It’s Great…To be…A Michigan Wolverine


“Language has limits and can finally only say what is not, but falters before an experience that so completely is” (Giamatti 23). Sometimes there are no words. Sometimes a feeling is so extraordinary that there really is no way to describe your emotions. Sports have given me this feeling, time and time again. Last night was one of those times.

Last night was the first time I truly meant it when I said that it’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine. I am damn proud to be here. After defeating the defending national champions Notre Dame, the student section stormed the field and joined the victorious Michigan soccer team. We all went insane. From chanting to jumping to singing, we came together as one. When the team won, I felt as though I won, and there is no better feeling than that. As Giamatti would say, there was a religious feel to it. It was a type of ceremony.

The celebration was one thing, but what happened as everything settled down was what will remain with me forever. It sends chills down my back just thinking about it. A senior midfielder came over to all of us fans and said, “I want to thank every single one of you. Forever Go Blue. This victory is as much yours as it is ours.” I immediately thought of Giamatti. In his text, Giamatti says, “When people win together, the joy is more intense

Michigan Ultras Taking Over

then when any of us wins alone, because part of any true pleasure is sharing that pleasure…” (Giamatti 20). The players could have easily celebrated their win as a team, but they chose to celebrate it with us, the fans. Now that I have stopped playing sports, I have learned a lot about being a fan and about play.

Being a fan is more than just being a spectator. Being a fan is being fully engaged in the game, watching every movement from every player like it is one’s own, and emotionally connecting to the players. Giamatti says that “recreation is re-creation,” and that imagining yourself on the field as one of the players brings the heart. Re-creating memories is enough to stimulate your senses and join a new community, one that becomes hard to leave. Fanhood becomes addicting, and people want to keep feeling this passion and sense of belonging. Watching Colin McAtee score his third goal of the game last night reminded me of my old days on the pitch, and I became attached to the event, creating a whole new world for myself.


Giamatti, A. Bartlett. Take Time for Paradise: Americans and Their Games. New York: Summit, 1989. Web.


5 thoughts on “It’s Great…To be…A Michigan Wolverine

  1. I really agree with what you are saying about fanhood. Your blog truly shows how important fans are to the team and that without the fans, it would be very hard to win. I also agree with you when you discuss that sometimes a feeling is too strong to be described in words. Especially after winning a sporting event, it is very difficult to describe the way you feel because it is such a distinct feeling. Your blog shows how even if you are a fan and not playing, you can still feel a sense of pride when your team wins, which in turn makes you feel apart of the team.


  2. As a student athlete myself, fans are more then fans they act as more of a support system. During a sporting event , when things become difficult fans are there to left the players up in insert the believe back into there hearts. I believe that fans experience the same emotions that players do, simply because thew reactions that get get from winning vs. losing. This is great article that brought some awareness to fan hood that players my not notice.


  3. Definitely hit all the important points of being a fan. This article is awesome in two ways. You clearly connected Giamtti’s idea of being together and sharing joy while giving a warm feeling to the reader. The same situation happened when my high school soccer team won the State championship. We stormed the field and shared everything with them. When strictly spectating, and being involved, you can almost put yourself in their shoes and share the ups and downs and total emotions of the game itself. It is great to hear this from a Michigan supporter! Go Blue!!!


  4. My roommate went to this game and told me the exact same story. He talked about the connection he felt with the other members of the student section while rooting for our Wolverines, as well as the connection felt with the players on the pitch. I love your connection you made with Giamatti and the joys experienced by the fans as well as the team. Without the fans there to support the team, the team (I believe) would be much less motivated and would not have as fun of a time playing. Being able to celebrate with fans after a huge win over a rival is a feeling like none other; you both get to bask in the glory of what has just happened. The shear joy and pleasure felt in this moment is unmatched.


  5. Personally, I get the same emotions when I watch a game either on TV or in person. I completely agree with your post and the feelings you get from sporting events. I still remember the last strike of the 2009 World Series when the Yankees beat the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 at Yankee Stadium. The NY Yankees won their 27th World Series, but it was the first one that I ever saw. Not only did I feel that I personally won that championship, but also feel the joy that all the players felt in that situation. As a Yankees fan since I was five, the feelings of finally seeing a championship is still in my memories. Sports ARE a religion in its own way like you and Giamatti stated.

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