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November 01, 2013 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-01

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$ - Friday, November 1, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

8-Friday, November 1,2013 S ort The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

DUELING COLUMNS
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 Everett Cook:

The. State News's Stephen Brooks:

ne of my earliest inter-.
actions with Michigan
State started with a
female Spartan screaming at me
to suck a part ofther body that she
categorically cannot possess.
This was during my sophomore
year two years
ago during the
"touch" foot-
ball game that
The Michigan
Daily and The
State News
play every Fri-
day before the EVERETT
real football COOK
players battle
on Saturday. I
grew up in California not know-
ing a thing about Michigan State
or why there is such animosity
(for Michigan State fans reading
this, that means "bad blood")
between these two schools.
I'm not like alot of my class-
mates, the ones that grew up with
or knowing Spartan fans, or the
ones who applied to both schools,
just in case they don't get into
Michigan. Everything I know
about Michigan State comes from
personal experience - there were
no preconceived ideas or stereo-*
types that come with growing up
in this area.
So, my relationship with Michi-
gan State started on that field
with that foul-mouthed Spartan,
who I later found out was the
editor-in-chief of that esteemed
publication.
Two years later, not much has
changed. The State News scored
only one touchdown in lastyear's
game for its eighth (yes, eighth)
loss ina row, there were several
verbal grenades thrown toward
our sideline that would have made
even the crudest Spartan cringe

and I still don't know a ton about
Michigan State.
For out-of-state students that
don't have family members or
anyone from the bottom half of
their high school head to East
Lansing, this intra-state tension
feels a lot different.
Still, over the course of an
undergraduate career, Wolverines
meet Spartans, usually through
mutual friends. It happens. Truly,
they are not all bad people.
But when the topic of school
comes up - what's your major,
etc. - ifa Spartan got into Michi-
gan, they will let you know.
It's never, "Yeah, I'm studying
to be a veterinarian and I really
like the program." It's always,
"Yeah, I got into Michigan but
decided to go to State becausse the
program was a better fit for me."
It doesn't matter that Michi-
gan State has a very respectable
veterinarian program - if that
Spartan got into Michigan, you'll
know very soon.
For an out-of-state student, this
inferiority complex doesn't make
any sense. Michigan State is a fine
school with decent athletic teams.
Its football team has won four of
the last five meetingsbetween the
two schools - obviously impres-
sive. The all-time record of 68-32-
5 in Michigan's favor changes that
perception a bit, but hey, four of
the last five!
Even if you had never heard
of this "little brother complex"
before - which a good chunk of
out-of-state students haven't - it
became painfully evident during
the touch football game. The best
part about the editor-in-chief
screaming that anatomically
incorrect barb? It was after she
had picked upa first down.
Instead of being happy after a

nice play, the insult was hurled
out of pure anger. Anyone who
thinks that inferiority complex
doesn't exist is delusional.
The game on Saturday - which
will likely decide the division
winner - is going to be close. It
may not be pretty, because Michi-
gan State has a dominant defense
while Michigan has an exciting
offense that has a tendency to
turn the ball over. Also, the fin-
est intramural quarterbacks in
East Lansing probably could have
equaled whatever Connor Cook
and Andrew Maxwell are doing
this season, but that's beside the
point.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke
has historically struggled on the
road during his tenure in Ann
Arbor, while Michigan State
coach Mark Dantonio has tradi-
tionally done very well against
Michigan. It's going to be a dog-
fight.
And yet, the real game on Fri-
day, where the Daily goes for nine
in a row, will be even better.
ButI can guarantee that
nobody wearing maize will be
telling anybody to suck anything
- just not how we operate. Maybe
that's an entitled thing to say, but
I would ratherbe entitled than
ignorant.
That's not coming from some-
one who has been told that his
whole life - that's coming from
someone who has had the plea-
sure to witness it himself, up close
and personal, over the last four
years.
Little brother, and the scream-
ing editor-in-chief, brought it
upon themselves.
Cook can be reached at
evcook@umich.edu and on
Twitter @everettcook.

et's begin with a stroll
down memory lane.
That's not too much
to ask for a university and fan-
base obsessed with the past,
right? In fact, many of you
never left.

I under-
stand most
of you have
simply gone
along with
the elitist,
holier-than-
thou rhetoric
you've heard
from Michi-
gan fans and

STEPHEN
BROOKS

supporters
all your life. The sense of supe-
riority and arrogance has been
passed along for generations.
For those of you that picked it
up from a real alumni instead
of in the Wal-Mart clearance
section, good for you! That's a
rare feat.
Slide those blue and yellow
tinted glasses off and take a
look at the real world, where
quarterbacks don't wear No.
98 and people don't act like
they reinvented the wheel for
playing night games. Like the
females in Ann Arbor, the past
isn't as glamorous when you
take a longer look.
The almighty Wolverines
claim 11 national titles in their
100-plus year history. The
NCAA recognizes nine of them
- and only four are claimed
solely by U-M.
The early championships
date all the way back to the
fiercely competitive days of
the early 1900s when only a
fraction of schools competed
and the Ford Model T still was
years away from hitting the

market.
From 1901-04, the Wolver-
ines ripped off four consecutive
national titles before the for-
ward pass was even legal. It's
too bad none of us were around
for some of those classic games
against Physicians & Surgeons,
American Medical or Drake
back in 1904.I bet those were
great.
Since the Associated Press
began crowning national cham-
pions in 1936, the Wolverines
are credited with just one
outright (1948) and one split
national championship (1997).
That doesn't scream "leaders
and best" to me, but hey I'm
just an uneducated Sparty,
right?
That's the root of this rivalry
hatred: perception.
MSU supporters take issue
with the disconnect between
perception and reality with
U-M people. We grow tired of
Wolverines living in the past
and the superiority complex
that comes with it.
Call us little brother, it's true.
I don't have to do the math
for you studious folks to tell
you U-M is older than MSU.
Michael Jordan, Barack Obama,
Peyton Manning - they're all
little brothers. They turned out
OK.
For a school that loves brag-
ging about education, will
somebody tell Brady Hoke the
Buckeyes hail from Ohio State?
The Ohio Bobcats aren't on the
schedule -- probably for the
best considering how tough
MAC foe Akron was.
U-M is afraid to admit it's
threatened by MSU. It always
has been, going back to when it
attempted to block MSU from

joining the Big Ten. Now, the
Spartans are on the rise with
a clear foundation and knack
for winning the Paul Bunyan
Trophy.
I can see how it's so easy to
cling to the past when the pres-
ent offers such little hope.
You embarrassingly chased
away a top-notch coach likea
new kid on the elementary play-
ground because he was differ-
ent and didn't conform to "the
Michigan way." Then you tried
to praise the hiring of a third-
string candidate who's still
using Rodriguez's players and
only recently stopped using his
playbook. U-M continues to get
pummeled by Ohio State annu-
ally and shows no signs of beat-
ing MSU on a consistent basis.
The faux aura around the
U-M football program is as big
a sham as a newspaper staffed
by kids that don't even major in
journalism.
Like it or not, these programs
see eye-to-eye now. Big brother
has grown old and decrepit, a
has-been that's all but faded
into the shadows of a once-
glorious past. Little brother is
youthful and energetic, his best
years yet to come.
Four wins in five years,
favored to be five of six by the
end of the weekend. The pres-
sure on U-M is evident, from
the faculty-endorsed skywrit-
ing to Fitz Toussaint's false
sense of bravado. It desperately
yearns to return to an era none
of us were alive to see.
For the Spartans, where's the
threat?
Stephen Brooks is a State News
football reporter. Reach him at
sbrooks@statenews.com.

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