Even though Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti are only separated by a couple of miles, the distance between their college football programs couldn’t be farther apart. The University of Michigan has the most total wins out of any college football team, their latest recruiting class is ranked #1 by most analysts, and they routinely make headlines for such clickbait minutiae as Jim Harbaugh’s choice of refreshments when he went to go see Star Wars at the movie theater.
Eastern Michigan University, on the other hand, has never had a top-tier football program. Not even middle-tier. The last good player to come from EMU was Charlie Batch, who made a decent career in the NFL as a journeyman backup quarterback. I actually met him at a house party back when he went to EMU, and EMU didn’t even get many fans back then, either. In the late 1990’s, I remember doing community service at Rynearson Stadium a couple times, where the policeman in charge would just drop us off in the middle of the game to pick up trash. There were almost as many of us picking up trash as there were actual fans!
Well, here’s the ultimate embarrassment: The University of Michigan got the biggest average crowds in 2015. And Eastern Michigan University got…yep, the smallest crowds. Less than 5,000 per game. And we all know attendance numbers are inflated, so I’d be surprised if they got half of that.
So, if Michigan State is U of M’s “little brother” -and that little brother has had one hell of a football team this year- what does that make Ypsilanti? Bastard stepchild? In the rare instance that you might hear the word “Ypsilanti” mentioned on television, it will invariably be mispronounced Why-piss-a-lan-tee, making it the only instance where someone on TV can say “piss” and not be censored.
Yep, bastard stepchild sounds about right. Or college equivalent of the Detroit Lions.