A Wolverine in Columbus: The Longest Day

I spent this Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, enduring the coldest football game I've ever attended and watching my Wolverines get blown out. Afterwards, the boys and I watched a ton of football and had a couple beers, roaming around traditional Columbus restaurants and cigar shops. I hope you enjoy my picture-filled recount of this epic day.

11:00 AM: Parking Lot Next to the Stadium

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After we stopped at the Blackwell(?) Inn to pick up my ticket ($125 bucks to watch a blowout in 21 degree weather, I'm brilliant), we met Jon's parents and other Buckeye fans tailgating next to the stadium. The breakfast casserole was amazing and thank god for that propane space heater, which kept me sort of warm and singed the clothes of people who got too close. I also encountered a nice and extremely dedicated Buckeye fan (above). His quote as people were booing me:

"Hey, I don't hate Michigan, you make Ohio State who we are. Without you, there is no me and no rivalry."

The days most emotional and clear-headed words came from a 250 lb man wearing 10 pounds of beads and sporting a Block O shaved into his head. Figures.

12:45 PM, Upper Level South Stands, The Horseshoe

I don't need to say much about the game. I had dreams of a close contest for one half, but the third quarter put an end to those dreams as Ohio State hit on big play after big play. After Zoltan Mesko pinned the Bucks at the OSU 9 yard line, the Bucks spit out a 91 yard drive to take a two touchdown lead with 11 minutes left in the third, effectively ending the game in my mind. As I've written so many times, this Michigan team didn't have the passing capability to make comebacks, especially with Nick Sheridan showcasing the worst throwing arm in Michigan history. Someone should tell Sheridan that he is trying to complete passes, not skip rocks.

The fans around me would cheer for big plays and dance before kickoffs, but most people were muffled by the cold, both literally and figuratively. Fans complained the whole game, not about football, but about the lack of feeling in their feet. Ah, Midwest football. Live it.

4:15 PM, Buffalo Wild Wings

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Eddie George's Bar was too packed, so we traversed over to BDub's. We hung around looking for a table before three lawyers surrendered their table to us after a conversation which involved a heavily intoxicated trial litigator telling me I was 45 years old and asking to try on my glasses. The subsequent Blue Moons helped my mood some, while the Notre Dame loss helped my mood a lot. Oh, and the look on Mark Dantonio's face when he was calling late timeouts to show his displeasure with Penn State for throwing in the 4th quarter? Priceless.

7:30 PM, Barclay Pipe & Tobacco, Upper Arlington

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This excursion was welcomed, as the CFB slows down around 6:30. A trip inside Barclay Pipe & Tobacco was just the warm, relaxed stop that I needed. And even though I don't smoke cigars, we were all pretty happy lounging around, discussing socialism and whether Joe McCarthy was an American hero. Another hot topic of the day: Does RichRod have Michigan on the right track? I said yes, while my OSU friends seemed to think he was over his head.

8:00 - 11:00 PM, Mike's Apartment and Liu Pon

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I was still energized, but the collective strength of our bedraggled group was lagging. The one-sided Texas Tech Oklahoma game didn't help either, so at halftime we ditched the game and decided on some late evening Haiku & Sushi at Liu Pon. After I had finished off my plate and someone else's, we went our separate ways. But in the spirit of Liu Pon's and its word rhythm infused atmosphere, I will leave with a haiku:

Hands with no feelings,

To the victors go no spoils,

Stoops team left nothing.

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