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 3:22 PM ^

5.0 out of 5 stars Messner's relief
I was given this book as a gift for my constipated dog Messner. He circled it twice before settling down and relieving himself for the first time in days. We plan on picking up a case of these.


June 4th, 2012 at 3:04 PM ^

I am not at all ashamed to admit that we have the Michigan Cheerleader outfit for my wife's female Jack Russell Terrier.  She is adorable in that thing.


It may help that when I first met my wife, she was an MSU fan.  Part of the appeal of her dog wearing an M cheerleader outfit may lie in the constant reminder that I did such a good job converting her.


June 4th, 2012 at 3:38 PM ^

My male Black Lab has the licensed collar and is named after one Glenn E. Schembechler.  So I have both bases covered.

You guys are right though, the JRT hates wearing the cheerleader outfit.  Or any kind of clothing, really.


June 4th, 2012 at 3:16 PM ^

The tree Mother's sense of humor--and running out of Michigan things to buy me, combined with 8 year old children, and YES..It is hanging in my yard.


June 4th, 2012 at 3:18 PM ^

Honestly, the skiing wolverines looks kind of awesome, beyond the fact that he looks like he is taking a #2 while falling to his untimely death.


June 4th, 2012 at 3:21 PM ^

and I also have this ridiculous looking bean thing that is a Santa thing, with his legs spread, intented to be placed in front of a door to keep the cold draft out.  Santa head, dressed in a white thing with "Michigan" and "M' all over it randomly.  It didn't make the list but if Brian had seen it, it would...

again, thank you, Mom.

Heinous Wagner

June 4th, 2012 at 3:27 PM ^

If I tried to put item #9 on my cat, Bella, I would have bloody stumps where my hands were. Never push your luck with an orange tabby.

But I confess. . . .kinda dig the maize and blue flamingos. Paint the winged helmet design on the blue one and you have a value-added product.


June 4th, 2012 at 3:52 PM ^

Oh my gosh, this is glorious. The ski-jumping wolverine statue kills me. Thanks for cracking me up on a stressful day... even if I'm going to have nightmares about telepathic bears and flying squirrel suits tonight, totally worth it!


June 4th, 2012 at 4:13 PM ^

about the terrified ski-jumping wolverine and description thereof, which is straight out of the J. Peterman catalog, it would seem.  

We need to see Wallace the Wolverine again from time to time, at moments of nervousness among the MGoCitzens, e.g., eve of the Alabama game.  



June 4th, 2012 at 4:12 PM ^

11 year olds, I totally get the piles of M emblazoned gear. However, so far it has gone well. Several mugs, pint glasses, message board, a ton of Christmas ornaments, shirts, pictures, and the coup de gras..... A LOCKER. No valve stem caps or ski jumping wolverines, however my career is still young.


June 4th, 2012 at 8:59 PM ^

I am not all that appalled with some of these.  I absolutely have no issues with the garter listed in your HM.  I have a hard time believeing that there is a male member of this blog who wouldn't appreciate their wife hiking up their dress to unveil one of those on their wedding night.

I have been gifted Michigan clothing (omg hats!) that puts your list to shame. 



June 4th, 2012 at 5:22 PM ^

I had to look up what samzidat meant. Brian, you spelled it wrong (at least according to wikipedia, it's Samizdat).

This was one of the great attempted comedy posts in a long time. Bravo.


June 4th, 2012 at 5:29 PM ^

So I guess off-season does have its benefits.  This post won the internet today.  I hope everyone realizes this.  And basks in the insane good fortune that we have Brian monitoring preposterous M-themed tchochkes (the previews, game columns, UFR's, and thought pieces are cool, too).

2 Walter Smith

June 4th, 2012 at 5:51 PM ^

Brian, you outdid yourself with this post.  Thank you for making me cry with laughter at work on a dreary Monday in the Northwest.  Kudos, my man.  This is a phenominal post and the comments are equally awesome.  It's great to be a Michigan Wolverine, even in it's most questionable forms.


June 4th, 2012 at 6:18 PM ^

The chime rang and the Estonian stood, sliding down the ramp to his destiny. His destiny would be 8th place or something.


I have no idea why this is making me giggle so much... not to the extent of the Raptor mascot gif, but close.


Section 1

June 4th, 2012 at 6:24 PM ^

It is a basically inoffensive little item, unless allowed into the wrong hands.  Whereupon the fun-lovin' boys at Eleven Warriors enshrined this very photo on their website for about two years:



June 4th, 2012 at 7:11 PM ^

Available at Underground Printing Campus Apparel, I highly recommend pairing this with a pair of M-themed Zumbas then showing up to train Barwis Methods: