Yesterday, Michigan and Michigan State treated their respective fans to a wonderful game. Critics of the B1G will say that it was marred by two anemic offenses, while a 9-6 LSU victory over Alabama last year was heralded as one of the greatest games ever played and warranted a rematch in the BCS Championship Game, even though in 2006, the idea of a rematch was out of the question. Anyway, Michigan won. I am happy.
During these four, LONG years, it has been exhausting to watch the Spartans preen as they celebrated their “Michigan State Rose Bowl” victories, because when Michigan loses to Michigan State, it is not just for that day, it is that, plus the other 364. Yesterday was not pretty, but the 12-10 victory over the Spartans, combined with the ostrich egg that Iowa laid against Penn State, put Michigan in prime position for a chance to play in the B1G Championship Game.
Sparty had their chances. Their best opportunity came in the 4th Quarter when they had to gain just 30 feet to secure their victory. Instead of keeping the ball on the ground and forcing the Wolverines to burn their timeouts, Michigan State, inexplicably, took to the air twice, stopping the clock on the incomplete passes. That gave Denard and Team 133’s version of The Waterboy (he’s from Louisiana and wears #9) a chance to win. Brendan Gibbons did the rest, looking very much like a young Jeffrey Lebowski, I might add.
I have many friends who attended Michigan State, and others who did not, but are still fans, so I say this with a pretty good sample to draw upon: all were gracious. Sure, there were people who said some of the things after a loss that they accuse Michigan fans of saying, but for the most part, Sparty sat down, shut their collective mouths, and took their medicine, just like we had to do for FOUR years. Then, the Spartan Radio Twitter account and its owner, Adam Ruff, said this:
@Spartan_Radio It’s not a rivalry, but the UM students are running onto the field. #ohwait Spartan Radio sounded like a petulant child, like the very thing they accuse Michigan fans of saying after a loss. I could see a teenager saying something stupid like that, or even Delvon Roe, who took out his frustrations on Twitter, and the English language, after “The Streak” ended, but not something as official as “Spartan Radio.”
The reason why the students stormed the field is that for four years, Sparty has dominated the rivalry and has never wasted an opportunity to remind us of that, and they never should have stopped doing it, either. If the shoe were on the other foot, I would have done the same thing. The reason the students swarmed the field (and that my beer tasted 100% better last night) is because Mark Dantonio has purposely said things to anger Michigan fans. I love every single minute of it. Good for Coach Dantonio. He is a great coach, and I wish him well. By the way, Coach, where’s the threat?
My friend Rico Beard, of Spartan Magazine and WDFN, summed up the best response to a Michigan victory last night: “My Spartans never quit. Spartans never quit. Good game, Michigan, see you next year in Spartan Stadium.”
Lastly, @Spartan_Radio instead of taking potshots at Michigan fans and worrying that you no longer have your security blanket,”Streaky,” and whining that the three B1G losses your team has suffered have been by a combined six points, you should focus your energy on helping your beloved Spartans become bowl eligible.