It all began on November 22, 1969 when two coaches faced each other for the very first time. Bo Schembechler led The University of Michigan Wolverines to victory against Woody Hayes of the Ohio State Buckeyes, commencing a 10 year war and creating what would later be deemed as the greatest North American sports rivalry.
At the very end of each season when the leaves have fallen, and the crisp fall air begins to feel like winter, these two teams face each other in The Game. No matter the weeks, perhaps even months of planning, nothing can truly prepare a University of Michigan wolverine for the emotional roller coaster of this three and a half hour event. There is the debate of watching the game at home rather than a bar for fear of missing the commentary of a play; the deliberation of the ideal meal to have at half time, and choosing the right alumni paraphernalia, avoiding any chance of somehow jinxing the team into defeat. And so with our jerseys packed, and hopes high, we headed out to East Hampton for what will from now on be regarded as one of the greatest weekends.
In full preparation mode, we reached out to our dear friend Mike, of MikeMontauk to supply us with some fresh oysters for pre game shucking, and half time grilling. The king of Montauk shellfish, Mike bestowed us a treasure bag, filled with scallops and oysters straight from the fresh waters of Montauk. Saving the oysters for game day, we shucked away at the scallops, enjoying each and every sweet bite straight from the shell the night before.
Game day!! With the half time chili on the stove, simmering to the perfect consistency, we killed some time throwing the ball around, loosening up for the tense hours ahead. An agonizing first half, the Wolverines headed to the locker room one point shy of the buckeyes. A twitch of nerve put a side, nothing but victory ahead was felt in the air. And so we shucked some Mermaid Selects, threw them on our BBQ Oyster Grill for a delicate sweet perfection. It’s the ideal device to transform an oyster from its briny natural self into a more complex savory treat. A bowl of chili followed and it was time to get back to the game. A game change at every play, it all came down to the last few minutes….
And so after eight long years, Michigan finally came back to defeat Ohio, bringing tears of joy, and perhaps even a happy dance, to all the wolverines out there.
The only thing left to do now was eat Denard…the cake!
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