs just to make sure you
don't do the fast wave when the students are calling for
the slow-motion wave.
Set an example for
The Michigan alumni on first down.
N otice a difference between these two pictures. Just
because the Michigan alumni take up 70 percent of the
Big House doesn't mean they should dictate the noise
level. It should be the Michigan students who let the alumni
know how loud the crowd is going to be on eve play.
And if you're an alum who breaks this mold encourage
those around you to forget who they are on Saturday after-
noon's and become part of the Michigan football experience.
Encorage them to get crazy. Encourage them to cheer all the
The students alone cannot make the Big House reach its
noise-level potential. The only way that can happen is if all
110,000-plus get up and get loud.
Just think of the ossibilities. Oregon was deafening, and
they only had 60,000 people packed in.
And always rem
- The Oregon alumni on first down. BRETT MOUNTAIN/Daily