Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

October 05, 2017 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

8A — Thursday, October 5, 2017
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com

Dueling Columns: 2017


especting our opponents in
this “touch” football game
has become very difficult.

Every year, The Michigan Daily

plays The State News. And every
year, your staff
continues to
degrade itself.

Maybe I

should have
that, but to
be honest, as
a New York
native, the
Michigan State
rivalry was entirely foreign to me
four years ago.

With all due respect to Cortland

and Ithaca’s annual matchup,
my home state isn’t exactly the
epicenter of college football. It took
much convincing on my brothers’
part for me to come to Michigan at
all. The only memory I had of the
Wolverines’ football program was
their loss to Appalachian State in

It didn’t take long for me to catch

up on the history, but the first real
taste I had of the in-state rivalry
didn’t happen within the confines
of a football stadium.

I worked in a deli the summer

before I came to Ann Arbor for
the first time. And on my last
day of work, I was ringing up my
final customer. I turned to hand
a woman her bags, expecting
the interaction to be no different
than the hundreds like it that I’d
experienced that summer. I was

As it turned out, she was a

Michigan State alum. I handed her
the bag, she glanced at the block ‘M’
hat I was wearing and looked me in
the eyes.

“Don’t start thinking you’re

better than everyone else,” she said,
“just because you go to Michigan.”

I didn’t then. I don’t now.
At that point, I never planned

on contributing to my university’s
student publication. But after
joining the Daily during my first
year here, I have come to realize the
rivalry between our newspapers is
what I really care about.

As a freshman, I watched one of

your players get ejected for tackling
one of our writers to the ground
and punching him in the head.

Later in the same game, I watched
members of your staff — and your
adviser, for that matter — laugh at
my friend after he tore his ACL.

A year later, having not spent

a minute actually playing in the
game, your editor-in-chief had
some choice words for me at the
50-yard line. Sorry to disappoint,
but the one-sided dialogue isn’t fit
to print here. Children might be

And last year, your team still

found comic relief in an injury,
making a backhanded comment
to one of our staffers about his
“daddy’s health care” as he
struggled to walk off the field.

But that game — the Daily’s 12th

consecutive win — did have one
redeeming moment. After we won
on your field, one of your football
beat writers came to our sideline
and thanked us for making the trip
to East Lansing.

I appreciated the rare case of

sportsmanship — almost as much
as I appreciated the column he
needed to write two days later,
clarifying the headline printed
on The State News’ front page
following Michigan’s 32-23 win
over Michigan State.

That headline read, “Defeated

with Dignity – MSU lost the Paul
Bunyan trophy but prevented a
blowout against U-M.”

That’s quite the spin, so much

that I had to go back and make
sure Michigan State still had that
journalism school State Newsers
always talk about.

In the second and third

paragraphs of his column, he wrote:

“Upon filing the story, I left

the spot for the headline blank,
as I usually have no say in the
process of titling an article. I left
the newsroom after the story was
complete, long before it ever went
to print.

“By the time I woke on Monday,

I saw the headline and was

He went on to write critically

about Michigan State’s effort and
performance to that point in the
2016 season, and he wrote it well.
Somehow, though, somebody in
your newsroom thought — or, it
seems, desperately hoped — that
headline was indicative of the

But here’s the thing: that debacle

wouldn’t happen at the Daily. Not
only do our writers create their own
headlines, but we have a thorough
editing process to ensure we aren’t
hopelessly biased. Apparently that’s
not the case in East Lansing.

Our writers are given the

opportunity to chase a passion
and make this newspaper what it
has been for 127 years, whether
that’s by covering a soccer team,
a volleyball team or, eventually, a
football team.

When it comes to our football

game, some may take exception to
the size of our staff — claiming that
it has contributed to our success
over the last 12 years. But it’s for
that same reason that we don’t need
a journalism school.

Our staff is given the chance

to learn through the experience
of publishing a daily newspaper.
That requires individuals to work
collaboratively until 1 a.m. every
night. Sitting in a college lecture
hall, or publishing a print edition
just twice a week, can’t replicate

At the end of the day, the broader

rivalry can be boiled down to my
interaction in that deli.

Students at Michigan make

assumptions about their
counterparts in East Lansing.
Students at Michigan State
make assumptions about their
counterparts in Ann Arbor.

I’m not here to make

assumptions. I haven’t grown to
know anyone at Michigan State
well enough to make any sweeping
declarations about your student

What I have grown to know

pretty well, though, is The State
News. And I think I’ve gathered
enough knowledge to say this: I
don’t think I’m better than you.
But I know my newspaper — on
a football field and in every
journalistic sense — is.

We’ve defeated you 12 years in a

row. We’re going to defeat you again
Friday night. And the saddest part
is, if past games are any indicator,
you won’t be able to claim dignity
this time, either.

Santo is a co-Managing Sports

Editor and football beat writer at

The Michigan Daily. He can be

reached at kmsanto@umich.edu

and on Twitter @Kevin_M_Santo.


ote: Most of you are likely
confused because I am not
a football reporter, a sports

editor or a man. This column over the
years somehow became dominated
by one type of person, so welcome to
my readers.

I’m reminded of “Mad Men”

Season 5, Episode 8. Michael Gins-
berg approaches Don Draper livid
about a call
Draper made
during a pitch


Draper for his
choices, his
role and more
his character.
He finishes
his frustrated
exaggeration with one final jab and
says, “I feel bad for you.”

In a calm, almost soothing voice,

without looking Ginsberg in the
eye, Draper says, “I don’t think
about you at all.”

The State News, only in this

sense, is Draper. The Michigan
Daily is Ginsberg. That is the best
way to explain how The State News
feels about the Michigan Daily.

We don’t think about you. We

don’t care what you do.

But, the last year of name-calling

and “fake news” made me decide
that we can no longer afford to
ignore you. News organizations
need each other for both
competition and camaraderie. We
are under attack in some respects.

By attacking each other we not

only show our immaturity, but we
don’t get anywhere. We’re tearing
each other down and people are
already trying to do that enough.

My mom always says you should

say what you believe, but it is all a
lie if you don’t walk the walk. So, I
donated $5 to the Michigan Daily.

No, seriously.
I believe in what all of you do, but

I do think you can do it a lot better.

We serve our community. We work
hard. We do all of this quietly, no
fuss. Despite what all of you may
think about us, you can learn from
our newsroom.

As an investor, here are some of

my thoughts.

The digital age is here and your

newsroom needs to adapt better.
I admire the diligent connection
to a print product. I read two print
newspapers a day. However, your
content needs to make better
shifts to online. Infographics and
interactives are a perfect example
of where you can succeed. Instead,
I see screenshotted infographics
made for print.

Event coverage — you do plenty

of it. One more story on a panel and
I will scream. Trends and issues
stories are in short supply.

One of my favorite stories from

your newsroom was reported by
your editor-in-chief and it delved
into mental health issues on your
campus. The in-depth reporting
made an impression, and more
importantly it shined a light on a
real issue.

Your sports section is, as usual,

the part of your newsroom which
receives the most attention.
Don’t ignore that. Hold athletics
accountable. In some ways you do,
but both of our newsrooms need to
shift our focus to that conclusion.

The State News is not perfect,

but I’ll tell you a secret: neither
is the Michigan Daily. We are
learning our craft. Regardless,
collegiate journalism is essential to
our audiences.

People like to pit us against each

other. Despite what all of you might
think, I don’t hate you. In most
ways, I root for you. I would hope
all of you could get over yourselves
enough to root for us, too. We’re
on the same team, just on opposite
sides of the field. In my mind, the
rivalry is a technicality.

I suppose I didn’t really write a

dueling column, which might upset
some, but I’m fine with that. I spoke

my truth. That’s all I want to do.

My last piece of advice: If

you want to stand on someone’s
shoulders and call yourselves tall
that’s fine, but you’re better than
it. We both need to be better than

A few years ago, during my first

football game, I realized something.

After your players scored the

final touchdown and all of you
rushed the field, I was upset for a
split second and then it hit me —
like that elbow which broke one of
our player’s teeth, still waiting on
that apology, but I digress — this
game means so much more to all of
you than it does to all of us.

I looked back at my comrades

who were exiting the field. All of
them appeared disappointed, but
then like a switch they started to
smile and congratulate each other.

After that, you left my mind for


You can have your football

games and ivory towers because
even when you win, you lose.
There are always people like you,
but nobody roots for you. No one
ever will until you understand
what is so much more important
— your newsroom – even if the
“impossible” happens and you lose
on Friday.

I have a group of scrappy kids

who work hard for me every day.
They make me better version of

You take your track record, your

numbers and your shiny fields, I’ll
still take my underdogs any news

I like my pick. I hope you like


Stay vigilant, my rivals.

Fradette is the editor-in-chief of

The State News. She can be reached

at rachel.fradette@statenews.com.

Editor’s note: This column is

subject to the editing team and style
guide of The State News. The Daily
has published it as presented.

The Michigan Daily and The State News engage in a
war of words before their annual touch football game



Back to Top

© 2024 Regents of the University of Michigan