Jikoshoukai is the Japanese word for self-introduction, and I was standing in front of a bunch of seventh graders in rural Japan several years ago, attempting to explain who I am and what Ohio is all about. The kids would ask a question in Japanese to their actual, language-capable teacher, who would then repeat their question to me in English. I'd answer, and he'd tell the class what I had just said.
I probably did this something like 40 or 50 times during my year living in Japan, but my favorite question that I ever got was from an unassuming little girl who wanted to know what kinds of tricks Americans played on each other. Specifically (as relayed by her English teacher to me), "do kids put plastic wrap on the bowl of the toilet and then people poop in the toilet and then the poop gets on the plastic wrap and people sit in their own poop?" And while I hadn't personally done that, I made a mental note to buy some plastic wrap as soon as I got off work.
Anyway, my point is that pettiness is a universal language. From the time we are born til the time we die, every human understands that the karmic balance of the cosmos can be set right with an appropriately timed prank or psychological purple nurple.
I'm especially impressed by Ty Higgins and his expert lawn mowing skills. We've already featured that bit of brilliance on this site, but it's important to understand that it's a great bit of devilishness for a few reasons. First, it's not some YouTuber douchery that involves borderline assault to get a laugh. Second, and most importantly, the target is a worthy one.
Michigan fans are really the ultimate pie-throwing target. Self-important, thin skinned, and wrapped up in the intricacies of their fandom to the point of absurdity, they're just like literally every other sports fanbase in the world but they're our rivals, dammit! They deserve this! You want to take them down a peg and for years you've been leaning on some weaksauce garbage like "Jim Hairball" or "Meatchicken" (which I think is some kind of penis joke that I can't parse), but in the back of your mind you know that you can do better than puns someone made up in a Fazoli's on a Thursday afternoon while waiting for their liver to fail.
So here are some better ideas about how to infuriate and annoy your Michigan fan coworkers, friends, relatives, acquaintances, random people you see on the street, and so on. These monkeyshines are categorized from the relatively benign (Jim Tressel's Cat in the Hat), to the fairly irritating (Urban Meyer's delightfully smug grin) and the downright obtuse and profane (Marcus Hall's glorious double bird). Use carefully and remember that both myself and Eleven Warriors LLC accepts no responsibility for potential bodily harm incurred while being a dumbass.
Simple, easy, elegant, irritating
- Ask them if they graduated from Michigan. If they say no, ask why not. If they say yes, ask them if they also applied to an Ivy League school. Then just walk away.
- Lie and insist that Tim Biakabutuka is 51 years old.
- Casually bring up historical events prior to World War I in conversation, making sure to mention how many rivalry wins Michigan claims in that time period.
- Frame everything that they do or say around whether a true Michigan Man would do it. "Would a Michigan Man use the bathroom twice in an hour?" " Would a Michigan Man order a fries and a side salad?" "Would a Michigan Man file his taxes just a week before the deadline?"
- Surreptitiously hide a picture of Jim Tressel in their house, replacing it with a new, slightly larger one every time that it's discovered. Keep going until there are several dozen life size cutouts of him in every room.
Rude, crude, risking a punch in the nose
- Claim that as a result of sanctions against Louisville, the NCAA has awarded the 2013 national title to Michigan. Offer to livestream the ceremony in Ann Arbor on your computer or phone. Then, as they peek at your device, just show them a screenshot that reads BO SCHEMBECHLER NEVER WON A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP in 48 point font.
- Save $100 worth of pennies and buy five of these, which can be programmed to play the Buckeye Battle Cry everytime someone gets within 11 feet of it. Find enough hiding spaces to ensure that they never forget to drive, drive on down that field.
- After Michigan's inevitable loss to Ohio State in football, send a single red carnation to their office for as many days as is equal to the amount of points the Buckeyes scored.
- Get a dog. Name it Spot. Bring Michigan fan over to meet Spot. Repeatedly and loudly tell Spot that he's good. Ask Michigan fan to verify.
- Have 50 plain cheese pizzas from Domino's delivered to their house, with explicit instructions to have "Love, Dave" written on the inside of each box.
Weird, Deceitful, Probably Illegal In Some States
- The Sunday before The Game, give them a wake-up call at 4:45 AM and ask who Michigan's quarterback was the last time they beat Ohio State. If they can't answer in three seconds, hang up and call back every 15 minutes until noon. If they answer correctly, say "No, I mean during a season when we actually gave a shit," hang up, and then repeat this process every day with a new question for the rest of the week.
- Get a Michigan fan friend involved in an incredibly dangerous international espionage ring. As you're both tied up by an evil scientist and about to be lowered into a vat of acid, scream "TIME OUT, TIME OUT!" When your friend angrily tells you that there are no time outs, grin and say "...I know."
- Treat the Michigan fan in your life with the same level of condescension that they treat Michigan State fans.
- Proclaim that you're a Michigan fan now. Immerse yourself in Michigan fandom for the remainder of your life, attending games, buying memorabilia, getting autographs, etc. Renounce everything related to the Ohio State Buckeyes and sever all ties to the university. On your deathbed have the executor of your estate read a statement that says, in entirety, "Ha ha ha fooled ya" and then as a stipulation of your will have all of your Michigan gear covered in ammonium nitrate and gas and exploded by Brian Rolle's great-great grandson as your distraught friend looks on.
These are of course just some simple suggestions, and I'm sure that you might have your own in the comments section below. Just remember, petty isn't bad, it's encouraged. As sports fans we're probably incapable of throwing proper shade, but that shouldn't stop us from big, obnoxiously awesome displays of our disdain for the University of Michigan, and I look forward to a lot more lawn Script Ohios as the summer goes on.