The football beat doesn’t just cover games and write columns that no one seems to like. The group also loves partying and hanging out. That’s the point of the Daily Road Trip – to see what’s going on in other Big Ten cities and let you, the reader, get a glimpse of it.
Every year, The Michigan Daily and the State News play each other in a touch football game the night before the big boys play on Saturday. The Daily looked like the point-a-minute Michigan offense circa 1901-06 – the State News had no chance in the 70-21 spanking. Led by seniors David Betts and Matt Venegoni, the offense could not be stopped. Betts finished with five touchdowns, including a kick return for a touchdown, and Minnesota native Venegoni finished with eight touchdowns, including a rushing touchdown to end the massacre.
But it wasn’t just the offense that laid the wood to our neighbors from the northwest. Co-coach/safety Matt Singer put together a spectacular group that pressured the quarterback and blanketed receivers. Really, they looked the 1997 Michigan defense. The biggest defensive highlight of the day came when rover Scott Bell picked off a State News pass at the goal line and then proceeded to return the ball 80 yards, taunting the other team for the last 15. In the end, everyone had fun, except the State News – especially when the Daily tried to plant a Michigan flag at midfield.
Bars were impossible to get into on Friday night, with lines forming as early as 3 p.m. Even at Lou and Harry’s, a pre-party bar that closes at midnight and is known for its lack of a wait, overcrowded quarters prevented anybody from getting in after 10 p.m.
So house parties were plentiful on Friday night. Charles Street was especially busy, with get-togethers in many living rooms, kitchens and backyards. But those $5 cups for beer sure were a downer.
On Saturday morning, the best tailgating action could be found at the tennis courts, the traditional spot for drinking, eating and listening to music. Police officers were prowling the area – maybe to prevent another riot – but didn’t seem to take any action when students walked down the street with open cans of beer.