The Ten Most Embarrassing Michigan Items You Can Own Comment Count

Brian June 4th, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Inspired by A UConn version of this list spawned by this t-shirt:


I trawled the M-Den's website for the most ridiculous things you could own with a block M on them.

HONORABLE MENTION: A road version of the UTL jerseys that Michigan has never worn and does not even have the big central block M that was the main distinguishing feature of the UTL jerseys. A lace garter so that you won't "let your Michigan pride go by the wayside on your wedding day." A tie-dye tee. A pumpkin. A stuffed alligator(?!). Creepy pillow pet.

10. Michigan-Themed FOX Robot

25 bucks.


It's the mascot of a television station that does not televise college football. Only this low on the list because they did a really good job with their futuristic robot winged helmet and it might transform into a car.

RECOMMENDED FOR: People who still think "Fringe" was a good idea.

9. Pet's First University of Michigan Cheerleader Dress

22 bucks.


Pet's first University of Michigan Cheerleader Dress? You aren't content with being able to humiliate the dog—try to get a cat in this and you will end up with a handful of fur and blood—at all times other than when you are washing its college-themed cheerleader outfit. You need to have a backup Pet Cheerleader Dress for your squeaky little pretend husband in case there is a Pet Cheerleader Dress-related emergency. You know the dog is male. You don't even care.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Terrible, terrible people. Hitler had a dog. He never put it in a Pet Cheerleader Dress.

8. Camo Michigan Tee


The UConn version this had a shocking amount of tie-dye. Michigan has stayed away from most laughable fashion mishaps, but cannot escape the state's large number of hunters. So here's a camo t-shirt for wearing under six other layers of clothing when you go hunting in the winter… or for wearing to the Wal-Mart. You're just wearing this to Wal-Mart, aren't you? Nobody hunts in t-shirts.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Men whose trucks feature decals of Calvin pissing on a rival truck brand. Michigan State fans making parody videos.

7. Telepathic Dog Superhero Driver Cover

Thirty bucks.


Very few Michigan-branded pieces of crap make any attempt to make their product actually look like a wolverine. Instead we get a steady stream of squirrels and bears and dogs. Usually the dogs aren't sent from another planet to use their super powers to fight crime on the golf course, though.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Superhero leagues short on cute animals or telepathy. Golfers who need a little telekinetic help for their slice.

6. Valve Stem Caps

Thirteen bucks.


As a diehard Michigan fan who is hard to shop for, I have acquired a spectacular amount of block-M-emblazoned crap I hide deep in a closet over the years, and these flabbergast even me.

This company must specialize in samzidat ways of expressing your loyalty to a particular college team. Stockdale: when your deep-cover Soviet infiltration mission is cramping your ability to express your college sports fandom. Other products in their line include subdermal block-M tattoos, Jim Brandstatter books encrypted so that they look like 1950s-era Russian novels*, and vodka made from potatoes cut into block Ms before fermentation.

*[Conveniently, the only modification needed was a search and replace from "Schembechler" to "Stalin".]

RECOMMENDED FOR: Valve stem enthusiasts. People you secretly hate and feel may be vulnerable to "what's the point of anything" existential paralysis upon considering these.

5. Michigan Themed Tree Face

Twenty bucks.


Some things on this list are products sane people own pointlessly branded with college logos. This is not one of those things. It's a face you put on a tree. This face you put on a tree comes with a faux Michigan hat… that you put on a tree.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Crazy old bats who already have an army of tiny plastic deer in the yard. The criminally insane. Lonely ents.

4. Maize and Blue Lawn Flamingoes

Twenty bucks. Horrifyingly, they are out of stock.


The guy writing the copy on this isn't even pretending to try:

These Michigan Wolverines FlaminGO Fans make a great gift for that sports fan who has all of the ''Normal'' fan gear. A classic American icon with a new twist! Support your Wolverines in tacky style!!

Sincerely, Lane Pryce. 

RECOMMENDED FOR: People who thought the tree face was a good idea.

3. Chili Powder. Yes. Just Chili Powder.

Six bucks.


It's literally just chili powder:

Ingredients: Sun dried ground chili peppers, cumin, beef flavor, onion powder, garlic powder, chicken flavor, oregano, cayenne pepper, black pepper, habanero and jalapeno peppers.

No blue dye or anything. At least with bags of stuff or ketchup or whatever you get the effect of eating out of the Michigan theme container. Here you put the stuff in the chili the night before and leave the jar at home.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Nobody. This is the most pointless Michigan-themed product possible. Michigan-themed nothing is less pointless than this. A jar of nothing.

2. Terrified Ski-Jumping Wolverine Statue

A cool two hundred smackaroos. Incredibly, also out of stock.


The chime rang and the Estonian stood, sliding down the ramp to his destiny. His destiny would be 8th place or something. Wallace the Wolverine's was far less certain.

Wallace had a moment to consider the series of bad decisions that had led him, a proud and noble wolverine from Saskatchewan, to this place, a B-list ski jump event in Switzerland. He'd never even been to Fiji, and yet here he was, Fijan passport stapled to his fur, planks strapped to his feet, staring down at a 70-foot drop that flared up at the end. If only he'd… no time for that now. The chime.


RECOMMENDED FOR: Animal ski-jump sadism fiction enthusiasts.

1. Bladerunner Squirrel Sleeping Bag

Just $77.


One: it's not a wolverine. It's a flying squirrel. A flying squirrel wearing a futuristic helmet. Absolutely no attempt has been made to make this thing look like a wolverine. Two: given the configuration of these things you are inviting your child to slice open your favorite school's mascot and sleep inside it like it's a taun-taun, guaranteeing months of intestine-themed nightmares.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Parents who hate their children, want them to have an advanced understanding of the alimentary tract, or enjoy being woken up by cries of "OH GOD IT'S DIGESTING ME DADDY." Also pervs.



June 4th, 2012 at 2:36 PM ^

Shouldn't anything on this list, with the following description:

"This is the most pointless Michigan-themed product possible. Michigan-themed nothing is less pointless than this. A jar of nothing." #1 on said list? 

Edit:  Reading is fundamental.  Most EMBARASSING items....not the most pointless.  Truly, the sleeping bag is the most embarassing.  I withdraw my question.


June 4th, 2012 at 2:31 PM ^

The creepy pillow pet (honorable mention) was given to me as a Christmas gift along with a Michigan Snuggie.  Both are amazingly soft and comfy, and yet I will not be caught dead with either of them outside my house.


June 4th, 2012 at 2:51 PM ^

I wore the Michigan snuggie to a game last year, and people were damn jealous because I was pretty warm while they were cold. The one problem with the snuggie is that it tends to slip off your shoulders, so you have to tie it in the back for ease of use making it look like a backwards bathrobe. I strongly suggest wearing snuggies to chilly Michigan games in the future.


June 4th, 2012 at 3:02 PM ^


If serious, you must be condemned to a place worse than hell... like East Lansing or Columbus.

And if you are serious, did your beloved snuggie have a poop chute, to facilitate your trips to the Big House restrooms?


June 4th, 2012 at 3:15 PM ^

Dead serious. Wore it to a game last year, don't even remember which one. Unimportant game, and I was relatively lazy, and thought it would be very comfortable. And it was, I would suggest all of you try it. I'm not ashamed of it, comfort before looking good. And the greatness about the snuggie is that it is open in the back so you don't even need to take it off to go to the bathroom, but obviously I won't take the snuggie into a BIg House bathroom. Let's not be disgusting here.


June 4th, 2012 at 3:36 PM ^

Unfortunately, I just moved away from AA, otherwise I would have looked forward to spotting you in the crowd, replete in your Michigan snuggie, on game days... apparently my loss - I will, however, search you out on game broadcasts.

Go Blue


June 4th, 2012 at 11:26 PM ^

But I still can't help but think that snuggies are for people who are too dumb to wrap themselves in blankets.

Also, the lace garter is not embarrassing. I am proud to have made my wife wear a different Michigan lace garter (something blue!) on our wedding day.


June 4th, 2012 at 2:36 PM ^

Personally, I'm not horrified by the tree face thing so much as confused. No, really. I just am sitting here looking at it, and I still don't get it. I keep thinking that if I look again, it will somehow make sense to me, but no . . .


June 4th, 2012 at 4:19 PM ^

Personally, I think the tree face is the most embarrasing on the list, possibly saved from the top spot by the remote possibility that it is actually a dadaist artwork and, thus, not embarrasing at all.  (Or, at least, embarrassing in a very different way, like seeing your grandmother's reaction when she comes across a Duchamp in a museum after looking at a bunch of Monet's.)


June 4th, 2012 at 11:49 PM ^

A couple roommates of mine at Michigan used to buy a tacky anonymous gift or two for weddings. Seeing Seth's wedding pics here a couple months ago makes me think that would have been in order with some of this tacky Michigan memorabilia. And so far, I haven't seen any comments on the garters. Am surprised someone hasn't photoshopped the Michigan themed garter onto a gif of Kate Upton.


June 4th, 2012 at 8:54 PM ^

OMFG . . . Michigan Flamingos!!!  Beyond awesome.  

I would absolutely put them in my yard on football Saturdays, if nothing else then just to get my wife to flip out.  

Someone also needs to put them prominently on stage at every Killer Flamingos concert at the Cavern.