BY MEERA MATHUR
As the annual rivalry game approaches, 1870 wants to give you football fans an idea of what to expect if you’re headed to TSUN (you know, to visit a friend or the devil himself) to participate in whatever their pre-game festivities are. Here to give us the scoop is senior Sanjana Mahesh, who visited the University of Michigan last year to visit a childhood friend and happened to partake in their football “tailgate” and watch the game in *gasp* their own stadium.
How did you happen to find yourself in that awful state up North?
My best friend from home happened to be turning 21 that weekend, and unfortunately attends the worst school in the world. Also, one of my favorite comedians was performing in Ann Arbor, so me and a couple friends figured we’d make a whole trip out of it. Being on their campus was pretty trippy, especially once we went out to the bars and saw their logo on all the cups and everything. Anyway, once we met up with my best friend, she roped us into going to their tailgate so the next day my friends and I reluctantly agreed and decided to see how they do “Block” up there.
So what did you wear to their tailgate? Not Michigan attire, I’m hoping.
At first, we thought we would wear our OSU clothes to kind of rub it in. Then we figured we wouldn’t be let into the frats if we did, and we also weren’t in the mood to get murdered. So we settled on a more neutral option: we wore black to pregame their upcoming funeral in November when OSU destroys them at the ‘Shoe. We got a couple dirty looks from die hard fans who clearly weren’t happy that we weren’t decked out in maize and blue, but I would say it was a much better alternative than either wearing OSU gear and getting hassled, or copping out and wearing Michigan merch.
Describe your tailgate experience. Do they mostly pregame at frats, or did you guys venture to their bars?
To preface, this was the day of my best friend’s 21st, so my priority was to get her as drunk as possible in the wee hours of the morning. We started drinking at her friend’s apartment before their “tailgate”, which is what they call their “Block”. We played drinking games and actually had to teach their uncultured students how to play games like “boom”. After the preliminary pictures and some light banter between our foes, we headed to a local frat annex. Their frat tailgate was quite similar to ours; frat men patrolled the entrance to allow mostly girls in, the finest Natty and Franzia was served behind the bar, and there were elevated surfaces galore. I am ashamed to say I had a blast, even though I was mostly sober. The frat that we were at had pretty good music too, so overall it was a good time. The walk to the stadium was crazy too, because everyone left from the frats at the same time, so it was a huge crowd of Michigan students and parents alike all walking to the stadium together.
What was the biggest difference between the way they tailgate and the way we Block?
I would definitely say they have a larger distance between frats and annexes, so there was a lot of walking involved. It was also so weird to see girls in sororities proudly displaying their letters while drunk. I’m in a sorority here and we’re not allowed to wear anything that has our letters on it when drinking because we don’t want to tarnish our sorority’s name. So that was definitely a shocker to see because we saw so many different sororities there and they all had personal merchandise.
How was your experience in the Big House?
Very weird. They were playing the Western Michigan Broncos, so there was a high turn out. There was a lot of security and tons of open space in the stadium. The student section was packed, though. It was so strange hearing all the Michigan cheers; I just wanted to do our O-H-I-O chants so that was quite disorienting. Every time they scored I didn’t want to cheer, which elicited a lot of dirty looks from fans around me.
So, if you’re being completely candid, who does the football experience better?
Ohio State. 100%. Go Bucks.