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Posted on Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

Michigan football has another trick up its sleeve for Nebraska game

By Kellie Woodhouse

Ravens Seahawks Footb_Wood.jpg

Seattle Seahawks fans successfully pull off a card stunt on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, in Seattle.

AP Photo

Michigan Athletic Department Director Dave Brandon has another trick up his sleeve to create some extra buzz around Wolverines football: A card trick.

"Wait until you see what we’re going to do," Brandon told a group of about 300 students at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business Monday night. "The pre-game show Saturday is going to be very special."

The athletic department announced Monday that it would attempt its first American flag card stunt during Saturday's game against Big 10 rival Nebraska.

Roughly 65,000 fans —out of about 114,000 fans total— on the south end of the stadium will receive red, white or blue cards. During the national anthem, fans will be asked to raise their cards, forming an American flag covering the entire south end of the stadium.


The Rocketman delivers the game ball by a jet pack.

Joseph Tobianski I

The trick has been attempted by several football programs across the country, but never by Michigan.

Brandon warned the stunt won't work if fans get to the game late.

"Have one less drink Friday night," he said with a laugh.

Brandon said the Oct. 29 'Rocket Man' stunt, during which a man delivered the game ball by jet pack, wasn't quite what he hoped for or anticipated because thousands of fans weren't on their seats early enough watch the delivery.

Rocket Man was "flying toward an empty student section," he said.

Brandon said pre-game stunts are part of U-M's strategy to create "wow experiences" for Wolverine fans.

Brandon also told the students that he was looking into new ways to leverage the Big House, aside from football games.

"I'm frustrated over the fact that we have this terrific asset that we've got such a big investment in and we only use it a few times a year," he said. "We have to figure out ways to leverage it."

Brandon said he "really want(s) to do a concert," but Stadium logistics make that difficult. Field tunnels are too short to fit the semi-truck or fork-lift needed to carry necessary stage equipment.

"If we were to do a stadium concert, we would have to use a lift helicopter," Brandon said. "Or we'd have to have the world's biggest crane to lift everything over the stadium."

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


Buster W.

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 3:17 p.m.

Somewhat gimmicky...I don't think we're far from seeing a ferris wheel installed in Michigan Stadium. Just win football games!


Thu, Nov 17, 2011 : 4:06 a.m.

saying "have one less drink" might sound funny to some. But it is irresponsible for the AD of Michigan to make a statement like that when referring to the student section. 75% of those students are under age. And he is sending a mixed message. In fact, a poor message all together. and save the "lighten up" responses.

Peter Jameson

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 11:13 p.m.

What's the stunt? There is no skill involved...just hold the card up. Unless you are talking about the feat of designing/putting this together, which i agree would be quite an accomplishment. But that has clearly been taken care of already.

Jeff Renner

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 9:59 p.m.

I was a freshman in 1964 and those of us in the end zone seats constituted a card section for at least one game, as I recall. The proper cards were on the seats when we arrived, and we were instructed to hold them up with one color or the other depending on some code on them when that code was called out on a megaphone. Of course, I never saw what it looked like.

Barbara Jones

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 9:20 p.m.

RE: thousands of fans weren't on their seats early enough watch the delivery. Rocket Man was "flying toward an empty student section," he said. Mr. Brandon, if you would notice, the true fans are in their seats and if you would also notice, the student section doesnt show up until after the game has started......not impressive when the "Student Section" was expanded this year and season ticket holders had to relinquish their seats and move elsewhere for "the students".


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 8:16 p.m.

What next? Pizza boy going to get that tired old San Diego chicken to deliver the game ball?


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

The stands would be full at the start if we had more 3:30 games. If you compare past games, the 3:30 stands are always full from the beginning and noon games aren't.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 7:28 p.m.

the hockey game was actually a very fun evening. I always wondered why they never had rock concerts in the stadium like MSU did, But this explains it. Besides, there are no acts around that could really fill the place. Maybe the Stones or U2....but they've both played MSU and why bother.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 6:31 p.m.

I agree with Brandon that they should hold more events at the stadium. Concerts are a great idea I think. I'd have thought though when they were doing the renovation it would have been a good idea to enlarge the tunnel then so trucks could get through. Oh well. It doesn't mean it couldn't be done though. I also like the idea of more hockey games. At least one or two a year including potential Red Wings games. And maybe an occasional high school game.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 6:21 p.m.

I think there is a flyover scheduled for this weekend. The Michigan Daily had an article about it the other day. F-16's


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 4:28 p.m.

I would love to see additional use of the Big House! Imagine Bob Seger or Kid Rock playing the Big House...very cool!


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

Just so long as we don't have the NOID, it will be fun.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:20 p.m.

We need for fly overs with jets blasting their afterburners. Nothing gets you more pumped up then a high speed flyby after our national anthem.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 9:29 p.m.

Well, he did said fly overs with jets, not a prop WWII bomber or transport.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 3 p.m.

I agree with you that the flyover during the Notre Dame game was not very exciting. Cool tribute having a vintage plane during a throwback game though. The flyover needs to be jets with afterburners like F-18, F-22 (Would be sweet!), F-15, and etc. Anyway, Go Blue regardless!


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:35 p.m.

The flyover during the Notre Dame game was less than impressive.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

Oops, more fly overs not "for fly overs"


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:17 p.m.

I don't care for the headline for this article. It implied a football-related wrinkle, offensive or defensive, for Nebraska. "AD Brandon has another trick up his sleeve for Nebraska game" would have been more indicative of the content, I believe.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

But's all about the Michigan Brand. The athletic department is more concerned about revenue and will focus on that aspect. We'll have to wait and see how his marketing, I mean athletic department fares in the future.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

Please, please, please don't muck up the experience with gimicks. Before you know it Brandon will have human sized wolverines on the sidelines doing somersaults. Add new revenue opportunities but please remember football is the draw. Spend the time scouting big defensive lineman and laser like passers. Don't lose the tradition.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 9:26 p.m.

The pre-game festivities do not detract from recruiting. They are not mutally exclusive, in fact they probably reinforce recruiting.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 4:19 p.m.

Part of the "tradition" that was lost was the male cheerleaders grabbing the opposing team's mascot and running it into a goal post crotch first.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:34 p.m.

I would pay to see human sized wolverines.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:04 p.m.

How about another division 3 game. Invite sliippery rock to play concordia or something.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 9:34 p.m.

Oh, that was awful. Please not again. Forcing people to pay for a game they don't want to see (the stadium was 2/3 empty) is not good business, either.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:54 p.m.

Combined with The Return of Band Day!


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:03 p.m.

How about another outdoor hockey game. This time, make a long weekend out of it and invite the redwings. You could actually do 4-5 games. Maybe the whalers one night, wolverines the next, and finish with the redwings, with local high school teams playing during the day. Once you pay the expense to put down the ice, might as well play a bunch of games.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:44 p.m.

They actually did have a week's worth of hockey games last time, but the public just wasn't aware of them. See <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>. &quot;More than a combined 25 college, high school and youth games will be played on the Michigan Stadium ice during the week leading up to The Big Chill at the Big House &quot;


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 12:05 p.m.

Some may find this hard to believe, but Don Canham would appove of some these ideas and plans Dave Brandon has. Mr Canham was way ahead of his time. He once told me that Madison Square Garden wanted to use his marketing skills. It means that he had a national reputation. Some of the Dave Brandon plans sound corny because the setting over here at Michigan has been so traditional. No, we don't want to see advertising at the Big House or anything more commercial.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 6:04 p.m.

Not hard to believe at all. Brandon is cut out of Canham's mold. Thank God! Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 11:58 a.m.

Please, no rock concerts at the Big House. It's a special venue because it isn't used for those purposes. If you committed more resources to the facility than you can recoup out of Athletics, then Bill Martin made a bad deal. This is a college, not The Palace at Auburn Hills. I'm sure Athletics can find other, more dignified ways to fund the facility.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 4:28 p.m.

Get over it Dennis. I say use for any purpose that fills the piggy bank.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 2:09 p.m.

Have you seen a football game? Men in tight clothes, commonly tattooed, bashing each other around. Yeah, totally dignified. Using the stadium for only football games is a waste of space.


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 1:16 p.m.

How is a football game any more dignified than a rock concert?!?!


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 11:26 a.m.

Students won't come early. They need to drink until the last minute... or sleep...