Wednesday, October 19, 2011


With the bye week upon us, I'm not writing about Michigan this week, because everything's been said. So I'm choosing to write about another Big Ten team and my vision for their future.  So I would not blame you, Michigan fan, if you chose to skip it.

"You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

Yahoo's Dan Wetzel, in series of three tweets on Sunday morning, said the following:
"Lot of talk about Michigan State being unduly physical, even dirty. Whatever. I say embrace it as your identity.
Denard facemask twist was over the top. The other stuff, I don't know. MSU is never going to get a bunch of speedster, have to be tough.
Michigan State deserves whatever penalties and suspensions they get. Mentality of playing on (or over) the edge is working though."
That's when it occurred to me, Wetzel is 100%, absolutely correct.  This is exactly what Michigan State needs to do.  They must embrace this role.  They must become the Big Ten's bully, the most physical team, the dirtiest team in the conference.

The reason is simple: Michigan State's current national identity, as much as they have one in football, is built around essentially "Sparty, no!"  That's not just with Michigan fans, when Rece Davis says it on College Football Final, you have an identity crisis.  You will not embrace the Little Brother standard, and that's probably wise, because no one wins with that.  But pure evil, goatee wearing evil, yes, that is what Michigan State football could be.

Think about it, think about all of the time you could save.  You wouldn't need to feign sportsmanship at press conferences, you could just come out and say that your players played sixty minutes of unnecessary roughness and you were lucky you didn't get caught.  Your players could come right out and say that the game was played dirty. You wouldn't need to ignore the actions of your team off the field and you could immediately allow players who had served jail time back on to your team without any kind of punishment.  You wouldn't need to spend days on internal reviews of a punch by one of your players caught on camera.  It would just be who you are.  You could be like the Raiders of the Big Ten.  You could play on the edge of the rules, cross over the river of sportsmanship like a bridge, burn the bridge, burn the ashes, salt the earth, and take up residence to the dark side of college football.  You could start wearing black helmets, black jerseys, and black pants with the tiniest hint of green to remind you of your past and become the nemesis, the bully.  Instead of being the Goofus to Michigan's Gallant, you would be Hades to Michigan's Zeus, Angra Mainyu to Michigan's Ahura Mazda, Louis XIV to Michigan's Phillipe, Bizarro to Michigan's Superman, Lore to Michigan's Data, Bender to Michigan's Flexo.  You could be wholly unapologetic about it, unrepentant in the least.

Seriously Sparty, you know you want tell people to bite your shiny bronze age ass.
Now, if you do this, I do have one request, and that is to stop pretending that you are anything but this.  Stop having your coach pay lip service to the ideas of sportsmanship and values and merely not comment on it.  Stop pretending that looking stern is the same as choosing to act sternly when it comes to discipline.  Stop trying to convince the country that your program believes in playing nicely with others.  Evil comes with a price, and if you decide to go the Two-Face route, in the end, everyone will know what you are.  Because people can abide by evil, but they cannot stand being lied to their face.


David said...

They could wear felt goatees until such time as they can grow real ones.

David said...

Another thought. When Sparty comes to town next year, the student chant should change the Seven Nation Army chant to "TOM tom tom tom tom TOM TOM" whenever Gholston is on the field.