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Westsider Rider

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Only hours away

The anticipation of a new season is here, everyone is undefeated, everyone can dream the same dreams of winning their conference and even the national championship. For those that haven't experienced it I don't know how to describe it but just thinking about it brings me to thinking about all my trips to Ann Arbor for games since I graduated. Something about landing at DTW after taking the red eye from LAX then taking that drive towards campus as you exit the 94 off of State Street and seeing the practice facility.

Then the walk down to the stadium as the thousands upon thousands of Michigan faithful get to the Stadium. Whether you get there from the Pioneer lot, the Golf Course, down Hoover or crossing Elbel Field, I'm sure all the fans who bleed Maize and Blue like me feel the same thing. The chills as you approach the Big House and anticipate what you will see inside.

I still remember my first time in the Big House like it was yesterday. It was my freshman year and we were opening with Notre Dame back in 1999. College Gameday was in town so I planned on getting down there early to be at the front of the barrier to yell and scream and maybe get a few seconds on TV. It was easier said than done considering I was living in Bursley Hall. But a few of us made our way down there and it was definitely a good experience. But it was nothing compared to what I would be experiencing a few hours later. I could feel the energy as I entered the stadium close to kickoff and I tell everyone I can the experience of my first time walking into a packed Big House. The band playing the Victors, 110,000+ strong singing and pumping along it is a moment I will never forget.

Every new season brings that energy, that memory, the anticipation back to me and here we are again with another season ready to go. I won't be able to experience it opening week this year as I am heading to Berkeley to watch Cal-Tennessee on Saturday but I am eagerly awaiting my return to Ann Arbor for the Oregon and Notre Dame games. I may not be there in person on September 1st but when I see the game on TV it will bring me back to all the emotions I had walking into Michigan Stadium for the first time back in 1999. It will give me chills up my spine and it will signal the true start to the college football season for me. It will also begin the new season of hope, hope that we can make this year, 2007 a special one.

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