In “Homo Ludens,” by Johan Huizinga, the term Magic Circle is presented to us. In this magic circle real world actions are given imaginary values.
An example of that is when Devin Gardner throws a ball to Devin Funchess. In real life that is not an exceptional feat– balls are easy to throw and both Devins are athletic and young. The only reason why 100,000+ fans (lets just pretend Dave Brandon doesn’t inflate the numbers) in the Big House scream and cheer every time this happens is because in the game of football that pass can be worth 6 points.
We have already discussed in lecture and in discussion that the magic circle also includes the fans. I would like to think that I helped Michigan win the games I have attended. The term “home-field advantage” comes to mind. That term exists because people believe that the fans cheering and screaming help the home team.
The game of football lasts 60 minutes of actual play + commercial breaks + timeouts + clock stoppages between downs + halftime which should give you about 2-3 hours of entertainment. After the 2-3 hours the game ends, the players go home, and the coaches address what went right and what went wrong. But when does the Magic Circle end?
If you have spent any time looking at a magazine or newspaper you will probably notice that we, fans of Michigan football, are not happy with the current status of our beloved Wolverines. It’s what we talk about at lunch, on the radio, on TV, in our homes, and really anywhere.
I will not be affected if Brady Hoke and Dave Brandon are fired (if you are unfamiliar with this idea I recommend reading this article). My life will not change at all if that happens, but for some reason it’s taking up a lot of what I talk about and read about right now.
Is that because the magic circle doesn’t end with the end of the game? I would argue yes. The devotion that Michigan fans, and really fans of any team or sport, bring everyday is what makes “home-field advantage” exist. If we weren’t consumed by the successes and failures of Michigan every fall then the Big House would be called A-lot-Smaller-Than-It-Could-Be House.
We add a lot to the game. We talk on the radio. We watch ESPN. We read Grantland articles. And in turn these players and coaches are expected to do well and perform well, not only in the games (even though that’s where we would like them to perform well most) but also at every practice, every press conference, and every spring game.=
Because we talk about this team all the time the Michigan Football Magic Circle never ends. It is consistent and forever. It will always be talked about, even during the offseason. And that is why I love football. I love it because Michigan football is always present and is always talked about. Even in the spring I don’t forget about it, and neither do the other fans.