Spartans- What is your profession? Minor rivals…at least for now

The debate rages.

 

Where does the UM/MSU rivalry rank among Wolverines fans?

 

The answer is third.

 

First is UM/Ohio State.  Ranked as possibly the greatest rivalry in all of sports it is the undisputed top rivalry for Michigan.

 

 

Second is UM/Notre Dame.  Both teams are near the top of the all-time wins and winning percentage list with unmatched history and tradition to match.

 

 

Which leaves the UM/MSU as the third most important rivalry for the Wolverines.

 

But don’t shortchange the Spartans.

 

With three consecutive wins not to mention the emphatic thumping of the Wolverines 34-17 in the most recent contest, MSU backers definitely have a  lot to be excited about.

 

 

Who knows at thus rate Coach Dantonio might even lead the Spartans to a bowl victory some day.

 

But one thing is for sure.  Give the Spartans credit- they have solidified their position as the top football program in the State over the last three years.  And unless Michigan can beat the Spartans next year in East Lansing the Spartans may be making a play to to be the top rivalry of the next 100 years of Michigan football.

 

Coach Rodriguez is fond of saying that he doesn’t worry about the past.   Video Clip

 

But the past can be a great motivational tool for athletes.  Watch the Spartans celebrate and listen to their fans at Michigan Stadium.

 

 

The score of the game and memories of the Spartan jubilation should rile up every Wolverine fan.

 

But we can’t do anything about it.

 

That’s up to the Wolverine players and Coach Rodriguez.

 

It’s time to remember, not to forget.

Denard Robinson- The Natural?

I’ve never seen anything like it.  It’s incredible!  Anything he wants to do, he does!

 

-The Natural
The above quote is from “The Natural” one of the best baseball movies ever made.  What does a baseball movie have to do with Michigan QB Denard Robinson?  Well, the last several weeks this quote comes to mind when I watch him play.
I’ve seen some remarkable athletes perform their magic on the gridiron.  Sometimes it’s a once in a million event like Jon Vaughn torching USC for 288 yards or Tshimanga Biakabatuka rolling for for 313 yards over Ohio State.  Other times it’s an athlete announcing their presence with an overwhelming performance like Donovan McNabb, Troy Smith, Braylon Edwards or more recently Dennis Dixon.  Rarer still are the Heisman winning seasons we’ve seen from the likes of Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson.
We don’t know how far Denard Robinson is going go.  College careers are fragile.  In every game this season we’ve seen “Shoelace” get dinged up.

 

 

 

 

The more he runs, the greater the chance of injury.

 

 

Lost in the discussion of the 3-3-5 defense, and whether this year’s team is better than last year’s team is that Denard Robinson is putting on a display the likes of which we will never see again.

 

 

Roy Hobbs, the tragic hero of The Natural, bemoans the fact that he wasn’t play long enough to “break all records” and be recognized as “the greatest hitter who every played the game.”  He’s comforted by impact he had on the people who did see him play.

 

 

I don’t know know if Denard Robinson is going to win the Heisman trophy.

 

 

 

 

I don’t know if the Wolverines are going to beat the Spartans on Saturday.

 

 

What I do know is I’m not going miss one second of any game that Denard Robinson plays in.  He is most amazing football player I’ve ever seen.  Whether he’s running 75 yards for a TD, throwing 60 yards for a TD, or engineering a last minute game winning drive.

 

 

 

 

Robinson is the rare player who shuns the spotlight, puts the team first, and exemplifies the attitude that Coach Rodriguez tries to instill in his players, “…of staying humble and hungry.”  Last season as an backup he was supportive of his teammates and worked hard to improve his game.  When backup QBs Tate Forcier and Devin Gardner played well this season Denard was their biggest cheerleader on the sidelines and he to congratulate and encourage as they came of the field.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Denard Robinson’s performances are making an impact that will be felt for years to come.  Young football players on playgrounds across the country are insisting that his trademark untied shoelaces make them faster and are imitating his moves.

 

 

The last two seasons have embittered many Wolverine fans and many remain skeptical about whether the team has finally turned things around.

 

 

But it would be a mistake for fans to discount the performances Denard Robinson has put together so far.

 

 

The Denard show is AMAIZING.

 

 

Don’t miss it…

M Football 2010- Michigan 28, Notre Dame 24 Magnificant Effort And Outcome

Michigan’s Wolverines ended a nasty lack of away from home wins in Notre Dame Stadium Saturday, when they produced an astounding and outstanding come from behind victory in their first competition with Brian Kelly’s Irish.  This was a hard fought football game.  Neither team quit, but finally the Wolverines prospered and the Irish didn’t.

Denard Robinson was even better Saturday than last week against Connecticut, and now totals a stunning 502-yards rushing in just two games. He will surpass Brandon Minor’s entire production for last year soon, and even though I have seldom, if ever, seen one player put the Wolverine’s fortunes on his own back like he has, he is not the only Wolverine that should be credited with this victory.

The defense hit, the OL line blocked reasonably well, and the receivers took some real punishment, but for the most part they were able to hang onto the ball. Roy Roundtree had 8 grabs for 82-yards, which included a 31-yard TD. Suffering internal bruising last week I was surprised to see him in action this week.  Martavious Odoms had 91-receiving yards.  Stephen Hopkins got his first collegiate carry on a two-yard TD run early in the game.

With the exception of a few notable penalties, and a big play at crunch time, they played with enough poise and precision on offense, and surprisingly on run defense, to prove they were the best team on the field.  Three interceptions helped make that decision.  Jonas Mouton got his second career interception, and finished the day with 13 tackles, and Jordan Kovacs had ten.  The defense stumbled at times, and let out a late fourth quarter 95-yard pass play for a TD after the defense had the Irish pinned deep in their own territory.

It was a dispiriting and potentially back-breaking play at crunch time.  Cameron Gordon let the receiver Kyle Rudolph get behind him, and the down three got inadequate pressure on ND QB Crist. Crist hit the receiver in stride, it was 24-21 and it appeared that it was Notre Dame?s day.  But there were a few minutes left.  There was enough time for some Robinson magic. ND?s pass offense was effective but the Wolverines suppressed the run reasonably effectively. The defense protected the lead at the end of the game, with Crist?s last desperation heave sailing harmlessly into the endzone. 

Denard produced the 12-play, 72-yard drive to get the winning score, scampering in from 2-yards out for the Wolverines first and final score of the second half.  It was just enough to produce the much needed 28/24 win.  Two key plays were when he calmly picked up a crucial first down at the ND 35, and then on third and five from the seventeen, he hit Roy Roundtree who was downed at the two.  Denard ran it in for the winning score.

It is simply impossible to ignore the tour de force provided by Robinson Saturday.  In the spring, I kept thinking that Denard might be chewing up M?s defense because it was our own perhaps inadequate defense, and therefore things could change when the actual games and hitting started.  I kept thinking, and wrote, that Tate Forcier might rise to the top because of his experience in starting 12 games last year, and that he would overcome his slow start.

It was a little startling to see that freshman Devin Gardner has truly surpassed Tate on the two deep.  When Denard was a little shaken up, and out for a play, it was the talented Devin that that played the understudy again this game.

I am happy to admit I was dead wrong.  I can sympathize with Tate, and we still may need him, and he could still contribute, but on the basis of just these two games, Denard has been nothing short of phenomenal.  His domination of the playing field is exceptional.  Also, any four-leaf clovers belonged to him and his Wolverines on this day and to not the Irish, as Shoelace was stripped of the ball on one sojourn into the ND secondary, and the Wolverines gobbled it up.  Luck of the Irish?  Not Saturday, but the Irish did get a favorable call.  On TJ Jones TD, tape clearly shows he released possession of the football before he crossed the goal line.  The ball never broke the plane.  Should have been Michigan’s ball at the twenty.

DRob was responsible for 502-yards rushing and passing against ND in the unfriendly confines of ND Stadium.  He has been credited with 885 yards running and passing in just two games.  He is only the 9th QB in NCAA history to rush for 258-yards in a game, and pass for 244-yards in a game.  The 258-yards rushing on 28 carries is 5th in Michigan single game history records.  He was 24 of 40 passing. He broke an 87-yard run for a TD which is the longest in ND Stadium history, and second longest ever against ND.  He set a single game Michigan record for rushing and passing by a QB for the second week in a row, and a B10 record. He had 152-yards rushing in the second quarter. 

When you paste your name into the record books in a winning cause against ND, your accomplishments get recognized nationally.  Denard will have to learn to live with and deal with football fame.  He has hit the big time without question, and seems to be aiming the Wolverines in that direction.

Notre Dame opened the scoring on their first possession by producing a 71-yard TD drive aided by a favorable review, and a 15-yard personal foul by Michigan.  ND QB Dayne Crist punched it in from a yard out.   M 0- ND 7.  All EPs in this game were good.  Somewhere early in this quarter Crist took a blow to the head that that took him out of the game until the second half.  Michigan?s defense abused his inexperienced replacements, including Nate Montana, Joe’s son.

Mouton intercepted ND QB Rees pass, and Denard turned it into points with a 31-yard TD pass to Rountree.  M 7-ND 7.

Then it was a 65-yard, 5-play drive to pay dirt, based on Robinson to Odoms passes.  Stephen Hopkins scored from the one. M 14-ND 7.

Then Denard was off on his 87-yard jaunt late in the second half.  M 21-ND 7.

Crist came back as QB in the second half and heaved a 53-yard TD pass to TJ Jones.  M 21-ND 14, and it was getting a little scary again, which was aggravated by an 8-play 66-yard drive culminating in a 24-yard FG.  M 21-ND 17.  Meanwhile the Wolverines are practicing punting and missing a FG that should have been hit.  Fortunately Michigan picked off another pass off to stop a drive, and the miserable quarter ended, but some of the misery endured.  The pass protection in the 4th was not much better at times, and another FG was missed.  At the 4:15 mark Crist stunned the Blue with the 95-yard bomb described above to make it M 21-ND 24.

It looked like it was over, but no one told Denard Robinson.  He engineered the 12-play, 72-yard winning drive that will become the stuff of legend, and linger a long while in the memories of ND and Michigan fans alike. Seth Broekhuizen  kicked the EP.

Suddenly a little ray of optimism is breaking thought the shroud of pessimism, for the team and for Coach Rodriguez.  Some fans may now think that maybe he can coach after all, and just maybe his teams will be able to compete, even away from Michigan Stadium. 

This is nothing more than a good start to the most important football season in recent memory.  Last year the Wolverines also beat the Irish and nailed some early opponents, only to lay an egg in the last half the season.  With the poise, and confidence of this season?s team, and with Robinson rapidly gaining experience, that seems less likely to happen than last year.

It is a fact this was a very important game for the Wolverines against a rejuvenated Irish team that has the wily Brian Kelly as its new coach.  He will load up with first class talent that matches his system, and he will know how to use it, so this was an excellent year to grab a victory there.  This victory will build Michigan confidence, experience them in winning away from home, and raise expectations, as well as gaining the Wolverines some football notoriety of a welcome kind.  It will bring smiles to the players, coaches and fans, with the drama not forgotten, but pushed to the background for a change.

This is not to imply that the Wolverines are a complete football team at this time.  They need improvement.  They are still a work in progress with dumb penalties, and with some critical mental lapses (the two long pass plays, for example).  The kicking and punting aspects of special teams need to improve in a hurry.  The two missed field goals are blisters, the KOs too short, and they often give opponents good field position.  The punting has not been up to Mesko level as yet. I thought this might be costly in the ND game but it proved a non-factor this time but later it might catch up with us.

As predicted the pass defense is a work in progress, but bring on the Minutemen.

The only sad note of the day is that Ron Kramer is no longer with us.  He passed away Saturday. He was a great athlete at Michigan in the mid-fifties, a nine-letter winner.  He carried his team on his back, and had a great pro career with the Packers and Lions.

It was Ron who revived my interest in Wolverine Football in the fifties, and I shall never forget his accomplishments and his respect and appreciation of all things Michigan.

Go Blue!

Michigan Football 2010- Brandon has turned night to day; but deflecting NCAA may be a tougher feat

Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon sure knows how to make an entrance.

Less than two weeks after taking over the job from Bill Martin, he said, “Let there be light,” and just like that Michigan Stadium will host its first night game in 2011 versus the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

Years of excuses as to why a night game at the Big House was logistically impossible were swept away in a matter of days.  Brandon showed himself to be someone who doesn’t accept excuses.

And that’s why today’s hearing with the NCAA was a challenge for the new leader.

Instead of cutting through excuses to get something done, he along with the rest of the Michigan contingent was there to make excuses as to why Rodriguez should not be found to “…have failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance,” among his staff regarding adherence to NCAA rules.  This was the only charge that Michigan chose to dispute after admitting to four violations in May.

Compared to turning night into day at the Big House deflecting the NCAA will be a bigger challenge.

I don’t see how the NCAA can buy Michigan’s argument.  Either Rodriguez knew the rules and stretched them as practically every team in America does or he didn’t know the rules and ignorance isn’t an excuse.

The NCAA can’t allow a coach to avoid sanctions by simply claiming he or his staff didn’t the rules.  It would a create a mountain-sized hole for any renegade coach to take advantage of.

The point is simple- if Rich Rodriguez didn’t know, he should have.  If his staff didn’t inform him, he’s responsible for that, too.  The buck stops with him.  End of story.

Now questions from the readers:

Do you hope that RichRod gets additional sanctions from the NCAA?  You’re showing your bias against him by saying the NCAA won’t believe his explanation.

No, I would love for the NCAA to accept Michigan’s excuses and then apologize for the inconvenience the investigation has caused over the last year.  If David Brandon can convince the NCAA to move on without imposing additional sanctions it may be the greatest example of the Jedi mind trick since Obi-wan talked some renegade droids through a checkpoint a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

These violations are a black eye for the program.  UM has admitted major violations and RichRod should be canned immediately…

Unfortunately, we at Michigan know something about “major” violations.  Read up on the Fab 5/Ed Martin scandal to learn about serious major violations.

These violations are a joke…

That’s not true either.  Anytime the NCAA come in and you admit to four violations, spend nearly year investigating, not to mention a boatload of money (over $500K and counting) it’s definitely SOMETHING. It’s just not the end of life as we know it that some would have us believe.

Who cares what the NCAA thinks, they’re out of touch…

The NCAA is judge, jury, and executioner in this case.

Here is footage of an actual NCAA “hearing”:

Get the idea?  They expect groveling not defiance.

Why are people so bent out of shape about the CARA forms?  They are an internal UM control not something imposed by the NCAA.

That’s the problem.  It’s not like UM can say the process imposed by the NCAA was too cumbersome to enforce.  The CARA forms were an internal control created by the UM athletic department.  If the process was flawed it was UM’s responsiblity to fix it long before the NCAA can calling.

This is clearly a conspiracy by Lloyd Carr supporters in the AD to embarrass Rich Rod.

Stand down the black helicopters.  While Lloyd was popular it’s hard to believe that people with families and mortgages would risk their jobs to torpedo Rich Rodriguez.

What do you think happened?

I think that this was an interdepartmental squabble that spiralled out of control.  It probably should have/would have been resolved internally given time.  As soon as the CARA forms turned up MIA it was the like waving a red cape in front of a bull and the rush to judgement was on…

2010 Michigan Wolverine Football Visitor’s Guide

This is the time of year when I get questions from people who are coming to Ann Arbor to see a Michigan football game.  These are my personal recommendations.  Your mileage may vary…

How do I get tickets?

It’s easy to get tickets for most games.  The question is how much are you willing to pay?  For the bulk of the games against minor opponents you can usually find tickets around the stadium on the day of the game far below face value.  It’s simple supply and demand.  There are 109,901 tickets available for every game.  There are literally thousands of tickets bought and sold in the hours before the game outside the stadium and in the adjacent parking lots.  It’s not unusual for tickets to be sold for far less than face value for a minor opponent.  The best prices are usually found on game day right outside the stadium by people who line the streets on the way to the stadium.  

You’re best bet is to find season ticket holder just outside the stadium who is dumping extra tickets prior to entering.

Usually tickets are sold in pairs or singles.  Getting more than two together is more difficult.  For the big games this season (UConn, MSU, Iowa) get ready to pay. If you want tickets in advance you’ll need to check the athletic web site, get them from a season ticket holder, or look on E-Bay.

Prior to game day you can usually find ticket scalpers outside the Michigan Union.  Another place to look is check the window of the Coach & Four Barber shop www.coachand4.com on State Street by Mr. Spots.  They frequently have tickets in the window for most games.

How do I get there?

Michigan Stadium is located off of Interstate 94.  Get off at the Ann Arbor-Saline Road exit.  There are signs and you’ll see LOTS of cars and sometimes a blimp or two circling the stadium.

Google Maps- Michigan Stadium

Where do I park?

Diagonal from Michigan Stadium on Ann Arbor-Saline Road is Pioneer High School.  Plenty of parking is available.  You can also park on the University Golf Course which is across the street. Many homeowners offer up their lawns as makeshift parking lots on game days.

As you cross the street to the stadium listen for the traffic officer as he or she harasses fans from the opposing school.

Costs Range from $20-$50 depending on proximity to the stadium.

WARNING–  In cases of extremely bad weather (I.E. after days and days of rain or sleet/snow) both of these places may close to protect the grounds. In this case parking becomes nightmare.  Park at Briarwood Mall and take the shuttle bus to the game.  The shuttle also runs from many of the local hotels.  Shuttle Info 

What about camping?

RV owners can purchase a permit to camp in a designated area at Pioneer High School.  The permit allows you to stay from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.

What about tailgating?

Tailgating is allowed in the parking areas around the stadium.  Fans should note that upon departing for the game it highly recommended that you secure any belongings in your trunk.  Looting of coolers and other items is known to occur.

What should I see while in Ann Arbor?

If you get into town a day before the game or stay after there are number of sights to see.

You can visit

Michigan Stadium– it’s usually open 9-4:30 during the week (NOTE- since 9/11 the stadium is locked down 2-3 days before games.)  Even if the stadium closed it’s worth a trip to drive by and see the massive upgrade project that is under way.  The port renovation stadium is simply amazing.

Stop by Schembechler Hall (AKA Fort Schembechler).  This is where the Wolverines practice.  Here’s a map of the area.  Much of the tall brink wall that surrounded the outdoor practice field has been removed to make way for the constructon of the new indoor practice field.  It’s directly adjacent to Schembechler Hall- you can’t miss it.

Dwarfing Schembecher Hall is the Al Glick Field House, one the largest indoor practice facilities in the country.  

If the team is practicing outdoors you might catch a glimpse of them from the overpass on Stadium street. 

Yost Ice Arena (Web Page) named for Michigan Immortal Fielding Yost has a number of displays of Wolverine hockey memorabilia and is open practically all of the time.  

Behind Schembechler Hall is Oosterbaan Field House (Web Page) an indoor football field.  Sometimes you can sneak a peek of the field but football practices are closed. 

Behind the Ticket office is the outdoor track where Jesse Owens once ran at the Big Ten Track Championships.  Adjacent to the outdoor track in Revelli Hall where you might be able to catch the marching band practice. 

Michigan Central Campus has a number of places to visit.  Start at the Michigan Union (Web Site).  Check out the place where President John F. Kennedy announced the formation of the Peace Corps marked on the front steps.  Stop by and spin the Cube in the courtyard outside.  A little ways down from the Union is the Kelsey Museum of Archeology which houses some nice artifacts.  Across the street is the Angell Hall an impressive looking building whose design is reminiscent of a Greek temple.  Behind Angell Hall, is the Michigan Diag.  Note the Block ‘M’ engraved in the center, legend has it that if a freshman steps on the Block M they will fail their first exam.  The Diag is home to all kinds of demonstrations and can be quite entertaining, especially on days when speaker will lecture passersby from the cement benches that surround the Diag.  Adjacent to the Diag is the UGLI (undergraduate library) and also visible is the Michigan Bell Tower.  The best museum on central campus is the Natural Science Museum which has a great a collection of dinosaur skeletons and even a stuffed Wolverine!  Drive down Washtenaw away from campus and look for the Rock.  It is a campus tradition for students to ‘paint the rock’.  Legend says that it actually started out as a small pebble but has grown to its enormous size from the millions of layers of paint that have been applied over the years!

Ann Arbor Nightlife

If you’re looking to sample Ann Arbor nightlife Thursday night is the big bar night on campus.  There are a number of bars and restaurants to sample.

Scorekeepers is a large sports bar and grill with music, multiple televisions, and pool tables.  While you’re there take note of the large window in the front, former Wolverine Brian Griese threw a beer bottle through it after being kicked out of the establishment one night prior to the 1997 season.

Dominick’s (812 Monroe/734-662-5414) is a campus tradition located across from the Law School.  Another campus favorite is Ashley’s (338 South State Street/734-996-9191).

Another campus haunt is Rick’s American Cafe  Frankly, it’s a pit but don’t let that deter you- it features live music and sticky floors that will remind you of your college days.  Outside of Rick’s is where former Wolverine captain Bennie Joppru allegedly got into a knock-down drag out fight with a member of the Wolverine wrestling team. 

After a evening of carousing you may end up at the Brown Jug (1204 South University/761-3355) which is open until 2 AM.  Yes, it takes its name from the trophy that Michigan and Minnesota play for every season.  Rick’s and the Brown Jug are all within a block (and stumbling distance) of each other. 

Where should I eat before the game?

Many people tailgate before games but if you want to grab some food these are some popular choices:

  • Maize and Blue Deli– $ 1329 S. University/734-996-0009.
  • Dimo’s Deli- $ 2030 West Stadium Boulevard/734-662-7944.  My personal recommendation.  Get the burger!!
  • Angelo’s– $ 1100 East Catherine at Glen/734-761-8996.  Order anything that’s made with the homemade bread.
  • Weber’s Inn- $$ 3050 Jackson Road/734-769-2500.  Offers an all-you-can-eat brunch.  You can also park there and grab the shuttle over to the stadium.
  • Dibella’s– $ 904 West Eisenhower Parkway/734-997-9011.  My new favorite sub place.  Stop in and eat or grab these for your tailgate.

$= $5-$10 Entrees  $$= $10-$15 Entrees  $$$= $15 and Above Entrees

What radio stations cover Michigan Football in the area?

Many stations carry the games but the local Ann Arbor sports station is WTKA. “The Ticket” AM 1050 talks about Michigan sports pretty much all the time.

What should I do on Game Day?

On Game day you have a few options.  Decide if you want to see the band take the field.  A truly awesome sight.  If not you can follow the band as they march to the stadium also very cool.  if you get to the Stadium a few hours early you can greet the teams as they arrive for the game (the stadium tunnel by Crisler Arena).  Also note that since 9/11 the items that you can take into the stadium has been reduced. 

Also note that due to the stadium upgrade project the athletic department strongly recommends that fans try to enter the stadium an hour before the game.

If you want to see the band take the field you need to be inside the stadium about 30 minutes before game time.  You can also the see the Wolverines warm up sans shoulder pads.  As the band takes the field look for the Drum Major.  Traditionally, to prove their mettle they must perform the following stunt.  The really good Drum Majors will touch the top of their hat to the ground (not just the plume).  Another thing you may see is this.  The tradition of showing all 4’s on the scoreboard has become to stand as a reminder that the team must play 4 strong quarters to insure victory.  At least that’s how it was explained to former Athletic Director Tom Goss when he enquired about the practice.  According to interviews with the scoreboard operator, it really began as a prank to see if anyone was paying attention to the scoreboard minutes before the game.

Hopefully you’ll sing the Victors A LOT. Know the words and remember to raise your arm whenever you sing the word ‘Hail’.

What about a game program?

The athletic department sells some really cool program that cost $5.  Unfortunately there is no way that you will be able to keep it from being messed after you purchase it and after the game the vendors are long gone.  If you want a keepsake I would recommend ordering the program from the athletic department media relations office and having it mailed to your house.  On the day of the game FREE newsprint programs are handed out that contain a few articles and rosters for both teams.  Grab one of these as you enter stadium- look for the people handing them out.

What should I eat at the game?

The concessions are plentiful: hot dogs, pizza, kielbasa, etc.  My personal favorite are the Mr. Spots Subs (philly cheesesteak sandwiches). I also like the Italian sausages with peppers.  Michigan Stadium serves Coke products.  No alcohol is served at the stadium. 

What if I need cash?

There are ATM’s available inside the stadium.

Where should I eat after game?

Most people leaving Michigan Stadium will travel back to the interstate using State or Ann Arbor-Saline Road.  Think about that- 100,000 people are driving by- everything you see on that route (mostly chain restaurants) will be PACKED.  Restaurants along those routes include Bennigan’s, Damon’s, Max & Erma’s, The Outback, TGI Fridays, and Joe’s Crab Shack.  Come to think of it just about everything in Ann Arbor is packed after a football game.  Here are some places that are off-the-beaten path but well worth the wait (I’ll list by specialty):

  • Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger– $ Hamburgers- 551 S. Division/734-663-3103.
  • Banfield’s East-$ Hamburgers- 3140 Packard Street/734-971-3300.
  • Argiero’s- $$ Italian- 300 North Detroit/734-665-0444.
  • Mr. Spots– $ Philly Cheese steak sandwiches- 810 South State/734-747-7768.
  • Wings Pizza N Things– $$ American- 6877 State Street/734-429-7700.
  • Real Seafood Co.– $$$ Seafood, duh!- 341 S. Main/734-769-7738.
  • Palio– $$$ Italian- 347 S. Main/734-930-6156.
  • Original Cottage Inn Restaurant– $$ Pizza, Italian-  512 East William/734-663-3379.
  • China Chef- $ chines 2870 Washtenaw Avenue/734-434-8877.  Good food, large portions, cheap prices.  A little out of the way but worth the trip.
  • Ichiban– $$$ Japanese Steak House/sushi 4641 Washtenaw Avenue/734-975-0589
  • The Quarter Bistro– $$$ New Orleans Seafood & pasta 300 South Maple/734-929-9200.
  • Pizza House– $$ American cuisine 618 Church Street/734-995-4995.
  • Carlyle Grill $$$ American cuisine 3660 Jackson Road/734-213-9800.

$= $5-$10 Entrees  $$= $10-$15 Entrees  $$$= $15 and Above Entrees

Hyped but overrated- think Drew Henson 🙂  These are the places that many people will always ask you if you’ve eaten upon hearing that you went to Ann Arbor…

  • Gratzi– $$$ 326 South Main/734-663-6387.
  • Gandy Dancer- $$$ 401 North Depot/734-769-0592.
  • Zingerman’s– $$ 422 Detroit Street/734-663-DELI.  New York deli- GOOD, New York Prices, OUCH

Where should I get my Michigan Gear?

No pilgrimage to the Big House would be complete without purchasing tokens of your devotion.  There are numerous vendors selling stuff in and around the stadium.