Well, I made it to Michigan.  I made a stop in South Bend, Indiana to visit Notre Dame Stadium.  For college football fans, it’s not that dissimilar to Mecca.  A one time pilgrimage to, perhaps the most sacred ground in college football.  I am by no means a Notre Dame fan, but I do have a healthy respect for what Notre Dame has accomplished and the place it holds in college football history.  South Bend is roughly on my way to Detroit, so I thought it would be more than worth the time to stop and take it all in, and it was well worth it.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get to see a game there, but I can say I got to go inside the stadium and walk around it, and that alone was an experience that I will remeber for a long time.

I made the rest of the way to Detroit, about 3 hours later than I had hoped, but there, none-the-less.  I was greeted warmly by my good friend Jay and his pup, Chongo.  We chatted for a few hours before turning in for the evening and heading to Ann Arbor to take in the Nebraska/Michigan “game”.

We left relatively early for the game, which kicked off at noon, local time.  It took me a while to figure that out, because I was so used to Central time (which is part of the reason I was 3 hours later than I thought I would be, I didn’t account for the change in time zones, otherwise, I’d only have been 2 hours late…).  We got to Ann Arbor about 2 hours before the game started and found our way to our tailgating spot.  We had parked about a 20 minute walk on one side of the stadium, our tailgating locale was about 20 minutes on the other side, so yeah, 40 minutes to find this place.  It was great, very hospitable and welcoming.  There was a pretty large number of Nebraska fans there, which shouldn’t come as a huge suprise, considering Nebraska fans travel as well as they do.

The game itself was a bit of a dud.  Nebraska had their opportunities to make a game of it, but it just didn’t happen.  That happens at times, but how often do you get to experience something like Nebraska/Michigan for the first time?  Not very often, and for that alone, it was well worth it.  The Michigan fans who were around us were extraordinarily hospitable.  In many ways, it reminded me of Lincoln, just the colors and stadium were a little different.  But the atmosphere and attitude of the fans were very similar.  If this is the way it’s going to be, it’s going to be a great relationship.  It could become the way Nebraska and Oklahoma used to be: Respectful, competitive and meaningful.

Advertisements