Despite growing up in the Ann Arbor area, I finally had the opportunity to attend my very first University of Michigan football game this year! I’ve been a bit “spacey” this fall, but definitely wanted to share about my experience and thoughts before the end of this AMAZING season!
If you’ve been following for a while, you know I’m no stranger to football games! In fact, I was recently asked how many Green Bay Packer games I have been too and honestly couldn’t answer. Those games were all weekends filled with tradition, tailgating, laughter and tons of fun!! It would be a looonnggg story to explain why exactly I hadn’t been to a UM game, or even been around during tailgating for that matter. I’ve always liked UM, so that definitely wasn’t it!
I’ve been inside the Big House before. In fact, I’ve caught touchdowns at the Big House before! Curtsies are my touchdown move… 😉 I’m no stranger to that side of town, as I’ve always called Ann Arbor my ‘playground’. But, boy did I have quite a few thoughts going from Lambeau to the Big House for the first time! Don’t get me wrong, I had a total blast!! My Mom & I were gifted tickets on the 50 yard line right above the tunnel, perfect seats!! Let me tell you, we saw EVERYTHING! Including the pizza that was delivered for someone at halftime on the field… still not sure who.
I had always been told that tailgating on game day was a lot like tailgating in Green Bay… y’all, I gotta take you Green Bay! Ann Arbor was a much smaller version. It was great, don’t get me wrong. But, it took me a bit by surprised. As did the traffic. What would have taken me a couple hours in Green Bay, took me 20 minutes in Ann Arbor. I am thankful that I was given a perfect tip on where to park, a local church. They were PERFECT!! The church opened their bathrooms to us 2 hours before/after the game. Afterwards, they also had a super nice man in a reflective vest to step out into traffic and help us get out onto Stadium St. Not to mention the walk wasn’t too shabby.
Security getting into the stadium was a breeze, but I also did my homework. Bags aren’t allowed at the Big House. Whereas at Lambeau, we are allowed clear bags, I’ve even done a post on my stadium bag a few years ago. That meant, I had the bare necessities with me including a mask since we are still in a pandemicy society. We had tickets to the Rutgers game, it was not cold but not completely warm either. So, I actually had a jacket with me that day which helped with pockets.
Finding our seats was absolutely hilarious!! It’s a good thing we went early… Like, you would have thought we had never been to ANY kind of game before. *face palm*. In our defense, we were looking for the Mac & Cheese cart (which wasn’t even there). At Lambeau, we are always in the same seats, enter the same gate and there is a Pack & Cheese cart right in front of our section! Easy peasy! So, we knew our row was 16… yet we saw a hill and just thought, “let’s walk up it!”. Didn’t realize we were then in the ‘upper level’. Yeah, that happened. Also, no one ever told us that the Big House is a ‘dry house’, so there’s that. #MissionFindBeer turned out to be a fun walk around the stadium… for nothing. We ended up with bbq pulled chicken nachos, pretzels, waters and iced lattes. Just not all at the same time y’all. I gotta say, the Big House is also not a ‘foodie’ house. Stick to the classics if you go. I was a bit disappointed compared to the top notch selection that I’m used to at Lambeau. But hey, it’s a college stadium! Or so I’m told… and yes, we walked all the way down from the upper level!
Game Time! Gosh I’ve missed actually being at a game! It was so fun to learn the inner dances, cheers and little fun nuances that you wouldn’t know unless you are actually there. While I am very familiar in the traditions like ‘rolling out the barrel’ at Lambeau, I happily followed along the UM traditions. It was also amazing to have a top notch marching band!! Talk about a full show experience!
We had an absolute blast y’all!! I can’t wait to go back to my next UM game and will definitely be going a bit more often! Can’t believe it took me this long… Who knows, might even tailgate downtown at one point!
With the Holidays amongst us (can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?!?) means some much needed time off and R&R for me!! Have a blessed weekend y’all and GO BLUE!!