Hello, my Michigan State friends. I’m back.

Kelly Fraser
(Zachary Meisner/Daily) and FILE PHOTO

You may remember me from having the same assignment last season – a dueling column with a Spartan writer, talking up my school while pointing out your flaws.

I know at least 147 of you remember me, because, well, that’s how many hate e-mails I got.

Most of the messages were pretty heated, some had threats tied in and a couple (OK, nearly all) had glaring grammatical errors.

Was I upset? Hardly.

To be honest, I was pretty excited to learn that Moo U had at least 147 quasi-literate students.

But after sifting through all the hate mail and deleting all of the extra spam I got when a bunch of angry Sparty students signed me up for ridiculous mailing lists, I realized why I was actually pretty excited to get all that mail (and no, it has nothing to do with the spam about refinancing my home). You’re obsessed.

And I have to admit, it was fun at first. Cute, even.

Who doesn’t have a special spot in his heart for a bunch of loyalty-blinded fans standing up for their joke of a team. I’m a Lions fan. I know how it goes.

But the cuteness is rubbing off. At some point, reality needs to set in.

So, on this 100th meeting between two prestigious schools (I almost said that with a straight face, I swear), I hereby declare this matchup no longer a rivalry.

The Paul Bunyan Trophy? Keep it. We didn’t want it in 1953 when then-Governor G. Mennen Williams proposed the two teams play for it in hopes that people actually care about the game.

Fifty-five years have passed, but one thing remains the same: We still don’t care.

We already play a pretty awful team (Minnesota) for a trophy – the Little Brown Jug – and that, at least, has some real history behind it.

We already have a rivalry with a team with actual tradition (Notre Dame).

And we already have a rivalry with a team that’s actually good (Ohio State).

Sorry, there’s no room for little brother anymore.

Plenty of teams have better records against us than you do.

Penn, Princeton, Syracuse, Washington – we lead all four of these teams in our all-time series’, but each is a lot closer than you are.

I’d list more teams that have better records against us than you do, but I’d run out of space.

Instead, I’ll use this space to remind you rioting isn’t a major, crushing beer cans over your head isn’t a minor and there’s more to do on a Friday night than burning couches.

But I’m a uniter, not a divider – let’s part from this rivalry on good terms.

We can remember all the fun times, like all one of your wins this century (a tainted one, but hey, you’ll take what you can get).

But you need to hold up your end of the bargain, too. You need to let big brother go play with the big boys. Don’t go pouting, though – this could be a blessing in disguise.

If you can get over your small-man syndrome and reevaluate yourselves, you could find a great niche. Being a slightly below-average Big Ten team is nothing to scoff at (well, at least according to Northwestern).

And maybe you can get a winnable rivalry out of this, too. Give Lansing Community College a shot. You live close to them, according to you guys, that’s criteria for a rivalry right there. Your new defensive-guru-turned-savior Mark Dantonio could get a clock counting down to it, too. Now we’re onto something!

So repeat after me: You’re not our rivals. You’re not our equals. You’re like an obsessed ex-girlfriend.

We’re dumping you – leave us alone.

But like any reasonable ex-boyfriend, we’ll give you a chance to redeem yourselves.

Show up on Saturday. Throw all the stupid countdown clocks out the window and just try to make it competitive.

Maybe little brother can show us something.

Or, more likely, you’ll see why this “rivalry” is just another game.

– Scott Bell is a football writer and the managing sports editor for The Michigan Daily. His spam filters are prepared for the barrage of e-mails you can send to scotteb@umich.edu.

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