Brandon's Blog: Men's Football Experience Set for Year Four
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March 11, 2013

University of Michigan director of athletics Dave Brandon will regularly offer his view on a variety of topics related to U-M and intercollegiate sports. All his posts, along with links to related content, will be available on his page, mgoblue.com/brandon, and he is also on Twitter at @DaveBrandonAD.

The 2013 Michigan football season gets underway on Saturday (March 16) with the first of 15 practices culminating with the Spring Game on Saturday, April 13.

The spring practices are spread over 34 days, allowing players and coaches to work on developing their individual and team skills and to start their planning for the upcoming season.

Players have an opportunity to gain additional instruction and to prove themselves during the spring. Coaches can start putting in place their game plan and get a chance to assess individuals as they compete for positions on the Wolverine team.

It is a time to wake up from our winter hibernation and get ready to enjoy the experience of Michigan football!

The Michigan football experience can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different fans. For me, it has a special meaning.

On Thursday and Friday, June 6-7, the fourth Michigan Men's Football Experience (MMFE) will take place. It is a two-day opportunity to learn what it is like to be a Michigan Wolverine football player.

Even more important, it is an opportunity to support the Men of Michigan Prostate Cancer Research Program at the University of Michigan Health System.

When I first approached coach Lloyd Carr about offering an experience for guys to really feel what it is like to be a member of the Michigan football team, he and his staff jumped at the chance to create this opportunity for Michigan football fans while also generating research dollars and awareness of prostate cancer.

This two-day event is specially designed for men and will give them a unique inside look at U-M football.

Just like the Michigan football team, 116 participants will experience on-field training in offensive and defensive schemes and special teams. They will review actual practice film, enjoy a pregame meal, and suit up in the Michigan Stadium team locker room. They will NOT be involved in any contact or activities that will create risk of injury -- other than some sore or occasional pulled muscles!

The MMFE participants and Michigan football will also be making an impact in the lives of so many others.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cancer cause of death in men in the United States and is the most common form of cancer in men.

Like our coaches and players do at football practice, the doctors and staff of the University of Michigan Health System are working every day to get their skills and plans in place as they strive to be the leaders and best in prostate cancer research and clinical care.

In just the last few years, our U-M Health System has profoundly changed the way we think about prostate cancer. The U-M has led the pack in making transformative discoveries spanning the identification of gene fusions in the development of prostate cancer, the characterization of gene mutations associated with hereditary prostate cancer, and the development of new and better therapies for aggressive prostate cancer.

To date, the MMFE has raised more than $770,000 for the Men of Michigan Prostate Cancer Research Fund.

I am not an expert when it comes to prostate cancer research, but I am a survivor of prostate cancer. I know that if it wasn't for Dr. Jim Montie and the University of Michigan Health System team, I might not have survived. I do know I would not have the quality of life I enjoy today.

And to know the sport I played and the team that gave me the opportunity to attend the University of Michigan is supporting this effort is truly special for my family and me.

Thank you to the University of Michigan Health System and thanks to the Michigan football program and staff for helping make the Michigan Men's Football Experience a fun and rewarding event.

Get in the game! Join the fight! Sign up to participate! Go Blue!

Complete MMFE event details and registration information are available at victors.us/footballexperience.

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