Welcome back, Paul Bunyan!

Hello again!

It has been quite a while since my last blog post and I apologize for the long absence. I planned on continuing to write during the school year, but have found that  Michigan State has been kicking my butt over and over again.

Also, I started my internship covering high school football for MichiganPreps, which has somewhat replaced my blogging ability. With so much going on in the world of sports, my professors couldn’t have picked a better time to lessen the work load.

I had already written a blog post for the Michigan vs Michigan State game to be posted that morning, but I forgot to post it in the hectic scramble to get to Spartan Stadium by 6:30 AM so my two roommates and I could get awesome seats.

In the blog post, I explained how I am not your typical Spartan. I grew up wanting to attend the University of Michigan, but when it came time for me to choose my career field, Michigan State was the better option. Once I was admitted into Michigan State, I decided that I would support my school.

Some may call me a traitor or a bandwagon fan, but I like to refer to myself as a Spartan.

After Michigan State trounced all over Michigan 28-14, I thoroughly enjoyed some of the Facebook and Twitter posts by Michigan fans.

The Spartans run onto the field showing off their new Nike Pro Combat jerseys. (Image via Cory Morse/Grand Rapids Press)

 

One of the most intriguing responses was a re-tweet by one of my best friends. My best friend also grew up a Michigan fan and unlike me, she continues to bleed maize and blue even while attending Michigan State University. The tweet she re-tweeted said, “I don’t understand why MSU has so much more bad blood toward Michigan than Michigan has toward MSU.”

The simple answer is, that Michigan is Michigan State’s biggest rival as it usually is when “Team X” plays against “Team X State”.

I have no problem admitting that Michigan has been the better program and that because of their prestigious history, they have more than one rival and a rival in Ohio State, that is bigger than Michigan State.

Although Michigan has a bigger rival, that doesn’t dispute the fact that Michigan is Michigan State’s biggest rival, which is one of the reasons for the unbalanced amount of “bad blood”.

Also, it is the attitude and demeanor that many Michigan fans, alumni or current students carry themselves with. Once again, I will admit that Michigan has been a better school academically and the overall prestige of Michigan is greater than Michigan State’s.

However, Michigan fans don’t need to look any farther than themselves to wonder why there is so much hatred towards them and their school. Some of the hatred is caused by jealousy –and it goes without saying that Michigan State isn’t the only school jealous of Michigan — but the some of the hatred is a result of the way Michigan fans conduct themselves in victory, or defeat.

It’s the arrogant demeanor and the we-never-do-anything-wrong attitude that many Michigan fans carry themselves with that provides Michigan State so much pleasure in beating them.

I’m not saying that all Michigan fans conduct themselves this way. In fact, I would say it is the minority of Michigan fans that do. I encountered multiple Michigan fans that were graceful in defeat, including my best friend and just general Michigan fans that had enough common knowledge to accept defeat and hope for a better result next year.

However, I encountered multiple posts from Michigan fans that were as arrogant as can be. I could go on a rant long enough to make your eyes go cross-eyed, but I will keep it simple: They are ignorant and hypocrites.

“You keep your win, I’ll keep my class” or “this is why I will be forever proud to be a Michigan Wolverine,” after ripping Michigan State’s lack of class and integrity are just a few of the idiotic statements I ran into.

The previous quotes were good, but “clearly, class is too big a concept for them(Michigan State) to comprehend,” definitely wins the most idiotic statement of the week. Excuse me, but where were you when every media member from every large media network was praising Kirk Cousins for his incredible speech at the 2011 Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon?

There is no doubt that there are classless Spartans and I encountered many of them in the student section on Saturday, but just as I said about Michigan fans, they are the minority.

Most of the statements regarding Michigan State’s class refer to WIlliam Gholston’s multiple dirty plays. I don’t disagree that Gholston’s plays were dirty and I don’t encourage dirty plays, but were they really that surprising? It’s college football, a heated rivalry and plays like that are made in every game, by every team, not just the “classless” Spartans.

In fact, one of Gholston’s dirty plays was a retaliation to a Michigan offensive lineman grabbing Gholston’s face-mask and slamming his head into the ground. Also, it sure is classy to walk off the field without shaking hands with the other team, but you’re right, Michigan fans. Please continue to watch the games with your blinders on and I’m your school can do no wrong.

Michigan State OL Jared McGaha hoists the Paul Bunyan trophy after Michigan State beat Michigan 28-14. (Image via Marissa McClain/MichiganDaily)

Also, seeing as most Michigan fans would be Detroit Lions fans, what is their opinion on Ndamukong Suh?

Suh hits the quarterback late, grabs him by the face-mask or helmet and throws him down, sometimes even removing his entire helmet. Despite Suh’s dirty plays, he is praised and loved by the city of Detroit.

To reprimand a player for his dirty player only to turn around and love one of the dirtiest players in the NFL is hypocrisy in its finest form.

Every team — in college or the NFL — has dirty players that make dirty plays. Just because everyone does it doesn’t make it right, but it should make the occurrence of these plays less surprising and mind blowing.

The physical and borderline dirty style of play that the Spartans play with is why they have been so successful, and why Michigan had been successful in the past. Until Michigan and Brady Hoke are able to instill that type of play in their players, they should expect to get be pushed around hit in the mouth.

At the end of the day, a sign that I saw at 6:30 in the morning sums everything up pretty well: “That awkward moment when Little Brother kicks your a** again.” Paul Bunyan will live in East Lansing for at least another year. Better luck next year, Wolverines.

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2 Comments

Filed under All Posts

2 responses to “Welcome back, Paul Bunyan!

  1. linda goodman

    Love this post, still not a Spartan…

  2. Great post, Justin. I’ll check out that post you’re talking about.

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