Another year, another homecoming celebrated at the University of Michigan and University of Michigan-Dearborn.
Sports wise, it was a wild success. In just one year, the Maize and Blue bowl transformed from something known by a handful of students to a popular sporting event for scholars.
The alumni hockey game featured a blast from UM-Dearborn’s Wolves past. For one special night, several former stars took the ice they called home for four years.
Then there was, of course, the homecoming football game. Who could possibly forget about that? Michigan defended the Little Brown Jug from old-time rival Minnesota for the twenty-second year in 23 games.
Even with all the celebrations and festivities, there was a void for longtime students such as myself: the homecoming softball game.
The homecoming softball game was the first sporting event I experienced as a student at UM-Dearborn. Being able to take the field against the Dearborn police department was a blast, something that we’d never be able to do on our own. No, we needed a special event. The homecoming softball game was just that.
The homecoming softball game is no more. It hasn’t been since 2011, and for both the students and police, it’s a shame.
One thing that wasn’t the problem with the homecoming softball game was the amount of student participation, that’s for sure. Heck, I didn’t see the field until towards the end of the game, but I didn’t care.
For me, it was all about the atmosphere; to be able to spend time with my fellow students on a ball field and to participate against Dearborn’s finest.
But there were some flaws in the set up.
If I’m an average student who doesn’t do anything extracurricular on campus, there wouldn’t be a point for me to attend the game to sit in the stands. Why bother?
That was the case for the 2011 game. Only a handful of students decided to attend the game. Perhaps that’s because the game was held off campus at King Boring field, only because UM-Dearborn doesn’t have the proper venue for baseball and softball games.
That exact answer will never be known. But there is something that I do know.
The homecoming softball game was irreplaceable. No matter what homecoming event is thought up next, it won’t match the one I participated in back in 2011.