8/31/13 Central Michigan / 3:30pm / Theme: Luau:
The much sought after (by me at least) 3:30pm opener kickoff will either give us time to get our feet wet or kill us where we stand....it can go either way, not unlike Goody. Regardless, dig your leis out of the closet, slap on your favorite Tommy Bahama, and plan on a pork-based menu that will feature pork belly breakfast hash and then either a whole damn pig or a shit-ton of ribs. The luau theme last appeared two seasons ago for the home opener against Western, and first appeared nine years ago in 2004 for the opener against Miami of Ohio in what was Chad Henne's first start.
9/7/13 Notre Dame / 8pm / Theme: Catfish, Smoke, and Pickles
They say you can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning, so yes, this tailgate will start in the morning. It's gonna be a long one. Frydaddy Frank left me a voicemail that said Reuben Egg Rolls will be making a triumphant comeback. I'm not sure if he was drunk, but I plan to hold him to it. That will be lunch I think. Dinner will have a fried catfish component and a moment of silence for Lennay Kukua. Also, I'm really in to this cookbook by Edward Lee. He has this restaurant in Louisville where he adds Asian influences to Southern cooking. I'm not saying that there's going to be any Asian influenced Southern food, and I guess I'm also not saying that there's not. What I am saying is that the name of the book is Smoke and Pickles, which I find to be a novel concept. There will be some smoked stuff (smoked brisket breakfast hash?) and some pickled stuff (fried pickles?, bloody marys?).
Anyway, bring your invisible girlfriend and come on down. We'll be there from dawn til dusk til dawn.
9/14/13 Akron / 12pm / Theme: Pizza Party
Early kickoff means pizza for breakfast? Yep, it's just like college. We'll do a couple of breakfast pies early (bacon and egg, etc) before moving into some traditional (pepperoni, mushroom, etc.) topped ones later in the morning. We'll do some crazy ones too I'm sure. I'll bring the dough and a plethora of meats and cheeses, but we'll definitely open it up to the masses to bring your own toppings. Unlike Kramer's place, I'll be the only one sliding it in to the oven. The damn thing gets about 3X as hot as the turkey frier oil.
We will have some sides too I'm sure, likely pastas and salads, and maybe a keg of beer is in order? Pizza and beer...sounds like a plan. Bonus points to whoever can get us an arcade size Ms. Pac Man or Galaga to perfect the ambiance.
Also, following the tailgate, I am tentatively officially announcing the first annual UMTailgate Aprés Tailgate. Why? Partially because I always wanted to but never had the opportunity, and partially because I'm getting married to our cakemaker over the summer and we want a chance to celebrate with everybody. Obviously, it will be limited to our tailgate members and their guests only, and will take place at our home following the game. Not exactly sure what it will entail, but there will be food...and football games on the tv. Details to follow at a later date.
10/5/13 Minnesota Homecoming / 3:30pm / Theme: Carnival
I can't wait for Mrs. Cleveland to see this. I didn't even ask her. Games! Games! Games! Pin the tail on the Tressell, an autographs for tattoos booth, a makeout with the Godfather booth, and a nice game of "where in the world (read: on/in their bodies) did Dennis and Adam hide their Boone's Farm bottles?". I also want a cotton candy machine and a slurpee maker. Somebody get on that.
Pancake breakfast will be served, though there will likely be some bacon in the batter, and maybe even some corn meal....so make that Bacon-laced Johnny Cakes for breakfast. Cheesesteaks / Pizzasteaks return for lunch. And elephant ears will be a nice pre-game snack. Attire? Everyone should wear clown shoes.
10/19/13 Indiana / 3:30pm / Theme: White Trash
The Indiana Hoosiers come to town on October 19th, and I plan to welcome Michigan State's cross-divisional rival with open Cougar-Mellencamp arms. In honor of the drunk little asshat that Stephen had to chase away from our tailgate at Indiana last time, the theme will be White Trash, last seen as a theme during Under the Lights Part 1.
Wear your favorite Walmart Wolverine gear: yellow jerseys, jerseys with MICHIGAN as the name on the back..or better yet emblazoned on the front above the number, pleather jackets, overalls, and wife beaters. Fried bologna sandwiches will help us hearken back to the early days of Godfather and Captain Michigan, before they gave themselves their nicknames. A 3:30pm kick means more fun, and also means breakfast AND lunch. A Garbage Plate of breakfast meats, potatoes, and cheeses will lay a base for your Schlitz. The afternoon will have grilled cheeses and sloppy joes joining the bologna party.
11/9/13 Nebraska / 3:30P / Theme: Lumberjack
There's going to be a chill in the air. It will probably be raining and gloomy. But there's something comforting about blue tarps and steam rising off of grills and out of pots. Flannel shirts, biscuits and gravy, sausage and cheese chowder, soups, and stews. What could be better?
11/30/13 Ohio State / Time: 12:00P / Theme: Beef, Blazers, and Lasers
The pundits are predicting that this year's Michigan - Ohio game is just a prelude to a repeat in Indianapolis. This is the last chance for a season rematch before the rich tradition of Legends and Leaders gives way to East and West, putting us in the same division as the Buckeyes. But hey, there's no way to guarantee it won't happen some day in the future...the Big Ten, which made about 2 changes to its makeup in its 100+ year history, is now making about 10 adjustments per season. Between adding teams, naming divisions, creating trophies, and removing Joe Paterno's name from those trophies, the only thing you can count on in the future is that there will be more changes.
Oh well, that doesn't make the last Saturday in November any less important. Our final theme of the season will be Beef, Blazers, and Lasers. Don your favorite unique and/or crested suit jacket. A shirt and tie are not required (though it's not discouraged). Feel free to go with the t-shirt under the blazer look a-la Tom Cruise in Risky Business. Not sure what to tell the ladies to do...lady-blazer? formal wear? You decide. It will be nice to be all dressed up for the 2013 Godfather Tailgating Awards.
There will also be beef. Brisket hash in the early morning and filet mignon in the late morning. Also, lasers. All day lasers. We will bask in the technology of focused light while we chew on cow in our sport coats. This is Michigan.