Looking out into Michigan Stadium – the “Big House” – can be a daunting sight for some Ohioans, but for Amherst Schools Superintendent Robert Boynton, it`s like returning home.
Boynton`s father secured his first set of University of Michigan football season tickets in 1937 and would eventually transfer the ticket rights to his son before passing away more than a decade ago.
|CARL SULLENBERGER / CHRONICLE|
|Brandon Boynton (left), 24, joins his mother and father, Sharon and Robert, for a family trip to the Michigan-OSU game for today`s game in Ann Arbor.|
Boynton, who grew up in Toledo and played football at Ohio University, recalls going to his first University of Michigan football game with his dad in the early `60s. Football was a pastime unlike any other for the family, he said, and watching the great rivalry between the two teams was something that came second to the bonding experience of watching the game as a family.
“Returning to (Michigan Stadium) is an emotional experience for me,” Boynton said with tears welling in his eyes. “There are a lot of memories.”
When Boynton`s father died, the family spread some of his cremated remains on the field at Michigan Stadium and later purchased an engraved brick in his honor that now sits at one of the stadium`s entrances.
Watching the game as a Wolverine fan is a tradition Boynton has passed on to his three grown sons. Although Brian, Brad and Brandon have spread out around the country, it isn`t uncommon for them to return home at the same time for a game.
“They`re more passionate than I am,” Boynton said. “If Michigan loses, they don`t talk for a week. But it`s a great tradition that everyone should appreciate, no matter who wins.”
Boynton will be joined by wife, Sharon, his son Brandon and his nephew when he enters the stadium today wearing his “maize and blue.”
Going to the stadium brings back a lot of memories, he said.
“Some people visit a cemetery,” Boynton said. “When I go into that stadium, I feel like I`m visiting my mom and dad.”
Contact Stephen Szucs at 336-4016 or firstname.lastname@example.org.