Autumn came to the University of Michigan this weekend, and so did I. My partner's 10th dental school reunion drew us back for homecoming. Ann Arbor is a lovely little town, especially with the light cool breeze that October brings. While we didn't make it into the stadium for the 45-20 clobbering of Michigan at the hands of Illinois, we did spend a good hour at the SAE (Sigma Alpha Epsilon) house with a couple thousand other people there to watch the annual fraternity Mud Bowl. I took plenty of pictures.
Video after the jump.
For 70 years, SAE has hosted a homecoming weekend football game in the "field" at their house, which hoses of water turn into a muddy drenched swamp for a battle with another fraternity. This year their opponent was Phi Kappa Psi (in black). SAE won the game going away, 36-16.
The game is wonderfully entertaining. The guys on the field, er, swamp give it their all. There's tackling, slamming, running; It isn't pretty, and there are precious few great plays, but the crowd gets into it almost as much as the players. Most every rule seemed to be suspended. A ball in the air headed toward a receiver? Just tackle him. Wanna confuse the defense? Just have everyone moving at the snap. It was more like rugby with a passing game, or wrestling with some pigskin. Either way, it reminded me of football in the rain in college and I loved it.
A fun little twist: At halftime, two sororities (this year it was Tri Delts and Alpha Phi) come out in all-black skin-tight uniforms and play a quick 20-minute game. The best play of the day actually came from the sorority game, with a Tri Delt intercepting Alpha Phi on a pass that hit the back of the receiver.