Ohio, Michigan and my Brother

The week leading up to the game I was searching for another student ticket for my brother with out much luck. He kept saying "don't worry about it" "I don't really want to spend the money". He has more of my dad in him. Work day in and out and rarely spend a dime. I am more like my mother. Spend it and get everything you want and can afford... Because I might die tomorrow. Justin, my brother isn't what I call normal either. I don't mean that in a bad way either. He is just different. He is more of a home body. Goes to work and comes home..repeat. He can be a bit socially awkward as I can as well. Has a hard time doing new things and talking to new people. He reminds me of Ricky Williams when he was a Saint wearing his helmet during interviews because he is so uncomfortable. That is my brother. He is a huge Michigan fan since I grew getting it from my dad and then he got it from me. He is also maybe the most hard headed person I know. He also one of those people that worry about all the little things. Will I find my seat? What if someone is standing in my spot? Most things many of us don't even think about.

Anytime I can get him to experience something I want to do it for him.  So with me having Michigan Student tickets all year I figured this would be a great time for us to have this brother moment in the Michigan student section. Michigan would beat Ohio State and we would rush the field together. He would follow my lead and have something he would always remember. A few things were in the way.

1.Money-Didnt want to spend more then $70
2.ID-I had one Student ID from a friend to avoid validations stickers
3.Justin-Just getting him to go. He always needs to be talked into almost anything.

Well I found a ticket for $65 on Craigslist which is a gamble in its self. Will they show? I have had a few odd experiences with it. I called Justin who of course was "I don't have an ID... blah blah". He hadn't seen a game since row A vs Toledo in 2008... Yes freaking Toledo. I told him we could sneak the ID threw the gate and we be fine. He finally agreed.
Justin at the Toledo game. If Appy State was the Horror then Toledo was "The Horror H20"
We set out for Ann Arbor at 7am. The drive was full of his thoughts on the team and we banter back and forth on who should start on safety. We also set our plan for getting into the Big House on one Student ID with a dude on it that looked nothing like us.

Phase 1. Get ticket from seller.
Phase 2. I go through first. I would pick out a younger ticket taker. Someone who won't have the balls to confront me that it isn't my ID. Its worked all year. Those Middle aged people are assholes. They will get you.
Phase 3. Find a spot to slip my wallet through the gate to my brother
Phase 4. Have my brother enter through a young ticket taker as well.
Phase 5. Meet in his section 26 row 30.

The plan was if Phase 2 or 4 was foiled by a ticket taker then plan B was to run like Forrest Gump to another side of the Big House. That is why we would only hold the ID and not give it over.

Sounds easy enough. I was worried about ushers at the sections checking Student IDs since we only had one. It had only happened a few times to me.

We got down to A2 and found our $10 church parking. Its a hell of a walk but screw it. Its 10 bucks. They also have bathrooms open. We wait for the student to meet us with the ticket. I was nervous as hell that he would no show and we be screwed but he did show and sold us his extra ticket. We then scouted the Big House gates for cracks in their secret service esk security. It wasn't hard. Most of the people watching the gates were younger folk and no one was watching them behind any of the vendors or store with Michigan gear. So Justin just followed me on the outside the Big House as I snuck behind that little store that looks like a mobile home. I gave him my wallet with no issues.

I headed back to the front to wait for him. A large group waited to get through. I waited 5min and 10mins. Wondering if something had went wrong. You get that roller coaster feeling... Like shit man..WE ALL ARE GONNA DIE!!. Then out of no where Justin taps me on the shoulder and smiles. He claimed the gate kid double looked at his ID and had to know it didn't match but didn't have the nuts to say anything. So the plan had worked. Young ticket takers are the weak link of the Big House.

We find his section 26 and give him the ID. I would be better at BSing a usher about why I didn't have my student ID. He made it through with out any issues. I found my section of 34 and went in. The students were on time? Not what I expected. So going across 8 sections was gonna be a real chore. Found my way down to the row 30 something and started going across. Pissing off one student after another with getting in the way.. Weaving in and out of rows.
Then my brain failed me. I have dyslexia(that explains why I can't write right?). It gets me all the time. It came to me that Justin was in section 29 and not 26. The 9 and 6 flipped in my brain. So I got to section 29 and was looking all over row 30 for Justin. I couldn't find him. The band was about to play so I stood in row 30 in section 29 using my eyes to look for my brother. I could hear the kids next to me whisper to their friends... "Who is this guy?"

It was about kick off and the students had pretty much all gotten there. As the Ball was kicked off a young girl told my I was standing in her spot. I said sorry and moved on. I was in no mans land. No open spots. I wasn't gonna go back to 34. So I head up to where the freshmen sat in the upper rows. Maybe I could see Justin from there I thought. Still not knowing I was in the wrong section. Of course nothing. I must have stuck out like a sore thumb. Wedding ring on, not wearing anything "North Face". Everyone around me looked like babies. In my normal section of 34 I didn't feel as out of sorts since they were all older students.
I thought as the game went on that I would just have to wait tell half time to head back down for another look. I was having a blast watching the game, even from my far away perch in row 70 something. I thought I bet Justin is freaking out. He has issues talking to new people. I bet he wonders if I got caught with out an ID. I worried... That he was worried. He didn't have a cell phone(another thing to add to why he is "different"). So my worst nightmare is that we never find each other and I hope he remembers how to get back to the car which I didn't think he would. Lots of my worries would be whisked away as Denard ran into the endzone or RVB would blow up the OSU offensive line. I just hoped he was having fun and wasn't stuck in his shell. I slapped hands and hugged kids that could also be my younger brother or sister. I was having fun as Michigan seemed to be in some what of control but not really as they were down at half 24 to 23.

Half time came and it there was no way I would be able to go down there and look(I wouldn't have found him anyway). Students don't leave for pizza, water or peeing. They pretty much stayed put. I wasn't gonna go down and piss people off why wondering around and making people move. So I stayed and watch Michigan play beautiful offense and frustrating defense.
After Miller spiked on 3rd down... A Grinch like grin came across my face. This was it. My brother not at my side to share a moment that we have waited for since 2003 was crushing. He was 12 and I was 19 on that day in 2003 when Chris Perry and Braylon Edwards danced across the Big House with Roses in their mouth. The day we have been dreaming of was so close yet we were so far a part in Michigan Stadium. It didn't seem right but destiny made it this way. Miller throws the ball and it is picked off by Courtney Avery! Michigan Wins! Courtney Avery will never know this but his play on that football created a memory that will last a life time between two brothers.
As the students poured onto the field and I stuck in a log jam at the top of the Big House. I hoped my brother was on the field having the time of his life. For one day in his life he got to live the life of a Michigan student in the Big House on a day that Michigan beat the Buckeyes. I did as well. Both of us not accepted to Michigan for whatever reason(ehh my 3.1 GPA maybe? Yeah). We ended up going to places we never really wanted to go. Our hearts always in Ann Arbor. This day was for us. A big fuck you to all the people who have taken shots at us for bleeding maize and blue and not attending the school. This was Michigans moment and ours.

I gave up on getting down to the field as the group of people seemed to jam even more. As I exited section 29 wondering what the hell to do... It finally hit me. 26!!!! ahhhh haaa! I raced to 26 to be stopped by a usher as I tried to get through the people who were coming out. Luck with have it that a drunken student and an OSU fan would come out of the section in each others face. The usher left me to split them up. I rushed in section 26. It was like swimming up stream. I finally made it down to 30 and didn't see Justin. I was sorta hoping not to find him and that he was on the field having an experience. I didn't want to find him in his shell watching the celebration from his seat and waiting for me. Then I spotted him hopping up and down by the players on the field and celebrating. He then jumped up the wall and saw me. He ran to me and we hugged off 7 years of frustration. I held back but I could have shed a tear easy. We then sat in Michigan Stadium for 45 mins and talked about the game and how we got split. He said he spent all game lifting up girls and mingling with students. He then was some of the first to rush the field and had the time of his life as Michigan beat Ohio State. Maybe we were meant to be split up all game so Justin could do something on his own and not depend on me to have fun or show him the way. He made his own friends that day. Something that is not easy for him. It made me happy that he just let it rip and was himself.

On the walk back to the car as dusk fell we laughed and talked about how it was the best $65 he ever spent. We called our mother who had watched the game and was thrilled to hear that her son was coming out of his shell a bit and she was also happy that Michigan finally did it. I asked Justin what he would have done if we never found each other. He said "sleep on the field".

On that day my brother and I became even closer. We shared something even though we were sections apart. We were there when Michigan beat Ohio State in 2011 and went 10-2....

This was our day fergodsakes.
This post is dedicated to my brother. Love yea braaaaa!

2 Response to "Ohio, Michigan and my Brother"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Heck of a heartwarming story! Loved reading it.

    Anonymous says:

    Loved reading it!

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
powered by Blogger | WordPress by Newwpthemes | Converted by BloggerTheme