The “Wal-Mart Wolverine”

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I think it is safe to say that every Michigan fan has heard of the “Wal-Mart Wolverine.” Check out Urban Dictionary, where there are many different definitions of this term (some content NSFW). There are some listed from State fans, Ohio fans, and even a few from Michigan fans. I had a gentleman from Minnesota on Twitter call me a “Wal-Mart Wolverine” not too long ago, and if I felt like finding my tweets from January, I’d show you.
Sorry to break it to you folks, I don’t buy clothes at Wal-Mart, so I can’t fall under that description even if I don’t attend the University. Personally, I find the concept of the “Wal-Mart Wolverine” hilarious, simply because the rival fan that is using it, thinks it’s the most clever insult ever created. It is most often a term used out of jealousy. Pay attention, when you hear it, something good has usually happened in Wolverine Nation. The most common perception of a “Wal-Mart Wolverine” is a bandwagon fan, or someone who is trashy and/or didn’t attend the University.
Fans of college teams can come from all over, and if fans were only allowed to be from the organization, then there wouldn’t be very many fans at all. It is safe to say that all schools have giant fan bases that have no connection with the institution other than watching its sports teams.  This means there will be a big range of people, both classy and trashy, all sharing one love: The Michigan Wolverines.
Michigan Stadium is built to hold 109,901 screaming fans, so there is bound to be great mix of people. Especially in comparison to a stadium that holds, say, 75,005 fans. To name a few, there will be thousands of students, alumni, local residents, passionate Michigan football followers, the girlfriend who is only there to be nice, rival fans, and yes, even “Wal-Mart Wolverines” in attendance at the Big House. The University of Michigan has the greatest college fan base in the world; any negative term towards our fan base is just out of envy.
I’ve had an opportunity to sit all around the Big House, and have met a bunch of passionate fans from all types of backgrounds. When I am present on game day, I don’t really care who is around me; I am just there to cheer on my team, and high five anyone who is within three rows of me after a big play. I don’t care who you are, or where you are from, if you love Michigan Football, then I like you. Go ahead deck yourself out in a Wal-Mart snapback, XL T-Shirt, and Starter shorts. It doesn’t make a difference to me as long as you are passionate about your team. If you rep Michigan, then you are already doing something right.
By the way, if you have noticed what Michigan Wolverine apparel is in fact from Wal-Mart, then you must be shopping there yourself, right?
As a Michigan fan, I welcome the term “Wal-Mart Wolverine.” Go ahead rivals, use it as much as you want. I don’t mind that you pick a select few to make fun of when there are thousands of other Michigan Faithful that have their backs.
Besides, can you pick out the “Wal-Mart Wolverines” from here?

Didn’t think so.

Derek Devine
Institutional voice of Alma College during the day, Michigan fanatic at night. Taking TBHR to the next level one post at a time.

2 thoughts on “The “Wal-Mart Wolverine”

  1. I graduated at the end of 1977. Spent a year in the midwest and moved to the east coast. In 1979, other than alums, no one in the east followed Michigan sports. Now I see Michigan apparel all the time. I see it so often that it’s common. If Wal-Mart Wolverine means that generations of the young in America want to follow and perhaps attend Michigan, I say the more the merrier. Since I see this among students graduating from the top ranked high schools in New England, I have a hunch that they’ll have no trouble with admission to U of M.

    The Harvard of the west. So very very true.

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