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April 14, 2005 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-04-14

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16B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 14, 2005
Best Sports Team IF o o t b all
Football still remains the fan favor'te

UIIe iEaiiun a

By Sharad Mattu
Daily Sports Editor
When DeAndra Cobb raced 68
yards untouched down the left side-
line to give Michigan State a 27-
-0 lead with 8:43 left in the fourth
quarter, a few thousand students did
something they'll undoubtedly never
do again.
They left.
"I left right after the field goal but
before the onside kick," Kinesiology
junior James Batey said. "I thought
it was over, but right when I left I
heard this huge eruption from the
-crowd. I couldn't get back in, so I
ran home and watched the rest of the
game on TV."
Of course, as time passes, fewer
and fewer people will admit to aban-
doning the football team that day.
Nobody wants to acknowledge that
he or she missed the conclusion of
perhaps the greatest game in Michi-
gan Stadium history, when Braylon
Edwards caught three touchdown
passes to lead Michigan to a win in
triple overtime.
"I was just so mad at myself,"
Batey said. "I was right up front
watching it, and left."
But if you ask some people, they
might tell you that the football team
was just teaching everyone a lesson.
,After the Wolverines fell behind
and a sizable chunk of the 111,609
in attendance left, they rewarded the
true die-hard fans with a comeback

they'll never forget. The stadium
was not full, but it has never been
louder, and "the fact that the game
finished well into the evening made
the atmosphere even more special.
And last year's clash with the Spar-
tans isn't something that has hap-
pened just once or twice. Last season,
the Wolverines beat Minnesota in the
last minute, in 2003 there was The
Game against Ohio State that culmi-
nated with the students rushing the
field with roses in their hands and,
the year before, there was an over-
time win over Penn State and a last-
second win over Washington.
It's games like these -- with most,
if not all, of the student body togeth-
er in attendance - that explain why
the football team is voted the best
team in Ann Arbor.
Sure, the ice hockey, wrestling and
gymnastics teams had just as much
success. And while the football team
had a very good season, it won't be
remembered as one of its best. In
fact, the Wolverines lost to their two
biggest rivals, Notre Dame and Ohio
State, as well as the Rose Bowl.
But football games are the only
chance for so many students to
experience something together. The
student section catches a lot of flak
for orchestrating the wave while the
game is going on and singing along
while the marching band plays Bon
Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer," but it's
still a part of what makes a football
game so special.


The Michigan football team takes the field before their 45-37 triple-overtime victory over Michigan State on
Oct. 30, 2004.

That said, there's much more than
just the 60 minutes of football that
makes a Football Saturday in Ann
Arbor memorable. For the six or so
home games every fall, there is truly
something for everyone.
Some people will wake up early
to see the marching band make its

way into the stadium and then settle
into their seats to yell "who cares"
when Michigan's opponent is intro-
duced. Others wake up even earlier
to start tailgating or hit up the frats
and houses along State Street.
But no matter what people do
before the game, after this past sea-

son, everyone should now know what
not to do during the game.
"I've learned my lesson," Batey
said. "I was so mad I didn't stick it
out, so I'm not going to make that
mistake again.
"At least, that's what I'm going to
say right now."

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