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sports. michigandaily. corn
sports @michigandaily. corn
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I'll say it
the marching band
I'm proud to say it: I absolutely love the
Michigan Marching Band.
I still get goosebumps thinking
about the first time I saw it perform.
Growing up in New York, I had very little
exposure to major college athletics - and
therefore, very little contact with major
college marching bands. But at an other-
wise worthless "New Student Convoca-
tion" ceremony, I discovered the glory of
the MMB. It wasn't the full group - the
band only sent a small contingent to
Crisler Arena that night - but
what I heard stays with me to
this day. I'll never forget the
way the 'M' Fanfare reverber-
ated throughout that building,
the way that final, beautiful
chord warmed up the barren;
concrete arena. I'll never forget
pumping my fist with everyone
from Mary Sue on down.to the?
lowliest freshman - it was my
first live "Victors" experience. IM
And the most amazing thing Si
is how it doesn't get old, how Spitz
I relive those feelings at liter-
ally every Michigan sporting event (and I
attend a lot of Michigan sporting events).
But it isn't just about the traditional
songs and the spectacular way in which
the band performs them. It's about the
whole marching band saga, from the bru-
tal summer practices, to the entire Foot-
ball Saturday experience, to the hockey
pep band's antics.
Think football two-a-days are rough?
Arriving approximately two weeks before
classes begin, band members have to
deal with full 13-hour practices under
the summer sun, pounding the turf and
perfecting their sound. They practice for
over a week straight, not getting a day off
until the Sunday before school begins.
The long days can be both physically and
psychologically exhausting. But the band
members keep on coming back, and their
sweaty summer afternoons are reflected
in the refined product you see on the field
at each and every football game.
And even though the focus is generally
on the football team, the Marching Band
is an inextricable part of the tradition of
those Football Saturdays in Ann Arbor.
From the stepshow in front of Revelli
Hall exactly 90 minutes before kickoff to
the march back from the stadium, Satur-
day afternoon is filled with time-honored
band traditions. But for 15 minutes or so,
during halftime, the band can temporarily
put convention aside and let loose. And
this year especially, band director Jamie
L. Nix has been willing to do just that.
For those of you who haven't watched f
the band's halftime shows this year, here's
a brief synopsis: For the Northern Illinois
game, the band featured classic karaoke
tunes, such as "Piano Man" by Billy Joel,
and prompted a Michigan Stadium sing-
along. Against Notre Dame, they played
rock songs from around the world. The
show climaxed with a march toward the
student section, while the band played
- and the students sang - the classic
Queen hit "Bohemian Rhapsody."
Finally, during Saturday's contest with
Eastern Michigan, the band showcased
its most unconventional halftime show
yet, bringing the Big House down with a
full-scale comedic production inspired by
Monty Python's Broadway musical "Spa-
malot." The show featured, among other
things, a less-than-masculine Sparty, a
drunken Wisconsin cheesehead being
carted off the field and a crazed rabbit
brutally tackling an Ohio State tuba play-
er. As it watched the ruckus unfolding on
the field, the student section
fell into hysterics.
"I've been wanting to try
a skit show every year I've
been here, but those shows
are incredibly risky and
require a ton of hard work,"
Nix said. "So it had to be
exactly the right idea to spur
n.that kind of creativity. It
turned out better than we all
ATT thought it would."
4GER While the band's sense of
'ng Fire humor may have surprised
some fans, it came as no
shock to me. At an Ohio State-Michigan
hockey game I attended in 2003, the Yost
fans were up to their usual shenanigans,
mocking a diminutive Buckeye player with
chants of "Dirty Hobbit." Picking up on the
crowd's cues, the hockey band began play-
ing the Lord of the Rings theme song each
time the "Hobbit" took the ice, much to the
delight of the Michigan faithful.
The band loves entertaining the fans,
and it loves putting on a good show. But
more than anything, the band loves to see
Michigan win. It's hard to find a more
committed group of Wolverine fans, and
the die-hard support extends to every
sport the marching band plays for - from
football to women's hoops.
The athletic programs appreciate it,
too. Each year, football coach Lloyd Carr
invites the band to a closed practice, and
afterward he gives a speech thanking
the band. Last year, basketball coach
Tommy Amaker and hockey coach Red
Berenson stopped by band practice to
do the same. Even former football coach
Bo Schembechler made an appearance,
discussing the storied history of the
Michigan Marching Band and remind-
ing the band that they are of one of just
two student groups with the privilege of
storming out of the Michigan Stadium
tunnel on Football Saturdays.
So there you have it. They're the best
marchers, the best musicians, the best
entertainers, the best fans. They take
pride in everything they do - every per-
fectly struck chord, every perfectly timed
step, every sore throat from cheering the
Wolverines while their instruments are at
Basically, my message to the band is
this: Keep on doing what you're doing,
and I'm just going to keep on loving you.
- Matt loves being woken up at
8 a.m. on Football Saturdays by the
Marching Band. Seriously. He can be
reached at email@example.com
Offensive tackle Adam Stenavich stands with guard Matt Lentz while watching game action against Eastern Michigan Saturday. Stenavich, a fifth-year
senior, is the lone member of the football team from Wisconsin. He grew up a Wisconsin Badgers fan, but ultimately decided to come to Ann Arbor.
Stenavichha home on th road
By Stephanie Wright
Daily Sports Editor
When fifth-year senior Adam Stenavich com-
mitted to Michigan, he had some work to do.
First, he headed over to his local Salvation
Army and discarded a lifetime's worth of red
and white clothing. After that, he returned home,
where he scraped a collection of Badgers stick-
ers off his dresser. And then came the hard part
- explaining his decision to disappointed family
Stenavich wasn't just going to college; he was
preparing to join enemy ranks.
The Marshfield, Wis., native grew up 140 miles
northwest of Madison, a two-hour drive away from
Camp Randall Stadium. Like most residents of the
area, Stenavich loved Wisconsin football. It's part
of everyday life in the Badger State.
"There's not much going on there," Stenavich
said with a laugh. "You've got the Packers and
the Badgers. They're big football fans (in Wiscon-
Stenavich attended a handful of games at Camp
Randall as a kid. The most memorable took place
on Nov. 13, 1999, when he sat in the stands and
watched Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne
break the all-time rushing record.
But Saturday will be the first time Stenavich
enters Camp Randall as a player.
"It's a rowdy place," Stenavich said. "It's a lot
like Columbus as far as the noise. ... I don't know
how loud it's going to be. It should be interest-
An all-state first-team selection at offensive and
defensive line following his senior season in 2000,
Stenavich was expected to stay home and suit up
for the Badgers, who had just won back-to-back
Big Ten titles and two straight Rose Bowls. When
his decision came down to Michigan and Wiscon-
sin, there seemed to be no reason for Stenavich to
choose the Wolverines.
That is, until his first visit to Ann Arbor.
"I just came to Michigan and loved the place,"
Stenavich said. "I liked it a lot better than Wiscon-
sin, so I decided it was the place for me."
And after 30 career starts, it's safe to say Stenav-
ich made the right choice.
The 6-foot-5, 321-pound left tackle redshirted
his first season and saw limited action in his sec-
ond year. But for the past three seasons, Stenavich
has started every regular-season game. He cur-
rently leads the team with the most starts of any
Coach Lloyd Carr referred to Stenavich as part
of the backbone of the team.
"He's an outstanding technician," Carr said.
"He takes great pride in the way he does his job.
... I never have to get on Adam Stenavich because
he hasn't been practicing hard (or) because he's
been making mental mistakes."
Stenavich's experience has been even more
important this season because of the rash of inju-
ries on the offensive line. But for a moment last
Saturday, it looked as if Stenavich would be the
next lineman to get hurt. After an Eastern Mich-
igan defender jammed a knee into his back and
gave him a "little jolt," Stenavich spent the rest
of the game on the sideline. But on Monday, he
assured that he was fine and could have returned
to the game if needed.
But that wasn't the only jolt Stenavich received
The die-hard Packers fan heard that former
Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards had
been "talking trash about the Packer tradition"
leading up to Sunday's game between Green Bay
and Edwards's Cleveland Browns. Stenavich called
Edwards and told him, "he better watch out."
The warning didn't help the Packers - Edwards
caught an 80-yard touchdown pass and the Browns
won, 26-24. But it did make one thing clear:
Stenavich's hometown pride runs deep - even if
he did ditch the Badgers to don Maize and Blue.
Spikers start Big
Ten season right
By Dan Ketchel
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING - The Michigan
volleyball team made the most of its first
conference game on Wednesday night at
Jenison Field House. The Wolverines (1-
0 Big Ten, 8-3 overall) snatched the vic-
tory from under Michigan State's nose
in the tightly contested match. Michigan
brought the game to match point only to
allow the Spartans to take three straight
points, bringing themselves within one.
served up the final
point. A perfect set
by Michigan red-
shirt freshman Mara Martin brought the
ball to the hand of junior Erin Cobler.
She then met the ball with an assertive
strike, playing it barely on the line for a
controversial point. The play clinched
the fifth game, 15-13, and the match.
"Erin Cobler had a great night
tonight," Michigan coach Mark Rosen
said. "She's a veteran on our team. She's
kind of a quiet performer. We call her
our stabilizer. She's not always going
to go out and win the games. Match
point, she takes a full, aggressive swing
against their best player. Tonight, she
went out and won it."
the only player to parallel Johnson's
late-game heroics, with each accumu-
lating four game-five kills.
"I know when it's time to step it
up," Pflum said. "The crowd was
great, everyone was rooting against
us, and, hopefully, I can start play-
ing like that from game one instead
of just for game five."
Pflum, who's affectionately known
by her coach as "The Thug," was
swinging proficiently throughout
the match, tallying a team-high 15
kills. Her nickname comes from the
aggressive way she crashes the net
- something she did last night.
"(Pflum) is doing a great job,"
Rosen said. "She just gets up and
bangs, and she likes that role. I think
the last couple of nights she's been
thuggish, and we want her that way.
She gets up and hits the heck out of
it, especially in pressure situations.
She's going to take big swings."
The two Big Ten rivals (0-1, 7-5)
exchanged game wins throughout the
match, culminating in a do-or-die
fifth game where the Wolverines and
Spartans hit .286 and .269, respec-
tively. Other Michigan team-highs
were Martin's 46 assists and junior
Lyndsay Miller's four blocks to lead
By Sara Livingston
Daily Sports Writer
Like Alvin, Simon and Theodore or Hughey, Duey and Louey,
Katie, Lyndsay and Erin bring together three completely different
personalities and styles to create the ultimate partnership. As cap-
tains of the Michigan volleyball team, junior Erin Cobler and soph-
omores Katie Bruzdzinski and Lyndsay Miller form the ultimate
leader: outgoing and loud, yet controlled and detail-oriented.
"The three of us pretty much cover all of the personalities on
our team," Bruzdzinski said. "I think it's good that we all are a
little different because we can connect with different people and
that gives everyone options on who they can go to and who they
feel comfortable with."
Despite their age, coach Mark Rosen didn't give a second
thought to appointing Miller and Bruzdzinski as captains. Both
Wolverines have held leadership positions on their high school
and regional volleyball teams, and neither is a stranger to helping
her teammates get things done and rising to the occasion to lead
"It's different with every team," Rosen said. "With this group,
it just seemed to be a clear decision. I never had any hesitation
with those two because they are great kids and great leaders, and
we just felt that they would do a good job and work well with our
On the court, Bruzdzinski epitomizes dedication and com-
posure. Other players know they can always look to her to see
how something should be done, and that encourages them to push