Meet Billy, a Michigan student and diehard fan of the Wolverines.
Hyundai came to SB Nation a few weeks ago looking for the country's college football diehards. I explained how I became a diehard in the original post, and now it's for MnB to introduce a fan who could receive two free tickets to the bowl game of his choice.
Meet Billy, a student at Michigan who also happens to be a diehard fan of the Wolverines. How did he become such a diehard? Read the conversation between he and I to find out.
Anthony: Tell us, how were you introduced to Michigan football?
Billy: I grew up in New Jersey, where no one really watches college football. However, my dad attended Indiana, so Big Ten games were always on in our house. My older sister would go on to attend Penn State University, so I grew even more enamored with the conference's intense rivalries and gritty style of play.
I was accepted into the University of Michigan in the winter of 2008, and against my sister's wishes I chose to attend the school. I was immediately impacted by the passion of the fans during my first year of school. The school's relationship with Michigan football was more than I had perceived, and the students were much more concerned about the football team than I had anticipated. It's safe to say that the fans inside Michigan Stadium were much more than a massive crowd of drunk fans. I was hooked to Michigan football within a month.
Anthony: Tell us about the highs and lows of your fanhood
Billy: My class came to Michigan during the second year of the Rich Rodriguez era, so I don't have to go into much detail to tell you about the lows. I was hooked to Michigan football after seeing them defeat both Western Michigan and Notre Dame, but the team tanked afterward. Before I arrived to Michigan I pictured overpowering defenses and explosive offenses, but instead I witnessed the complete opposite. Little did I know that Rich Rodriguez would recruit one of the most explosive players in Michigan history, which led to one of the most memorable moments of my life.
The 2011 game against Notre Dame was insane. At no other point in my life have I felt so many emotions within two minutes. I went from celebrating to crying, back to celebrating and back to crying. You could feel the emotions of the entire team as Denard sprinted over to the student section. I still feel that no other team is as connected to the fans as Michigan is. I was a foreigner to Michigan football just a few years ago, but when I set foot within Michigan football it all changed because of the level of connection between the crowd and the team. I was forever connected to Michigan football after the 2011 Notre Dame game, and I'll be connected to it from here on out. I cried during my final home game at Michigan Stadium as a student.
Anthony: You'll be graduating from Michigan this year, so how do you plan on continuing your fanhood if you'll no longer be screaming from the student section?
Billy: I'm going to be a Navy pilot, so I plan on posting the Michigan flag outside of my aircraft. I'll always carry the Michigan tradition with me, and I'll always feel deeply connected to Michigan football. I can't wait to send out pictures of my aircraft next to a maize and blue flag during the week of The Game every year.