Friday, October 31, 2008
Commitment, Regression & Recycling
Last Saturday I was fortunate enough to make it to Ann Arbor, MI for the annual intra-state rivalry between the University of Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans. I went to MSU along with my brother. 90% of the rest of my family including my mother and my sister went to U of M. I probably have 30 (not exaggerating) cousins that went to U of M, and hardly any that went to State.
So every year I make an effort (have gone to the last three) to make it to either Ann Arbor or East Lansing, Michigan for the big rivalry.
There is one major problem with Big 10 college football- the league rules don't allow for any drinking inside stadiums and arenas. I guess they think that it curbs unacceptable behavior and public displays of stupidity, nudity, drunkenness, or otherwise. What I see, though, is an opposite effect. Thousands of people gather in various parking lots and/or fields around the stadiums for a tailgate party. This generally leads to people getting super loaded before the game because they know they can't have anything to drink when they get inside. This leads to many folks really overdoing it, hence the regression. Grown-ass men and women really acting like children or teenagers at best. I'm talking jell-O shots, keg stands, passing out, etc. What I notice the most is that people forget how to be drunk, like they don't remember how to keep their wits about them when drinking because they are out of practice. I saw a 40 year old woman fall on her ass. I saw a 50 year old man doing a keg stand. Maybe if they let people buy a drink or two inside then they wouldn't have to get so wasted before kick-off.
Now, on to the game. My boy Mikey hooked us up with field passes which allow you to go anywhere on the sidelines of the game to watch. This is every football fan's fantasy and I felt like a little kid out there. Truly amazing. The Spartans hung in there for there first victory in Ann Arbor in like 20 years, and it's my first time seeing them win a game against U of M in-person. Commitment, folks.
The thing about the state of Michigan that most people learned from an old Seinfeld episode is that it's the only state that gives 10 cents back on can deposits. So when you go to buy a six-pack, they charge you 60 cents extra, hoping you will bring the cans back and do the environment a favor and recycle. Most people at the tailgates just throw the cans anywhere and this leads to professional recyclers running around the game collecting cans to get cash. It's probably pretty lucrative actually, 10 cans are a buck. These guys probably make a couple of hundred dollars per game from it. Recycling.
Next thing to note is that the teams play in this annual game for an unofficial tournament trophy. It's called The Paul Bunyan Trophy, and whichever team wins they get to keep it for the year. My old nome de rap (yep) was Paul Bunyan. Coincidence? I think not. Next mission? Getting a flick with that weird wooden statue. I'm gonna do it and you will see it here first. Commitment. I bet you can't wait.