If you want stats or injury reports, look elsewhere. Here are the subjective keys to this Saturday's game for The Michigan State Spartans. Consider it advice, consider it puffery, consider it a warning. This is what we as Spartans strive for and believe:
- Give of oneself so that the entire group may thrive and succeed.
- Play with no doubt about your ability. Doubt is the players single most dangerous foe. You can win, you can overcome.
- Have no regrets.
- "With your shield or on it" A phrase that sums up the Spartan ethic of giving one's all for the fight. Translation: Come home victorious, or dead.
- Sportsmanship, Class & Method: Let your playing speak volumes, not your trash talking. When the other man has been beaten, and rests wearily on one knee after meeting you in the field of battle, that shall be your biggest reward.
- Act like you've been there before, not as if you are amazed at your achievement.
We are not actors, superstars or performers. We are brothers in arms who work together as a single unified unstoppable force shoulder to shoulder for each other.
- This is not for your mother, your friend, your fans. This is not for glory or fame. This is for the person next to you, in the trench doing the same for you. Protecting them and helping them succeed is the way to true victory.
- Do not become your enemy, o Spartan. The memory of decades of looking down the road to Ann Arbor with detest for arrogance and unfettered pride should always check any inclination to embody the same. When you lose, take responsibility and improve on those shortcomings the next contest. When you win, enjoy the moment with fellow fans, feel it to your marrow but do not parade about in self-serving glory.
"What will they learn of us? Their shovels will unearth neither brilliant palaces nor temples; their picks will prise forth no everlasting architecture or art. What will remain of the Spartans? Not monuments of marble or bronze, but this, what we do here today." ~ Spartan King Leonidas from Steven Pressfield's The Gates of Fire
This is Sparta.