Thursday, September 14, 2006

Fans On The Field!!

My old high school classmate Bob has a souvenir of a big football win from when he attended Michigan State University as a student over 25 years ago.

It was the year that MSU toppled Ohio State, a victory as unlikely a quarter century ago as it is now. After the final gun sounded, Bob said "see ya later" to his girlfriend and charged the field to celebrate.

During the raucous post-game revelries, the goal posts came down in Spartan stadium. Bob and others walked out carrying a large piece of history, later cut into smaller pieces for each of them to cherish.

I thought about that while I attended a University of Michigan football game this past week in Ann Arbor. Late in the game, I walked from section to section, taking pictures as The Big House is soon to be renovated. At each entrance to the stadium, I noticed that police had joined the ushers.

Any spectator now passing through any of the 44 section entrances passed by at least one officer, it seemed. Why were they there now? They weren't there before. To keep the fans off the field when the game ended would be my guess.

When our local high school team won a big see-saw football game that went right down to the last play, their fellow student fans charged the field to embrace their heroes. There's nothing like watching the collective spirit of our sons and daughters cheering together in a unique display of school pride.

But I read in the newspaper this week that one local football league has banned fans from the field, period, after one particularly successful football team made a point to routinely invite their fans into the on-field, post-game huddle. And the fans obey the new rule, standing behind a chain link fence now as their team huddles after the game.

We're becoming a nation of sheep, I fear. We pay taxes, obey the laws, leash our dogs, tolerate spam, put up with crooked politicans and greedy oil companies, watch our savings dwindle with the high price of health care and prescription drugs . . . where will it end?

I envy Bob his trophy. Some day I hope I have the courage to celebrate some personal victory in a way that I'll remember the rest of my life, legal or not. But Bob also needs to be careful with his partisanship. If he needles my University of Michigan boosterism too much, I'll rat him out to the authorities at Michigan State.


Blogger Bernadette said...

I'm all over this post, Dave! Spartan trophy envy!! MSU toppling Ohio State!!!

But, "a victory as unlikely a quarter century ago as it is now"?! Them's fightin words! Where are my matches? Furthermore, where were your congratulations when MSU beat Ypsi last week? Just wait until October 7!

We get to watch Malcolm play high school football tonight and see Byron's Cougars play on Saturday!

Even an old Spartan can shed a tear over changes to Michigan Stadium, oui?

10:02 AM  
Blogger Squirrel said...

It's really sad how we have to be so careful nowadays! I was at the OU home game last year when that guy accidentally blew himself up after trying to get in the game with a bomb. Unfortunately people these days seem to be alot more dangerous!
We have become a nation of sheep...
And scaredy cats.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Nankin said...

Dave, are you sure the cops weren't keepomgam eye pm you as a potential terrorist? Sounds mighty suspicious to me going around taking pictures like that.

4:52 PM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Any victory over Ohio State is a NICE memory! ~ jb///

8:02 PM  
Blogger Kacey said...

Gee, it is so seldom that anyone can beat Ohio State, that a huck of the goal post will be a great antique! Go Bucks! (Sorry, guys---I'm from Ohio)
We had a goal post incident at the University of Toledo a few years ago. The crowd carried it across a bridge over a small river and hit a girl in the back with the posts --- she is paralyzed. I hope their hunk of goalpost is worth ruining someone's life.

6:43 AM  
Blogger molly said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:50 PM  
Blogger molly said...

I hope you get your trophy, but I don't think you'd rat out your friend, partisan or no.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Stick to photos Dave, less troubles and easier to produce and gloat over.

1:22 AM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

I don't believe in storming the field. I don't believe in "taking down the goal posts" either. Are those people going to pay for new goal posts and their installation? When people start charging the field, someone enveriably gets hurt. It is not worth it in my book. Now days we have terrorists to worry about. Sorry Dave, I disagree with you on this one.

8:16 AM  
Blogger vicki said...

You should see the horror show at the end of the block here in Chicago. It's bad, Dave. It's really bad. Don't tell B.
But say- how do you think the MSU- Notre Dame game will look? Michigan ran roughshod over them today- good deal.

7:07 PM  
Blogger bornfool said...

You mad some good points there, Dave. For the most part we have become a society of very compliant people, sitting and watching while our rights erode.

11:26 AM  
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12:46 AM  

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