[Webmaster's note: Slightly modified from last year's version]
Here we are on the eve of Michigan football’s 2008 season opener. Many of you out there are no doubt assembling your tailgating gear, food, wares, etc., for the early start tomorrow. Part of this preparation includes your in-stadium provisioning, which is a completely separate exercise. A few thoughts:
1. AM/FM Radio. To listen to the play-by-play from Brandy and Beckmann. You’ll get injury reports, sideline observations and insight, statistics and analysis of key plays that are under replay review. Probably most critical: you’ll have a chance to block out the blabber from an idiot nearby that is giving his own play-by-play or screaming at the coaches.
2. M Lid. While not an absolute requirement, it certainly helps to keep that sun from beating down on you, especially for the noon games such as tomorrow’s tilt. For those in the North end zone or West side of the field, could be critical.
3. Digital Camera. You never know who you’re going to see at the game or what live action you might catch. Make sure you upload any vintage game video on YouTube for everyone to enjoy throughout the ages.
4. Tickets & Lanyard. Obviously you’ll need those tickets to get in but for the big games I always try to bring in a lanyard to hold the stubs. If nothing else, it makes for easy access to display the ticket on the way back in from the john or to get some snacks. Also gives you some chest coverage if you decide to peel.
5. Your Wallet. Where you keep your bread, Daddy-o. I don’t care how many brats your jammed in your greasy skull at the tailgate, you’ll need at least a drink or two and more likely a snack.
6. Seat Cushion. It serves so many purposes. First, it marks your spot in the tight M stadium rows. Next, it provides some comfort to your bony arse. Finally, it actually gives you an extra inch of torso height above the guy in front of you. Don’t think that matters? Try it sometime – it does.
7. Phone/PDA/Blackberry. In case something crazy happens you’ll need to call your boys. And the “other scores” communication at M stadium is lackluster at best. You’ll need your device to keep current on the big games of the day. For you gambling degenerates this of course is a must.
8. Keys. While most the folks in my section have keyless entry to their luxury sleds, you still don’t want to forget your keys. Keep them in your pocket. According to the M Zone and the rest of the blogosphere, it is no longer cool to shake your keys during a “key play”.
9. Seeds. A personal preference of the webmaster but I always enjoy a few seeds to help cut the tension (I chomped thousands of seeds in 2005). I prefer Planters due to the zip lock bag and of course I’m partial to the colors. Substitute for chew or smokes as necessary.
10. Shades. Similar reason as the hat. If you’re in the North or East sides of the field they are mandatory. Wear them for no other reason than to hide your pickled bloodshot peepers.
Update for 2008: Get ready for a few headaches getting into your section if you don’t get there at least an hour early. Expect the vast majority of fans to be either be oblivious or simply disregard the warnings about the delays. Given all this, you might want to refill your prescription of Lexapro, Cymbalta, Xanax, Zoloft, Effexor, Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, and/or Valium if you show up late.