The Big House and Other Foolishness and Fallishness

October 23, 2021

Let the record show, Jim and I went to a college football game today. Not just a college football game, but a Big Ten college football game. We had to go all the way to Michigan and have a son attending said Big Ten school before such a thing could happen, but today was the day and it was so glorious (in a picture perfect football day kinda way). We have attended UCD football games in the past (could count our combined attendance over 40+ years on one hand, I expect), but this was the real football deal, pretty much the Mecca of football (The Big House). And it was incredibly fun (says me) and may just become a fall tradition (proposes Peter). Jim will be happy to go along, b/c he’s a great sport and wuvs his family. And he’ll pump his fist at all the appropriate, band-led cues, besides! (We were hilariously slow studies on this game-time ritual, but by the fourth quarter we had it down!)

But let me back up a little.

We almost missed all this fun. Last night, Jim realized he’d left our tickets at home, safely pinned to his office bulletin board so he wouldn’t misplace them in that office of his. J, L, C and I went into major problem solving mode and the best we could come up with was having Janet go over to our house, take a picture of all four tickets and text to Jim. I figured this was a slam dunk (to mix sports metaphors). I mean: bar code. Out of towners, parents of a new Wolverine, parents who spent $600+ on four football tickets (GO TEAM!), who made a silly little mistake and left their tickets in California. How could they NOT let us in.

None of this passed muster: not the photos, not the bar codes, not the desperate, pleading faces with weak sob story. We showed up at Will Call at 10am, soon as they opened, and gamely presented our photo’ed tickets and made our case. To no avail. This is my text to Peter:

Jim was not successful in contacting Seat Geek. But.. on a second (and evermore desperate) attempt with the Will Call folks, we got a different agent willing to contact the original season ticket holder (who knew?). This was a long shot, but it’s all we had. I frankly don’t know why this was necessary, but before they’d print us a new set of tickets, they had to verify that the orig ticket holder was not planning to use them, and somehow be convinced we were legitimate purchasers of his/her seats. Within minutes, we had a response and, reluctant and annoyed at first but now convinced, they printed out replacement tickets for us.

With that giant smile, you’d think Jim was a big football fan! He may not be exactly that, but he did feel really, really, REALLY bad about forgetting the tix. This is the smile of a very relieved person.

Jim and I met P&M outside the main North gate. They had to dump their coffee/cups, then had to stash Maya’s water bottle in some bushes in a nearby neighborhood, then had to put all the back-up warm clothes on that were in her bag and stuff her bag in a pocket.. (I had to do the same).. and we could get in!

And here we are inside:

Us and this many people:

Universally known as The Big House, it’s the largest college football stadium in the country. Says Wikipedia:

Michigan Stadium, nicknamed “The Big House“,[6] is the football stadium for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is the largest stadium in the United States and Western Hemisphere, outside of Asia, the third largest stadium in the world, and the 34th largest sports venue.[7] Its official capacity is 107,601,[8] but has hosted crowds in excess of 115,000.”

(I don’t understand “third largest stadium in the world and 34th largest sports venue”…. but trust there’s a lot I don’t know about these things.)

We were duly into all of it: cheering, singing, fist pumping on cue (MI fight song with choreographed crowd response), right down to Peter’s yellow and blue argyle socks:

I can see why Peter suggested an annual tradition. I’m onboard. There was a lot of great energy leading up to and following the game. The neighborhoods were full of people, parties, M flags.

We ended up at Argus for some warm up coffee. A lovely neighborhood farm stand (Liberty and 2nd) w/ baked goods, too:


P&M took off to get some work done, and Jim and I returned to L&C’s. Jim got some fire and tea time, and I took a great walk with Lisa and Scout to luxuriate in pure midwest fallness. A few good views:

Lisa likes taking pics, too:

I have a ton more… but you get the idea. So so so pretty.


Peter and Maya came out for dinner and it was a wonderful evening. Played Pictionary (the usual hilarity ensued), talked a bunch..

Gathered around and watched a video Jim made of a metal project… always a hit!

A nice day all around.

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