The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - November 23, 1992 - Page 7
The Big Game? There's no doubt...
...Purdue fires up Wolverine faithful ...Oklahoma State is worth the wait
by Ken Sugiura
Daily Sports Writer
Gary Moeller thinks that it's
Michigan State. His team thinks that
it's Ohio State. My fellow writer and
esteemed buffoon, Ken Davidoff (an
admitted communist), thinks that
Michigan's greatest rival, arch or
otherwise, is Oklahoma State. What
do I say to that?
I do not concur. Not only do I not
concur, but I really, really do not
Any Michigan fan worth his or
her marshmallow will tell you (well,
I will) that the game the Wolverines
point to, the match that they circle
on their calendars, is the one with
hated Purdue University.
And if you need any evidence,
feast your eyes on this:
In the 42 bloody times the two
schools have met on the gridiron, the
ledger is almost even. The
Wolverines, thanks to a slight edge
since 1969 (keep in mind the two are
practically mirror images), hold a
32-10 advantage over the
All Purdue has to do is win the
next 22 games and they'll be dead
even, just like in 1892, when it was
1-1. I'd cite more times when it was
.500, but Michigan reeled off five
straight - all hard-fought, no doubt
- and so 1892 is it.
And total points scored? A scant
592 points is all that separates the
schools from West Lafayette and
Ann Arbor. You want to know how
close that is? Just 84 1/2 touch-
The supposed experts who spout
off saying it's Michigan State, Ohio
State or Oklahoma State say that it's
because the schools are so similar.
Need I remind you that both
Michigan and Purdue have
"University" in their names?
How many times will it take be-
fore you realize that both schools'
admission applications require an
address? Michigan's asks for a little
more than that, but you get the idea.
Do I have to tell you that both
schools lay claim to famous alumni?
While we can only claim Gerald
Ford as a favorite son, those jerks
from Purdue are always going on
and on about Orville Redenbacher.
I can't tell you how much that
makes me burn inside.
And just about every time
Michigan doesn't make it to the
Rose Bowl, it's Purdue. Between the
two teams, there are a combined 16
trips to Pasadena, with Purdue play-
ing in one Rose Bowl.
I know you're just in amazement
at the similarities, but it doesn't end
with that. Both schools belong to the
Both are forever linked with out-
standing education. Michigan has it,
and Purdue has heard of it. And both
schools' names, except for
Michigan's, are homonyms with one
of the centers on the Chicago Bulls.
And how can you forget the re-
cent history? That should pretty
much confinn any remaining doubts.
After last year's game was dead-
locked, 0-0, Michigan scratched and
clawed its way past a fierce Purdue
defense for six touchdowns to
squeak by, 42-0.
You can be sure there were
plenty of broken hearts in West
Lafayette that night. Oh, if we only
hadn't given up those 42 points, it
would have been an entirely different
game. And so, this Halloween, the
Boilennakers were riding high, bent
And for some of the game,
the publications, the rivalry is evi-
dent. For instance, in the Purdue
table of contents (which comes on
page 166, but that's not the point), it
reads, "Cost: $8.00 for fans, friends
It doesn't take a genius to read
between the lines. Or 10 big ones for
you hoseheads from Ann Arbor.
Oooh, the hate. And from
Michigan's -production. Sure, there's
a fancy two-page spread about
Desmond Howard, but nary a word
about former Boilermaker Eric
Bruun, the best punter in the Big Ten
last year. Can you say disrespect?
by Ken Davidoff
Daily Sports Writer
With another football season now
nearly complete, it is time, once and
for all, to settle a debate that has
been plaguing this campus for way
The Michigan football schedule
boasts of several tradition-filled
matches, rivalries that have, much
like fine wine and "Bosom Buddies"
reruns, improved with age. Whether
it's the annual heartbreaker against
Notre Dame, the overhyped blowout
of Michigan State, the sentimental
battle of the Little Brown Jug against
Minnesota or the celebrated duel
with non-cerebral Ohio State,
everyone has an opinion on which
Adalifies as The Game.
Well, I feel it is my duty today to
inform all of you that you are wrong,
wrong, wrong. As far as I am
concerned, there is only one Game,
and it is lying right under your nose.
Friends, from this day onward the
only matchup that shall be referred
to as The Game shall be on those
momentous occasions when the
Wolverines take on the Cowboys of
Now at this point, you're
probably fuming so hard you can
barely see your toenails, which, by
the way, need clipping. How can you
say something as uneducated as
that? You're probably wondering as
you look up my phone number in
your student directory and prepare to
leave naughty messages on my
machine. Well, as Inspector
Clouseau used to say, let's look at
The common fan might think this
past Sept. 19 marked the first time
these two clubs took on each other.
The common fan is sadly mistaken.
Back in 1926, the Cowboys swooped
into Ann Arbor to take on Fielding
Yost's Wolverines. In a tight,
emotional battle, the Maize 'n' Blue
prevailed, 42-3. Oklahoma State
coach John Maulbetsch swore that
someday revenge would be his (well,
at least I assume he did).
I assume the good Coach
Maulbetsch has passed on by now
(otherwise he'd be pushing 120), but
his legacy lives on. Current OSU
coach Pat Jones made some pre-
game comments before the match
that indicated just how badly his
team wanted to clobber Michigan.
"This is a unique blend of guys,"
Jones stated, referring to his team,
which he considered to be a unique
blend of guys, "and I honestly don't
As The Incredible Hulk used to
Then there's the whole
hometown thing that causes blood to
rise. Michigan claims Ann Arbor as
its base. And when you hear the
words "Ann Arbor," you think of
trees. Oklahoma State, on the
contrary, is located in Stillwater.
When you hear that name, you think
of water that doesn't move. And if
water doesn't move, then by Job it
can't be nourishing the trees that so
desperately need water to prosper
and flourish. More than one student
has approached me on the Diag and
let me know how much it makes
their blood rise whenever they think
about the whole Stillwater-Ann
Arbor semantic conflict.
Still doubting my logic, are you?
Then I extend to you this nugget:
we don't play the Cowboys all that
often. Heck, at this rate, we won't
play them again until 2058. But isn't
that a good thing? The term The
Game should be used sparingly,
religiously and about as often as
Halley's comet comes along. If we
adopt the Oklahoma State rivalry as
The Game, we won't have to use this
title for generations at a time.
As we approach the sacred
holiday of Thanksgiving, I propose
we be thankful for solving this time-
consuming debate. My colleague
across the page means well, but he is
dreadfully misguided. You know in
your hearts that the Oklahoma State
game inspired more emotion in you
this past season than all the other
So the next time you hear some
cole slawabrain ramble on about The
Game, you'll be ready to refute the
nincompoop's rhetoric. Convince the
masses that the Oklahoma State
match should be The Game, and I'll
give you a handshake you'll never
know how some of them will react at
what we're going to see at Michigan,
but I think they're anxious to play a
Just stop right there, Mr. Pat
Jones. Just what do you mean by
"what we're going to see at
Michigan"? Is it the liberal, open-
minded atmosphere which disturbs
you most? Donut sales in the
Fishbowl? A student body which
cares more about current affairs than
pranks you can play on farm
When it comes to big games for Michigan, the answer is clear. There are
none bigger than the midseason contest against the team from Purdue.
Purdue led. Back in bars in north-
west Indiana, they're still talking
about it. The Lead, they call it.
I am dreading going home for
Thanksgiving because all my friends
from Purdue are going to lord that
over me till the cows come home.
Thankfully, since they are from
Purdue, this will not take long.
I have gleaned much of my in-
formation from the football media
guides both schools provide. Even in
With all this bad blood going on,
I'm certain next year's game at
Michigan Stadium will feature more
than a couple scuffles and kidney
punches. There will be more finger-
pointing, kicking and shoving than
in years past.
Because this time, after 102 years
of ignorance of our great rivalry,
Michigan fans and athletes have fi-
nally been informed of what the
Boilermakers have known all along:
Purdue is The Game.
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