When I root for Michigan, people often ask me if I went to school in Ann Arbor, or I’m from the state. No and No. What’s your connection they ask next.
I tell them that one of my high school football teammates played ball there and I started following the team in support. I tell them that a couple of collegiate friends loved UM so much that I grew more fond of it by osmosis. I tell them that I fell in love with Ann Arbor when I was considering grad schools and almost attended.
All of those things are true to a certain extent, however, in the quiet and honest corners of my mind the real answer is that I liked UM, but never considered myself a fan, let alone knew the words to the fight song. My affection was detached, kinda like a car that one admires but has never driven, or a song that you like but not enough to purchase. That was until I fell for a woman whose love for Michigan football was about 29th on the list of things that I loved about her. That was until the day I watched a game with her in some basement bar, clapped my hands and said “let’s go Blue!” and she leaned over to whisper “that’s the sexiest thing you’ve ever said.”