Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Gameday photos

It's pretty much impossible to get a decent game photo from the stands, especially if you're more interested in watching the game than photographing it. Here are a few from the Cap One Bowl. I'll leave it to others to discuss the game itself. It was the first time I've cried in public since my age was in low single digits.

Warmups! I'm happy to have a photo with Hart and Henne in one shot, even if it's not great. Astute observers will note Fred Jackson on the far right. At this point I turned to my friend and said, "I don't care that we're going to lose. I'm really glad I came."

Gators and Wolverines line up. My perception of SEC fans is a pack of screaming Jim Beam-fueled rednecks sodomizing deep-fried turkeys in front of their RVs. I found the Florida fans civil, well mannered and friendly before and after the game. In the hotel, in restaurants and at the game, I heard nothing but good wishes and congratulations. Strangely, about 10 minutes before kick-off a middle-aged in full Buckeyes regalia took a seat next to us. I wondered what it would be like to get ejected from a game for fighting (they sell beer at the Citrus Bowl, and I took advantage) but he cheered loudly for the Wolverines. At halftime I shared my hopes to see Ohio State crush LSU. In our row, their was love among the Big 10.

Halftime! The other side of his sign read, "Win one 4 Lloyd."

We sat right behind the band. I love watching games with the band.

The game was over. Lighting was terrible by then, so sadly this was the best shot of the field that I managed to get. Long, Hart and Henne are on the podium at this point.

Florida fans left quickly. After the loss to Ohio State in November, I stood in the rain after most Michigan fans left. I watched the Buckeyes run to the sliver of OSU fans in a mostly empty Michigan Stadium and watched their post-game celebrations through Carmen Ohio. As miserable and lonely as that felt, I felt its opposite as Henne took his final (healthy!) knee, the band began playing, and a contingent of the team ran to our corner of the field to celebrate.

I've never seen a Michigan crowd so involved in a game, from kickoff through conclusion. At the Rose Bowl, at Ohio State games: the intensity of the Michigan fans on Tuesday was unprecedented in my experience. It was like being in a students' section for the entire game. Everyone stood, and everyone screamed. Once the post-game ceremonies wrapped, the chants carried down to the men's room, and for a bizarre ten-second interval, there was a sort of tunnel of fans lined up waiting their turn and cheering on everyone walking out.


amish said...

I've never been so disappointed in myself for not attending a game that I was literally not more than 10 minutes away from (I was in Orlando for New Year's and the game, and drove past the stadium on my way back to my hometown). I held off on getting tickets so that I could coordinate with friends in Florida, but they quickly sold out. No one in my group seemed keen on paying above face, so I opted to watch it on TV with a group I knew, as opposed to sitting alone (well, with thousands of strangers) to watch it live. It is one of the most regrettable decisions of my life.

The smile on Lloyd's face when they showered him with Gatorade and hoisted him on their shoulders was incredibly moving. I too choked up.

crimenotes said...

That's horrible.

Sir, you need to learn one fact of buying tickets on the secondary market: as you get closer to the stadium and gametime, you can always find tickets at or close to face. Alternatively, with sufficient advance notice, I can find extras about 90% of the time.

Baby's taking off the rest of the workweek to celebrate.