Column: Hail to the memories
Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 16:08
Like almost all things, it began simply with an idea; an idea that slowly solidified into a concrete plan. Then, months laterm that plan transformed into a trip of a lifetime–witnessing arguably sports' greatest rivalry played out in a cathedral of college football.
Last weekend, I enjoyed the great fortune of standing as one of 114, 132 strong who watched Michigan and Ohio State battle in the Big House. Accompanied by two first-class friends, the 23-hour roundtrip was completed largely thanks to a fourth pal who goes to school in Ann Arbor. Now, I will admit that upon leaving late Thanksgiving night, I did expect our voyage to be unforgettable.
But looking back, that single, cliché word doesn't seem to do those memories even a shred of justice. Our trip was overall surreal, at times hilarious and, reflectively, one of the best of my entire life. Now, lucky for you, I managed to keep a running diary of everything we did before heading home. Do enjoy.
12:14 AM The obligatory humblebrag of a Facebook status has just been made as we depart from nearby Willington–I'm heading to Michigan/Ohio State and it's going to be great. Here, let me tell you about it in nice fashion.
12:48 AM After the realization that Dumb and Dumber has been omitted from our DVD collection for the trip, a seven-minute back and forth of reciting quotes ensues. This lifts my spirits as we're not even through Connecticut yet and the missing movie is already depressing me.
1:01 AM A quick debate pops up as to whether or nor not I should use an occasional hashtag in the diary entries. #guesswhichsidewon
1:28 AM I just discovered the western Connecticut formula for naming towns: Use the word "New", a cardinal direction or body of water as a pre-fix for either "field" or "town" and boom–you have yourself a town.
2:13 AM We pass the 45th exit sign offering a route back to New York City. How desperate is that city for attention?
2:15 AM I spot in the distance our first traffic sign listing the distance until Scranton, PA and decide to hold my breath until a mention of The Office is made.
2:15:11 AM After an astonishingly long wait, I finally exhale.
4:56 AM The towns of Jersey Shore and Mile Run in the great state of Pennsylvania are now in the rearview. Now, if you just wondered whether or not the town is named after the TV show, please kindly punch yourself square in the face.
6:02 AM After a brief nap, I just awoke to a couple new status likes. Though I have to ponder what my 85-year old grandmother is doing online at such an ungodly hour. I now recall my theory that Farmville indeed has her by the diaper and this sadly just confirms it. #livelongandharvestgrandma
8:07 AM We stop briefly at an Ohio rest area. I race into the restroom and begin brushing my Mountain Dew and Peanut Butter M&M warped teeth before realizing I have an audience. A pre-pubescent punk sporting the most botched Mohawk I've ever seen glares at me, thus inducing a short staring contest. Now drooling into the sink, I finally break the pipsqueak's stare and he moves on to find mommy. Victory. #backtotheroad
8:36 AM I feel a big, warm welcome to the Midwest as Cracker Barrel billboards are popping up seemingly with every mile marker. This welcome takes the form of a rising cholesterol level and a good deal of sudden pressure on my chest. #goodthingimbehindthewheel
11:29 AM We finally arrive in Ann Arbor after being trailed by a red Honda Element for the last 125 miles. Not sure if he's going to the game too or is in search of approval for buying such a heinous looking car. Either way, we made it and it's time to call home.
12:55 PM A trip to the best U of M apparel store is made and then followed with a feast at Five Guys. I'm now obscenely full, satisfied and in need of some sleep. Thanksgiving part two? Anyway, time to head to our friend's place and crash.
5:36 PM After playing catch up and watching LSU take Arkansas out to the woodshed, we head out for dinner; Chinese it is and so continues the most abominable day of eating I've ever had. #scratchthat #bestdayofeatingever
6:23 PM General Tsao picks a bad time to wage war in my stomach as we enter to play basketball at their school gym. Word is his forces are moving northward; hopefully they can be contained.
11:47 PM Tsao's advances were stopped however, I could not be contained out there on the court. After knocking in a three to start both games, I refuse to take another long jumper as I don't want my court respect to fall from its now all-time high. Though the stat sheet still gets filled with a handful of assists, steals and boards. #showtimedrew #goodnightworld
6:34 AM The Michigan marching band serves as a premature wake up call, practicing loud and proud just blocks from our friend's apartment. But, it's hard to be pissed about being woken up. ‘The Game' is now just five hours away.
9:07 AM We leave for breakfast and manage to hear a certain girl shout above the rest at the party going on across the hall. "I think my first drunk night was like seventh or eighth grade!" #youstayclassyannarbor
9:52 AM Having downed a bowl of oatmeal, a plate of eggs and couple pieces of toast at a terrific local place called Angelo's, I feel ready to take on Ohio State all by myself. Or maybe just the nearest restroom. #letsgowiththelatter
11:04 AM Our fake Michigan student IDs have now finally been prepared. Problem is, as good as our small pictures look pasted on the plastic cards, the identities we've assumed are three of our host's best Asian girl friends. Apparently everyone else is out of town, soooo…. yeah.