The Michigan Daily’s Andy Reid:
On a cold October evening in 2004, I sat in the Big House and watched DeAndra Cobb break free for a 60-plus yard touchdown run, presumably sealing the fate of the Michigan-Michigan State game that season.
Two Sparties in front of me were obviously ecstatic about the play. So they did what any typical, blind-drunk, semi-literate, couch-burning, Michigan-loathing, I-could-have-gotten-into-your-school-if-I-took-high-school-more-seriously-pouting Michigan State student who has an obvious, shall we say, “Little Brother” complex when it comes to anything Maize and Blue would do in that situation.
They left the game to go to the bar.
Seconds later, Braylon Edwards — currently an NFL receiver who HASN’T “accidentally discharged” an illegal firearm into his own thigh while wearing sweatpants at a nightclub — caught a bomb to spark the epic comeback.
Go ahead and give me your best “3-and-9” jokes. And Lord knows you need more ammunition than “Appalachian State,” which, by the way, still ranks as one of the greatest victories in Michigan State Athletics history.
It doesn’t matter. Because at the end of the day tomorrow (after a certain freshman quarterback stomps all over you and then lets you keep that friggin’ Paul Bunyan trophy because it’s so damn ugly), you’re still inferior in every possible way.
And yes, let me take a second to bask in the glory of my own, completely warranted, arrogance.
Ah, that felt good.
I thought a lot about how I wanted to describe you foaming-at-the-mouth Spartan fans in this column. I guess the plethora of adjectives above works, but those have been floating around the ethereal AA-to-EL pipeline since the days of the Michigan Agricultural College. I wanted something more.
Then I told myself I could lighten the inevitable hate mail and throw in a few qualifying put-ups about how fiercely loyal you are, even in the face of yearly gridiron disappointment. But the following text message I received from Michigan State senior Trisha Langlois threw that stereotype out the window:
“Do any of your housemates want a ticket to the game for 80?”
In case you can’t follow the logic of that last point (and we all know logic isn’t your strong point. Or English. Or math. Or physics, law, biology, etc.), offering to sell a student section ticket to a Michigan fan doesn’t exactly scream “THIS IS SPARTA!”
That’s when the perfect description of you hit me. One word, with eight letters, that sums up your entire fan base.
You know, in the same way that a toddler putting his eye right up to the nozzle of a kinked hose only to be blindsided by the inevitable rush of water is adorable.
It’s cute because the kid can’t comprehend why he got soaked. Kind of like it’s cute when Michigan toys with you and throws a kink in the hose, and then you’re flabbergasted when the winged-helmeted warriors open the floodgates again.
You’re adorable because you think you’re rivals with a program that’s already engaged in the greatest rivalry in sport; has as many Rose Bowl appearances in the last 11 years as you have all-time; is the winningest team in the history of the game; and has more tradition in one blade of green Field Turf than you could ever dream of.
Your red-faced, steam-out-the-ears reaction to the fact that Michigan fans have absolutely no respect for this so-called “rivalry” — a word I use only because “run-of-the-mill, annual Big Ten game in Michigan’s eyes” is a little too long — is just plain cute, too.
And it’s simply cheek-pinching adorable that the man you think is going to bring you to prominence, your personal football savior, Mark Dantonio, has the same 17-13 record through 30 games as John L. Smith.
Sometimes, I just want to give you a hug, ruffle the hair on your scrappy lil’ head and try and cheer you up. Because I can’t help but sigh and shrug when you lose four straight after the Michigan game every year or your coach loses control of his team, slaps himself or resorts to making fun of an opposing player’s height. Aww, Sparty.
But a noogie is probably a better solution. After all, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do to your little brother?
— Reid, the Managing Sports Editor and football writer for The Michigan Daily, is a soon-to-be Arrogant Michigan Alum. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The State News’s Matt Bishop:
Time after time, inside sources have come through for journalists, such as when the Detroit Free Press broke the story about Michigan’s alleged cheating (Spartan Scoreboard Bob isn’t the only person without a firm grasp on time). I have received an entry into an unnamed U-M football staff member’s personal diary. Unfortunately, the name of the staff member has been blacked out to ensure their privacy. Enjoy.
I’m sorry it’s been so long since I last wrote. I finally grew out of my Live Journal and Xanga accounts, so I’m in the process of converting you to paper.
I can’t believe my last entry was dated Oct. 24, 2008. A lot has happened since that day. Back then, we were coming off a loss to Toledo two weeks earlier. It didn’t get much better. The loss to Michigan State the next day was crushing. Despite our horrible record, our players had us convinced our s— didn’t stink against those guys. I guess most of those guys are LSA majors for a reason.
And don’t even get me started on those quarterbacks. We had Nick Sheridan, who simply is not good. Then there was that one guy, from Adrian, what was his name? Came from Georgia Tech? Thorpe? Thriple? Treat? Well, whatever his name, he wasn’t any good, either. Then there was McGuffie. Oh, Sam. High school all-star into Big Ten washout. Turns out his hype couldn’t hold a candle to Beanie Wells or Javon Ringer, two backs that shredded us. I’d be shocked if ol’ Sam had as many yards the whole season as those two had when they played us.
So when we had it handed to us by, well, pretty much everybody, I was so disappointed.
I know The Big House practically was The Out House last season, but that’s still no excuse to lose to Utah, Illinois, Toledo, Michigan State and Northwestern there. I think the last time we lost to that many teams there, Herbert Hoover was president or something. I was never that good at history.
The combination of getting smoked by Michigan State and Ohio State — not to mention Toledo and Purdue — was enough to drive me over the edge. Those players needed to be punished for making me look so bad! I have a loan at the Bank of Ann Arbor I have to pay off, so I couldn’t afford to be canned after a season.
So when all was said and done, we didn’t have bowl practice for the first time in like a bajillion years. When I was brought on, I thought we just got an automatic bid to a bowl game like Notre Dame. Oh well, I guess we aren’t that special. So because we lost the bowl practice, I had to make the time up elsewhere, ya know? So they paid all offseason.
But that’s not the worst part. We actually were shown up by those losers that inhabit that dump Crisler Arena. John Beilein showed that we aren’t just from the back roads of West Virginia. We’re coaches, too!
But from what I’ve learned in my short time here, if the basketball team is outperforming football by a large margin, something’s wrong. And if we’re doing worse than a program that has to offer its students incentives to occupy what is probably the worst student section in the nation, we’ve got problems.
But finally, we’ve gotten to this season. Time and time again, I say never judge a staff on its first year. We’re 4-0 and rolling over powerhouses like Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan. We could win the MAC!
But I’m just not convinced we have what it takes to win in the Big Ten. I’ll be lucky if Forcier isn’t killed by Greg Jones this weekend.
He already runs around like a chicken with its head cut off. I don’t want to send him out there to get McGuffied. And this defense is the definition of incompetence. We should not be giving up 33 points at home to Indiana. We got Pistol-whipped. I can’t even imagine what Kirk Cousins and Keith Nichol are going to do with Mark Dell, B.J. Cunningham and Blair White out there. I scouted Indiana and can’t name a single player on their team. What are players I actually know going to do?
But it’s OK. We have Delaware State coming here in two weeks. And we can’t possibly lose to Purdue at home, can we? That’s six wins right there. WE’RE GOING BOWLING, BABY! I hope.
But you know what? If it doesn’t work out this season, I could just go elsewhere. A buyout’s never gotten in my way before. I’m sure I can take Brian Kelly’s job at Cincinnati when he bolts after this season.
— Bishop is a State News football reporter. He can be reached at email@example.com.