"Say What?" Breaking Down How "Big House Bob's" Rant on MSU Crash and Burned
At Michigan State, you are taught to hate two things: Losing and the Michigan Wolverines. For University of Michigan, the same policy follows; losing and Michigan State is the pits, and you could throw Ohio State in there too. It’s a rivalry that can be intertwined with family or debated between neighbors, and personally it’s one of my favorite topics to debate about.
A couple weeks ago, however, a blogger by the name of Big House Bob (a Michigan fan) mixed the bias of his side of the rivalry with journalism by posting an article on Michigan State’s football B/R page. If you haven’t read it yet, I don’t recommend it for the MSU fan that likes articles that make sense, but if you have looked through it, I’m here to clean the mess up and keep this real, topic by topic.
1. Let's Get 1 Thing Straight
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First off I mean no disrespect to Big House Bob; whenever a shot can be taken at Michigan, trust me, I’m the first one in line. Bob writes a very well composed blog for U of M football, but I’m here looking to counter the points he made in his article against MSU, debate style, and that's all.
Part 1: Why Shouldn't Dantonio Talk About the Rose Bowl?
Alright let’s get this bad boy started; we’re going to bypass the golf analogy and head straight to the facts. Looking at head coach Mark Dantonio like he’s Rex Ryan by looking forward to the holy grail of the Big Ten, the Rose Bowl, is a tad too far.
Every coach fires up his team by looking to the highest point they can reach, and taking his Rose Bowl talk out of the locker room and into the reporter’s microphones isn’t a big deal. Reading that quote didn’t make me cringe like it would in the past; actually, it made me nod, because coming off of an 11-win season and beating the Big Ten’s Rose Bowl rep last year, why shouldn’t the Spartans be thinking of roses?
Part 2: Addressing the Off-Field Problems
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Okay, okay, okay, we all know that Michigan State doesn’t have a team of saints, per se, due to their off-field problems, but what team doesn’t have those these days?
I’m not condoning what the student athletes did by any means, but coming from a Michigan standpoint, I don’t see how attacks could be made. U of M in the past couple of years has offered a scholarship to a felon (later taken away due to the flack the university was getting, other than that the team was welcoming him with open arms), gotten nabbed with practicing too much, and suffered through the Rich Rod hiring scandal.
And just as reader Nathan Armaly commented in the original post about the Deion Sims dilemma, “He had probation when most people in his situation who file under the same child act that he did get much harsher punishments, including years of probation. The fact his sentence was so light speaks to how little he was actually involved in the crime. He did his punishment by sitting out a year.” It’s a terrible crime, same with the mishap that happened in Colorado, but nearly every program has its flaws.
And besides, what does that have to do with MSU getting to the Rose Bowl anyway? Thought so.
Part 3: The Family Rivalry and Clearing Up What Trash Talk Really Is
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Ah yes, Mike Hart's “little brother” comment.
Ever since that line was dropped, Michigan State has took advantage of using their more clever “little sister” dig by beating the Wolverines three straight years. Alright sure, its only three years, but if U of M fans can unearth facts and standings from the World War II era, which they do habitually, we can talk all we want about the recent history.
And last time I checked we haven’t said any “smack” under Mark Dantonio. If Dantonio said “We’re looking forward to the Rose Bowl, oh and by the way the Wolverines are a joke,” that would be smack talk. If telling reporters about season goals is “talking smack,” then consider every head football coach a trash-talking menace.
Part 4: Making Sense out of Nonsense
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This is also where the article lost all credibility and made me realize this is just a Michigan rant.
When I read “Yes, MSU had an 11 win season (didn't play Ohio State) and played decent football at times,” I would have spit out my drink if I had one to consume. This is a joke, right? Decent football? I would say we played decent football after an 11-win season if we played a 25-game schedule, but saying the green and white only lost two games and brought home a Big Ten title to East Lansing, I would call it more than just “decent.”
And then there was the “but the Spartans should go take care of their business off the field and fix the problems on the field before they start talking about roses of any color” remark. I agree with the first part of the statement, every team should monitor what happens off the field, but I doubt it will be a factor on the gridiron. If the Rose Bowl qualifications included having a team of angels, then yes, get the troops rounded up and have them fix their off field problems, but as long as the best Big Ten team gets in, the Spartans can start talking about roses of any shape, size and color they want.