The Sights & Sounds Of A Football Weekend In Ann Arbor (Photos)

University of Michigan 43,000 students (just under 28,000 undergrad and just under 13,000 graduate) The University of Michigan is widely known for being both a high level academic and athletic institution. Located 43 miles west of downtown Detroit and 25 miles west of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, the picturesque Ann Arbor campus and surrounding city continues to prosper, despite the many financial and economic hardships that have beset the state of Michigan, during the last several years. No matter what may be taking place outside the confines of the cozy college town, the school of 43,000 students remains a tremendous source of pride for the people of The Great Lakes State. This feeling of enthusiasm has been further enhanced by the return to national prominence of the Wolverines football and men's hoops programs. Followers of the maize and blue have had plenty to cheer about, over the last couple years.

Earlier this month, an contributor paid a visit to Ann Arbor, for what turned out to be a 42-13 UM victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Below are a series of photos chronicling the contributor's stop through Wolverine country.

A look at the recently renovated entry area and 12,721-capacity seating bowl of Crisler Center. Originally opened in 1967, the home of men's and women's basketball, as well as women's gymnastics, has experienced multiple renovations, including a $20 million facelift in 2011 and 2012. While most people outside of Michigan probably believe the facility is named after or sponsored by the Michigan based Chrysler automotive company, in reality, the unique spelling of “Crisler” refers to Fritz Crisler, the school's former longtime football coach and athletic director.

Crisler Center $20 million facelift in 2011 and 2012

Crisler Center $20 million facelift in 2011 and 2012

Here is a glimpse of the interior and exterior of 86-year-old Michigan Stadium. The famed “Big House” lists its capacity at just under 110,000 (largest football stadium in the US). But, as the 115,000 fans who attended this season's Notre Dame at Michigan game can attest to, the ability to exceed the 110K number appears to be not much of an issue. In fact, the announced crowd for the Minnesota game was 111,079.

Michigan Stadium lists its capacity at just under 110,000 (largest football stadium in the US)

Michigan Stadium lists its capacity at just under 110,000 (largest football stadium in the US)

The contributor noted that Ann Arbor's pregame atmosphere was the best he had ever seen. Below are some examples of what he was referring to.

Michigan cheerleaders welcoming fans to the stadium.            

University of Michigan cheerleaders                                                                   

Even though the above game involved Minnesota, Michigan's rivalry with Ohio State is always a significant topic of conversation. Check out a sampling of the anti-Ohio shirts for sale, including pieces of fashion featuring Walter White from Breaking Bad and LeBron James.

Breaking Bad Anti Ohio Michigan Wolverines Shirt

LeBron James Anti Ohio Michigan Wolverines Shirt

Michigan's instate rivalry with Michigan State also elicited the “unique” creativity of Wolverine lovers. 

Michigan State Spartans Small Penis Shirt

Despite the Golden Gophers 29-point thrashing, Minnesota fans can take some solace in knowing that a local drinking establishment is named after the Little Brown Jug, the trophy the two Big Ten schools have been competing for since the very early part of the 20th century. Below is a photo taken from inside The Brown Jug Restaurant, located on University Avenue.

The Brown Jug Restaurant Ann Arbor