This week, Michigan plays the Zips of Akron, a historic rivalry going back to the old Western Athletic Conference days. I still remember my great-uncle telling me about all the classic games at Old Soldier Field with legendary players on both sides - Tom Harmon, Joe Namath, the Wisterts, Doak Walker, Gerry Ford, Davey O'Brien - you name it. The 'Zips, in those days, were something to be feared.
As the Notre Dame rivalry fades into the regional nothingness it was always destined to become, Dave Brandon has once again pulled a miracle out of his hat, restoring this historic rivalry to one of national prominence and gaining Michigan a foothold for recruiting and exposure in the state of Ohio. Historically a difficult place for Michigan to recruit, Big Blue's trips to historic Walker-Namath-O'Brien Stadium should start opening prospective recruits' eyes to the winged helmets streaking down the field. I'm not sure what to make of Brandon's announcement that Michigan will be wearing special jerseys to commemorate the Akron game each year, but I trust he's doing what's best for the Program.
Enough living in the past. I'm thrilled to welcome the Zips back onto Michigan's schedule. It's been too long. This calls for a special beer recommendation.
Your Beer Of The Week: Narragansett Fest Lager
I've written at length before about my irrational love of beers in cans. For years, cans were considered to be inferior to bottles, which is just foolish. Bottles let in oxygen, which is bad for beer. Bottles let in light, which is worse for beer. Bottles get you thrown out of pools, which is bad for you. Cans look like kegs, which is good for you. Kegs are good for you. aluminum helps the war effort, according to my great-uncle.
But metal does bad things if it touches beer. So how do we get around this? Apparently with something called polymers. I don't know how they work, but plastic is stuck to the inside of an aluminum can and then the beer touches the plastic and not the metal and then your beer is good. I think that's how you get cancer from Nalgenes. But the alcohol kills it, right? Right.
So Narragansett is a Rhode Island brewery starting to spread across the country because they make really good beer in 16oz cans and don't sell it for too much money. This is absolutely a good thing. Their summer lager is great, but it's fall, which means their Fest Lager is out. It's a dark lager that is currently my favorite beer style. It's my gameday beer of choice, because it goes well with gameday food - pulled pork nachos, anyone? Brats? Wings? Or, my favorite, more beer. Eminently drinkable, in cans, and another fantastic craft coming out of New England. Here, have a vintage commercial before the Gansett revival, one of my great-uncle's favorites:
What's that? I don't even have a great-uncle.
Until next time, cheers, Michigan Faithful!