You've all heard me lament it at some point: I live in Virginia, and the option to go and watch Michigan play football in the fall becomes a full scale undertaking involving hours in the car, finding a friend's couch to crash on, and hoping I get a decent enough ticket that my view from the couch wouldn't be preferable. It sucks.
But I realize that even if I lived in Michigan, going to games isn't the easiest thing in the world. Unless you live in Ann Arbor you have to drive into town, find somewhere to park your car, worry about where you might stay if you'll be there overnight, and how you'll get into the stadium. Away games are even more of a chore.
We still do all of this. We do it because we love Michigan football so much that we spend mindless hours at work on a random weekday in May reading about Michigan football on blogs and watching highlights on Youtube. Still, is there a better way?
There is. Recently, I started talking to Jared from a company called Sports Power Weekends that puts together trips for Michigan fans encompassing everything you need for a group trip, and they even do it affordably. It is a Michigan-alum-run company that makes following Michigan football in-person incredibly easy and stress-free. Some of their trips even include a private Big House tour, all-inclusive tailgates, and player meet-and-greets, in addition to game tickets, hotel rooms, and transportation.
So you can go to a Michigan game -- whether its a home game and you're coming in from out of town or an away game you want to experience -- and all the worry and hassle is taken care of by someone else? Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right?
Here are some of the trips they have planned for this season (with their own short description of each), with others that can be customized for any interested fans:
Notre Dame (September 7): Maybe the most anticipated game on the schedule, with this being the final ND game in Ann Arbor for the foreseeable future. Options include a private Friday night Big House tour with club, suite and field access, or a second option with a Denard Robinson signed photo. We are also in the final stages of announcing a player meet-and-greet as part of the weekend. Of course we also have game tickets, two-bed hotel rooms, specially-made t-shirts, transportation, gift cards, and more!
Nebraska (November 9): Nebraska drops off the schedule after this season, but this game may decide the winner of the Legends Division in 2013. Game tickets, a two-night hotel stay, and more will await you on what promises to be another incredible trip back to Ann Arbor.
Ohio State (November 30): The Game returns to Ann Arbor, with a Big Ten Championship Game berth, and maybe even larger implications on the line. Don't be left out in the cold trying to scalp tickets or find a hotel room for the best rivalry in college football!
ON THE ROAD
UConn (September 21): Buses to Rentschler Field are available for fans in New York City. You don't have to worry about finding a designated driver, paying for parking, and struggling to find your Michigan friends: take the bus and you'll be all set! Game tickets are also available as needed.
Penn State (October 12): Options including a hotel stay in State College with tickets are available, as well as bus transportation from Washington, DC and New York City. With a 5 PM ET kickoff, there will be plenty of time to tailgate before heading into Beaver Stadium.
Michigan State (November 2): Fans in Ann Arbor can travel in numbers to East Lansing on the Sports Power Weekends bus, departing from outside of Rackham Auditorium. We'll leave four hours before kickoff so there will be three hours to tailgate. Arriving with 50+ of your fellow Wolverines fans will make quite a statement to Sparty.
Northwestern (November 16): A great weekend in Chicago, with game tickets, all-inclusive tailgate, and a two-night stay in the Renaissance Downtown Chicago. We'll provide you with CTA cards to take care of the transportation to Evanston, you'll be set for gameday, in and out of the stadium, and color Ryan Field in Maize and Blue.
Iowa (November 23): One of the most unique away game experiences in the Big Ten is the trip to Iowa City. With Iowa moving in to the West Division, we won't be heading to Iowa for a few years, so don't miss this experience. We have game tickets, an all-you-can-eat tailgate, transportation directly from our hotel to the stadium, and strength in numbers!
Big Ten Championship Game (December 7): Are we being a bit presumptuous listing this as one of our trips? Maybe, but who is going to stop this squad from getting to Indianapolis? We have one- or two-night trip options with game tickets and pregame FanFest access. Lock in your spot now with a small deposit so you won't be scrambling only days before the game.
The best part of all (at least for me): they have buses leaving from DC, NYC, and other places so I can more easily make a game this year. And rest assured, I am going to be heading to at least one game through SPW.
I strongly encourage you to head over to their website and check out some of the incredible offers for this year's football season. If you love watching Michigan football -- and why would you be here unless you did -- you're absolutely going to love what Sports Power Weekends can provide for you this fall.
Make sure to mention Maize n Brew when you reserve your trip (the full slate can be seen here), whether it is for Notre Dame, Penn State, or any other game on the schedule.