It was an odd vibe before the game.  While the atmosphere was a little more exciting than usual, probably due to the timing and the collective BAC, I asked few folks how they felt things would go in the game. 

Devin mgoblue Usually folks narrow in on a player or two or say something like ‘if we can just run the ball..’ or ‘if we don’t turn the ball over..or whatever.  Yesterday I got looks of confusion, bewilderment and/or just disinterest. 

The problem is fans don’t know up from down right now—the compass is broken, man.  It’s a bad place to be.  Last night’s win didn’t fix that but damn, it was nice to walk out of there with a win.

Speaking of up from down, these things happened:
* Players wearing blue pants
* Punt returners doing choreographed pre-punt dance routines with personally selected music blasting over the PA
* MMB doing light shows

If you told me 10 years ago that these things would eventually happen in the Big House I would have hurled.  Somehow last night each of those things worked for me (seriously).  More below.

To the game: Quick props out there to CAPTAIN Jake Ryan for getting better each week and leading the defense in putting up an inspiring performance.  And to Matt Wile for drilling those crucial field goals that proved to be the difference out there.  And finally to Devin Gardner…thank 98 if you see him about town.  He was clearly hurt but sacked up and made it back out to finish the game and make the next two weeks tolerable.

* No boycott – While there was talk of a pregame boycott there clearly was no boycott.  John (Captain Torso) Navarre went on WTKA pregame & urged students to not do it.  In fact the student section was a filled up early as it’s been all season.  I’m glad the students showed en masse.
* Section 23 Bo – This is great.  The usher all the way atop section 23 (50 yard line on the west side) affixed a Bo-bblehead doll to the wall outside the Regent’s box.  I love it:

Bo Usher

I know some of you want to stick something else outside the Regent’s box but please…maintain your dignity.

After the jump – Pomp, Uniforms, Tunnels of Love, MMB Killing it, Norfleet, MORFleet, More, more..

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So certainly you’ve heard by now that the Michigan Marching Band won’t be heading to Dallas.  I don’t like it eitherFergodsakes.

Local radio host Lucy Ann Lance suggested via Twitter that perhaps we could have a fundraiser to get the band to Dallas.   I’m not wild about putting that on the fans and geez, I hate to give the Machine more ideas about where to squeeze. 

That said, there is a historical precedent for passing the proverbial hat to get the MMB to big games.  From my run down of the 1910 season, there was a big plea made by students to make sure the band made the trip to the big game at Penn that year.   An alumnus 1848 helped out:

Random Notes: The Michigan band wanted to make the trip to Philadelphia to support the football squad, but needed to raise some money to supplement the university’s funding to make it happen. The Daily reported that a Mr. Joseph R. Smith, U-M class of 1848, sent $2.50 to the band leader to help. Eventually, thanks in large to the attention given to the matter in the Daily, the funding was secured and the band made the trek to the game to support the Wolverines.


I can tell that this happened frequently back in those days.  In fact, I recall one student writing the Daily suggesting that they charge a small fee at the Friday pep rallies so they could better manage these requests.

Update:  There is also a precedent for sending the band to huge games played in high profile neutral stadiums as well.  If there’s a baseball equivalent to Cowboy Stadium it’s Yankee Stadium, and the MMB not only made the trip when Michigan faced Army in 1950—Revelli and his crew absolutely killed it:

While the football squad took a bit of a beating in a hard fought battle, the Michigan Marching Band made a few headlines with a legendary performance on the historic field. Their effort earned a few inches in the Times post-game coverage:

1950 Army Michigan from Yankee Stadium

Brush away tear after reading that. My god, Revelli pulled out all the stops!

After that original post reader Jeremy sent over a few photos of the performance.  First photo is a salute to the opponent and the next, my favorites, is the band recreating a ride at the Coney Island amusement park: the Parachute drop:

A04 ARMYformationYankeeStadiumimage_thumb45


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Many U-M historians know that it was the Michigan Marching band that first performed the ‘Script Ohio’, the beloved pregame formation favored by the Buckeyes.   As I understand it was first performed in 1932 in Columbus, in fact I understand that this is a photo of the mega-sized writing lesson:


I bring this up because check out this clip I ran across from the October 16, 1932 Michigan Daily, published a day after the Wolverines’ 14-0 victory down in the snake pit.   Not that this fact has been disputed, but the article confirms that this happened (“’OHIO,’ spelled out in script..”) and it provides some validation on the photo above (“diagonally across the field”):


I like that apparently the band didn’t stop there, mixing in a MICH (was it a script MICH?) along with the tradition block ‘M’.

I’m sure the Wagner prelude certainly powerful but I’m guessing it was dropped from the regular MMB rotation thanks to rise of the soon-to-be Chancellor over in Germany.

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