September 2, 2012

College Football, User Submissions

By: David Trombly

Image courtesy of SI.

College football kicked off over Labor Day weekend with a multitude of games with high expectations around them.  Whether it was early SEC position, to non-conference matchup featuring marquee teams taking on non-directional schools in their own state; people were tuning in all over the country rooting on their respective schools.  Here in the great state of Michigan, our two major college teams faced tough tests over the weekend.  One faced a perennial powerhouse destined to be in the BCS conversation every year; the other faced a perennial BCS buster that has given big names headaches over the past few years with opening week tests.  But this weekend wasn’t just about the games.  It’s about the fans of these two teams showing how ugly the Paul Bunyan Trophy contest has gotten.

As a disclaimer, I am a die-hard Wolverine fan who goes to Wayne State.  Before the cries of Wal-Mart ring through the computer, I had in fact gotten accepted to the University in question and can say with certainty that MSU is the better team and have not once degraded the education standards there.  With that out of the way, let’s get down to business with State.   I will congratulate the Spartans on a hard earned victory over Boise State.  It’s nice to see them take on a team not in the Michigan area, and sign an agreement to play a four game series with Chris Petersen’s Broncos.  Friday night certainly showcased Dantonio’s strong defense which will create havoc for Big Ten teams down the road as well as whoever gets unfortunate enough to face them in their bowl game.  Not only was the defense spectacular in not allowing an offensive touchdown to Boise, but Leveon Bell put his name in the spotlight with a great day running and catching the football.

Bell hurdling a Bronco defender, it was a career night for Bell who trucked his way into Heisman candidacy.

Certainly putting his name in the September Heisman candidacy, as well as maybe giving Montee Ball some competition in the Best Big Ten RB contest.  While all these accolades should be given to Sparty on their victory, the point of the article is on the fans of both schools.  Many Wolverine fans were going to cheer on Boise State and not be shy about it.  Wearing Boise State shirts and rooting for the blue and orange sounding like complete idiots.  Granted, as a Michigan fan, there may have been some sick satisfaction watching State lose at home to Boise.  But I certainly was rooting for MSU to beat Boise, not only because I’ve grown a strong contempt with the Broncos, but also so MSU can help validate the conference as someone who doesn’t just beat up the MAC and eat cupcakes all year until they get railroaded in the bowl season to insert SEC team here.  Speaking of the SEC, let’s go to the game of the week in the Cowboys Classic.

                  When this game was first announced, I nearly jumped out my chair saying “Finally Michigan’s playing somebody nationally recognized!”  I did know the consequences of said game, and I heard about it all the way up to game time.  Many people saying “Michigan’s getting their ass kicked” “Denard blows” “Why did Brandon agree to this game?” To be honest, I felt the same way; especially after the Crimson Tide won the BCS Championship game shutting out one of the best teams in College Football in LSU.  As a fan of the Maize and Blue, I had a horrible feeling that Michigan was just going down to the Jerrydome for a multimillion dollar ass whooping at the hands of the best the SEC had to offer.  While my prediction came true, what sickened me more were the State fans that happened to show up on Facebook and Twitter during the game.  “Roll Tide” was a common theme, as well as “Bama’s great, they’d do that to anyone except maybe State LOL.”  Some of these quotes came from former Michigan fans that now go to MSU and suddenly treat the team they loved like garbage.  Now I know that’s just Sparty fans being Sparty fans, but c’mon now.  Regardless of whether you can’t stand them, they are still your Big Ten Brothers, even if they are older than you.  Nobody wants to see their big brother get beaten up, especially when they go into the bout heavily overmatched.

This image is very symbolic of how the night went for Michigan.

                  Michigan State fans that suddenly turn into Alabama fans for one night only, need I remind you of the last time Alabama appeared on your schedule.  Coming into the game 11-1, getting robbed of the Rose Bowl yet again, you run into the SEC buzzsaw in a 49-7 beat down in the Capital One Bowl.  That game the Tide scored 49 points before MSU got on the board and Kirk Cousins looked like Denard Robinson without the athleticism.  Yes, I know a lot of Michigan fans were ‘Bama fans that day too; and I certainly got sick pleasure in rubbing it in my dad’s face-he’s an MSU alum-all day.  But I certainly got mine too as Michigan got beaten by a mid-level SEC team in Mississippi State.  But this isn’t about who got it worse, it’s about us as fans getting worse.

 Seeing how stupid Michigan fans sounded saying Roll Tide or Go Alabama, shouldn’t State fans have realized that and decided to take the high road and just let Michigan fans have their moment of silent disgust.  That’s not to say Michigan fans get a pass, in fact, shame on you all for rooting for Alabama against State, and shame on you for bragging about winning a meaningless Sugar Bowl against the only team who had less of a right to be there as you.  It was great for the Big Ten to get exposed against some of the big boys of college football.  Even though Michigan got exposed as a fraud of a top ten team, as fans we should cheer and encourage our schools in whichever contest we play.  Can we just put away our pettiness for one second-or at least until October 20-and realize that we are the same people, some even from the same area.  We should focus our hate on Big Ten team that deserves it: Ohio State.

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  1. rwomeldorf Says:

    State fans, like their players, aren’t capable of taking the high road. There’s a reason they’ve earned the nickname of “Little Brother”: they only care about what Michigan is doing and doing it better than them. They should just go about their business because they’re actually a pretty good team but if their only goal is to beat Michigan then they clearly have a ton of growing to do.


    • Mike Gazdik Says:

      Ryan, I tend to agree with you. I wouldn’t say ALL State fans can’t take the high road, but that’s just semantics and I get your point. It does surely seem that many walk with a chip on their shoulder because of their past adversity and mediocrity in the football program.

      The team and its fans will have to “learn how to win.” Do it with class, consistency and trash talk when it’s the right time. It seems like it will take a lot more time in a competitive rivalry with Michigan for them to finally feel like they have escaped the shadow of The Big House.


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