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Michigan Football: Pulse of Wolverines Fans Plus Twitter, John U. Bacon Equals a Social Media Experiment Gone Right

Written in his recent column on, John U. Bacon declares that Michigan's greed, particularly that of its football program, has alienated fans. Curious to what others felt, via Twitter, I asked Wolverines diehards to express their feelings. Check back frequently for UPDATES!

The Big House was once a mecca of college football. What happened?
The Big House was once a mecca of college football. What happened?
Leon Halip

Initially, my intentions weren't to spark outrage but to encourage intelligent discussion about the Michigan football brand and the fans who love it. But by the time that my mini-social experiment on Twitter had wrapped up Wednesday afternoon, I found out that I had ended up doing a bit of both--and the results were overwhelming.

As is usually the case, I spent my early hours thinking about sports--college football, and the Wolverines, in particular. I had just finished reading yet another aggressive column courtesy of John U. Bacon, and it made me think about perception: 'How do Wolverines fans really feel?' I asked myself, quickly following with 'Does John U. represent the majority, or is he the spokesperson for a select minority?'

One by one, fans responded with their feelings. Then a few more participated. Moments later, John U. became the topic; and shortly after that, he unknowingly assumed the role of conversation MC. Given the fact that I didn't initiate contact--I believe others tagged him--I was pleasantly surprised to see such a well-respected writer take a few minutes--which ended up being several upon several minutes--of his time to not only clear the air on some fans' misinterpretation of his work, but to constructively discuss the state of the program.

The following tweets come from you, meaning that they represent fans from young to old, from well off to working class, and (mostly) everything and everyone in between. And who knows? Maybe you actually took part in the discussion. If so, thanks for your input.

Note: The following examples don't make up the entire conversation. To read the entire "transcript," visit my Twitter. I wanted to highlight some of the main points and attempt to give an accurate representation of the majority.

Getting Started

My initial question:

Early responses:

Yambo is a 20-something Michigan alum who epitomizes the die-hard. He helped get the ball rolling and represents the working man who invests countless hours and hundreds of dollars into the Wolverines football machine. Each year, he drives from Ohio--he's from Michigan--to see his beloved team. Frustrated yet hooked, he can't won't give up on the maize and blue under any circumstances.

The question of "alienation" definitely struck a chord. Answers varied, but for the most part, fans aren't thrilled with athletic director Dave Brandon. They--or at least the ones who were a part of this roundtable of sorts--feel that he's out of touch with the core fanbase. Sure, he's trying new marketing techniques in order to strengthen the brand, but at what cost? Not too long ago, John U. touched on the topic, writing that maize and blue faithful have been asked to "sell their soul." A true purist, John U. pulls no punches when critiquing Michigan football. He's seen just about everything and is as qualified as anyone to do so.

Conversation Develops

Some agree with him, some don't. Upon arrival to this point of the conversation, I feared the worst but hoped for the best. It could have gone either way--either very constructive, or, well, the opposite.

Origins of the numbers?

At this time, most fans are reinforcing John U.'s opinion--he's certainly not the only one who's dissatisfied with Brandon's program. However, as shown above, a couple of participants began to question the validity of John U.'s claims. And then things took a turn toward the more interesting...

John U. Enters

He stands by his figures:

For the record, I was caught in the crossfire between John U. and MGoShoe. I'm included in a series of exchanges, but John U.'s not responding to me, he's addressing MGoShoe and ZoneLeft1.

After running in place, John U. decides to end his interaction with MGoShoe and ZoneLeft1.

Necessary Compromise

This tweet says it well. Everything has its price, that's true.

More from Fans

(It's Day 2, and fans remain interested in this topic. Again, thanks to everyone who contributed). If you want to share your thoughts, "@" me on Twitter. I'll try to post the best tweets into this updates section.

Follow Maize 'n Brew's Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81