The Themes, The Themes, The Themes 2018

So exited to announce that due to the plethora of comment cards I received from The Godfather, we will be completely Breakfast Hash Free in 2018!  To replace the (what I thought was a UMTailgate tradition) hash, I will be working harder to get some more of Godfather's favorite foods on the menu:  Basically, things easily digestible for old people, and that are easy for Pammy to hand spoon into his face.

The talking heads tell me we are but a month away from a pivotal season in Michigan Football history.  By my calculations, this is the 21st consecutive such season.  Whatever dudes.  They're all pivotal.  And they're disappointing on some level to 127 teams, so you're probably going to be pissy come December.  But at least you'll be drunk and overweight.  Here are the ways we plan to numb the pain, the 2018 Themes...

**All food, plans, and themes subject to change based on my personal whim and (likely lack of) motivation**

September 1, 2018 - AT Notre Dame 7:30PM, Theme: "Party at The Godfather's Daughter's"


You need to know somebody to be on the list for this event, which is the final straw with regards to the The Godfather's obvious retirement from doing anything tailgate related.  This used to be his time to shine.  He'd have all the undesirables over to his place and provide food, drinks, and even T-shirts!  There'd be vomiting, fights, homeless people sleeping over, and typically a lot of disappointment.  Now he's outsourced it to his daughter, who is trapped in a house divided on a piece of property sizable enough for all of us to pee (and vomit) outside.


September 8, 2018 - Western Michigan, 12PM, Theme: The Pancake Breakfast


The home season opens with a nooner, so a breakfast theme is appropriate.  It's probably the only game people will arrive early to, ya know, before they get bitter, bored and lazy.  Pancake breakfasts are typically used as fundraising events, so it's time you all learned of my deep philanthropic ideals.  The breakfast will support the #BassetHoundsToo movement, which keeps canines away from the prodding appendages of the people of East Lansing.  Oooh, just think how excited Sparty is going to be that we are talking about them!  "They recognize we exist you guys!"  Preliminary food plan is: Pancakes, Bacon, fancy syrups and condiments, and probably a quick burger snack before we head in to help those abandoned Bronco bastards continue to un-row their boat.


September 15, 2018 - SMU, 3:30PM, Theme: Low Country for Old Men


Low Country is a fancy, dare I say millennial, variation of Southern Cuisine.  Old Men are something we have a large quantity of at the tailgate.  No Country for Old Men was a movie that came out the year Michigan lost to App State and featured this super creepy killer dude.  Low Country for Old Men is the name of the theme and a moderately clever pun.  You're welcome.

So ya, Southern.  Preliminary food plan has a morning filled with biscuit sandwiches, sausage gravy, bacon, etc...and an afternoon that has a massive smashed potato casserole, chicken fried steak, and something green.


September 22, 2018 - Nebraska, Time TBA:  Sheelytown Polish Festival

Sheelytown is apparently also a Polish band that played at this wedding.  Thanks Google images!

Sheelytown is apparently also a Polish band that played at this wedding.  Thanks Google images!

We will celebrate Nebraska's rich Polish history with the Sheelytown Polish Festival Theme.  You probably didn't know about this strong connection and the proliferation of Poles in Nebraska, but I'm here to learn you stuff.  OK, to be honest, I would have found a deep Polish connection with some team on the schedule this year.  I've been dying to make pierogis and large vats of pickle soup, and if this kicks at 3:30, I promise to look up what Polish people eat for breakfast too!


September 29, 2018 At Northwestern, Time TBA, Road Theme TBA

I'll be in Chicago.  I used to have like 10 places to stay out there but everybody moved to South Carolina.  Still looking for that elusive Allinea resy...who wants to sponsor me?


October 6, 2018 Maryland HOMECOMING, 12pm, Theme: The Goodell


Not sure why they pre-hamstringed Homecoming to a noon kick.  I feel like 3:30 has been the norm of late, no?  Regardless, we will power through with the third in our continuing series of Tailgate Roasts (The Gar 2016, The Godfather 2017) by having the first ever Goodell themed tailgate.  Sure, we could have just done a Captain Michigan theme solely celebrating the masked patriarch of the clan, but then we couldn't throw shade at everybody's (or maybe just my) favorite punching bag, Shane.  We also hope to have all 245 grandchildren on site.

I wanted to outline a couple of ideas I had for this one, but they're too damn good to ruin.  But please bring your own temporary tattoos and be prepared to see Shane sitting in a corner crying over his food.


October 13, 2018 Wisconsin, Time TBD, Theme: Suntory Times


Follow along with me here:  I wanted an Asian themed tailgate, basically because I want gyoza (all cultures make pierogi folks), fried rice, and Korean spicy pork on the menu.  Wisconsin is sometimes known as Wiscy, Wiscy sounds like whiskey, Suntory is Asian (Japanese) whiskey.  There you have it.  A somewhat forced yet tasty theme with a oyster pail full of cultural misappropriation.


October 20, 2018, AT Nassar U, Theme: Leave Your Dogs at Home

This is a business trip.  I will not speak of it until it has been completed.


November 3, 2018, Sandusky State, Theme: Paella Party + Fried Catfish


Back to back games against the world's 2 most disgusting universities!  This theme is an excuse to purchase a commercial grade paella pan setup.  Expect saffron studded rice packed with longiniza and shellfishes, and a pile of catfish done cajun style on the side.  I'm guessing this will be 330 (or maybe later?) so mix in a breakfast or dinner TBD.


November 10, 2018 AT Rutgers, Time: TBD

He actually did  more  when he had bad knees.

He actually did more when he had bad knees.

I wanna wake up in a city, that doesn't sleep...And find I'm king of the hill, top of the heap.

So, ya, I'll be in NYC and take an uber into Pissedthataway.  See you all at Little Branch on Friday night.


November 17, 2018 Indiana, Time TBD, Theme: Lumberjack


Bust our your flannels for the home finale, which will have the traditional Filet-based tailgate fare, usually with a surf option to go with the turf.  Do you know how close our last gaggle of IU games have been?  They scare the shit out of me.  End of year awards and such typically follow, assuming their not outsourced by The Godfather.


November 24, 2018 AT Ohio State, 12pm, Theme: Another name for tank tops

This is a business trip.  I will not speak of it until it has been completed.

The Themes, The Themes, The Themes 2017

9/2 Florida - 3:30PM
Note to self: Drink and swear less than last time. 

9/9 Cincinnati - Noon - The Roman 
The team went to Italy for Spring Break and became the envy of the rest of the college football world. We will celebrate with a feast of Roman proportions, with intermittent breaks to visit the vomitorium. 

  • Attire: Togas 
  • Food (subject to change): Negronis, Aperol Spritz, Appertivo, Polenta Party, Pork Ragu, Sausage & Peppers 

9/16 Air Force - Noon - The Canadian 
Let's celebrate our neighbors to the north and the carefree lifestyle we provide to them. 

  • Attire: Mounty hats and hockey jerseys 
  • Food (subject to change): Pea-Meal Bacon Hash, Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwiches, Poutine 

9/23 @ Purdue - 3:30 

10/7 MSU - TBASwine and Wine  - All pig, all day, and hopefully in to the evening.  Hoping for a night kick here. 

    10/14 @ Indiana - Noon 

    10/21 @ Penn State - TBA 

    10/28 Rutgers Homecoming - Noon - The Old School Pizza Party 
    Been a while since we brought our yearbooks out and celebrated just how old this group is getting. Bring old yearbooks, pictures, and memories to share. 

    • Attire: Your oldest Michigan Gear 
    • Food: Pizzas

    11/4 Minnesota - TBA - The Godfather 
    A celebration of all things Dennis, from his bow legged stance and kmart jerseys of yesteryear, to his ill-advised bumble bee jersey purchase and his inappropriate relationship with Adam.

    • Attire: Jean shorts 
    • Food: Grilled cheese, fried catfish, baloney sandwiches 

    11/11 @ Maryland - TBA 

    11/18 @ Wisky - TBA 

    11/25 Ohio State - Noon - The Game 

    • Attire: Woodson jerseys
    • Food: Breakfast filet mignon with all the fixins

    The Themes, The Themes, The Themes - Part 2 of 3

    Part 1 Here

    9/24/2016 Time TBA - Penn State Nittany Lions, Theme: The 90's

    We'll do our guests from Penn State the courtesy of travelling back to a simpler time, the decade we allowed Penn State to join our conference, before we all found out what Joe knew.  Dig out that '97 National Championship gear (Who are you kidding? I saw you in that shit last week) and prepare to enjoy some grunge music, watch Fresh Prince of Bell Aire reruns, remember when we won all the Big Ten Championships...and celebrate the life and career of John Cooper.  

    10/1/2016 Time TBA - Wisconsin Badgers, Theme: German

    Commence October with Octoberfest!  Bratwurst hash, bratwurst on buns, bratwurst on skewers sticking out of drinks...basically sausage everywhere.  And pretzels.  Gotta have pretzels.  Oh, and dark beer poured into your face from a boot (recently found the one I pilfered from the Essen House).

    10/22/2016 3:30PM - Illinois Fighting Illini, Theme: The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party and Homecoming Hoedown

    Cocktails.  Southern charm.  Biscuits.  Gravy.  Fried chicken.  I'd tell you to wear your Sunday best, but you won't listen.  Can we settle on cowboy hats and boots?  Regardless, let's channel our inner Florida-Georgia rivalry and raise a crafted glass of cold old fashioneds and martinis to our fair Wolverines.  Perhaps some crappy off-key Jason Aldean bullshit in the background making me want to vomit.  This tailgate involves the lethal combination of liquor and a 3:30 kick.  Pace yourselves kids.

    Theme Revealed: 10/5/13 Minnesota Homecoming


    A picture of your's truly was once featured on the website, an organization dedicated to capturing and cataloging photos of ladies' crotch-creases, for posing in front of a mammoth Goldy the Gopher blow up prior to a Michigan victory in the Metrodome.  He/she had the biggest cameltoe ever seen, though it was debatable whether or not he/she had on any pants.  That's the picture I wanted to put up, but I couldn't find it in time, so I put this picture of a hungover Godfather about squeeze his belly into Al's Breakfast in Minneapolis's Dinkytown for piles of hash and blueberry pancakes.

    Three fun facts:  1) Michigan won all the games they played in that Metrodome.  2) We were almost arrested for eating peanuts and leaning on a food service staging area in the concourse.  3) They served beer at the Metrodome...and not in the crappy hunt-for-it style of their current venue.  It was there.  In the open.  And it was delicious.

    But this is not about the Metrodome, it's about coming home to the Big House.  It's Homecoming.  Tuba will be here.  There will be dances, fundraisers, formal dinners...the bars will be hopping on Friday night.  And at the tailgate?  Well...

    10/5/13 Minnesota
    Kickoff:  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 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.