Brandon's Blog: Great Support Makes Fan Day Special

Aug. 12, 2011

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,, and he is also on Twitter at @DaveBrandonAD.

There is something about sports that fills our need for being part of a special community, a feeling of family. There is plenty of research and reports on how it relates to psychological health and the brain's chemical responses to wins and losses -- and just attending an event. I will let the researchers and psychologists determine the reasons we all follow the wonderful world of sports. I just know that there are a lot of people who just plain love sports -- which makes my job fun and rewarding.

In Ann Arbor, we are especially fortunate. Michigan football spans three centuries of great tradition. We have the winningest college football team, three Heisman Trophy winners (plus one Douglas Fairbanks Trophy winner -- the best player in college football prior to the Heisman), 11 national championships and more Big Ten titles (42) than any other team in the conference.

Michigan football is fortunate in one other area: we have great fan support. It is not only based on leading the NCAA attendance year in and year out, it is what we see, read and hear from our fans. It is the letters, the phone calls and the e-mails of support our team receives throughout the year.

This is the reason Sunday's (Aug. 14) Fan Day is special. It is a day when long-time Michigan fans can bring their families to meet our players up close and personal. It is a day when young boys and girls can run on the Michigan Stadium field turf and pretend to be a member of the Michigan Wolverines. It is a day when older folks can reflect on and talk about their great memories.

For the football team, it is also special. This is an event that gives our coaches and players a chance to meet you -- our fans. It is an opportunity for our team to look into your eyes and thank you for your support.

It reminds our football team that the Michigan family is not just those who are playing and coaching on the field; it is the family that supports us in the stands or is following our games on TV, radio or the internet.

The Michigan Family, like the Wolverine football team, also spans three centuries. This is a tradition we rarely talk about, but it is a tradition that keeps our legacies alive and thriving.

Thank you to all the fans that support Michigan athletics and especially Wolverine football. Fan Day is important to all of us.

Enjoy the day and Go Blue!

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Fan Day at Michigan Stadium is free and open to the public. All gates at the Big House will open starting at 1 p.m. Parking will be available in the lots adjacent to Michigan Stadium and Pioneer High School. In order to expedite the autograph process and accommodate as many fans as possible, players and head coach Brady Hoke will autograph one item per person.

The autograph session and opportunity to meet the 2011 Wolverines team will run from approximately 2-3:30 p.m.

Prior to Michigan football's Fan Day, the U-M Athletic Department will hold a garage sale from 8-11 a.m. at the U-M Indoor Track Building, which is located just beyond the rightfield fence of U-M's baseball field.

Items for sale will include football jerseys, football pants, footballs, shoes, polo shirts, T-shirts, shorts, basketball practice jerseys, warm-up jackets, warm-up pants, robes, gloves and other merchandise.

Cash and credit cards will be accepted.

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