The Blue Rage: You can join Michigan basketball's alternative cheering section
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Five years ago, Michigan basketball fan Rob Thomas had seen -- and heard -- enough.
Michigan's student section, the Maize Rage, had come a long way since former coach Tommy Amaker helped create it in 2001.
But when students left for holiday breaks, the noise and energy level in Crisler Arena seemed to go with them.
"It was kind of annoying during those break games," said Thomas, who has held Michigan basketball season tickets for more than 10 years. "It always got pretty quiet. And we thought maybe we should do something about it."
And thus, the Blue Rage was born.
For the past five seasons of Michigan basketball, Thomas' Blue Rage group has served as student section stand-ins during Christmas and spring breaks.
The group consists of Michigan alums as well as casual fans -- adults and children -- who enjoy Wolverine basketball and don't mind yelling about it.
"We meet before the games, the athletic department serves pizza and soda and we teach them all the cheers," Thomas said. "Then, we go out and do what the students normally do."
Last season, more than 200 fans signed up to be a part of the group. Thomas said he's already received commitments from more than 100 fans for this season, and is hoping to reach at least 225.
The Blue Rage games for this season will be Jan. 1 against Minnesota and the game against Purdue on either Feb. 25 or Feb. 26.
Ticket packages cost $45 and include one ticket to each game, pizza prior to tip-off and a Blue Rage T-shirt. The deadline for applications is Friday.
To apply, or for more information, visit www.umich.edu/~bluerage.
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