Fan to watch 500th straight game

A 67-year-old retired engineer has plans to watch Michigan’s 19th-ranked football team play in person for the 500th straight time Saturday at Ohio State.

Bob MacLean said he has attended every game the Wolverines have played from their 1971 game against rival Ohio State through their last one against Iowa.

”I missed the next-to-last game in 1971 for a wedding and haven’t missed one since,” he told The Associated Press.

MacLean said he had dinner plans Friday night in Columbus, Ohio, before getting a night of rest for the milestone matchup.

The dedicated fan said there’s a standing joke that his friend, Mike Truax, would get him out of the hospital to keep the streak alive even if he was in a coma and had to be strapped to a board.

”I’ve been lucky, though, that I haven’t had an illness that has kept me from a game,” MacLean said. ”There were one or two games that I was sick enough that I wouldn’t have gone to work, but I still went to the game.”

He said when Michigan has had games far away from his home in Ann Arbor, such as two in Hawaii, he simply planned a vacation around the game.

”Expenses were never a problem,” said MacLean, who earned an MBA and undergraduate degree from Michigan. ”More than half of the games have been at home and most of the road games have been in the Big Ten.”

His wife, Marilyn, usually joined him to watch the Wolverines.

”I’ve skipped some along the way, so I don’t have the streak,” she said.