Chances are you have at least one neighbor on your block that goes all out with Christmas lights.
The Schuetze family goes all out, but not with lights.
Matt Schuetze, who has a background in engineering at the University of Michigan, had a big plan for a friend’s gingerbread house Christmas party.
“I came up with the idea of building not just a gingerbread house, but a gingerbread Big House,” said Schuetze.
The Big House, the name for the Michigan football field in Ann Arbor, holds a special place in Schuetze’s heart. His entire family is packed with Michigan fans.
So when he struck up a plan to rebuild Michigan stadium using gingerbread pieces and spare electronics equipment around the house; he thought he had a pretty good idea.
“Basically everyone went crazy,” said Schuetze, explaining each piece of his gingerbread football stadium.
There’s a jumbotron with a picture of Jim Harbaugh, flashing lights that are maize and blue and there’s a block Michigan ‘M’ at the 50-yard line that plays the Michigan fight song if you push it.
“People were jumping around saying, ‘Oh my God, this thing even plays the fight song!’” said Schuetze, laughing about the excitement he drummed up with a little side project in his spare time.
In Schuetze’s mind he even knows what players are on the field. The candy fish, blue representing Michigan, represent starting Quarterback Wilton Speight lined up next to Jabrill Peppers who is playing tailback.
“And of course, it’s Darboh going out wide,” said Schuetze.
He admits he did suffer some setbacks including a burned finger with a hot glue gun.
“My finger was in my drink most of the night.”
Oh yeah, that’s the other thing -- Schuetze doesn’t recommend it for consumption.
“Oh heck no, I wouldn’t touch this. I’m still pulling off little balls of glue.”
While it may not be edible, it may just stick around for next season’s tailgates. His friends are even challenging him to come up with other stadium designs.
“Maybe that’s something I should do,” said Schuetze, laughing. “How many of these kits do you think we could sell for $30 a pop?”
Of course, who knows if they’d all be as intricate as Schuetze’s. The gingerbread Big House may have started off as a funny project for a Christmas party, but who knows. Perhaps Schuetze will put his engineering background to use for someone else to build stadiums.
“I did win the tailgate trophy for this one,” said Schuetze, holding up a drink mixer that was given to him for his winning gingerbread house.
If nothing else, it’s a good reminder -- college sports continue even after the game on the field is played.