A Michigan Man does not showboat. He grimly goes about his job to the best of his abilities. He would rather not play football games under the lights, if it can be avoided.
This last point is important, because the University of Michigan’s Board of Regents on Thursday voted down a proposal to shoot off fireworks after two Wolverines game this fall. If there is one thing a Michigan Man certainly does not do, it’s showy postgame extravagance.
The school’s athletic department wanted to shoot off fireworks after two games this season: a late-afternoon game against Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 13 and a night game against Penn State on Oct. 11. The Board of Regents said no.
One member of the board gave a very Michigan Man reason behind his no vote, per Kim Kozlowski of the Detroit News:
Regent Laurence Deitch began the heated discussion by noting he would vote against the proposal since he thought the fireworks risks would outweigh the benefits, it is disrespectful to neighbors and not consistent with the university’s culture and values.
“I have religiously attended (UM) football games for 50 years,” Deitch said. “I have not found that experience lacking of fireworks.”
He added that UM is about class, dignity and a tough, winning football team.
Regent Mark Bernstein took Deitch’s comment and raised him with perhaps the most Michigan Man statement ever uttered.
Regent Mark Bernstein, who also voted against the displays at both games, called the fireworks a “huge symbolic issue.”
“We are not Comerica Park, Disney World or a circus … ” Bernstein said. “I love Michigan football for what it is … and for what it is not. It remains and should be an experience, a place that resists the excesses of our culture; intentionally simple.
“The fireworks should be on the field, not above it.”
Bernstein, it should be pointed out, is legally blind.
At 15-11 over the past two seasons, the Wolverines have not seen much of that, either.