TRE in Ann Arbor: Cigars, Violence, and Adam Rittenberg

Friday, 9:15 pm: I roll into Ann Arbor, meeting with Law Buck, his fiance, and two OSU law friends for a late dinner at Zingerman's Roadhouse. We sit down and are promptly given a free pile of sweet potato fries. We instantly suspect they are poisoned. They are in fact delicious, not poisoned. I would refer this restaurant to anyone venturing into Ann Arbor. The seafood was fantastic, the waiter was helpful, and the prices are low. Here is the website for Zingerman's Roadhouse. Dammit, did I just do a "Taste of the Town"?

Friday, 11:00 pm - 1:00 am: We get some decent cigars and smoke them hotbox style in my car. Guess what my car smells like in the morning? Yup, strawberries.

Saturday, 10:00 am: We round up the folks and I drop everyone off around the Big House so they can scalp tickets. I hear later that Law Buck's fiance played hardball with a scalper and got a great deal. Meanwhile, I park on Madison St, which is about a mile from the Stadium. I do this for two reasons: 1) I'm cheap. 2) I like to get exercise on days I can't go to the gym. The miles I have to walk to the Big House make up for the lack of gym visit.

Saturday, 11:00 am: I meet up with a Michigan Alum, Pete Shannon, who is tailgating on the golf course

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Two Busch Lite's and one sloppy joe later, I roll over to the Clubhouse to meet with my Buckeye friends. We ride the wave of people through the gates, up the stairs and into our seats.

1:00 pm: I am optimistic about this game so far. The Wolverines are completing passes downfield and Tressel is playing not to lose on offense. For some reason, I am taking verbal abuse from two Michigan fans in front of me. They are perturbed that I am sitting with an Ohio State fan, my buddy Brad. After a great throw to Roundtree, one of the fans turns around and headbutts me, knocking me down on the bleachers into the people sitting behind. Everyone stands shocked - I keep my head and ask him to please calm down, I'm a Michigan fan.

1:45 pm: Pryor floats a perfectly thrown screen pass over the Michigan defenders and it's 21-10. Brad comments about how the Stadium went silent after this touchdown, prompting the aforementioned Wolverine fan to turn around and make three threats:

-(to my buddy Brad) "You shut the f*** up before I kick your ass. Respect the Stadium."

-(to me) "You be careful."

-(to the silent Buckeye to my left) "If you say a word, I'm going to knock your teeth into the back of your mouth."

We ask him to calm down ("I will not f****** calm down," he responds). This is one of the weirder sequences I've been a part of at a sporting event. It seemed like he had a screw loose, or something, so we both tried to ignore the man.

2:00 pm: The hot 35 year old woman sitting next to Brad asks him if we want to move down to Row 3 in the end zone; apparently a couple of their friends wanted to come up and sit with them. We accept quickly and move down to our seats, which are basically on the field. Oooh cheerleaders...

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And up-close action shots...

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3:00 pm: ...And another idiotic Michigan fan gets a mention on TRE. He asks - "Is that your buddy?" pointing at Brad and when I respond in the affirmative, he calls me a douchebag and claims I'm not a real Michigan fan. The game is basically over and the Scarlet presence is growing heavy as they rush to the end zone walls to sing Carmen Ohio, or whatever. Tough to sit through that.

5:00 pm: We tailgate with some wonderful combination of doctor/lawyers/law students, which results in a hot dog, more beer, and discussion of Lady GaGa's "Bad Romance."I think it's a hit...

6:00 pm: Smokies, a cigar shop frequented by Lloyd Carr, proves to be the perfect place for football and a big ol' humidor. We smoke cigars with some guys from Santa Barbara and discuss the future of Michigan football while Les Miles proves to be less than adept at endgame scenarios.

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Then a wonderful Italian man, a former high school football coach whose daughter attends UM, gives Law Buck and I a couple Cuban cigars on the way out. What a guy - my faith in humanity is restored for the moment.

8:00 pm: Sushi.com, a fine AA establishment, proves to be an excellent dinner spot. In the background, we see the beginning of Arizona-Oregon.

11:00 pm: We drink some Big Bass (no hops) at ABC with archi students. After confusing Ville the Finnish student by using the word "clusterf***" during our conversation, I define it with the simple sentence "Michigan's season was one big clusterf***...everything went wrong." He understands.

Law Buck and I roll into Bar Louie's to watch the end of the AZ game. We run into the esteemed Adam Rittenberg, the ESPN Big Ten football blogger. What are the chances? He's a fine gentleman - we talk about bowl projections and conservative playcalling.

11:00 am, Sunday morning: I blog from Michigan's Shapiro Library. I don't care if Michigan has a rep for less-than-hot undergrad ladies - There were tons of beauties in Shapiro.

Noon: I jump in my Pontiac, relight a cigar, and drive off into the foggy Michigan afternoon. Oddness.

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