Three Football Games in One Day

On Saturday, September 18th, 2010, my friend Matt & I pulled the college football trifecta. We watched parts of three college football games in three stadiums on three separate campuses in one day.

The first game was a noon start at the University of Michigan Stadium, known by many as The Big House, for the Wolverines game against Division 1-AA Massachusetts.

I am a Michigan State fan and Matt attended The University of Michigan. Needless to say, he loves visiting Ann Arbor and the experience of being around all the maize and blue makes me a little nauseous.

I did enjoy the first quarter, however, as scrappy UMass bolted out to an early lead. There was over 500 yards of total offense in the first quarter alone. (For you non-football people, that is a lot!)

As much as I am not a fan of Michigan, I do have to admit that the atmosphere in the stadium is electric. The Michigan fan base is enthusiastic, and the program’s recent struggles have been extremely hard on them.

The Big House is one of the more famous venues in college football. With a capacity of over 110,000, it has hosted some of the largest crowds to ever watch a football game.

In the end, Michigan escaped with a 42-37 win, and we were off to our second game of the day.

We drove 20 minutes to the campus of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

The game was between Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan. Matt & I met when we worked together in Mount Pleasant 10 years ago, where Central Michigan’s campus is located. In recent years, Central Michigan had developed a pretty good program for their level, while Eastern was one of the worst programs in Division One football, losing 15 in a row at one point during the last decade.

The Eastern Michigan marching band

It was remarkable coming from The Big House to Eastern’s tiny stadium, especially since they are both Division One football programs. Saying they are at the same level is a little misleading, as Michigan plays in one of the nations top ranked conferences, while Eastern plays in a conference with schools that are much smaller in size.

After initially staying close, Eastern caved in the second half and Central won 52-14.

The day’s final game was the 8pm nationally televised tilt between Michigan State and Notre Dame. We arrived just a few minutes before kickoff.

This game was extra special to me for a few reasons. First, my parents are both Michigan State grads and I was raised a Spartan fan, despite living in an area dominated by Michigan fans. Second, I got to go to this game with my brother, sister-in-law and two of my nephews.

 Matt had the same feeling about being at a game with all that green and white as I did about being around the Michigan colors at that game. What made this worse for him is he has equal dislike for Notre Dame, where as I was able to root for UMass in the early game.

It was exciting to see the Michigan State Men’s Basketball team recognized at halftime of the game for their Final Four appearance the year before. We all had really high hopes for that team at that time. I was positive they would win a National Championship, but, alas, the season did not go as planned and they lost their first game in the NCAA Tournament after barely qualifying for the tournament.

Proud of the accomplishment, Matt and I both bailed around midnight, with the game tied in the third quarter. The game ended up in overtime, and was won by Michigan State, 34-31, on one of the plays of the year in college football, a fake field goal that will ever be referred to as Little Giants. (Watch the YouTube clip here. If you listen closely, you can hear Matt groaning from his car on the way home)

It was a great day. In the end, I think we both felt like my nephew, Colin, in the photo to the left. I referred to my condition as the worst case of ‘bleacher-butt’ ever. I don’t know if I’d ever try it again, but we can say we did it this once.

3 Responses to “Three Football Games in One Day”

  1. This looks like an awesome day! I'll try not to hold it against that you are a State fan 😉 GO BLUE!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Go Blue……..JUST KIDDING HUSBAND! 1 4 3

  3. Kris Koeller says:

    Too bad you couldnt have added Notre Dame as well!

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