[Ed. Reader and M fan Mark Behnke attended the athletic department Garage Sale on Friday and this weekend offered to share his experience and even scored a few quotes from Dave Brandon via email. The buzz I’ve heard is that this was one of the lighter sales in both quantity and range of goods. For instance I heard, “It was great if you wear XXXL”...but apparently, as you can see below, there were at least a few damn good items to be had.]
Guest Post By Mark Behnke
Having never attended the garage sale I decided to take in the experience on Friday. Wanting to take in the whole experience, I decided to go down the afternoon before and “camp out” in line. Before I get into the story, I must admit that I am a Michigan memorabilia collector & it is a hobby for my family as well. I learned there are two main types of collectors: those who do it for the enjoyment, and those who then turn around and try to make a buck selling said memorabilia. I have heard the second type commonly referred to as the “eBay guys.”
When I pulled into the parking lot outside of the Indoor Track Building I was about the 12th person to pull out my lawn chair and settle in for a long wait that was accompanied by the scorching smoothness of 95 degrees. Throughout the overnight hours I was struck by the obvious difference in motivation for being there. While the eBay guys bemoaned the lack of “game used” jerseys that would be sold, I heard many others who sat through the night mention what they were looking for.
The collectors were there because they love Michigan. They spoke of items that they had purchased and how much they enjoyed them. When I asked Dave Brandon about the philosophical importance of events like the garage sale, he noted that, “We like to make our fans happy and many of them look forward to the garage sale every year.” He added, “Our fans seem to really enjoy the opportunities they are given to purchase a variety of items that wouldn’t necessarily be available at a regular retail store.”
By daybreak the line was accumulating people a steady rate. When they moved us up to the door for entry into the Indoor Track Building you could hear the buzz and see the excitement in fans of all ages. It struck me that this was the goal. It was never what you bought but that the fact that you could experience Michigan.
As for me, I walked out with items that I liked. I found the prices to be very discounted. A short list of prices are as follows:
I was fortunate enough to find a pair of Adidas maize and blue cleats that had a velcro strap over the front of the laces. I grabbed them then looked at the back and boom!– I saw #16 written on the Adidas logo in black Sharpie [Ed. dude. sweet.].
I did notice that some of the resellers had garbage bags and they chose to rake in pairs of game pants and practice jerseys without evening looking at them. Let’s face it, they have the right to do what they feel like they should. I would just caution everyone to know that not everything that is listed as “game used” is truly used in a game.
When I returned home, I didn’t race to a computer to post something on eBay. I showed my girls the shoes and it was a really cool moment for a father to pass on the joy of collecting to his daughters.
[Thanks Mark. Fans win. You can follow him on twitter @MBanksVid]