Indulge me for a moment. I've been at MnB for something like six years, and I've had the pleasure of working with every manager the site's ever had. I've taken over the site and posted nothing but Pac and Biggie lyrics for an entire week. I've had essentially unfettered freedom to post whatever I want. And I appreciate that freedom and the trust the managers of this site have placed in me a great deal.
In six years, I've written maybe two or three things I'm really Proud Of. A couple years ago, I wrote about why I loved Michigan football so much and thanked my dad for it. I have regularly attempted to post telling us to not be dicks to each other (and memorably, someone called me out about trampling on his First Amendment rights.) And a few months ago I waded into a hornet's nest and said no, thank you, I will not stick to sports. That's the only time I've ever locked comments on this site.
One of the recurring memes of 2016 is "this is a bad year." People we cherish keep dying. Bad things are happening in the world. For many, the sky fell this week. For many, their voices were vindicated. But for others, the struggle continues - whether it's something about politics or family or financial situations or one of a million very real reasons to wake up feeling worried.
I've personally struggled in dealing with a lot of these things, as I'm sure many have. Here I am being intentionally oblique, because the point of this post - and no, I haven't gotten to it yet - is not to create a firestorm in the comments. It's not to invade the space so many of you cherish.
For once, I'm going to stick to sports. Consider this post an invitation to share that cherished sporting space with me and all of you that read play by play charts and obsess over a recruit's dad's tweets and have countdown clocks not just to rivalry games but to every Saturday kick.
I don't give a shit about your reasons to be here, and you shouldn't care about mine either. Yes, I wrote about basically the opposite not too long ago. This is a mea culpa for that post. I need football now for selfish reasons, and I'm totally down for you to need football as well. We are fortunate in that we can dip in and out of this wonderful world of football and sports writ large whenever we want.
Sports are a joy that we can share together and a necessary escape for many of us at various points in our lives, for whatever our reasons. The community that is Michigan football provides us a chance to duck out and for three to four hours every Saturday worry about what some kids in winged helmets are doing. And we are blessed with a national following, a constant cycle of news, recruiting updates, and social media - not to mention a coach that's a constant story for all the reasons we as a fanbase love.
My dad and I are going to drive to Iowa City and watch Michigan take on the Hawkeyes at Kinnick this weekend. It's going to be cold and maybe miserable outside and hopefully hostile, and I'm looking forward to every second of it. I'm going to listen to dumb football podcasts on the drive and then my dad and I are going to - very easily, I might add - talk about football and little else for a whole weekend. It'll be great.
So, here are your entirely necessary Friday Drinking Instructions.
For you Wolverines looking for a spot to drink in Iowa City, I highly recommend Backpocket Brewing.
They've got an excellent rotating taplist and for $6 you can get their Murderhorn strong Belgian ale, which, by clocking in at 10%, is guaranteed to wipe away whatever worries you've got.
If you aren't in Iowa City this weekend - and why wouldn't you be - don't worry, Founders has you covered. If you've read this far you're undoubtedly familiar with this blog's love for Founders and big-ass high-ABV beers. The problem with many of them is that they aren't that fun to drink. Fortunately, Founders took Dirty Bastard and somehow made it -more- drinkable by adding more booze, some barrel aged flavor, and vanilla. Backwoods Bastard. And it's getting easier to find. Go grab a four-pack, and you won't even know it's 11%. Thank me later.
Until next time, Cheers, Michigan Faithful!