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Readers of this site know that one of the things I’m trying to do here (and elsewhere) is bring Michigan history forward so it’s something tangible and consumable by fans today, hopefully presented in a unique way.  Partnering a couple years ago with Shashi Mara and MaraWatch was such a natural fit for me because that’s really what Shashi has been doing with his line of M luxury watches err, timepieces [when they are that nice you call them timepieces].

Over at Zingerman’s Coffee House earlier this year Mara tipped me off that he was extending out his catalog to add new products.  Please welcome Biff and Bennie, new epic cufflinks as part of his collection:

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Fine tuned M historians know that Biff and Bennie were the names of the living mascots that Yost brought to Ann Arbor in the 1920s, and the nasty duo were an attraction during the 1927 Michigan Stadium dedication against Ohio State.  

Check out more here, including the design process that pushes 3D printing technology to maize and blue glory.

Want?  Details from Shashi himself:
* Go to www.marawatch.com/collection to see the sets
* Pricing ranges from $300 to $700
* Available for delivery before Dec 23rd
* Note: these were designed in collaboration with the M Den’s Victors Collection (their site is not live for ordering yet, but you can reserve them here.)

Writing Instruments (not mere pens!)
Another addition to the collection are these premium devices – available for delivery immediately, order directly via phone (734) 436-8138.   According to Shashi there are fewer than a dozen available in each style (silver/gold), with the classic Point-A-Minute era gridiron design:

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Well done Shashi, keep it coming.

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25. August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: 2014 · Tags: ,

UGP 2014

My annual post outlining your checklist before entering Michigan Stadium on Saturday. 

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Optional for 2014:

A. MaraWatch – Only required if you want to look cool and have everyone like & respect you.  Only then.
B. Tricked out customized adidas – Only for the true players (see A.)
C. Blow-up Doll(s) – To help fill up the empty seats around you.
D. Stick/Rope/Towel – ..to bite down on to help ease the pain if you see 98 running for his life against App St, or if TFLA remains in triple digits

The rest:
Provisioning for Michigan Stadium

1. Radio with quality Headphones. Forget the latest incarnation of the “official” radio that sticks on your ear (do they have another one in 2014?), they are unreliable.  Bring in a radio you trust to listen to the play-by-play from Brandy and Dan Dierdorf on WTKA 1050AM. You’ll get injury reports, sideline observations, statistics and analysis of key plays that are under review (although Brandstatter always seems to think the replay will goes Michigan’s way).   You can also check out the entire pregame show and This Week in Michigan Football History as it plays.  Probably most critical: with the radio in your ears you can block out the blabber from the fool nearby who won’t shut his Twizzler hole as he belts out play-by-play and screams down to the coaching staff from row 87. 

2. M Lid. While not an absolute requirement, it certainly helps to keep that sun from beating down on you.  For those in the North end zone or east side of the field it’s critical.  Especially if you are rocking my haircut.

3. Camera. You never know who you’re going to see at the game or what live action you might catch, and the zoom on your phone won’t cut it from row 68.  If you get a priceless shot send it my way.

4. Tickets & Lanyard. Obviously you’ll need those tickets to get in but for the big games I always recommend bringing a lanyard to hold the ducats. If nothing else, it makes for easy access to display the ticket on the way back into your section.   It also provides some chest coverage if you decide to peel. (P.S.  Look closely at that ticket in the photo – recognize it?  Perhaps this will refresh your memory.)

5. Your Wallet. Where you keep your bread, Daddy-o. I don’t care how many beers and brats your jammed in your greasy skull at the tailgate, you’ll need at least a drink or two and something to eat at the game.  And hey, invest $5 (still $5?) in a game program & check out the history features and make women swoon.

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 butt.  Finally, it actually gives you an extra inch of torso height above the guy in front of you—seriously.  Don’t think that matters?  Try it.

7. Phone. In case something crazy happens you’ll need to call/text your crew.  And for other games, you know the updates on the M scoreboard are lackluster at best.  You’ll need your device to keep current on the big games of the day, and follow the latest tweets and Facebook blasts.  (P.S. The comedy relief on Twitter during several disasters last year saved me and others I’m certain.)  (P.P.S.  Yes, that’s a Blackberry in the photo).

8. Keys. While to afford entry into the Big House I’m guessing most now have keyless entry to their luxury sleds you still don’t want to forget your keys.  Keep them in your pocket.  And P.S. — It is still not cool to shake your keys during a “Key Play.”

9. Seeds. A personal preference but I always enjoy a few seeds to help cut the tension.

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.

 

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15. December 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: 2013 · Tags: ,

MaraWatch

In The Shawshank Redemption, while recapping how Andy Dufresne walked through the prison wearing the warden’s shoes, Red asks, “I mean, seriously, how often do you really look at a mans shoes?”    That’s probably fair, unless we’re talking about Billy Taylor’s Pumas of course

Many of you know this season I got to test drive one of the products of my sponsor MaraWatch.  Unlike Andy’s shoes the watch was noticed—throughout the season I fielded compliments heading into the stadium, on the field by alums, and even up in the press box by my media buds.  I also got to know the man behind the operation, Shashi Mara.  We met a few weeks back in Ann Arbor and I got to see the whole collection and the different straps.  The dude has a great story and an intense passion for his product—down to the finish on the underside of the buckles. I love it.

Over coffee Shashi shared a sneak peek at a couple videos he was pulling together to promote the brand.  They’ve since been finished and they are pure gold–here’s my favorite:

Interested in wearing one?  For the holidays they’ll donate 10% of the sale price to a charity such as the Charles Woodson Clinical Research Fund or the Blavin Scholars Fund. or perhaps something that’s close to you.   More details here.    

Remember it’s guys like MaraWatch and Moe’s/UGP that support sites like mine and mgoblog –> so give them some love.

 

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Straight to the miscellanea:

Honoring Falk > Postgame:

Q. For the last 40 years your equipment manager Jon Falk has been the keeper of the jug. Any last words about Mr. Falk and knowing he’s got the job one more time that concludes his tenure here?

Hoke:  “Well, we gave it to him when we got in the locker room. I just hope he doesn’t take it home. But no, very emotional, very happy. Jon, his loyalty to Michigan and Michigan football is special.”

I caught up with Falk after the game as he was heading out of the stadium.  He told me when he got the jug he told the players, “There’s no coach & there’s no player bigger than Michigan football.” 

Uniform notes >  Team wore LHS decal in honor of Lucas, son of former All-B1G tackle Adam Stenavich.  As Sap pointed out, that’s the first non-player or coach to be honored in such a way (POTUS Ford, Bo, Ron Kramer).  Timeline updated.

Mood >  Slight uptick, but that was way closer than the score of course and..well…meh:

chart Jug History slaughtered but forgiven >   At the conclusion of the broadcast Mike Patrick absolutely butchered the history of the jug, talking some nonsense about Minnesota taking the jug to Michigan and the crock being made of clay from the 1930s….Say what?   Shoe and Bando were all over it and while I didn’t hear it live, I felt a strange disturbance in the Jug force..as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. In 10 seconds Patrick sent jug history back to the 1930s.

All that said, ABC is forgiven thanks to Ed Cunningham who, with 2:45 left in the first half, said this:

”And they are playing of course for the Little Brown Jug, which is played for every year between Michigan and Minnesota.  And there’s was an old story that Yost..it was a water bottle, and he left it at Minnesota and called and said, ‘Hey can we get our water bottle back?’, a thirty cent water bottle.   They said, ‘No, come and get it next year if you win.’”

“Well that’s not true, that isn’t actually what happened.”

Bless you Ed.  You just earned a beer or a mixtape compliments of MVictors.com.  Glad someone out there is listening.   Best guess?  Ed caught my article in the game program as part of his prep or heard me on WTKA or WWJ driving over to the game.

Photo Oct 06, 5 31 19 PM

Hurry Up >  Ed C’s take was prompted by the answer to the Aflac trivia question:

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Penn broke that streak on November 16, 1907 when they took down the Yostmen 6-0 on Homecoming.  And speaking of that streak, it was a mere two wins long when on October 5, 1901 Yost delivered a 57-0 beating of Case for all-time win #100 the program.

Timeless > My “Oscar Jug” replica made it home and is chilling in my office.  A huge thanks once again to artist Jil Gordon for making it for me.  What a great spot to set another timeless possession: my MaraWatch:

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Elsewhere:

Maize & Blue NationOn FalkPhotos5 Takes including this on Funchess:

I don’t see any defensive backs under 6 feet being able to defend this guy. By the time Michigan is playing Michigan State, he will command a double-teams on every route.

mgoblog: Press Conference WrapPhotos.
Touch the Banner:   Takes galore.
Maize and Blue NewsRecap

 

More from this site:

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I’d like to welcome new sponsor MaraWatch, an officially U-M licensed premium timepiece collection available to browse at WolverinesCollection.com.  Like Brian said, “I assume some of you are big ballers.”  Even if you are not, check out this collection.

My favorite?  The Rainmaker but I need it with the black strap:

MaraWatch Rainmaker 
Owner Shashi Mara, a Ross business school grad, told me about the inspiration for this venture. “I was blown away by my Michigan experience.  I wanted to create a timepiece that a alumni/fan could wear for decades and then pass down.  The Wolverines Collection is for someone who wants to wear their passion for Michigan.  The nuances of the design elevate one’s ability to make a statement of how much Michigan means to them, in a manner that is discrete and elegant.  Sometimes, whispering can be more powerful than screaming.”

Another element I like that is up my alley: “Each timepiece is individually numbered.  In the watch world, this is a signal that extra steps have been taken to ensure the highest quality standards.  In the world of Michigan athletics, a number can evoke fond memories of the contributions made by football legends or even transport you back to the moment in time where you were witness to history was being made.”

He had me “timepiece.”

If you currently own or plan to buy a watch from the Wolverines Collection I’d love to hear about it.  Check out the website to learn more.

Related:
Speaking of watches—while these aren’t on par (or even in the discussion) of what Mara is producing, these certainly are pieces of history.  Up on eBay right are several watches issued to Michigan teams for trips to the Rose Bowl over the past few decades. 

Three from the early 1990s including Bo’s last game (1990).  Click to see the eBay auctions:

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1990 Rose Bowl Watch

1992 Rose Bowl Watch

1993 Rose Bowl Watch

And a few more vintage models, a pair available from 1978 and one from 1980:

 

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Rose Bowl 1

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1980 Rose Bowl Watch 1978 Rose Bowl Watch 1978 Rose Bowl Watch

 

Still looking for Holiday gift ideas?   Check out Ben McCready’s classic U-M football print or the rest of my 2012 gift list for Michigan fans here.

 

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