gambling establishment etc
Now I know this might be a little tl;dr, and I'm normally one of the last people to praise the MSU football team, especially Dantonio, but they've done something pretty amazing this year for members of my extended family.
Earlier this year, my 11 year old cousin was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma, an agressive type of brain cancer. She began an agressive series of chemotherapy treatments, that will likely continue until July of next year. Before she began the treatments, she was a very active person, playing on a travel soccer team and various other sports. After she started treatments, her teammtes began making bracelets with her name on them similar to Livestrong bracelets, and now most of her league, friends, and family are wearing them.
So now cut to the first week of the season, when my brother, another cousin, and me are catching MSU's season opener on TV, and we notice a bunch of the MSU players and coaches wearing her bracelets on the sideline and in the game. A few minutes later, they run a bit about the Spartan player who was playing for the first time since surviving cancer, and they cut to a shot before the game of him talking to some people, lo and behold it's my 11 year old cousin with her brothers and parents. Then her parents email out to the family a bit later with the details. Both of them are MSU alumni, and she has been visiting practices and meeting with the coaches and players, who have been giving her advice and support. Here's an excerpt from the email, with names edited out for her privacy:
"Today she visited the MSU football players in their closed practice. The players and coaches were absolutely amazing with [her]. Tomorrow the conditioning coach, Coach Mannie, who is taking her under his wing, is making copies of a biography that we gave them on [her]. He told the team that each of them will have the bio of [her] in their lockers tomorrow (copy of the bio attached). In addition, he told the team that [she] was there to give them her bracelets. He told them that she is watching them play on TV and watching for the bracelets. Thus, he expected all of the team to be wearing their bracelets at this Saturday's game vs Ohio State. At the end of the practice Kurt Cousins lead the team in prayer and prayed first for our family and [her] and of course the team. He is a really amazing guy! Coach Mannie then gave [her] a beautiful necklace and bracelet that his wife picked out for her and a card signed by all the players. He told [her] that he will make sure that she is on the field before every game this season that she is able to attend. When he took [her] in the HUGE weight room where he works with the team, he gave [her] some of the cherry juice that the football players drink for her to try (we have been trying to get her to drink cherry juice and when we went in the weight room there was a sign on the coolers saying "cherry juice is only for the football players"....wow sometimes God just puts those signs in the right places) and he told her when she is done with treatment, he will personally work with her on conditioning. Last but not least he emailed us a bunch of pictures from today before we even made it all the way home. It was yet another special day with the MSU football team for [her]."
Now despite the homerism in my aunt's description, I was blown away by how the team is treating my little cousin, and I guarantee it's helping her (she's normally very shy and reserved, but her doctors have been remarking on her energy and dedication, I imagine meeting with these guys has to help that somewhat). All I know is that this year, aside from October 15, I'm going to be cheering for the Spartans.
Once more unto the Big House, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our Wolverine dead.
In the offseason there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of the band blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the wolverine;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with MINOR RAGE;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest Wolverine.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of tradition!
Fathers that, like so many Schembechlers,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And removed their pads for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to win. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in Michigan, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your tuition; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Rodriguez, Michigan, and Saint Schembechler!'
(Sorry I didn't keep the iambic pentameter, I'm a math major, not english.)
However, this isn't really about that. For the second week now we've had piped-in music to the Big House, and as angry as I was at first, I can see the potential, especially with the band becoming even harder to hear this year than in years past it seems. But, the way the music is currently being managed is beyond asinine. Despite that, the music is a good way to keep the less than dedicated fans (which, less be honest, the Big House is full of) attention held for more than a 15 second play. Here's a few suggestions I have to improve the music system to allow it to keep the crowd pumped while not angering traditionalists too much (don't take this the wrong way, I consider myself one of these):
1. For the love of god, have some respect for the other portions of game day. Too many times yesterday and during the WMU game did I notice the piped-in music being played over the band, or over the cheerleaders trying to organize a stadium-wide cheer. This is unacceptable and beyond disrespectful to the band and cheerleaders. If you're going to pipe in music, only do it when there isn't something else currently going on.
2. Know when to use the music. This is another big one, there were quite a few occasions yesterday where the music was played on short breaks, and ND would time their snap to right after the music stopped. This gave them a little window of quiet between when fans were singing along with the music before they began their general Michigan is on D raucousness. Also, there were a few times where a song which took time to build up into the energetic section (namely the Eminem song) was used in a time span where it didn't have time to reach the climax, leaving it just some ineffective piano riffs.
3. Get a larger/better selection of music! I fully appreciate attempting to make a Michigan/Detroit tie in with the music, but we need more than the same four songs repeated ad infinitum all game. The AD could easily stick with the Michigan theme and get some much better pump-up music. What about some Nugent (I would love to hear Stranglehold pumped in), KISS, or even work from some former UM students (Iggy Pop and Andrew W K, I don't think Madonna fits the niche of stadium pump up music)? Aside from Michigan-related artists, it would also be alright to break the theme a few times, as they already have done with AC/DC and Guns and Roses, to get some more variety in the music.
So as much as some of us hate it, the music is here, and is unlikely to go anywhere. However, the AD could be much smarter about how it's handled, and I feel like these suggestions would be good directions to go in to provide a much better experience for everyone.
What do you fellow mgobloggers think?