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Posted on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 12:04 p.m.

U-M petition to make MSU match at Michigan Stadium a night game nears 1,000 signatures

By Kellie Woodhouse


Hundreds of students are petitioning U-M for another night game this season.

Melanie Maxwell |

David Brandon might be reluctant to host a night game against Michigan State University, but a contingent of student fans have signed a petition to get the University of Michigan athletic director to change his mind.

More than 960 students have signed the petition for the Oct. 20, 2012, football match between the Spartans and the Wolverines at the Big House.


David Brandon has said he's reluctant to host a night game against MSU.

"The athletic department has all but ruled out the possibility of a night game next season. After the success of the Notre Dame night game this year, we believe the game against Michigan State on Oct. 20 would be a perfect opportunity to continue the tradition," reads the petition, which was created by U-M business student Patrick Firlik. "This is the only home game that is both early enough in the season and against a rival. We need support to make this happen!"

The petition is posted on UPetition, which only allows individuals with a U-M ID —mainly students and staff— to participate. It's unclear when the petition was created and Firlik did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Under Big Ten regulations, any football game occurring before the end of October is permitted to take place at night. Game times are usually negotiated between the teams and television networks on which the games will be aired.

The MSU game time has yet to be announced, but Brandon said earlier this year that it won't be at night because he's concerned about rowdy fans. (Brandon didn't immediately respond to a request to comment for this article.)

"I think the passion and the excitement of the crowd, to energize that with a night game, may be more than either one of us can handle," he told The Detroit News, speaking of a nighttime MSU match.

"I think we'd have to be very careful about that. But we'll see. You never know what the future holds."

MSU Athletic Director Mark Hollis, however, was less apprehensive in an interview with in May. "I love night games," he said.

The Wolverines will have at least three scheduled night games next season, on the road against Alabama, Notre Dame and Nebraska. Last year, Michigan Stadium hosted its first-ever night game against Notre Dame, during which the Wolverines won in the final seconds of the game.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Thu, Jul 5, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

If you were to ask the fans in general (without only considering the feelings of current U of M students), close to 100% would opt to make it a night game. And besides, we could all feel good watching Sparty self destruct in front of a national audience.


Sun, Jul 1, 2012 : 6:37 p.m.

Whoever is in charge of that petition should head up to East Lansing and have a bunch of MSU fans sign it. I know I would.


Sat, Jun 30, 2012 : 11:29 a.m.

Why not play it at night? With playoffs now, which will only expand in the future, college football is less and less about "college" and more about being a money-making, professional sport. It's time to stop pretending it is about a passtime for college students. Might as well pay the "student athletes" too.


Sat, Jun 30, 2012 : 5:41 a.m.

Night time, day time, we will kick your butt on the moon.


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 10:50 p.m.

Michigan night games are NOW reality thanks to Notre Dame coming to town last year. It was by far the most fun we have had in a very long time. Let's keep doing this since everyone loves it so much!


Sat, Jun 30, 2012 : 3:21 a.m.

Yes it is nice to see the Wolverine teams finally overcome their fear of the dark and come out at night. Reminds me of the Chicago Cubs.


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

Thumbs down, but for now. Let's see how the nightgame goes in E Lansing when it come back there. If all goes well, I can see Dave Brandon seriously considering it.


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 1:07 p.m.

Much ado about nothing. The night game would be no more risky than the Notre Dame game was.


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 2:03 a.m.

Just have city of ann arbor pass a law any green and white clothing being worn within the city limits is a felony. Then we can play the night game without any of the goobers around being arrogant and a pita!!!! I was at the triple OT game and had a couple of real holes if you know what I mean by me sing the sparty song and being a general pain. They fially shut the heck up after the game ended and crawled back into their hole.


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 1:05 a.m.

Michigan will have 3 scheduled night games and it isn't fair to the student-athletes pacing around all day then not have the oppty to party much afterwards. Don't be selfish and think of the older UM fanbase who prefers day home games and they bring $$$ (alumni donations) more than your McDonald's wages to UM's coffers. :) Brandon and I know what's best for UM


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 10:18 p.m.

Based on 30+ years of attending games including M vs. ND and M vs. MSU, the conclusion is that Sparty fans approach the Michigan game much differently than do Notre Dame fans. Best to keep the Sparty game in the daytime.


Sat, Jun 30, 2012 : 3:18 a.m.

Thank you Professor. I enjoyed reading your recent article in Sociology Today "A 30 Year Study of the Anatomy of a Spartan Football Fan as witnessed by an Arrogant Michigan Fan".

Robert Granville

Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 10:03 p.m.

I worry for the safety of Ann Arbor residents and their property. East Lansing has had its fair share of riots... we don't need them burning couches after their loss in Ann Arbor. Noon game.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 9:27 p.m.

"The stars shine brightest at night." A repeat of Braylon's triple OT thriller, Super Mario's big catch in Beaver Stadium, THE UNDER THE LIGHTS THRILLER!??? I am a 27 year-old Michigan fan. That means I am the future. Team's that attract national talent, and do innovative things to gain YOUNG, FRESH fans, end up winning national titles. Why cause players want to play in the spotlight and the truly talented ones make big plays at the right times. First I don't care when we play, it really doesn't matter. You know what would stop Michigan from having so many haters? Being the cool team. A team that has 110,000 fans ON THEIR FEET ALL GAME LONG. A team that is not afraid to bend tradition to stand out from the crowd. This is Michigan. Fielding Yost started our program on the fast track to national prominence and he didn't do it by staying the same old Michigan. He incited change and new things. The most iconic part of the Michigan uniform the famed Winged Helmet wasn't introduced until our 59th season. You old fans forget that change IS the tradition of Michigan football and I'm tired of seeing the adidas hate, the night game hate, and the player hate. Don't be a fan if you can't accept change. Maybe you guys need to take a step back an understand what the phrase "THIS IS MICHIGAN" really means. Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke don't have a #1 recruiting class for no reason. They have made this program more attractive to young players, without having to sacrifice quality individuals. When things stay the same, programs start to get in trouble. (Penn State, Florida State, Miami, Ohio) Celebrate being innovative. Day and Night.

Don Eggen

Sat, Jun 30, 2012 : 11:39 p.m.

Well, I guess I am an older fan. 58 yrs old - received 2 degrees from UM in 1975 and 1978. Have been a season ticket holder since 1979 after I left Michigan. I live outside of Philly and I have season tickets to M football AND hockey. As a member of the Victors Club, who donates a lot of money to M Athletics each year - I guess I can be placed in your category of an older fan. HOWEVER, I agree with you. I love the change, I love the new stuff, AND I STAND UP FOR THE WHOLE GAME, yelling at everyone else to STAND THE F UP! Remember, I am 58. My friend and I have 8 seats together in Section 5 and 4 seats together in Row 1 of the Club seats right above Section 5. We are a bunch of semi-old farts and we are the rowdy folks in our Section. So, please do not generalize your statements about all older fans. I would rather hang with the young crowd and students any day. Go Blue! Beat Bama! Kick the crap out of the greenies! And Beat Ohio! Signed, Don Eggen, Section 5 Row 50 Seats 6-9 ... Look me up!

Rabid Wolverine

Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 7:58 p.m.

D21, I share the same sentiments as Josh. Your assertion that he works at a McDonald's wage just because he is 27 means is assinine at best. I am 28 and have a well paying engineering career going. You have shown the typical response from the older fans which Josh is speaking about. The only game where the older ticket holders have actually gotten on their feet and made some noise was the night game. During every game during the past 4 seasons not once had I ever thought to myself that the Big House was loud and full of energy. The best thing the older ticket holders can do is relinquish their tickets to fans who still remember how to vocally cheer on their team. That would be the best thing for UofM football. That would actually bring home field advantage to the largest stadium in CFB. All of the changes that DB is bringing to the game atmosphere/experience is of this nature. I believe he wants to bring some life into the stadium instead of seeing a bunch of fans sitting on their hands. He/most others want to see an atmosphere like what is in Madison or Death Valley. That atmosphere was present during the night game and can be every other game as well, but that is only if the rest of the fans feel like cheering and being part of the game instead of just watching it happen.

Blue Marker

Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 11:07 a.m.

When 5-Hour Energy goes wrong.


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 1:05 a.m.

Michigan will have 3 scheduled night games and it isn't fair to the student-athletes pacing around all day then not have the oppty to party much afterwards. Don't be selfish and think of the older UM fanbase who prefers day home games and they bring $$$ (alumni donations) more than your McDonald's wages to UM's coffers. :) Brandon and I know best for UM


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 9:13 p.m.

I dont't get it - almost 1,000 signatures is only marginally a reportable amount if we are talking about UM hockey or baseball. But we are talking about UM football. Under 1,000 seems hardly something to blink an eye at.


Sat, Jun 30, 2012 : 5:49 a.m.

Yep. less than 1%. keep trying. Love to beat you again on National stage.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 8:52 p.m.

Love the noon kickoff. Can live with the 03:30pm kickoff. Hate the night games.

Blue Marker

Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 7:55 p.m.

It strikes me funny when fans from both schools talk trash about each other. So many of us are Tigers, Lions or Red Wings fans and could stand next to each other with a winged wheel on our chest and be good friends. Then October comes and all of a sudden we can't stand each other. According to my friend who moved here about 12 years ago from Chicago; Michigan fans have bit of a Superiority Complex (guilty) and MSU fans have a bit of Inferiority Complex. The two make a dangerous combination.


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 1:01 a.m.

Nah, Michigan fans have more of a humility complex.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

I would say that given the msu student's propensity to riot and trash the city,....This wouldn't be a good idea ever.


Sat, Jun 30, 2012 : 3:10 a.m.

And you'll always find the Michigan nerds err students hanging out at the library on a Saturday night.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 7:26 p.m.

Hmm...start times are mostly dictated by tv way nationwide this holds interest as a prime time game... Sorry to say it but MSU is an in-state draw, not of national interest.

Howard the Duck

Sat, Jun 30, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

Funny how MSU-Wisconsin was deemed worthy for primetime. I guess the Wolverines don't provoke a national give-a-damn.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

You would think the wolverines would want to keep their next loss to MSU in the dark! Seriously the atmosphere created during ND game was unlike anything ever experienced at the big house.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 7:01 p.m.

No. The important games can be played at night but not against these unworthy little brothers. GO BLUE!


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 12:58 a.m.

I stand by my statement and consider yours as totally baseless : GO BLUE!


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 8:39 p.m.

Your comment is short-sighted. Our program only benefits from primetime exposure. Though I hate to say it State has come on to be quite a formidable foe these past four years and I think we would do right as a fan base of Team 133 to stop overlooking this game. This is a win at all costs game this year. What better way to rise than to beat little brother in front of the world? Any time, any place. But primetime? That would be incredible.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 6:28 p.m.

Way to go Wolverine fans! I was always told that when you have such rotten things to say about the opposition, it must be because you fear failure. Let's try, just try, to show some class.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 5:30 p.m.

If it was left entirely up to Dave Brandon, this game wouldn't be seen on anything but tape delay or cable access. There's no way he wants a fifth straight loss to MSU shown on national television and he'll do everything in his power to take as much attention away from the game as he possibly can. He's hiding behind his desk like a coward and I'd be surprised if he ever publicly acknowledges the petition.

Kevin Shabinski

Mon, Jul 2, 2012 : 12:18 p.m.

I wouldn't be so sure that we'd all agree on that one Az. There are a lot of folks on here that think that MI can beat AL. Since we can all agree that MSU is better than UM, then I think MSU would have a shot again AL.


Sat, Jun 30, 2012 : 1:37 a.m.

Az....did Brand schedule that game?


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

Yeah...Brandon's such a coward that UM's opening away from home in a prime time game against Alabama. Not to get your feather's ruffled, but I'm sure we'd all agree that Alabama is better than MSU.

Kevin Shabinski

Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 2:12 a.m.

truth hurts huh?


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

they could play that game on the moon and 'Little Brother' would still win. OWNED! ;-)


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 10:54 p.m.

your use of "OWNED" is about three years late.


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 5:16 p.m.

I don't think that they could play the game on the moon.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.

old fuddy duddy here, but day games are terrific too. Want to see the UM-MSU game at 3:30.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.

Since students don't own any property of course they want the game at night. The rest of us adults who live the real world want these hooligans out of town by dusk.


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 4:53 p.m.

Is this a soccer "match" we're talking about here?


Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 4:29 p.m.

Couch fires for everyone when Michigan wins...Dave Brandon is right on this one. You can't bring in State fans at night time and expect them to behave themselves!


Sat, Jun 30, 2012 : 6 a.m.

And Will Campbell will jump on the hood of our bus? When is his court date? Gerald Robinson at night???? Better keep it a day game.


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 6:07 p.m.

Ah, I hate to say it folks, but couch burning is banned and Ann Arbor is cutting their fire dept in half. Kind of scary if you ask me.

Spartan Bob

Thu, Jun 28, 2012 : 4:27 p.m.

Seriously now, the Spartans are use to playing in night games because they're always in the dark.


Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 12:56 a.m.

Playing football has, is and always will be a pre couch burning ritual for them and their fans. GO BLUE!