The Ten Most Embarrassing Michigan Items You Can Own

Submitted by Brian on 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 2:51 PM ^

The Red Priestess is easier on the eyes, even if she lacks the tradition.  

Also I'm not sure why the Starks are so concerned over Winter, it isn't like any of them are going to live to see it at the rate they're going.

Hardware Sushi

June 4th, 2012 at 2:39 PM ^

Haha great post. I like this.

I do have an issue with the maize & blue flamingos being so high on the list. You're clearly missing the fact that with a little help from a knife, the Michigan famingos turn into Michigan flabongos.

Unfortunately, I've had to use pink flabongos for my binge drinking up to this point. As soon as they're back in stock, I'm going maize & blue with it.


June 4th, 2012 at 2:44 PM ^

My household has 2 sets of the valve stem caps and they are installed on cars.  There was a third set installed on my uncle's truck (he's an OSU grad) but eventually he put some air in a tire and noticed them.  


June 4th, 2012 at 2:54 PM ^

The valve stems and the tree face do seem to have high potential as pranks for the OSU and MSU fans in your life. Subtle enough that they won't be noticed immediately (if you put the face in a sheltered part of the tree), high "WTF" confusion and frustrated anger possibilities.


June 4th, 2012 at 3:52 PM ^

But, I now have 2 on the car instead of 4.  Some kid in the neighborhood stole two of the valve stem caps and put them on his bike.  Little bastard drives by here like nothing ever happened.  If that indoctrinates him into going blue, then it will have been worth the sacrifice.  His parents went to Illinois.

Drew Sharp

June 4th, 2012 at 2:40 PM ^

1) if i had owned a van/truck/suv/rv that i only used for gameday (let's face it, there are love of those) the valve stem caps would be a good addition.
2) don't read this list with a sleeping baby in the house. Thanks to Brian my five month old was awakened by my laughter. it started building at the tree face and culminated with the ski jumper. It was only downhill from there.


June 4th, 2012 at 2:42 PM ^

My thoughts:

Valve Stems are never included in the price of new tires, good for michigan fans that live in E Lansing or C-bus.

Camo t-shirt is good to wear to The Game if you want to blend in a not get spit on or hit with bottles.

I taillgated next to some guys that make the flamingos "beer flabongos" as they called it. They just cut the head off and poured beer in the ass and voila!  Flabongo.  Nothing better than a michigan themed beer funnel in my mind.  Great guys they were.

True to form the ski jumping wolverine looks like a black bear about to get shot.


June 4th, 2012 at 2:47 PM ^

Hey tree face, 1992 called.  It wants it's hat back.

Seriously, as if the old logo isn't bad enough, was the zubaz print really necessary?


...yes, I realize that I just fashion policed a tree's wardrobe.

Section 1

June 4th, 2012 at 6:18 PM ^

Big mistake, leaving those things off the list.  Nothing says, "Blind me, and lead me to Columbus," like those things.  You practically have to have a mullet and a Michigan bomber jacket (the one that starts with "M" near one wrist and finishes at "N" at the other).


June 4th, 2012 at 2:59 PM ^

The golf club head remind you of? I'm thinking something Hanna Barbera....

I know we're missing out on some stuff...even just currently available at M-Den.

Whatever this is-

This classic-

Bonus: Just looking for the wolverine hat, I found someone can actually order the following (though not from M-Den, or through Michigan).  I'm somewhat horrified by this.-


June 4th, 2012 at 3:18 PM ^

I actually looked and wondered if the giraffe wasn't weirder than the gator. But half dozen. But I think I have a new favorite for oddest-

It's a license plate! No, it's a wall art!'s license plate wall art!

(This is a perfectly ridiculous front page post that screams summer filler...which is all the more genius behind because it has all the more fodder for fun comparisons and dicussion by everyone.  All from surfing M-Den's website a little. Sometimes it's obvious why this is the #1 college sports blog).