The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Friday, October 14, 2011 - 7
In the week leading up to the Michigan-Michigan State football
game each year,football writers from the Daily and the student
newspaper at Michigan State exchange columns. As the teams
prepare to clash in East Lansing, here's this year's installment:
The Michigan Daily's Michael Florek: J The State News's Anthony Odoardi:
State. You did it.
For the 115 years since
you started playing football,
you've been obsessed with wag-
ing an imaginary battle against
Michigan. Your original fight song
included lines of "smash through
that line of
Your name r
as the Spar-
as a direct
response to MICHAEL
being s called
the "Athens of
the Midwest" (Athens and Sparta
were rival city-states in ancient
Greece. Wikipedia it. I hear that
always works for class.)
And after beating Michigan a
trio of times, during the worst
three-year stretch in program
history, you have your rare
moment of attention. Hell, if you
ignore Michigan's edge in the
all-time series, 67-31-5, you could
even say Michigan State has
turned the tide of the rivalry.
The Wolverine fanbase cares
about you marginally more than
Notre Dame! Time to party!
But seriously, here's the bot-
tom line: The three losses to the
Spartans have derailed Michigan's
seasons. And no one in the class of
2012 wants to be in the fourth-
ever senior class that never beat
Michigan State. We care.
The funny thing is, no one else
I was at last year's game. I saw
Edwin Baker rush for 149 yards
and two touchdowns. I saw the
Spartans celebrating and heard
your chants. As I went home and
flipped on the television I caught
ESPN between games and expect-
ed the worst. They were airing
College Football Live.
There was no talk of a dominant
4Spartan defense or Baker or Kirk
Cousins. Everything centered on
the play of a certain dreadlocked
Despite being 11-1 and co-co-
Big Ten Champions by the end of
the year, those final BCS standings
had you at No. 9, behind two-loss
Arkansas and two-loss Oklahoma.
As your coach tried to drum up
support for * bid to a BCS Bowl
anyway, few outside of East Lan-
sing came to his support. Why?
Everybody knew the same thing.
Sometimes Sparty looks like a
big boy, sometimes it even plays
like a big boy. But don't let Sparty
get too far away from his diapers.
Eventually, it's going to crap its
pants. When it happens later than
usual, like last season, usually it
happens twice. Iowa and Alabama
know what I'm talking about.
Don't be mad. You're still
Michigan's second rival, a distant
second from Ohio State - like the
distance your defensive backs will
be trailing Denard Robinson - but
second nonetheless. You're No.
2! After the previous paragraph,
that's especially fitting.
Plus, there are good things that
come from the American public's
complete apathy toward you.
No one cares when your foot-
ball players start a brawl in the
dorm that causes your coach to
create a "zero-tolerance" policy.
Or when your starting cornerback,
Chris L. Rucker, who was involved
in said brawl, gets a drunk-driving
We care. The
is, no one
Or when said cornerback is
released from jail on a Thursday
and your coach's "zero-tolerance"
policy means he can play two days
later in the last major challenge to
an undefeated season. Or that the
team lost the game anyway.
Even on Saturday, no one is
going to care that your "Pro-
combat" threads look like South
Florida and Colorado mixed their
uniforms together and then threw
up on them. People will keep their
laughter to themselves when you
chant "Go Green! Go White!" even
though your uniform is missing
one of the colors.
Embrace this. You need it. The
public caring means you would
actually have to live up to expec-
People would look at your
schedule and realize it is just as
bad as Michigan's and realize that
the offensive line looks, well, like
a bigger sieve than Drew Palmi-
sano in the Big Chill. They'd be
surprised when you crapped your
It's not worth all that. Keep
your diapers on, Little Brother.
-Florek can be reached
What's more sickening?
That Michigan is
ranked No.11 in the
country, or that I offer the news-
paper I saw those rankings in as
toilet paper for my apartment?
(No, it's not the Michigan Daily.
But if you have any extras, I'll
needs the Red
to someone ANTHONY
igan should jump seven places
because they beatthe Big Ten's
worst team, 58-0.
Big win against Minnesota,
huh? Well, I guess if you don't
count their losses to New Mexico
State, North Dakota State and
Purdue - another poor Big Ten
team - it's justified.
But you know what, we're OK
over here in East Lansing. It will
just make it that much sweeter
Saturday, when the "Little Sister"
chants ring throughout Spartan
Stadium (thanks for that Mike
Hart, how's Eastern Michigan
going for you? And what the
hell is a quality control coach?)
and Paul Bunyan look-alike Joel
Foreman hoists the trophy for a
fourth straight year.
I know, I know, then we will
go drink and party and riot and
burn couches and (insert bad joke
here). Your insults remind me of
your co-eds: No matter how hard
they try, they still look like Rosie
You find your jokes about us to
be funny and insulting. We just
find them funny.
It's one ofthosethings
where your buddies will go
"OOOOOOH, BURNED!" and
then you start to think about it
and say, "Wait? They actually
party AND have girls that don't
look like Kelly Osbourne in East
Still, you Wolverines think
you just do it so much better
down there in Ann Arbor.
But I can go on for hours
with the routine stuff, how the
girls are ugly, how the team is
overrated and how they actu-
ally have the audacity torefer to
themselves as "The Harvard of
the Midwest," but I want to get
to what really bothers me about
I sent outa text to my friends
yesterday with one simple
request: "Tell me why you hate
Michigan." And in each one of
their responses was the word
ement" (except for one Or how about Denard Rob-
id "because they wear inson? That guy is entitled to a
horts." He was dead Heisman Trophy. He might have
s, too, but he's a story for the most interceptions (9) in the
r time). NCAA, but that guy is the "best
so true. If you don'tgo to player in the league."
'ou're a joke to them, no He might be exciting, but I'll
if it was MSU or any other stick with a guy like Kirk Cous-
in the Big Ten. You're not ins, one whose twitter hacking
s in sports, academics, the might go a little more like "Hi.
sional world, anything. Yes, I hackedyou lol. You are the
nicest person I have ever met in
my entire life! Your beautiful eyes
and pearly white teeth make me
n each ... of wish we were in a relationship!"
** Athletes such as Cousins, as
eir responses well as coaches such as Mark
Dantonio, Tom Izzo, Suzy Mer-
as the word chant - and even coaches of the
smaller sportslike Tom Saxton
ntitlenent." and Cathy George - are leading
the charge to repaint this state
So MSU fans, feel free to
matter how long the invite your U-M friends over Sat-
ns continue their recent urday (maybe ask them to bring
ation of the series, MSU some Big Ten Burrito because
ver be considered a rival that place is delicious), give them
self-entitled students, a seat on the couch and let them
d and people who once watch the game with you because
ed the Wolverines on TV the only thing they're entitled to
came fans. this weekend is a fourth straight
Big House had its first embarrassment.
under the lights. The stu- And eventually, they'll recog-
elt they were entitled to nize who their real rivals are.
around the streets of Ann
as though no team had -Odoardi can be reached
ayed a nightgame before. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Pre-Pharmacy Sessions at the U-M College of
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Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011 - 4-5 pm, C.C. Little
Building, Room 1567
Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 -4-5 pm, C.C. Little Building,
Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011 -4-5 pm, C.C. Little Building,
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