I spent the weekend in Ann Arbor for the Ohio State vs. Michigan game. There's no overarching narrative, so instead of a "real story," my thoughts are presented below in numbered/list form — sorta like Terry Pluto's columns these days, but with more sex toys.
1. If you don't want beer thrown at your car at 7 in the morning, don't drive in front of all the frats with Ohio license plates. Lesson learned.
2. Buckeye fans sometimes like to wear buckeye necklaces with their jerseys and other apparel. These baubles have a slightly different name in Michigan parlance, as evidenced by the best insult hurled at Buckeye fans, me included, during tailgating: "Why are you wearing anal beads around your neck?" Eschewing the predictable and vulgar "Your mom let me keep them" response, we decided the best retort was simply: "Hey, you guys enjoy the Chipotle burrito bowl this year."
That's a lie — we said both.
3. If you are a Buckeye fan and you see a fellow Buckeye fan being verbally accosted by some Michigan fans, you don't have to come to his defense if he's wearing an Ed Hardy hoodie.
4. Don't be surprised if random people walk up to you and say, "Go to hell," simply because you're wearing an Ohio State shirt. It just happens. And it isn't always undergrads and drunken hooligans. A well-dressed gentleman in his 30s walked up to me outside the stadium and said exactly that. The antagonistic relationship really cannot be understated here. Much, much worse as the night goes on, which is why I switched into regular clothes before hitting the bars Saturday night. Also, a big scarlet sweatshirt probably isn't going to help you get a cab at the end of the night.
5. If 20 is the over/under on the number of Michigan fans you can shove a rose in front of and ask, "How does this smell?" before being attacked or punched, take the over. Michigan fans are surprisingly submissive. Or perhaps not surprisingly, given their recent history.
Eventually, however, your rose will get snatched and thrown 10 rows in front of you. So worth it though.
6. As a Michigan fan in front of me commented after the crowd around us threw out every vulgarity in the world in about a five-minute span in front of a family with small kids: "You don't bring kids to an Ohio State vs. Michigan game. You bring them to the Delaware State game."
7. Best sign of the day: "UM Law — Clarett Would Have Walked."
8. If you watched the game, you saw how heavily scarlet dominated the crowd. It was even more pronounced in person. And as you might have seen already, the "O-H-I-O" chant around the stadium was very audible —louder than the boos that tried to drown it out — and lasted several minutes.
Nothing like getting your ass handed to you, giving up your castle, then basically watching as the conquering marauders make out with your wife, nap on your favorite chair and make you their butler.
9. Food recom-mendation: World famous Zingerman's deli. Holy hell, was that a delicious reuben. The Browns game was blacked out in the area, and I must admit that the sandwich was more enjoyable than any pleasure I would have derived from watching the Browns.
10. Bar recommendation: Ashley's, has more than 50 microbrews on tap, a dingy little basement that feels like an English pub, a 2001-era Golden Tee machine and no belligerent idiots.
11. It will take you two hours after the game to get from your parking spot by the stadium to the highway. I didn't learn this personally, mind you. Like a reasonable person, I decided to stay the entire weekend; my friend didn't, however, and when I texted him three hours after the game, he told me that he had just reached Toledo. At that time, I was at the Brown Jug watching Michigan State vs. Penn State and drinking. The lesson? Always make it a weekend, not a day.
12. As day turns to night and Bo Schembechler merlot fails to quiet the pangs of another devastating and embarrassing loss for the Michigan faithful, their insults suffer from a certain dip in quality and coherence. A guy standing in front of a bar by himself around midnight, yelling at any and every Ohio State fan: "Hey, High Street sucks! That's your street? I've been there. It sucks. High Street is the worst street in the country. You know why? Because you guys get high and stupid. Ha. HA! High Street sucks!"