Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I'm a Wolverines fan, and I HATE the Big House

I'd love to be able to talk about the Michigan - Ball St. nail biter. Truly, I would. There would be plenty to discuss, mostly bad, I'm guessing. But thanks to the Worldwide Leader playing hardball with cable operators, the game was broadcast on their ESPNU channel, better known for showing...Honestly, I don't know, because..I DON'T GET THE GOD DAMN CHANNEL!

The Worldwide Leader's corporate greed strikes again...

Considering the too close for comfort final score, Michigan may just be thanking their lucky stars that only those with a satellite dish were actually able to watch the game. Since dish owners are in the vast minority, you might just as well say that no one saw the game, save for drunks in bars, and those in person.

Personally, I was caught between a rock and a hard place. I have Comcast, and no longer have DirecTV, thus no Worldwide Leader U channel. For that matter, now that ease and comfort are large factors in determining if I attend a game, I refuse to spend 4 hours sitting in the most uncomfortable stadium in the universe. That being Michigan Stadium, the Big House.

Yes, I hate the Big House. I despise Michigan Stadium. And I'm a huge Wolverine fan. I'm not sure if I should be proud, or ashamed, to admit it.

You give me a choice between going to state of the art Ford Field to watch the hapless Lions, or going to decades out of date Michigan Stadium to watch the national title contending Wolverines, I'll pick the Lions and Ford Field every time.

Every time.

When I was younger, clueless, and drank more, I'd catch a couple of games at the Big House every season. Then I got older, a little more sober, and hopefully smarter. That's when I realized what a pain in the ass it was becoming. I stopped attending Michigan games a decade ago, just because I don't find being wedged in backless steel bleachers like sardines the ideal way to watch anything, let alone a football game. For me, an arthritis sufferer, going to the Big House is an exercise in slow miserable Big 10 style torture. The prisoners in Abu-Ghraib were more comfortable than I am in that big hole in the ground in Ann Arbor.

As much as people tend to romanticize the Big House, it really is a shit place to watch a game. It's a lousy facility, with not enough of anything. Not enough bathrooms, concession stands, comfortable seating, close parking, and loud fans. Wait, I'm sorry, there is enough of one thing. Quiet warm bodies. And that's not a good thing. Having over 110,000 fans crammed into what should be a 90,000 seat stadium is a sheer money grab. That, and the misguided thought that U of M should have the largest college football stadium on the country. Sure, the Wolverines can say that they have the highest attendance every season, but at what cost? Me, for one. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels the same way.

I don't like being treated like cattle on the way to slaughter, so I apologize for wanting for than 1 square foot to sit my sorry ass. As I'm neither Verne Troyer, nor a thalidomide baby, I need just a tad more room. My knees stick in the back of the fan in front of me. The person behind me has their sharp knees stuck in my back. I'm sitting fat cheek to sticky jowl with the people on each side of me. Baby Jessica had more room in the well she fell in than I did at the last Michigan game I attended. We were both scarred for life...

Michigan takes pride in the fact that they won't allow advertising in the Big House. First off, the thought that advertising is somehow beneath Michigan is bullshit. They are way off base with that statement, as NIKE has plastered their swoosh all over Michigan players, coaches, and staff. Personally, I'm all for advertising. Hell, if they allow ads inside the stadium, you'd think the athletic department could then afford to put backs on the damn seats!

College football is full of useless, past their prime, traditions. Fleabag bowl games, polls taken before the season starts, Joe Paterno. The thought that Michigan Stadium is perfect and the greatest facility in all the land is another of college ball's sheer follies.

For those that think nothing needs to be done to the Big House? We aren't living in the 60's, you damn hippies. Go find another useless cause to rebel against. And do not bring up tradition. Screw tradition! If tradition means that an out of date, uncomfortable stadium is scared territory, then Tiger Stadium would still be standing. Umm, wait a sec...Bad example, but you get my drift.

The Big House is well overdue for a big overhaul. For more than just a big ass ugly yellow halo. And those upgrades are finally coming. A decade or two late, but finally on the way.

I'm adding the Big House to the list of things that need fixing at Michigan. That list including Steve Breaston's hands, Mario Manningham's knee, Adrian Arrington's choice in women, and Lloyd Carr's sense of humor and offensive philosophy.

1 comment:

  1. My only memomory of going to the game in the Big House involved being pelted by marshmallows in the student section (my big sister went there). Do they still do that? It was a zoo, and yes, not a good place to watch football.