My day began at the crack of dawn, before even the Fisher roofsit guys had begun their chorus of "wake up south quad"s, with the set-up shift of the Howard Hall concession stand. This seemingly mundane morning became suddenly quite interesting when I was tasked with collecting ice. Since our assigned patch of grass was in the neighborhood of the bookstore, my quest for ice began with the logically nearby Ryan Hall. The ice machine in Ryan, however, was about as effective for filling up my small-swimming-pool-sized bin as the ice dispenser for fountain drinks at Subway would have been. After 20 minutes and about as many ice cubes, I gave up and pushed the bin, over uneven sidewalks and bunches of extension cords, back to Howard. There, I completely emptied our far more effective ice machine, and, pushing the bin, filled well over halfway with ice and topped off with all the supplies to set up a tent, trekked back to the bookstore.
This was the first of many times yesterday where I looked extremely stupid in front of large crowds.
Following my concession stand shift, my friends and I headed off campus for breakfast and party supplies. Now, when I say party supplies, you probably assume that I mean illicit fermented beverages. Wrong. I mean party supplies. From Party City. Initially, we were searching for leis that we could buy and then give out to people around campus to spread the joy of "Wear a Lei for Manti" Day. Before long, we realized that every party store for about 100 miles was sold out of leis, and we resigned ourselves simply to finding the most ridiculous accessories possible to wear to the game. After trying on dozens of hats and eyewear and digging through aisle after aisle of Halloween costume pieces, we found the jackpot: green velvet cowboy hats and fuzzy mustaches. (You may consider this foreshadowing for "Sarah looking stupid in front of large crowds, part 2.") We went to Nick's Patio - during the day - for breakfast (crazy, I know) and headed back to campus.
It was here that I realized just how ridiculous I looked in this cowboy hat. You see, as anyone knows who was ever in the Logansport High School Swing Choir with me during the days when we wore those sequined top hats, I have an unusually large head. I like to think this is due to my unusually large, brilliant mind, but I digress. The point is, this hat looked rull stupid. Combine it with my rain jacket and lei, and you've got a contender for the most hideous game-day outfit ever created...before we even put on the mustaches.
This is what I'm talking about, people.
Once we had pathetically sung "White Horse" at the Dome after being convinced that Taylor Swift was on campus (she wasn't) and, post-song, donned our mustaches, we headed over to Tailgateland. Let me tell you, there is no better way to re-introduce yourself to your friends' classy, nattily-dressed parents than while wearing a rain jacket, lei, and matching green mustache and cowboy hat. Add to all of this several hours' worth of unrelenting downpour, and you'll see that this day gets better and better by the minute.
Eventually, after plenty of in-the-rain dancing, tailgate nomming, and cornhole playing, it was time for the game. My friends and I were lucky enough to be surrounded by arguably the best cast of characters in the stadium. In front of us was Homegirl. Homegirl earned her moniker by being so tragically schwasty-faced that even her friends eventually joined me in my pleas of "homegirl needs to slow down." A few seats to Homegirl's right was probably my favorite character of the night: Put It On the Pizza. This young lady looked remarkably like the speaker of the best line of the Mary Kate and Ashley body of work: "ehhhh, put it on the pizza."
Why don't you just put that right on that pizza
She was seated next to a solitary and clearly lost Michigan fan. Despite professing her hatred for said Wolverine approximately once every seven seconds, she was very clearly in love with him. At one point, I saw her kiss his head. If ever the hashtag "#OhHon" was appropriate, it was for little miss Put It On the Pizza. Rounding out our corner of the crowd was Selfies McSelfiepants, a pair of ladies who, over the course of the game, snapped somewhere around 95 selfie pictures. Basically, for a number of reasons, everyone around us was out of control.
All in all, yesterday was an unbelievable, once-in-a-lifetime game day, and the game's aftermath - refusing to vacate the student section for what seemed like an eternity, walking back to Howard through what can only be described as a campus-wide party, and finally, sleeping more soundly than I had since about 1995 - will stay in my memory for years to come. And now? Friends, we are 4-0. We're ranked in the top 10. We are relevant. We are ND. Put THAT on the pizza.