Meet the Future

The Grass is Always Blue-er

And so it begins. Public address announcer Howard King welcomed thousands into Michigan stadium on Saturday, warming up his pipes for the first three games of the season, all of which will be played at home. The band CD blared over the PA system as we all got our first live glimpse of the newly installed field turf, and were then invited to walk upon it. I'd like to think of myself as a traditionalist and I'll tell you this...screw grass. The field is amazing...period. It has an amazing feel, almost spongy, as the ground up previously-expoding Firestone radials take the place of dirt. I felt as if I was ready to show Coach Carr my 40 time. The new field is capped off by the return of the block 'M' in the center of the field, in perfect bright maize and outlined in Michigan blue.

The team took the field at around 3:15pm to a round of cheers from Wolverine faithful, making their way to the stands for the team picture. Marlin Jackson WAS on hand, but not available for autographs or interviews. The Wolverines obviously are taking the 'ignore it, and it may just go away' approach to the Marlin Jackson situation. And with a little luck, it just might go away, or at least delay itself until it doesn't matter anymore.

Lloyd Carr and marquee players had autograph tables set up. These included Braylon (only the 6th player in Michgian history to wear his newly inherited #1 jersey), Tony Pape, John Navarre, Chris Perry, and a few others, while the freshman players hung around the stands. I made my way to meet Jerome Jackson and Lamar Woodley, former teammates at Saginaw High, now teammates together at Michigan. A sizable crowd had surrounded them, getting a peak at the unbelievable size of Woodley, who will turn just 19 this November.

The Polls, the Polls, the Polls

Sports Illustrated : 13th

Athlon Sports : 10th

Street and Smith's : 4th

Sporting News : 4th

Phil Steel : 4th

Lindy's : 4th

Football Time : 10th

ESPN/USA Today Preseason Poll : 7th

Only Street and Smith's picked us ahead of Ohio State, ranking them 5th. So, while the national consensus seems to be that we have top ten ability, they all seem to think that Ohio State is going to beat us for the third straight year.

Special thanks to Camp Counselor Lisa for being my assistant at Media Day, helping me steal enough schedule posters and scheduling magnets to wallpaper my apartment and cover my refridgerator.

When In Rome...

If You're A Clone

Well, either this update is going to seem great and informative to you, or you're not going to have any idea what the hell I'm talking about when I tell you I was hanging with Silk Braaaaa and Sean the Cablanasian on Saturday. Jim Rome, host of a syndicated radio show that airs 12pm-3pm EST known as the Jim Rome show, brought his sports shock jock radio festival to Detroit. It's known among the clones as a Tour Stop, and it's a free event that brings out local sports celebs to talk about D-Town in front of ten-thousand plus.

Getting tickets, or ducketts as they are known on the show, is not an easy task. One must listen on sports radio 1130AM for ticket drop locations across the metro area, and get in line with hundreds of other people to get one of two-hundred tickets at each drop. I got my ducketts at the only Ann Arbor drop, and noticed upon receiving them that it indicated a tailgate party starting at 10am, with the show starting at 3pm. Not being one to turn down a tailgate, I made plans to meet up with Western Michigan fan and frequent UMTailgater Andrew, who had a group en route to the Palace in an RV. Receiving phone updates as we travelled to the Palace, we heard about the party going on with guests roaming among the tailgaters including Darren McCarty, frequent caller to the Rome show Silk, and 2003 Smack-Off champion Sean the Cablanasian.

We showed up and got to work. The red grill got warmed up quickly and breakfast burritos flowed in about 30 minutes from our arrival, impressing a host of Sparty, Lion, Wolverine, Piston, and even Buckeye fans, who obviously had no idea who they were dealing with. Round 2 of the food came shortly after, with cheeseburgers and Ketel One making the statement that UMTailgaters do it in style.

I took an independent poll of the Sparty fans, asking them which they prefer, 49 to 3...or 60 to 58. Consensus was that they liked 49 to 3. They wouldn't want to tarnish that precious little basketball thing they've got going on.

In the end, a larger than expected crowd filled the Palace and witnessed some great comedy by Rome, as well as a Bad Boys reunion. John L. Smith also made an appearance, and received several rounds of boos as he called out Lloyd for not making the trip and stated that he thought that Michigan State would defeat the Wolverines in this season. Darren McCarty spoke, slightly hoarse after his band, Grinder, performed at the outdoor talgate. He committed Rome to a return trip if the Wings hoist another cup. Rome also stated that he'd return if the Tiger's lost 121 games, or the Lions went 0-16.

It was a great show and a great tailgate, and it was highlighted by a call from the Godfather himself, giving his blessing on the spreading of tailgating cheer. So the exhibition season, or training camp if you prefer, saw it's first action (and probably it's last) before we do it for real in a month.

Just counting the days...

Life Is A Highway


Webmaster's Log : 6am, Thursday, July 3, 2003

The sun has risen in Ann Arbor, giving the too green artificial turf in Michigan Stadium its alien-like glow. I'm thinking this weekend's trip might be a mistake. 730 miles to Memphis just to go to the bar? This is crazy. Almost as crazy as the fact that I've packed four bags for a four day trip. Better to be safe than sorry I guess. I've been known to leave my luggage behind. One thing I know for sure, though I think I should stop at the Godfather's house to say hello, I am certainly not going to drink any Captain and Coke.

Webmaster's Log : 11:30am, Thursday, July 3, 2003

Shit, are we going the right way? We need to go west right? Those two 32-ounce Captain and Cokes sure were tasty. I hope Lisa didn't notice me swerve right there. The Godfather is Satan incarnate. I can't beleive the girls drank beers at 9:30am. They're just tipsy enough to declare that I am photogenic. Nice. This is not a tailgate for god's sakes.

Webmaster's Log : 3:30pm, Thursday, July 3, 2003

I hate Wendy's. That double with cheese isn't sitting quite right with me. Doesn't smell like it's sitting quite right with Cindy either. Damn, I didn't know that kind of smell good emminate from a female. I'm both queasy and impressed at the same time. Who's idea was it to go all the way to Memphis anyway? I must have had my head jammed all the way up my ass when I planned this one. If I hadn't Pricelined the damn hotel, I'd turn this car around so fast...

Webmaster's Log : 8:00pm (Central Time), Thursday, July 3, 2003

We checked into the hotel. No doubt the princesses will end up in the regular beds, so I blew up the air matress as a precautionary necessity.

Webmaster's Log : 4:00am (Central Time), Thursday, July 3, 2003

Shouldn't have drank that bucket of liquor. Shouldn't have downed the Beale Street hurricane. Shouldn't have let Cindy talk me into buying those damn bar roses. I feel so Downriver. I'm so glad to be back in the hotel. Oh great, here they come. Lisa takes my camera and declares "You're not so photogenic now" as she snaps a photo of me in a drunken-sleeping stupor.

Webmaster's Log : 2:00pm, Friday, July 4, 2003

Independence Day. I hate Wendy's. That large chili isn't sitting quite right with me. Doesn't smell like it's sitting quite right with Cindy either. Damn, I didn't know that kind of smell good emminate from a female. I'm both queasy and impressed at the same time. Who's idea was it to go from Memphis to St. Louis anyway? I must have had my head jammed all the way up my ass when I planned this one. If I hadn't Pricelined the damn hotel, I'd turn this car around so fast...

Webmaster's Log : 10:00pm (Central Time), Friday, July 4, 2003

After a 5 hour drive, we arrived at a Posh hotel in St. Louis and had dinner near the arch. The fireworks capped off the Independence Day celebration, and it looks like we'll make our way to Sundecker's. We'll have a few drinks here and then head to a club.

Webmaster's Log : 3:00am (Central Time), Saturday, July 5, 2003

Why the hell am I dancing? Hey, it's my birthday! Those sluts from Nebraska look better with every Red Bull and Vodka I drink. Weren't we supposed to go somewhere else? What time does this damn bar close?

Webmaster's Log : 3:00pm (Central Time), Saturday, July 5, 2003

My birthday. I hate McDonald's. That double cheeseburger isn't sitting quite right with me. Doesn't smell like it's sitting quite right with Cindy either. Damn, I didn't know that kind of smell good emminate from a female. I'm both queasy and impressed at the same time. Who's idea was it to go from St. Louis to Chicago anyway? I must have had my head jammed all the way up my ass when I planned this one. If I hadn't Pricelined the damn...wait we don't have a hotel... I should turn this car around so fast...

Webmaster's Log : 11:00pm (Central Time), Saturday, July 5, 2003

Is Resmer making out with someone on that lawnchair? The view of downtown from the 30th floor makes this whole trip worthwhile. I think I drank all of Resmer's Belvedere. I'll take it off of his running tab. What the hell is she doing here? I thought they broke up?!? This whole scene is crazier than can be expressed with words.

Webmaster's Log : 3:45am (Central Time), Sunday, July 6, 2003

Man, JT's girl should have ran track. She's like 100 yards ahead of us now. The installation of air conditioning in Burling may have saved my life. We've lost Cindy. If we never see her again, I wonder if I might get her new car.

Webmaster's Log : 1:20pm (Central Time), Sunday, July 6, 2003

Bleacher seats at Wrigley. Packed house to see real baseball, not the crap we have in Detroit. This is going to be great... but I am definitely not drinking any beers. Those Chicago-style dogs look tempting.

Webmaster's Log : 5:20pm (Central Time), Sunday, July 6, 2003

My first rain delay. This is pretty cool. They serve beer until the end of the 8th inning, and the delay came with two outs in the they kept serving beer. Maybe I'll have one more. I wonder if Lisa would mind driving.

Webmaster's Log : 12:20am, Monday, July 7, 2003

How can I be ecxpected to go to work tomorrow? My only motivation is that I know Cindy will be responsible and make it into work, and she's got an hour drive. I can do it if she's doing it. I don't want to see these people for at least 48 hours.

Webmaster's Log : 1:30pm, Monday, July 7, 2003

Just talked to Cindy. She's at home. I think she might come over later for a drink. Can't wait to see her.


Ann Arbor Wants YOU!

Though they both don the name 'Cafe', there is nothing at either 'Rick's American Cafe' or 'Touchdown Cafe' that has anything to do with food. They are labelled by Ann Arbor's 25+ age group as the Kid's bars, where college coeds go to swill cheap beer, dance to a decent hip-hop and top 40 set, and solidify their chance to get laid somewhere between the playing of Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer and Kenny Rodger's The Gambler. The locals often avoid these two places, aside from the occasional alumnus rehashing the past, or the unavoidable dirty old man looking to get just enough mental material to make himself feel young again. Astonishingly enough, I think I find myself falling somewhere in the middle of those two types of people, and yet I am far from what would be known as a frequenter of Rick's or Touchdown's... or perhaps I'm just in denial.

Somehow, some way, though we promise ourselves time and again that THIS will be the last time we go there, we inevitably find ourselves there again, usually after midnight, and almost always already drunk enough that we should have just gone straight home. This weekend, we made our way to BOTH Rick's and Touchdown's, a practice that is normally reserved for homecoming and/or football weekends. But we had just cause. Emmanuel and Rochelle, friends of times past, tied-the-knot on campus on Saturday, bringing with them friends from their Texas lives as well as their Michigan lives. By early Friday evening, we had all meshed into a giant group that clicked as if we had known each other forever.

The usual suspects were also on hand, people known better here on by their nicknames than their real names. Crazy, Trouble, Kissest, and Resmer made it out both evenings, and help capped off the weekend with a reflective barbeque on Sunday, reminicing of houseboat trips past and sharing stories from falling out teeth to run-ins with the Manchester police.

A solid weekend of old friends and new friends striving to realize that our inhibitions are alcohol soluble. We take our daily lives, add vodka and shake vigorously, creating scandal cocktails for everyone. Screw it...who wants a shot?

Congratulations to Manny and Rochelle, and thanks to everyone for coming out. Ann Arbor and I enjoyed having you...see you in the Windy with Lisa and Cindy. There should be 27 candles on my cake.

Viva Las Vegas

A stellar weekend with stellar company. Five people headed to sin city, including the Webmaster, Bloomfield, Cindy, Lisa, and newcomer Alpa. It was the weekend of VIP rooms, five-star restaurants, and casino comps, as the dangerous combination of two gamblers and three tantalizing vixens became an unstoppable force in a world where it's not what you know, but who you know...and who you can convince that they should know you.

We started our first night in Ghostbar, a gathering of the west side's finest talent, set on the 55th floor of The Palms casino. Only the amazing view overlooking the entire strip from a unique side angle could match the scantily clad patrons. We moved from Ghostbar down to Rain, also in The Palms, where the girls manipulated their way into VIP status, taking yours truly along for the ride. We looked down upon the entire club from a private suite with free drinks and free women flowing throughout the evening.

Night two took us to Light, an exclusive club in the swank Belaggio casino. Again the girls used their "assets" to get us through the line and into the bar, where easily the best hip-hop DJ of the weekend spun all of our favorites. At around 4am, we split up for a while, and after a short run-in with the LVPD, I met up with Cindy at Drais, the number one after hours bar in town, for a few more drinks. Cindy and I maneuvered our way in on a table (a priceless thing to be sitting at in Las Vegas). After running into a few of the suite-holders from the previous night, known as Matt and Matt B, they stamped me with the monniker Mr. Vegas. Thinking that was enough for the night, I trekked back to our temporary home at the Luxor at 6am, waking Bloomfield up to take the 2nd shift.

Night three was our last night together, and unfortunately it came to an early end when Ra, the club in our hotel, gave my VIP pass the run-around because a special appearence by DJ skribble caused a line around the block. Though we still got inside, the techno beat was not our style, and the night ended early.

On the other side of the night life was the day life. The girls tanned by the pool, while Bloomfield and I spent most of our time playing high-limit blackjack, quickly earning comps, private access to VIP lounges, and executive suite restrooms. Without citing specifics (tax purposes..hee hee) we both came out on top. Capping off what is known as Vegas perfection... getting your comps and winning too.

Special thanks to the girls, Bloomfield, and Amanda Volkert for making Memorial Day weekend a memorable one.