Tuesday, September 09, 2008

How To Do the Wave at Michigan Stadium

I used to have a personal blog which occasionally served as a dumping ground for my Michigan sports thoughts. Shortly before I started HSR, I posted this. It seems we may need a reminder.

So you've come to Michigan Stadium to watch a game and you want to do The Wave, do you? You've seen this craze hit other sporting venues and you want to be a part of it? Well, this guide will prepare you for how The Wave is performed by the largest crowd watching a football game anywhere in America.

Required Conditions
The Wave may only be initiated by licensed professionals from the student section using the following criteria:

  1. The game must be well into the third quarter.
  2. Michigan must have a two-score lead.
  3. Michigan should be on defense, although this might not be strictly adhered to in a blowout.

The total Wave sequence lasts six circuits around the Big House, as follows:

  1. The Original Wave (2 circuits)
  2. The Fast Wave (1 circuit)
  3. The Slow Wave (1 circuit)
  4. The Reflected Wave (1 circuit)
  5. The Split Wave (1 circuit)
  • The Original Wave is performed at a moderate pace and travels counter-clockwise around the stadium twice.
  • After this is completed, the student section forces the wave through at a much faster pace. The alumni in the adjoining seats usually slow the pace a bit, but it still moves at a faster clip around the stadium.
  • When it reaches the student section again, it immediately slows to maybe a third of its original pace and stays that way for another lap.
  • After reaching the student section again, it stops and is reflected back in a clockwise direction at the original pace.
  • When the clockwise wave returns to student section, they maintain it while simultaneously starting another wave in the counter-clockwise direction. When done correctly, the two waves meet and pass through each other in the opposite corner of the stadium.


Unknown said...

Indeed, we do need a reminder. I will be distributing this at the bottom of Section 31 before the Wisconsin game.

Unknown said...

I think you need to send this into the Daily. 4 point lead -> No Wave. Also, from what I could tell it was the students standing around row 35 or 40 who got it going. I would say the seniors in 31/32 should be responsible for starting it.

Aaron said...

I disagree. Slow wave first, then fast wave. Slow wave builds anticipation for fast wave to take off once it reaches the student section. Plus, standard wave to fast wave can be an undetectable difference. It is far easier to go from standard wave to slow wave.

Geoff said...

Aaron - Yeah, I've seen it go either way, and I don't have much of a preference. As long as the slow wave and fast wave are consecutive, it works for me.

Unknown said...

Back in the good ol' days in started out clockwise and avoided the old people until the very end. It had the effect of the seniors starting the wave, and the senior citizens having a good 30 seconds to prepare for having to stand up for 2 seconds and sit back down.

UofMSnowboarder said...

The slow wave first, then the fast wave avoids an awkward transition from a slow wave to the bounce, where it needs to speed up as well.
When the fast wave goes around, it diminishes in speed once it goes around through the old, slow, and 'real' people. By the time a fast wave gets around to the student section no speed transition has to be made, allowing continuity in the wave's appearance.

Unknown said...

This was a good one to write up. Everybody needs to learn the wave rules. Michigan University Stadium probably has the best wavers that I've seen so far. I went on youtube and saw about 4 or 5 different videos on the wave action there.

brant hinrichs said...

There is also the "silent" wave. Back in the mid-80's, the announcer "yelled" at us for making too much noise while doing the wave and thus being overly discourteous to the opposing team. So we did a silent wave - normal speed and all, but absolutely, and completely, and utterly quiet - no one said a peep. You could have heard a pin drop. Eerie, but fantastic!!