They're Not Scared
On Saturday, September 4th, 2004, the Miami of Ohio football team will bring their team to the Big House. And they've been here before. In 2001, Redshirt Sophomore quarterback John Navarre took the helm after Drew Henson was wooed by the evil empire. A young phenom named Roethlisberger lined up under center for the Redhawks. Calvin Bell and BJ Askew had to come up big on offense, and some timely interceptions gave Michigan a 31-13 win. Let me refresh your memory a bit... we scored once on a 4th and goal play-action pass, a holding call negated a 41-yard touchdown for the RedHawks to start the second half, the Wolverines were stopped on a 4th and 1 play. It wasn't pretty, and it could have been MUCH closer. Now these same kids are seniors, and they're coming back...albeit without Ben Roethlisberger.
I'm not trying to say that we're going to lose this game. Instead, I am trying to make you aware that this team is not a pushover. A win over this team is not just some crap win over a crap team. If and when we defeat this team, it will mean something. The RedHawks finished last season ranked #10 IN THE NATION. They return two receivers that combined for over 2300 yards, a linebacking core that includes John Busing, who led the nation in interceptions by a linebacker, with 5...including 2 he returned for touchdowns. And let's not forget Ryne Robinson, Miami of Ohio's answer to Steve Breaston who broke Miami and MAC records for single season punt return yardage. An underdog with impeccable special teams and senior leadership is often the recipe for disaster.
Trivia: Who has the nation's longest winning streak? Answer: None other than Miami of Ohio, who after Saturday's win over Indiana St, 49-0, increased their winning streak to 14 games. They last lost on August 30th, 2003. OVER A YEAR AGO. They lost 21-3 to Iowa. We lost 30-27 to Iowa last year, and 34-9 in 2002...on homecoming in the Big House.
That Voodoo That We Do So Well
Well my friends the time has come. Dust off your yellow socks, the 2004 season is here. Well, that is unless you are Captain Michigan, who has been known to wear yellow socks year round. Here are some suggestions (Big 11 of them) to make your tailgating season fun and exciting:
#1: Bring Something. I don't care if it's a steaming bowl of poop, although bonus points go to those who surprise us with unique cuisine, unique drinks, unique outfits, or unique personalities.
#2: Eat Something. Dual reasons for this. First, we've got too much food, I promise...just stay out of Godmother's cheesy potatoes. Second, you'll need something of substance in your gullet if you want to follow tip #3...
#3: Drink Something. Bring a giant mug and fill it with a cocktail of your choosing. Bring a cooler of beer and empty it into your belly before kickoff. Take a tug on the bowl of Yucca. When it gets cold, sip a mug of spiked coffee. In short, get drunk, because you're alot cooler when you're drunk. And let's not forget, the best tailgating stories always seem to include...(insert person here) had a lot to drink, and then he/she fell down (into the bushes / on the stadium steps / into that girl's chest). Later (he / she) groped the (daughter / son) of (insert former tailgater here). We found (him / her) passed out (on the grass outside the stadium / in their car / under their car).
#4: Hug the Godfather. Why? Because we said so. Especially if you have no idea who he is. Because the Godfather loves to get himself some "strange". Even better, if you liked it, you can do it again the following week...because the Godfather never remembers you the first time.
#5: Respect the Hall. The members of the UMTailgate.com Hall of Fame. Recognize them, respect them, honor them. Don't know who they are? Check the flag. Tip your hat to Bubba and Stephen too. They've been to 88 straight home and away Michigan games, and they're not even in the Hall...yet.
#6: Learn to Love. Respect all of the tailgaters, even those from the opposing team that are visiting us and wallowing in our dynasty and tradition. This applies to everyone except...
#7: Learn to Hate. Michigan State. Ohio State. And just for this year, Iowa. Don't mistakenly wear their T-shirts, their hats, and in most cases, their colors. This applies to tailgating and gamedays only...however, big bonus points if you apply this rule in your daily life, like me.
#8: Go to the Game. And try to make it there before kickoff.
#9: Go to an Away Game. Ya, we tailgate there too. Everything this year is within easy driving distance, so quit being a candy ass and put on a white jersey.
#10: Ask Goody To Show You His Tattoo. It's not imperative for your enjoyment, but it makes me laugh.
#11: Follow the Theme. Yes, each tailgate has a theme, and this week's theme is luau. So put on a lei and bring some pineapple-upside-down cake.
Following these suggestions will provide you with the best opportunity for an enjoyable gameday afternoon. Hope to see you there.
Click here for the Miami of Ohio preview page.
Notre Dame: wins 796 losses 258 ties 41 percentage .746
Michigan: wins 833 losses 274 ties 38 percentage .744
Up Next... Miami of Ohio postgame!