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Longtime Michigan Fan Describes Why He Has Stopped Following Michigan Football

+4 HS
Sonof'47alum's picture
September 22, 2019 at 8:15am

This is an articulate, fascinating read (although as a longtime Knicks fan I don’t quite share his ultimate point of view).  I guess the difference is, there is always bona fide hope the Knicks will turn it around, right?



I had been a fan for over 43 years, but simply could not take it anymore. Just as players retire when it is no longer fun, the same is true for fans. There is no written or unwritten rule that states a "fan for life" mentality. The program/university have a duty to the fans to put a winner on the field. Given the hubris of the Michigan program, this is especially true. After all, doesn’t Schembechler Hall make the pronouncement that "This Is Michigan"? What does that mean? When making such a pronouncement, it is then incumbent upon the university, its program and its coaches to live up to such a statement.

Michigan used to be a special place to play football. It hasn’t been for years. I chose to walk away simply due to the fact that I no longer believe in this program. If compared to a machine, one could easily state that the program is akin to one that is poorly designed, operated and run. An anachronism that only seems modern in the minds & eyes of those who are just as sadly out of touch & out of mind. What has happened within the program is simply unacceptable, and quite frankly, unforgivable. When one considers the sunshine and rainbows that were promised (yes, they were promised) in regards to the offense, an expectation was set. As well as a hope of modernity and growth within the program. It is unforgivable simply due to the fact that Michigan has not lived up to such promises. Instead of "speed in space", we have seen "turnovers & disgrace". Instead of operational efficiency and elegance within the offense, we have been given a myriad of self-imposed mistakes in the shape of penalties and an unwillingness to get out of our own way. The typical brand of Michigan Football going all the way back to Gary Moeller. Is this what they mean when they say "This is Michigan"?

This will be a season where Michigan will see 5 to 6 losses. Given what we have seen so far, there is no reason to believe that they will be up to the task in beating Iowa, Michigan State, Penn State, Notre Dame or Ohio State. The Harbaugh Era is what it is. A failed experiment that disguised itself as a Ferrari, yet turned out to be a broken down Fiat. Hidden and obfuscated by the Jordan Brand & pretentious exultations of "whose got it better than us." It is not "disloyal" to walk away as a fan. It is simply the only recourse that one has. When your first love is no longer a shadow of its old self, and when one of its own can no longer lead & motivate the current generation. Well, the only path of travel is to invest your time in attention in other things. The program and university have failed its fans, and to a degree, its own players.

I said it before, and it bears repeating. Just as the athlete retires upon the reality that he can no longer perform, and thus, no longer enjoys the game in which he plays. The same can be said about us as fans. When one waits for 8 months, only to be let down season after season. Even the most loyal and loving of fans loses their sense of expectation. I have lost mine. After waiting & hoping for the last 15 years or so, I no longer believe in what was once my first love. I will always love Michigan Football, but the joy, spirit and expectation is gone. Be it the ineptitude, the exodus of coaches, or players foregoing one last moment in the sun together. Michigan Football is no longer what it used to be. A paragon of excellence and the Wolverine spirit. After all the wonderful memories, it is too bad that such things should fade away.

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