LGHail already put up 58 excellent reasons to hate our arch-rivals down south, but my antipathy for this week isn’t even about the opponent.
It’s about the symbolic end of football for a season. When it comes down to it, we only get around 40 guaranteed hours of Michigan football to watch per year. 40 hours. For a sport we obsess about pretty constantly, that’s not a lot of football. And if you think that there’s only about 15 minutes per game of actual football being played, that’s roughly three total hours of actual action.
Sure, postseason play means a chance for greatness, and part of being a Michigan fan is expecting greatness and being super arrogant about it, but for me, I really just want to watch Michigan play more football games. The more meaningful, the better, but I just want football. And lots of it.
The end of football season always gets me. Most of us care more about this sport and this team than we do about anything else, semi-shitty children/relatives aside. That’s why I still kept going to M-Ohio State games even in the Long Cold Dark of the last several years. That’s why having a losing season feels so bad - we’re getting robbed of another game or three of watching the team we love play the sport we love.
Bowl season is soon upon us, and Michigan’s once again blessed to be playing in a bowl that isn’t in Nashville or Detroit or Fresno, so that’s a nice bonus football game. But to me that always seemed more like a Christmas present you didn’t expect than the one you’ve been waiting for all year. It’s Ralphie’s dad’s bowling ball to Ralphie’s Red Ryder BB Gun. Sure, it’s nice, but really, you wanted that carbine-action.
You’ll soon see the BYCAPE make its triumphant return and plenty of snark about the 40+ bowl games being foisted upon us by Big Football. And we’re thankful for all of them. But first, what are you drinking tomorrow?
Your Beer of the Week: Shorts Good Humans
It’s the last game of the season. You can’t hold anything back. So I’m going to tell you, as I have before, to drink the best beer there is from the state of Michigan and my personal favorite beer. Sometimes beers try to do too much - namely, be a hoppy stout or a fruity dark IPA or a saison with eight different tasting notes. More often than not, most of the flavors gets lost in the shuffle and one stands out too much. There's a time and a place for that (watermelon beer in the summer, IPAs in the spring, etc) but when a beer is a fusion, I often tread very lightly.
There's a reason the Germans have the Reinheitsgebot, which basically says you can only use water, hops, and barley when making beer. To be fair, the Germans also have a national language institute that officially redefines their language every once in a while, which is the most German thing ever.
But in general, with beer, simpler is better. You don't need 12 ingredients and multiple malts and hops sourced from every farm in America. You just need to use the ingredients right. And in Shorts' case, they do just that with their Good Humans Brown Ale. I've told you about it before, but it's time to go back to the well and just drink the right beer for the weekend.
I said simple but then I'm telling you to go drink a dry-hopped double brown ale. What gives, right? Wrong. This thing is perfect. It is in simple terms a hoppy sweet brown ale. It uses Simcoe hops, which are my favorite hops (think a more sweet, less citrusy flavor - the opposite of Sierra Nevada IPA, which uses Cascade and a few others, or Bells Two Hearted, which is delicious and the archetype of what a Centennial hop beer should be. Simcoe is mellower and sweeter, and when combined with the brown malts Shorts uses, it makes the perfect brown ale which is yes, a little bit of everything for everyone. It's dark but not too dark and has a sweet hop finish. It's so freakin' good. What else would I want to end the season with? You'll soon see a Christmas smackdown (spoiler: Winter Warmer always wins) but for now, cherish the fall with this fantastic beer.
Until bowl season, Cheers, Michigan Faithful!