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Varsity Blue

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The Battle of the Big House Rages on. OR: How I learned to stop worrying and love the boxes.

Recently, there has been an uproar of sorts in the Michigan community about the proposed addition of skyboxes to Michigan Stadium. Why this has suddenly become a big deal now, rather than when renovations were announced, is beyond me. Regardless, here are links to a couple of articles explaining the new debate.

Michigan Daily
Daily editorial supporting letter
Ann Arbor News
AAN editorial supporting skyboxes

First things first, let me say that, in the beginning, I was adamantly opposed to skyboxes. The Michigan tradition, etc. and so on. However, my opinion on the matter changed (and fairly quickly). However, my reasons for supporting the new construction are not the same as those from the AAN editorial, but rather THE EXACT opposite of the reasons that the writers of the letter (and the idiots at the Daily) oppose it.

Lee Bollinger, I respect you for having a keg party after we beat Penn State while you were president of the University, but you are just dead wrong on this issue. For those of you too lazy to click on the link(s), the general argument raised by this group is that building pressboxes will essentially separate bourgeoisie from proletariat fans (yes, it's all about the left-wing politics here).

Allow me to raise a counter-argument here. The two groups are already separated. The alumni and wealthy donators are the only ones who can afford to sit within the 25-yeard lines, much less right on the fifty. Aside from the student section, I'd be willing to wager that the seating arrangements throughout the bowl of Michigan Stadium are already pretty much arranged by wealth.

Since the alumni feel the need to have great seats, in addition to making sure that they are not contributing to the noise level in the stadium (one of my pet peeves, in case you haven't noticed), we might as well get them the hell out of the main bowl, and give their seats to the next in line in class status, making more availability for the fans with less monetary means.

Ever the pragmatist, I support essentially any reasonable measure to increase the noise level in the stadium. Building skyboxes will help this situation in two ways, by getting the silent old rich people out of a spot where they could be helping the atmoshpere by making noise, as well as increasing the angle at which the stadium rises, trapping more sound (though I doubt this effect would be very significant).

While the counterargument of funding is indeed a great point supporting the skyboxes, it is certainly not the only one. However, if that argument is what it takes to get this project approved, theen I'm all for it. (But why does the second most profitable athletic department in the country need more monetary assistance?)

“The Battle of the Big House Rages on. OR: How I learned to stop worrying and love the boxes.”

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