Hey, what do you guys think of Coach Rod’s comments about breaking the attendance mark for a spring game (having over 90,000 people attending)?
Do you think it is possible for the wine-and-cheese crowd come to an event that does not count?
Thanks for the question.
Personally, I do not see it happening anytime soon. It seems like Michigan fans find all sorts of excuses for not attending these spring events. We've been on message boards for a long time and have heard it all. From people saying it was too nice out to waste their time going to the spring game to the weather was not nice, or it was too cold, yada, yada, yada...
Some people have said that they don't attend because it's not a real game, but then when they had a game, people still did not attend. Some have said that Michigan needs to market the spring game better. They probably could, but true fans will already know about the game and show up. The others? I don't really care too much about. It's a quality over quantity sort of thing.
In this economy, what better way is there to take your whole family out to have a good time spending the day in Ann Arbor and watching those maize-and-blue winged helmets run around? Those that don't show up—it's your loss.
A few years ago, the athletic department used to put on a garage sale of unused merchandise from the previous year and old practice stuff. They also used to put on a 5k walk/run, softball games, baseball games, etc...all of which did not seem to bring more people out to watch the spring football game.
People complain about it not being a game. So frickin' what! Here is a chance for a FREE EVENT to see your football team, yet people still make excuses. So it's not a game, but you can still see your team, and it's football—did I mention it is FREE.
Maybe with the economy so bad people will start coming to this for the entertainment value to get away from their problems for a few hours.
This year Michigan has baseball and softball games right after the spring game, so people can spend an entire day in Ann Arbor watching three of the best sports teams on campus. The softball team has been an elite team for years and the baseball team has been getting better and better every year under Coach Maloney.
I am sure there will be some people coming to see, in person, how the renovations of Michigan Stadium have progressed over the winter. I can envision more people coming to this year's, and possibly next, spring game to get a first hand look at the Big House.
Curiosity over Tate Forcier might be a big draw this year. Many have heard about the kid and want to see first hand whether or not he has the goods.
So to re-cap, I have to say it will be awhile before we see 90,000 fans in Michigan Stadium for a spring game. It is a good dream to have, that someday Michigan fans will care enough, and have the passion enough, for their football team that fans from other programs do, such as Ohio State, Nebraska, Florida, Alabama, etc. Until then, I'm happy to share the afternoon with all the true fans that do show up. Go Blue!
Here are a couple of links of interest regarding the spring game and activities:
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Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine