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Ohio State-Michigan: Fear and loathing in Ann Arbor, Part I

The first part of a multi-part series, in which somebody decided it would be a good idea to send me to Ann Arbor.

I am going to be here. Pray for me.
I am going to be here. Pray for me.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

My wife is not a sports fan, although she does occasionally watch Ohio State events with me on TV. I actually appreciate this, since her complete outsider perspective helps me pick up on things I might have otherwise missed. She can also effectively confirm what we already know (she takes one look at these guys, for example, and can't help but say "that's embarrassing", and even she knows Purdue is terrible), and takes great joy in relating what she's picked up from me (every time Aaron Craft's face shows up on the TV, she goes "hey! HE'S A DEFENSIVE POINT GUARD!").

While she's probably picked up a ton just from hanging around me on the weekends, she would still admit to missing out on much of the college sports experience. Despite graduating from a school with a major FBS program, she's never attended a college football game before.

Well, until this weekend anyways. The good folks at Hampton have partnered with us to send us to Ann Arbor for the Ohio State-Michigan game, and what better way to introduce somebody into all of what makes college football great, then by taking them to the most storied rivalry in the entire sport?

Our friend Zach Travis and his staff at Maize and Brew has created a basic template for us Ann Arbor newbies (in full disclosure, I've never been there, either) to hit over our weekend. If you've been in town before, feel free to let us know your recommendations for where we should go, what we should avoid, and how to avoid angering the locals *too* terribly much.

During our trip, we'll plan to hit:

The Brown Jug, which Zach tells us is "the best bar on campus".

Ashley's on State Street, which also apparently has a strong beer selection (I guess I'll have to take his word for it?).

The best tailgating around the stadium that Michigan bros have to offer

Zingerman's Deli Actually, every single one of my friends who went to Michigan (I, mean enemies of course. MY ENEMIES WHO WENT TO MICHIGAN *spits on the ground*) said that Zingerman's is going to be required eating.

BTB Formally known as "Big Ten Burrito". Stop, you had me at 'big burrito'. Although if they have anything there called "A Purdue", there is no way in hell I'm eating it.

The Michigan Union Can it compare to the new and glorious Ohio Union? It apparently has a billiards room, which is neat.

The Diag Which is apparently Michigan's answer to The Oval. There will be pictures. There will probably *not* be bikini-clad sunbathers.

Fleetwood Diner Home of something called Hippie Hash. SOLD.

Over the next few days, I'll be chronicling the entire experience, from the best and worst of Ann Arbor, to the gameday experience, the postgame, and what we notice, both as a die-hard fan, and a total outsider to the sport. I'll be awash in scarlet and gray, so hopefully I won't get assaulted. My wife will probably blend in better, and depending on how things go at The Game, may ultimately loudly protest that "I DON'T KNOW THIS MAN." We all gotta do what we gotta do to survive. I understand.

Leave your recommendations, thoughts, concerns or questions here in the comments or hit me up on Twitter at @Landgrant33 and/or @MattLGHL, and I'll get to them once I'm on the ground. See you on the other side, Buckeye fans

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