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Posted on Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 2:22 p.m.

Some ticketless Michigan fans make trip to East Lansing just to soak up the atmosphere

By Alex Mitchell


Lone Michigan fan, Christin Rutz, is tormented by her Michigan State friends as Michigan prepared to take on Michigan State Saturday at Spartan Stadium.

Jeff Sainlar I

With the University of Michigan and Michigan State football teams squaring off in East Lansing, today and tickets on the website StubHub running between $175 and $500, some Michigan fans chose to simply enjoy the big game atmosphere outside Spartan Stadium.

While some fans took advantage of the sports bars and restaurants lining Grand River Avenue, others brought their own party and game day cuisine.


Michigan fan Mike Dorland shows off the flat-screen TV he brought to East Lansing in order to watch the Michigan-Michigan State game today.

Alex Mitchell | For

“This is our open tailgate, our living room on the road,” said Michigan fan Mike Dorland, who traveled from nearby Grand Ledge.

Dorland traveled with several friends, all Michigan fans, and set up one of the only Michigan tents in the popular tailgating parking lot across from State’s International Center. It also may have been one of the most impressive.

A Michigan popup tent covered an array of tailgating food on a table. Backed up next to the tent was a van with a flat screen TV connected to a satellite dish, a Sega Genesis and a Nintendo.

“Can’t forget the Nintendo,” Dorland joked.

Dorland said that he and his friends did not have tickets to the game and that they would be enjoying the game from their tailgate spot via their satellite dish.

While fans like Dorland took on the role of super fan, others played the part of game day analyst.

Keela Pinskey, who traveled from Armada, said she and her friends came up to watch what they were sure would be a Michigan victory and to take it in on State’s territory, even though they didn’t have tickets. She said they tailgate for Michigan games often, but rarely get the opportunity to come to this game.

“It’s going to be Michigan by seven,” said Pinskey.

“Denard is going to run all over them,” said Mark Hathaway, who traveled with from Durand. “With Denard at quarterback you never know what is going to happen. He is the best player in the country.”

Hathaway and his friends found a tailgating spot near the Red Cedar River. He said they were going to continue tailgating until the game kicked off and could find a TV to watch it on.

“You can’t beat the atmosphere; it’s Michigan versus Michigan State,” he said.

While most fans travel from within the state for the game, at least one Michigan alumnus used the game as an opportunity to return to his home state.

“I’m a diehard Michigan fan,” said Dave Thompson, who made the trip from Long Beach, Calif. “I did both my undergrad and grad at U of M.”

Thompson said that he comes to Michigan about three times a year to go to home games.

“I’m here with my best buddy, we make one road trip a year, and this year it just happens to be to Michigan State,” he said.

Thompson hasn’t been on State’s campus for more than 30 years, but he said he thinks the area near the Red Cedar River is one of the campus’s best tailgating spots.

“It’s a great Big Ten football atmosphere,” he said.



Mon, Oct 17, 2011 : 12:28 p.m.

and they.i'm sure had more fun then those that paid those kind of prices to be inside the stadium. some Wolverineites have sense after all.


Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 2:32 a.m.


Hawaiian Neal

Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 10:08 p.m.

Hoke and AD need to refund their money! Frankly, I am more embarrassed for UM this year than upset. I hope Mr. Hoke is through with playing dress-up with his players and will concentrate more on playing football. This was worse and sloppier than any defeat in the RR years. The offense was pathetic, the defense was pathetic and even the new uniforms (also pathetic) were responsible for 3 or 4 tackles in the backfield (watch the films, you'll see it). Seriously, you say what everyone apparently wants to hear about football and tradition at UM, but Bo, Mo, Lo, and Ro respected the uniform. In less than 1 season, we've changed uniforms twice and on top of that, followed (yes, FOLLOWED) something Sparty did. We (Michigan) have spent so much credibility on 'crap' that we are in danger of losing our identity now. I'm not calling for your or the AD's resignation yet, but if you two keep spending UM's traditions and credibility like drunken sailors with open ended credit cards, I will be....I will be. OK, ENOUGH PLAY DATE DRESS UP. Quit being your 'AD's "boy" and get a spine. We have a classic uniform, respect it (although you've made that a lot harder to do now). You both owe the school more than that. Also, (AD) replace the art deco Michigan Stadium sign on the press box and quit putting your personal mark on things that belong to the University of Michigan and history.....NOT YOU. Totally unacceptable performance on the field and off the field. We, yes, The University of Michigan, are slowly wandering down the path to mediocrity in this area. It is not who we are.