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September 12, 2003 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-12

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4B - The Michigan Daily - FOOTBALL SATURDAY - September 13. 2003




The Michigan Daily - FOOTBALL SA'


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Why is the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry so unique? The story of four kids expla



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"Oh sweet merciful crap," Bo thought to himself.
He knew that greeting could come from just one person: His 18-year-
old neighbor, Sparty. For Bo, Sparty wasn't always the annoying little
spaz that he is today. He used to be pretty quiet in fact. But one day, for
some unrealistic reason, Sparty decided that he wanted nothing more
than to be like his friend, Bo, who is four years older than him.
Bo is convinced that once Chip - Sparty's former friend - beat
Sparty tp twice in the ealy 1990s and then moved away. Sparty decid-
ed that even though Bo would have nothing to do with him, he was at
least someone to strivc to be like.
Now, it must be undcrstood that Bo feels bad for Sparty sometimes.
Ee to the point where Bo lets Sparty win at sonme pointless game. But
ntly, that's all that ha: b'D on Spart s mid. Avas wearing
Ab r ombiE aed Fitch Spart 's "manly and cool" cloths S party
goes oGer to 13o's htusE evertdy ob c haIlenge him in something.
Usually it will b 'Eati omiething requir athleticism, and will win.
Spart will g homc crygi and th n shiow u> the next day.
B o as e..n su A i mderstam{nd friend thal when he broke his leg
m i crrsh in hi: > unt s autombile h still competed with Sparty
n baskeSta. litid d rk.s favorife game Of course Sparty beat the
di 1b I(d and painftilled Io a as did a &irl dresed im purple named
Kat And w> h each vict ory, iarty b'ca more and imore obnoxious.
Pven t o o m t Bc goud o eicat himtin cvythigelseSpartywld just
concentrale in that as much 'as he could.
ut o kept good about it. Ile just smiled and went along with it.-
snc st gve Sparty hl<ppin.ss, then it madeF him. happy
Th re wvere itwo hmes that Bo did become furious witli Sparty, thomih.
Once in the eaky '90s, o and Sparty were playing football on a video
:.an m. Jut as BIo was bxut to score the game-winimng two-po(mt con-
version -.becaus Spary wa youn. 413 let him stay in the game
Sparty Pulled the plug on the remrote control stopping his receiver's
nmotion anti allowing the ass tt go incomplete. But it was cool. because
Bo would just go to his riend R-ose s house.one place where Sparty
w as bannecd ftrim going.
in 2001, th ;ina straw was b sicaly broken. Sparty and Bo were on
opposite temins of a seveon-on-seoen fltball game during a weekend
thatt ;1o came home fIrom college. Bo and his boVs had won the game,
acccording to the dinner-time ruft as Sparty had togo home. So as lo
and his group were walking away into the endzone, Sparty yelled, "One
Imor pl'=y!" And before 3o5could regroup, Sparty scored a cheap touch-
To say the least, Bo w s pisd. dWith a healed leg in the 2002-2003
scho l year, Bo went into his ncxt fbotball game avamnst Sparty with one
purpos : D stroy, Aft*r that shellacking, some of Sparty 's friends turned
on him and lefiAtAnd then to crush Sparty even more, Bo took him down
in basketball. Bo cven ave him a chance to win
towards the end. just so it hurt more.,
But now, as though he'll never change, SpartP
still challnge'wcs 11o. SometiKs Sparty still
"wins." but decp down he knows the truth of his



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o, the two have never really known each other, but Bo and Gipp - who is just two
weeks older than Bo - have always been linked. They both came from well-respected fam-
ilies that were very competitive, despite living in different counties. Bo's parents were
always biagging about their son's accomplishments --and there were many for Bo during
the first eight years. Bo crawled first, walked first, got
out his first word before Gipp, hit a homerun in tee-

r: i m +iWAf t dh wsw

ball first, got more gold stars in kinderarten, was a
spelling-bee champion, went into the Jeep end first
and even could eat the most chicken wings.
Then, in second grade, it happened. Gipp won the
math olympics. Gip ps parents were thrilled and threw a
party for the entire class in Gipp's honor. Then the third-
grade science fair went to Bo, and Bo's parents took the
class to the zoo. In the next two years, each of their
respective Little League district teams made the state
finals -- going through each other's team in the
regionals to get there.
As the two grew up, they were the envy of everyone
but each other. They were the best-dressed, as some-
how, all the kids at Bo's school admired his maize pants

Bo doesn't
flinch a
muscle in~
holding off a
rowdy little-

the be
and si
4 -
'+ L

id Gipp w
to be ri
se they
st at
hing -

and blue shirt. It didn't matter what he was wearing. He was Bo. The same went for Gipp
at his school. The pure gold baseball cap he wore set a trend the school is still fighting otf
to this day.
They were the smartest, the most athletic, the most well-behaved, and believe it or not,
they were the best Tuba players in the county. People would come from far and wide to lis-
ten to Bo and Gipp play the Tuba in the marching band. Bo's tune, the Victors, was always
stuck in the heads of his friends.
It all came to a head in their senior year, when they faced off'
Vere - in the high school football state championship game. Bo, a
vals drop-back passer, went up against Gipp, known for his abil-
were ity to run the option.
4NThe outcome of the game isn't even important. Both
plain men left it all out on the field, and when it was over, and
some of their teammates refused to shake the other
team's hands, but Bo and Gipp met at the 50-yard line
and exchanged a firm handshake.
They knew that their paths would cross again some-
where down the line, because that's how it was all
along. They were rivals, but not rivals like Bo and
Brutus or Bo and Sparty. They respected each other.
y 2r 'N r * - " a - - e -

As soon as Brutus realized that Bo
an item, the inner rage built up like
His inferiority complex took on a w
h it didn't take lone for Bo to
were both just tykes at tie time, bul
minding their own business. Wher
Brutus up, she made the mistake of
not her own son's. As he parted in
sure to give Bo the look of death. T
Anything Brutus could do, Bo coul
knew it and resented Bo for it.
The next time they were in the san
Brutus ensured his mom wouldn't
perfect moment, Brutus loomed ove
one swift blow from his foot. Brutus
ogize, which he did only while cro
remorse from young Brutus, only a
what the cost.
Unfortunately for Brutus, as the t
he could do to stop Bo from succe
dent, but no matter how hard Brutn
dreamed of becoming the class pres
into his campaign, only to get edge
him into running at the last minute.
The last straw for Brutus was whe
ing of since his pubescent days, wen
with Bo instead of him. Bo and I
Both Bo and Brutus were excell
same position in all sports. As a res
Bo live out his dreams. The jealou
sandbox years earlier had only grov
before every game, Brutus told Bo
grin on his face.
One time, Brutus was awarded til
gratulations from Bo. But instead
added fuel to Brutus' inner fire. Im
ing his team to victory, the only thin
ing out Bo this once.

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