It's funny how the comments prove the accuracy of the diary.
Great diary. Nicely done.
It's funny how the comments prove the accuracy of the diary.
Great diary. Nicely done.
Great writing. My brother and I are 16 months apart in age, so this is very familiar to me. I could kick my brothers ass all day growing up. When we hit high school, he grew to 6'3 215lbs., and turned into a barney bad-ass. Myself on the other hand, 5-10 175lbs., and really had very little interest in weights or strength training. In relation, I'm thankful that MSU never turned into the big little brother, and hopefully they never will because it sucks taking a beat down from the beaten.
Wow, man, our situations are pretty damn similar.
My bro and I are 16 months apart. And sometime during high school, he was playing Right Guard, and I was playing Bob Dylan songs on my guitar, and he got a lot bigger than me. I'm still taller (6'0, 210) but he's 5'11 and over 300, with much of that upper body muscle. We still wrestle from time to time, and the only way I can beat him is to keep squirming until he's tired -- which 20 years ago was totally his strategy on me.
Who's to say Michigan will still be as dominant in a century from now?
Does anyone else get a weird vibe from those kids on the cover of that book? There's something incongruous there ...
"If you have nothing but hatred for MSU, then I say go to your room and cool off, because so long as you live under this roof, you are going to live with him whether you like it or not."
I don't get this? Besides being hilariously condescending, it's not even logical, especially when the whole intent of the thread was to perpetuate a dig at Sparty.
Of all the fanbases that I interact with, none are as classless as Sparty. From the vote to kick Michigan out of the '74 Rose Bowl, to the stupid Appy St shirts, to couch-burning jubilation at the release of every new Freep/AA.com hit-piece, what evidence is there that this relationship is a "brotherhood"? There's no "brotherhood" here, so why convey it, even in jest?
For the "rival siblings" analogy to work, it sounds like a damn dysfunctional family to me. My younger brother and I battled, but that was rare and we're best friends to this day. I see none of the positive parts of a brotherhood in the UM / MSU relationship. Can you name a single Sparty fan that roots for Michigan, ever? They get headaches during our Spring game.
Ohio State, Notre Dame and even Penn State are perennially solid programs. There's usually a ton on the line when Michigan plays them. Those rivalries are born of respect.
But Sparty is not an equal. They are a "rival" only in that their fans and players will it to be so. They are a "spoiler team". That's it. They're a bulletin board program, for one, maybe two weeks out of the year.
Respect must be earned. What have they done to deserve respect? I'll respect them when they play each and every other game with an intensity even close to "Michigan week". I don't even care if they win, just be freaking competitive, then come back and "demand" respect.
Speaking as a Michigan resident only, Sparty is persistently an embarrassment to the state, both on the field, and off. I'd much rather bestow the "little brother" title upon any of the directional schools in our state, like CMU. I don't want Michigan to be related to Sparty.
I'm for replacing "Little Brother" with "Spartina trying to fit into an 80's style mini-skirt" as Larry Foote suggested. Given how Spartina behaves itself in every other game, except Michigan and ND, it's far more appropriate.
Hey, not every sibling relationship is the same.
My other brother (let's call him "iSlayeri" and I are four years apart, and the relationship was a lot more like WMU -- we respected the different things we were good at (though everything came easier to me), and he was largely successful in his own arena of activity, which wasn't mine. We fought from time to time, but this usually ended early with him crying to my parents, and me getting in trouble for picking on him. Competing in sports wasn't really an option -- he would be made "all-time goalie" or something and Brother 2 (Sparty) and I would try to pretend like he (iSlayeri) made an awesome stop.
Perhaps you and your brother are more like that?
That's not the M/MSU rivalry. M/MSU is me and Sparty. We both valued the same things. We both had relatively similar interests. When we were put on opposite teams, or when we built Lego spaceships, or when we went out for Holloween candy, it was always a competition, and it was always a competition where I was trying to best my best, and he was trying to best me (it has been my experience that most adults have completely forgotten how seriously children take "play").
The sibling rivalry that we are generally referring to with MSU is the one of brothers close enough in age so that competition is close, but with the elder still holding a distinct (yet progressively shrinking) advantage. Maybe it's not your experience, but it was mine, and I think it was the same for a lot of other brothers who are within 1 or 2 years apart in age.
If the analogy is just a way to irritate MSU, then you're right, it gets tiresome. But it's not. It points out flaws in us just as much as it does them. As I said in the diary, the "Little Bro" meme is a powerful metaphor for life experiences. If you just want crap to fling for a football rivalry, this isn't it.
That you're giving the State football program way too much credit. Your characterization of your relationship with your brother is interesting, but from my perspective you're really reading that into the Michigan-Michigan State dynamic. Because your brother actually went to State, it's easy for you to see a parallel between growing up as brothers together and UM and MSU existing as football programs and universities together in the same state. To me, this doesn't really make any sense. What are the forces that are supposed to foster this special relationship and respect between UM and MSU? Just proximity? The Big Ten? Michigan is not making a seat impression with its ass in State's truck, as far as I can tell. They only come into contact once a year.
Maybe Michigan is like the doctor whose sister (the State of Michigan) marries a personal trainer with an inferiority complex (that'd be Sparty, obvs.)*, and they all get together once a year at Thanksgiving, and they don't quite actually want to murder each other but it's close. That's a family metaphor I can get behind. Little Brother => Jealous Brother-in-Law. Not as catchy, though. To me, 'Sparty' incapsulates everything just fine all on its own.
This is, of course, just a matter of perspective. I personally think Aequitas is closer to the mark, but not because I want a stirring battle cry or a catchy nickname - I just don't have a lot of respect, grudging or otherwise, for the MSU football program.
* Note: the choice of personal trainer is not supposed to be insulting, for all you personal trainers out there. Personal trainer is a fine job, but ol' Sparty can't be confident and happy in his own thing - he's gotta measure himself against Doctor Michigan in everything he does.
I think your analogy is closer to what I had in mind, this part in particular:
"What are the forces that are supposed to foster this special relationship and respect between UM and MSU? Just proximity? The Big Ten? Michigan is not making a seat impression with its ass in State's truck, as far as I can tell. They only come into contact once a year."
Couple the lack of said forces combined with my own personal experience and my opinion is that Sparty and Michigan have very little in common.
I don't disagree with that, I just don't see a single positive tie between the schools that would exist in even highly competitive siblings. So the comparison only half fits for me.
I also think your relationship with your brother, and the fact that he attended MSU, is helping you define the metaphor here.
We can respectfully agree to disagree.
As an out-of-stater who is currently attending U of M, am I alone in thinking the MSU-UM series is a bizarre relationship? Michigan leads 67-29-5... that's not competitive, nor is it a rivalry. It seems to me (as a relative outsider) that this game differs from the Notre Dame or Ohio State in a few major ways.
Notre Dame and Ohio State are regarded with grudging respect, and both teams take measure of themselves by how well they do in the game, as do we. Neither is a brother, but both are truly rivals.
Now, let me ask you-- What Michigan team has ever defined itself and its season by its game against Michigan State? It seems like Michigan State defines its season-- bowl game, Big Ten standing, or record be damned-- every year, by beating Michigan or seeing Michigan lose. It's not a reciprocal relationship. Michigan fans who refer to Sparty as a rival are enablers-- MSU is not a rival.
They are a sad and deluded bunch who join rival message boards (looking at you, Worm), burn couches after our losses, and generally don't display any class, ranging from slapping themselves silly on national television to making fun of Mike Hart's height. And that's just their coaches.
I just don't understand how anyone could with a straight face call them a brother. They are the second major in-state school, and certainly many UM students have siblings that went to MSU, but at the end of they day they haven't done anything to show they merit the respect of a rival, or a brother.
Misopogon's story is a great one of brotherhood, but as noted before, it's not a 1:1 analogy with MSU. Your brother is always trying to beat you and take your best shot, but at the end of the day when you confront your own rival, out of the family, he has your back because you're brothers. (after all, I certainly don't root for MSU to lose to out-of-conference teams). Not so with MSU.
Neither brother nor rival. What are they? Just a team that carries the collective angst, insecurity and rage of its student body onto the field against us once every year and leaves at the end of it, generally with a loss, and either way without having proved anything with any consistency except that they hate us. We don't leave impressed either way, and it's on with Big 10 play.
If they took a hard look at bringing even 1/10th of the intensity with which they hate us to every game, worked hard to define their season by a Big 10 title or bowl game rather than beating us, they might win our respect. Until then, Michigan fans should stop goading them and treat them just like Illinois. Wouldn't that push them to be better, and just infuriate them that much more?