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September 25, 1998 - Image 18

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-25

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18 - The Michigan Daily -Friday, September 25, 1998 FRIDAYFOCUS
"TIS YEAR, I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY QUESTION THAT WHOEVER WINS THIS GAME IS IN
THE RACE. WHOEVER LOSES IT IS PROBABLY NOT. WITH BOTH OF THEM HAVING TWO
LOSSES IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY, YOU HAVE TO WI TIS GAME.IT'S AS SIMPLE AS THAT."
- FORMER MICHIGAN FOOTBALL COACH Bo SCHEMBECHLER
AND SO CONTINUES*...

THkE

YEARS

w

AR

BY TRACY SANDLER DAILY SPORTS WRITER

Wolverines, Spartans
join the century club

lot has happened in the past
100 years. The Titanic sunk
nd returned as a blockbuster
movie. Television and radio were born.
Communism rose and fell in Russia.
But through it all, there has been at.
least one constant: the heated rivalry
between Michigan and Michigan State.
Tomorrow's game marks the 100th
anniversary of this friendly - yeah,
right-- game of football. Oct. 12, 1898
brought the Wolverines a 39-0 victory.
Rivalries can be blown out of propor-
tion. but this one is huge.

over Ohio State, a Rose Bowl berth and
a loss to Michigan State.
"Even though we won the (Big Ten)
championship, beat Ohio State and had
a great year, everyone said, Bo doesn't
understand the importance of the
Michigan State game,"' Schembechler
said. "I said, 'OK, then we're going to
start to place a lot of emphasis on that
game.' Then, in my career, for the next
20 years, we beat them 17 times."
Is the importance of this blue and
green bout beginning to sink in?
"Both teams could have a poor
record," said former Michigan offensive
tackle Jim Brandstatter, the eu t WJR
radio color analyst for the Wtverines.

Although Johnny Spirit does not think Ann Arbor has any monument worth damaging, some Michigan
State students disagree. They defaced the block "M" in the Diag on Tuesday with a spray painted "S."

Rivalry means everything for
diehard Blue and Green fans

More than 110,000 fans screaming and singing "Hail to the
Victors" in Michigan Stadium can be daunting for an opposing
team, especially when 12 months of bragging rights are at stake.
Gloating plays a large part in the 100-year-old rivalry
between Michigan and Michigan State and always has.
"It's a special event," said former Michigan offensive line-
man Jim Brandstatter, the Wolverines' color analyst on WJR
radio. "You wear your heart on your sleeve, and your heart is
either green and white or maize and blue."
Tomorrow's game is important to both teams, and the fans
will play a key part.
"Anytime you're in your home stadium, it's always a bene-
fit," said Michigan quarterback Tom Brady. "You don't have
to deal with the crowd noise, and the momentum swings are
magnified so much more."
Former Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler said the
rivalry is more in the fans' mind during the game than the players.
"In every law office, in every school, and in every business
office, you're either Michigan or Michigan State. There's a
great, intense rivalry among the fans," Schembechler said.
When talking about a rivalry of this magnitude, a "normal"
concept of fans may not always apply. Case in point - Johnny
Spirit, the young Spartan who spends his days sitting in front
of Sparty the Statue to ensure that no Michigan fan defaces it.
Although both the Diag's block "M" and the sidewalk in front
of the C.C. Little Building were defaced by State fans, Spirit
claims the Spartans have no reason to mar University property.
"There's really nothing at Michigan worth doing anything
to," Spirit said. "There's really nothing here. We're all good
sports, but sometimes people from Michigan will come up and
try to be poor sports."

from head to toe. My coined phrase is 'Sparty on."'
Both sides can agree on their mutual dislike for each other.
"Michigan's got a serious problem when it comes to football
games," recent Michigan State alumni Bryan Mauro said, "Their
fans are horrible to Michigan State fans. They've got kind of big
heads. Hopefully, we'll go in there and show them what's up."
Can you feel the love yet?
"It is big for the fans, because you're jawing back and forth
before, during and after the game," Brady said.
To State fans, Michigan fans are sore winners and losers.
"When we lose, we're nice about it," Michigan State junior
Kim Woolough said. "When they win, they kind of make such
a big deal and are kind of mean to everybody. We like it when
we win, but we don't rub it in their faces ..."
Of course, there are two sides to every story.
"They have to get used to a losing season, so they've got to
cheer all the time," said Michigan baseball pitcher Mike
Norkus, anLSA sophomore.
Michigan baseball pitcher Brian Cranson, an LSA junior,
pointed out this teammate's logic. "If we lose, we'll be upset,"
Cranson said. "But their fans take it a little bit more seriously."
LSA senjor Jennifer McCready said Wolverine fans prove
their dedication through consistent record attendance.
"A lot o people did suddenly buy tickets, because they won
last year,'"McCready said. "But, Michigan Stadium has
always been sold out."
Certain Spartans have strong feelings about how the game will
end up. "Since (Charles) Woodson's gone, Michigan's going to
need some serious help if they're going to beat Michigan State,"
Michigan State student Courtney McClean said.
School affiliation can extend so deep, family and friendship

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