3-0 And Counting: Homecoming Enlivens Tradition At Michigan

Julie ReichlmayrContributor ISeptember 24, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 12:  Michigan players run out on to the field against Notre Dame at Michigan Stadium on September 12, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Domenic Centofanti/Getty Images)

With Homecoming weekend on the horizon, Ann Arbor is ready to celebrate tradition, Maize and Blue style.

Alumni around the country will make the familiar trek to Wolverine territory this weekend, to celebrate and witness a rejuvenated Michigan team.

Seasoned tailgaters and newcomers alike can appreciate the pre-game hype that accompanies the Michigan football experience.

From north to south, State Street will be covered with Maize and Blue clad tailgaters. Front porch dwellers will wave to passersby, with a resonating “GO!” cheer that only the true Michigan fans know must be countered with an equally loud, “BLUE!”

Even students living a few blocks away from the major tailgate areas are awakened by cyclical versions of “Hail to the Victors”a wake-up call only a Michigan fan can appreciate.

A yearly tradition will unfold on the football field as well. Clad in vintage Michigan band or cheerleading uniforms, 30-somethings and beyond will demonstrate they’ve still got “it”, reliving their glory days performing for a cheering Big House crowd. 

Beyond celebrating Michigan tradition, there is increased excitement on-campus this weekend with a 3-0 record already secured.

I am reminded of an ESPN article that perfectly detailed the hope associated with the 2009 season, and the tradition associated with the University of Michigan football program.

Fans may have been disappointed with game performances from a team led by a new coach. More recently, they were shocked by NCAA allegations against the very same figure. The 2009 redemption proves to have virtually reversed doubts associated with head coach Rich Rodriguez, especially former perceptions around campus.

It may have been a bumpy start, but today’s fans can agree that we must stand behind, as the article quotes, “perhaps the least self-important head coach in college football.”  A common slogan amidst students stands true: “In Rod We Trust.”

True to tradition, the Wolverines have yet again managed to rebound a previously disastrous season.

As this season has taught us, Michigan support is still strong. The players still begin every game running through the famed tunnel in the house that Yost built.

The winged helmet is still there, the maize and blue uniforms. Spectators continue the game-time cheers and pre-game celebrations. Students follow in the footsteps of millions before them, making the trek down Hoover Street towards the Big House. 

Unwavering tradition resonates from every building, every street, and every cheer. Homecoming reminds us this has always been true, no matter the record.

All the same, a winning record makes this tradition shine just a little brighter.