It was a weekend that came into being because of Mom's birthday and featured the celebration of that event in several forms, with family + one in attendance. But years from now when we talk about the weekend, it might not be the great meal at Zingerman's or the stroll through Ann Arbor or the great Vermont spice cake Robin made or the gift-unwrapping or even the canoeing that we'll talk about. What will probably come up amongst the five of us when we talk about "Mom's birthday in Ann Arbor" are the events of Saturday afternoon, of the transition from sitting on the steps of a gazebo on an island in the Huron River to sitting (and standing) on the bleachers of Michigan Stadium just 3 hours later - without any concept that the former would lead to the latter. Even when we set out from 409b in the direction of State Street I wasn't convinced, but things worked out reasonably well and the Paul Bunyan Trophy was on the line so we didn't worry too much.
And what a game. Under the lights at the Big House, in the midst of a sea of 111,609 college football fans, flanked by my State connections, it was truly a fall classic. Everything that makes college football what it is was on display: Michigan's enormous stadium and the pregame procession towards it, the splendor and giant brass sound of two marching bands (and State's is without parallel), the brutality of the Big Ten ground game, the finesse of the forward pass, and the genius that is collegiate-rules overtime, thrice. When it wound down under the lights Michigan had gained the victory, but who really cares...afterwards all anyone could say was "what a game." No question mark, hardly any exclamation needed, simply "what a game."
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