If you come from anywhere besides North America, the mention of “football” probably brings up teams like Manchester United and Chelsea in your mind. But don’t worry about that; soon you’ll program your mind to call that sport “soccer,” and “football” will be the sport where men wearing padding charge into each other while passing an oblong ball. You will see it being showed in almost every restaurant and TV screen that is around. You will hear true Wolverine fans bashing Ohio State and MSU (Michigan State University). Even if you came here not knowing a thing about how the game is played or how many people are on a team, chances are you will leave Ann Arbor having Michigan football t-shirts and knowing who the quarterback is.
I was just like that, coming here insisting that “soccer” is the real “football” and thinking American football was just a rebranded rugby. Little did I know that the University of Michigan has one of the strongest college football teams in the country. I was amazed that our football games were aired on TV, and that people from all over the States, old and young included, were watching and supporting our football team. If that doesn’t amaze you, here’s a fact that will: Ann Arbor hosts the second largest stadium in the entire world!
So, why should you care about Michigan football? That’s because football is everything here. Wolverines are extremely proud of their football team and especially their coach, Jim Harbaugh. It’s all people ever talk about during Game days. It’s a topic that brings people together. If you ever run out of topics while meeting new people, just the mention of last week’s game will get the conversation going on and on. Even professors talk about it in classes. Once a season is over, Wolverines are already looking forward to the next. People in Ann Arbor breathe and bleed Michigan football.
I personally don’t keep up to date with any sport at all; but there’s one team that I will sit in front of a TV and watch the entire game – the Michigan Wolverines football team. From not knowing about what a field goal is, I can now tell what causes a foul and what is an interception. I find myself cheering with the rest of the crowd every time our team scores a touchdown, and I became upset at the referee when we lost to Ohio State.
Even if you have no interest in sports at all, I strongly recommend that you attend a Michigan football game at the Michigan Stadium. The sea of yellow that consists of 110,000 people singing “The Victors” and cheering on our team is more than enough reason for you to try it out. You can get students tickets for a low price of $25 per ticket. And don’t forget to get yourself a maize-colored t-shirt at the M Den before the game!
Written by Wen Hoong Ling
International Center Summer Orientation Peer Adviser
Country of Origin: MalaysiaSophomore in Economics