It’s Michigan State week! Get excited! Now we’re on to teams that begin with M that might actually be kind of good. Sorry Minny.
Monday’s Food: Meijer Supermarkets
If there’s one thing you know about Michigan, it’s probably that the state is shaped like a mitten. If you know two things about Michigan, it’s probably that the state is bizarrely split into two parts. If you know sixteen things about Michigan… well, this is probably where we start getting to the level of state knowledge that involves supermarket chains.
I first became aware of the supermarket behemoth when I was dating a guy in Grand Rapids. He assured me that Meijer was amazing, that it was undoubtedly better than Wegman’s, the supermarket behemoth of New York state, where I then resided (spoiler alert: it is not. Wegman’s Forever.) But it is a pretty solid grocery chain, and one that has played a pretty big part in supermarket history.
Meijer was founded in 1934 in GREENville, MI - an appropriately named town for the start of Sparty Week, and located only about an hour from East Lansing. Wikipedia says that Meijer was “among the first” to offer self-service grocery shopping. (I am reading a book, The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green, and there is a chapter on Piggy Wiggly and its truly bonkers founder, and the book implies that Piggly Wiggly was actually the pioneer of this concept. But “among the first” is good too, enjoy your participation trophy, Meijer.) Anyway, Meijer’s true innovation came in 1962, combining a department store and supermarket into one unholy big box that is a staple of suburban living in modern America. This wasn’t a surefire idea–allegedly, Meijer hedged their bets for awhile by building half of the store with a reinforced floor so that it could become a car dealership. Because, if the people don’t want to buy t-shirts with their oranges and milk, then surely they’ll like to pick up a new Chevy with their oranges and milk, right?
Today, Meijer is a Midwestern behemoth, ranking as the 21st-largest retailer in the entire country. This proves that the sequel to the original supermarket concept was surprisingly successful and a total game-changer. However, as I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, and well, most movie sequels have proven time and time again, it’s hard to keep the success going. How’s that for a seamless transition to football and Michigan State?
So, writers and readers:
- Have you ever had your life changed by shopping at a Meijer?
- What’s the big name in groceries in your state? What makes for a good grocery experience to you?
- Pair a food with a car, and make it funny.
WSR: 1) Nope. I’m sure it’s wonderful, though.
2) We’ve got a few options. The local cheap place is Cub Foods. It’s perfectly fine. Iowa’s Hy-Vee has been invading lately, and it’s become my grocery store of choice when I wander into one instead of buying everything I need at Costco and maybe Target. And then there’s the local upscale joints: Lunds & Byerlys and Kowalski’s. Both have great stuff, both are pretty expensive, and both make me question what I’m doing when I go into one, even if I really needed that lemon tart for toast in the morning. All I really ask for in my grocery shopping experience is there to be stuff I’m looking for in stock, a good produce selection, and aisles wide enough that I don’t run over kids that are walking next to their parents shopping cart when I go past in the opposite direction. (Why did so many of those little monsters miss the day in elementary school where they taught everyone about single file lines?)
3) Yes, I would like to order some zucchini, a couple cans of chickpeas, a bell pepper, a red onion, some cherry tomatoes, and an AMG SL roadster please.
Buffkomodo: As much time as I’ve spent around Michigan, never have I ever been to a Meijers. Kroger is the place I go to, but Jungle Jim’s is the premiere grocery store around these parts. My ideal grocery experience is leaving the little Komodo and Mrs. Komodo at home. I get lost in the routine and drift off and suddenly I’m done and have no idea what I’ve bought. It’s ideal when there’s nobody in the checkout line and I waltz through.
I’m not funny so will not attempt. Apologies.
BoilerUp89: No, Meijers is fine but it’s not life changing. As Buff alluded to, Krogers is the big name in the Cincinnati area but I’m lucky enough that one of the two Jungle Jim’s is absurdly close to me and serves as my primary grocery store. Ignoring the fact that you can get literally any food you want there, they turn over everything so fast that everything is always fresh. I will be sad when I move away from Jungle Jims.
misdreavus79: I’m sorry, I stopped reading at “...is better than Wegmans,” because that guy does not know what the fuck he’s talking about and I will fight. him. anywhere. Just tell me where he lives I’ll whoop his ass. No, I’ve never been to a Meijer and have no idea how good it is, but it’s not better than Wegmans. FOH.
As per other go-to places up here, well, there’s Stop ‘n’ Shop, Basket Market, Boston Market, Hannaford, Shaws, and Star Market. I think that covers them all.
Food car pairings, well, there’s Taco Bell and the “recently revived, I’ll never be able to afford” Acura NSX. The connection is how fast you’re going to go as soon as you use either one.
WSR already mentioned the big ones around here, save SuperOne the farther north you get. I loved the Cub in my town, and they’re union, which: FUUUUUUCK YOU, HY-VEE.
Green Akers: Meijer is fine. For business ethics reasons, most of my shopping has transferred to Costco and Aldi these days, but growing up, Meijer was kinda the only game in town once Farmer Jack threw in the towel. In a lot of smaller cities in this state it’s either Meijer or Kroger, and fuck if I’m giving money to the people who put their name on Kentucky’s stadium.
MaximumSam: My wife thought she lost our daughter in a Meijer once. We found her, so it wasn’t life-changing. But it was quite the memory in a Meijer. A different daughter threw a tantrum because we wouldn’t buy her a donut. Those are probably the extent of my Meijer-related incidents. I usually shop at Aldi, Kroger, or Costco, and really anywhere that isn’t Walmart.. I’d probably order my own car, but hold the dried milkshake, petrified fries, and whatever else I find in the back seat.
Kind of…: I currently live in the land of Wegman’s and can confirm that it kicks Meijer’s ass. That said, I did once find a helluva of a deal on Carhart pocket t-shirts in a Meijer, so I appreciate it for letting me maintain my blue collar pose on the cheap.
My first car was a Chevy Citation hatchback, and I drove that in the 90s when Subway was just becoming a thing in the Midwest. My uncultured self thought the seafood (i.e., fake crab meat) sub was the shit. The ignorance of youth.
Which is best?
This poll is closed
Aldi (I know it’s kind of its own thing, but Aldi fans get pissy if you don’t include it, so here it is, you’re welcome)
Monday’s Football: Can Mel Tucker Possibly Keep This Good Thing Going?
Like Meijer in 1962, Mel Tucker has revamped the Michigan State Spartans with a surprising degree of success. Last year’s 11-2 season far surpassed expectations, and while MSU lost to OSU and, hilariously, Purdue, they did beat Michigan, and that counts for a lot in East Lansing. They finished the season with a win in the Peach Bowl over Pitt, a matchup of narrative importance as Pitt was coached by former MSU defensive mastermind, Pat Narduzzi.
This is all well and good. If you are an MSU fan, you were happy last year, or you should have been, you ingrate.
But now that Mel Tucker has blown the doors off of expectations, where does he take MSU from here? Was last year a blip, or can Tucker keep MSU cruising along in the heady space of 3rd in the Big Ten East?
So, writers and readers:
- Can Mel Tucker make a successful sequel out of this season? Why or why not?
- Has your school experienced a time when a better-than-average season was followed by an ignominious crash back down to earth?
- What’s the worst sequel you’ve ever seen?
WSR: 1) I mean, sure he can. But I’m not entirely sure if he will. We’ll find out rather quickly if you can catch lightning in a portal and then build around that.
2) Sure. But I’m not sure if 2020 should really count as a “crash back to earth” season, right? It feels like there may have been some extenuating circumstances.
3) Godfather 3. My God, that movie should have been garrotted in the back of the car before it was ever made.
Buffkomodo: 1) No he can’t because errbody be gunnin for Sparty this year.
2) last season. Ugh.
3) The second Aladdin movie has no redeeming qualities.
BoilerUp89: He can sure - and I’m probably rooting for him to do so because that means he beat wisconsin and Minnesota, but I don’t know. We will see. We went from 6-6 to 1-11 in one season. That feels worth mentioning since at that point in time 6-6 was really the best they had done in the past 5 years. Indiana *Jones 4.88
Green Akers: I think he can, because it would be hard for the pass defense in particular to be as bad as it was last year, which means the fact they’re not likely to find another game-saving talent like Kenneth Walker III might not matter. MSU returns its QB, its top WR, and enough of an OL to expect a step forward from the rest of the offense.
I’m going to press the form of the question a bit and argue that every Jurassic Park movie after Lost World has been appalling. 3 was laughably bad, and the Chris Pratt trilogy was so forgettable that after watching the second one, my wife asked me ‘wonder what happened with the kids from the last one’ and my genuine response was, ‘what kids?’
MaximumSam: The FancyStats and just RegularStats would not be surprised to see Sparty plummet back to earth. But dag, they played with a lot of passion last year, which is something considering how a lot of the guys were just meeting each other. That’s coaching.
I’m a Buckeye fan, and the closest we had to a crash recently was the 2011 season when Luke Fickell led the Fightin’ Tattoos to a 6-7 season. But that just led to Urban getting the job, and Fickell is doing ok for himself as well.
The worst sequel was Batman and Robin. This is a fact. You can look it up in the encyclopedia.
Kind of…: 1) He can, but it’s unlikely. Sparty was 4-0 in one score games last year, and that doesn’t count the Peach Bowl, which effectively was, but for a last minute pick-six. 2) Yes, UW has crashed to Earth multiple times: 2000 (Shoe Box “scandal”), 2012 (still won B1G…thanks OSU and PSU for probation), 2008, and, most recently, 2018. 3) Some great answers so far. Godfather 3 is the classic answer. Indiana Jones is great too. Crystal Skull was fucking awful. The others I haven’t bothered to watch, so I’m going to lean the other way and defend a maligned sequel. Halloween III has some problems, but it is better than most give it credit for, and the notion of turning a franchise into more of an anthology was far ahead of its time and should happen more often. Plus, the Silver Shamrock theme song is an all-time earworm.
misdreavus79: I’ll echo the sentiment that Tucker certainly can repeat 2021, but I don’t know that he will. For starters, he had a lot of transfer portal success last season, and expecting that kind of performance two years in a row is not realistic just yet. Maybe once the transfer portal is more entrenched in the sport’s life, and we know what we’re getting out of it, maybe. But now it’s too much of a crapshoot to say that replacing all the pieces lost with transfers two years in a row will work out. That doesn’t mean Michigan State will fall off a cliff, but I don’t know that winning another pair of ones is a realistic expectation.
Well, if you consider “winning 11 games and making it to a NY6 bowl” better than average for Penn State, then the “2016-2019 followed by 2020” transition fits perfectly! Now let’s see what happens in 2022!
Super Mario Bros. 2. What were they thinking? They more than redeemed themselves with Super Mario Bros. 3, but jesus that second one came out of nowhere.
This poll is closed
Michigan State 2022, I hope
Super Mario Bros. 2
Indiana Jones and the Nuclear Refrigerator/Crystal Skull
Jurassic Park post-Lost World
Aladdin the Second
Something else I will express strong opinions about in the comments