to smell it, East until you step in it has been around for decades. They used to sell bumper stickers at the stadium with that saying.
Also, little brother won't die because.........well, they are and act like it.
to smell it, East until you step in it has been around for decades. They used to sell bumper stickers at the stadium with that saying.
Also, little brother won't die because.........well, they are and act like it.
In an attempt to change things up, this year's game was the first one since Mike Hart's infamous post game comments that I had not gone to social media during hate week to either post the video of or glorify the little brother line. And we won. That in itself is enough for me to retire from personally using it. I'm sure there are other valid reasons, but mine is one of pure superstition.
It's just that they keep doing things to perpetuate it. Such as the Narduzzi post game presser where he mentions Denard is not faster than U. Bolt, or the tweets from the MSU players about Denard and the Alabama game.
I really do think they had to chance to ditch it if they acted like "they had been there before" when they tasted a little bit of success. But alas, they did not. I do not see this attitude changing especially after this year's horrible performances by MSU; coupled with our return to dominance, I feel the tag line is here to stay.
Edit: I admit, I'm not even really a fan of it - and have personally tried to distance myself from the phrase. However, when any nickname, or stereotype for that matter is basically perpetually reinforced - it's hard to let it go. And as such, I've just decided to keep using it... forever.
back to the good old days of having a better football team and basketball team
MSU affiliation of the phrase aside (and I would bet Slippery Rock's head coach probably doesn't know about the meme) that's actually a really cool thing for him to say. I'm glad they enjoyed the experience and got a little more recognition for their efforts than they usually do. I actually have a couple friends at Slippery Rock and they really think it's a cool little "quirk" or whatever you want to call their relationship with Michigan. Good for their program.
Thanks I hadn't hear dthat about slippery rock. Good attitude for them and us.
On the our true little brother. They embrace it because UM is their boogeymen. Season colaplses, big brotehrs fault. Trash tornado, Denards fault. Student section doesn't show up, Big brotehrs fault. Just blame it on big brother. It is very useful for Dantonio to deflect blame from him, his team, and their fans.
I think you need a pretty big stick in your ass to have a problem with "little brother".
... Which would mean approximately half of the Michigan fan base.
I don't think it has anything to do with that. I for one, have family and good friends who go to MSU, so I don't believe all the hoopla that all of them are trash. I'm just not a fan of stereotyping whole fan bases. Just as it's wrong to identify all Michigan fans as arrogant, it's wrong to identify all State fans as ignorant and trashy.
I think you're kind of making my point. As far as insults go, I think a little smirking condescension is pretty tame. It's the kind of thing that family and friends can use against each other in good fun. Unless they're afflicted with the aforementioned stick... Or with "little brother syndrome".
It's real bite is in how/when Sparty plays the part so well. I'm not sure how it equates to ignorant or trashy either? That's an entirely different stereotype, no?
juggalos man, juggalos.
People always forget the most important part of Mike Hart's quote - "they think that, so of course we think that." The moniker comes from their atittude. It will never die because they will always compare what they do to what Michigan does.
The obsession over this whole comment cuts to the heart of the current Spartan UM issue.
The UM being the older institution (since 1817 and nearing it bicentennial) and the one which has long been more influential (politically, economically, socially) can be looked upon as the "old firm" establishment and MSU as the upstart. It began as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan - becoming later the State Agricultural College. The school predates East Lansing as a municipality. By the early 1900, it had evolved into Michigan Agricultural College. By the 1920's it was Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science. It was not until 1964 that it actually became Michigan State University (MSU).
Historically with the many name changes and an ever evolving mission one can see that a fixed identity has only been recent development. Interestingly the Spartans had a long period of football prowess which dominated the 1950's and early 1960's. The only joined the Big Ten in 1949 but the Duffy Daugherty era (1954-1972) saw them finish first in the Coaches Poll twice in 1965 and 1966.
So why aren't the Sparty Fans more magnamimous given a pretty decent football history? The end of Daugherty era saw the rise of Bo and with that, years of 0.500 or so teams and the 1970's ushered in the Big 2 and the Little 8. It was also a period when college football on TV became really big with color TV penetration overtaking black-white broadcasts and those "in color" notices on TV programs started to fade out. The reach of TV, the vast size of the UM alumni, and the expansion of the student body coincided nicely with Bo's great period. Vast pools of people now followed the Wolverines who had no actual ties with the school.
Most of the current Sparty fans are too young to remember when they were good for a long time. In contrast most of the Michigan fans who are younger lived through the Bo/Mo/Lloyd era when Michigan was usually very good to great. The much older fans who remember the fallow period between 1949 and 1969 are only a smaller slice of the fanbase and they have lived to see the Wolverines become dominant again.
My little brother actually is a Spartan, so...
In all truth, I kind of wish Mike Hart had kept his mouth shut with that one. Or that it hadn't turned into "a thing." Or something.
It must be pretty awkward to go out with him in public when he's dressed like this.
I wonder if this guy posed, standing on a golpher in a Mizzu helmate for Worthy's tattoo
The thing I find the most hilarious is how much of 300 they've adopted. Bringing Gerard Butler in as a "Spartan", their pro-combat uni's, and best of all, how a large chunk of them have adopted Molon Labe as a team statement
this isn't new. it's been this way since 1855, and will continue until the end of time.
its the same in EVERY state except CA, NY, OH and many New England states.
This thread makes me wonder what the average age of the posters on this board is. Mike Hart didn't invent the "little brother" concept. That interpretation of the relationship has been around for as long as I've been alive at least (I'm 30), and probably a lot longer. And as Michigan Arrogance noted, it's not even particularly unique to the Michigan-MSU rivalry. It may be unique as far as the B1G is concerned, since AFAIK neither Indiana & Purdue nor Illinois & Northwestern have this particular dynamic, and no other B1G schools share a state. But you look at, say, Oklahoma-OSU, or Washington-WSU, or even Texas-TAMU, and it's the same relationship. Expecting the "Little Brother Mantra" to "Go Away" is tantamount to expecting Michigan State to somehow permanently overtake Michigan as both the flagship academic instititution in the state, and the preeminent athletic program in both football and basketball. It isn't going to happen.
I think of them as my embarrassing cousin that occasionally would beat me in hoops at family events. He would ultimately make a fool of himself and always be a stones throw away from jail. Still he was fun to go out with once in awhile when not embarrassing me.
People liked that halftime show? I guess I missed that but I like the little brother moniker just because it annoys them so much.
Looks like someone never had a childhood.
Here's a link from Yahoo! Sports where a Saints defensive player pulls out the "Little Brother" tag for the Falcons. http://yhoo.it/SZdycP
like most memes when repeated ad nauseum it starts to become lame.
I'm also of the opinion that:
a) it was mean-spirited and therefore (even if it elicited some chuckles) you just don't want to doggedly repeat it forever and
b) it bit us in the ass more than it helped us.
I guess it's because our cousins all went to MSU and my family all went to UM that I've had a hard time ever completely hating them. I also understand some of their resentment when our endowment is the seventh biggest and they're begging the legislature to keep them in Bunsen burners and repair their t-squares.
I think little brothers always suffer from that.
I don't buy that Hart's comment actually hurt us. It was a coincidence that he said it right before we went through a difficult coaching transition that set our program back. That comment did not make Dantonio become obsessed with us. He hated our guts long before Hart said anything. In fact, I recall Dantonio mocking us after the Appalachian game.
Not a judgment, just an observation: I think those of us who have friends and/or family who go to MSU are the most reluctant to adopt the "Little Brother" theme. For what it's worth, I found that my out-of-state friends tended to embrace "Little Brother" the most.
I go to a small high school in the UP where it's about 90% spartan fans and we use it just to piss them off. It works so we have no intention of stopping.
"Bit us in the ass more than it helped us?"
The only thing that "bit us in the ass" was a temporary shift in the balance of talent due to a lot of infighting, which resulted in so-called "Michigan men" telling instate coaches not to send their players to Michigan. This allowed Sparty to build a decent team.
Getting instate players won't ever win Michigan a national championship, or even beat Ohio, but it will keep enough of them away from Sparty to keep them down where they belong. The fact that everyone is on the same page is going to make sure that Sparty wins the Sparty Super Bowl three times every ten years, as they did for the previous four decades.
Unless I missed it in an earlier post, does anyone have a link to a vid of the halftime show? Couldn't find it on Youtube. It was definitely funny.
Didn't you hear, they aren't little brother because they should be 8-1. They only have 1 legit loss this year. Just ask their players. See, the most mature thing to do after losses is complain about the refs and blame them for a shitty season. If you ask their fanbase, they will also tell you there is a conspiracy against them. First the refs and the B10 were just favoring OSU and Michigan. Then Wisconsin started winning, so they joined the conspiracy. Then Nebraska joined the B10 and started getting calls, so now the B10 wants them to win! All of this is so....little brother. From the players to the coaches to the fans, none of them know what to do after two great seasons bookended by possibly 2 losing seasons
LIttle Brother isn't going to go away, lol. Little Brother won't let it.
But it's true. Literally Michigan is definitely older more established, and bigger in every way imaginable. Figuratively State has spent the entirety of their existence in Michigan's shadow, and they act the part. I'm not sure if any has ever been more appropriate. Also I don't care if your little brother grows up to be bigger and better than you in everyway he is still your little brother.
As a former MSU student, this is entirely true. The only thing the school was self-assured in was basketball and the rest of it was comparisons to Michigan. The worst part about it is that because of this, the school's identity suffers from an envy that defines its character. It would be a much better school and probably have better sports if it stopped always trying to compare itself to U-M and just accept that it is a different place.
I agree. Instead of focusing on their positives they attempt to bring us down. I graduated in '80 and the chip on the Spartan shoulder has been growing since then.
Im an M grad, and abhor the hypocritical hatred by MSU towards us.... however I gotta point out a few things here...
1. as much as it pains me to say, the balance of power that you refer to, has not yet returned to us... we'd have lost in East Lansing this year. But next year with Gardner, I think we have a very good shot.
2. the said balance of power will return to us if we win next year, or at very worst with Gardner in 2014 if he gets his redshirt, or Morris in 2015, FOR CERTAIN.
By your arbitrary standard, the "balance of power" never shifted away. We won 6 in a row before the current streak (which happened largely against the worst teams M fielded in decades) and it should have been 8 without Spartan Bob.
C'mon man. Just make ONE post where I don't feel compelled to neg you. Just one.
we'd have lost in East Lansing this year.
Why? Notre Dame, Ohio, Iowa and Nebraska all managed to win in East Lansing this year. MSU doesn't seem to have much of a homefield advantage this season.
It's hard to have "home field advantage" when a quarter of your student section is empty
It should stick around as long as it's true. And since my dad went to U-M something like 40 years ago, it hasn't changed, so I don't see it happening any time soon. Everything we talk about now - them constantly measuring their worth against us and acting like rotten babies half the time - is the same shit my dad has said about them for twenty, thirty years.
I was a freshman in 1969 and had many Spartan friends from High School. The little brother thing was around then and had been around quite a while. They did not get the opportunity to attend UM. The difference then was limited success by Sparty in most sports. Their success in basketball came later. As did occasional success in football.
I asked my mom what it was like when MSU was the dominant team under Munn and Duffy, and thy sed to get all the attention. And she was like "no, even then the media still paid more attention to Michigan, because they were Michigan." So no matter how good they were, they always were made to feel like second class citizens.
Varsity sport in 1879 vs 1896 Older
National Championships 11 vs 6 Better
All time record 902–314–36 (.735) vs 641–431–44 (.594) Better
Head to head record 67-32-5 (.668) Better
Stadium 114000 vs 80000 Larger
Based purely on statistical facts, we are the Big Brother indeed.
I find it hard not to scoff at their "6" national titles. In 1957, Auburn won the AP poll, Ohio State won the UPI poll. MSU claims a national title from that year though. Historically, lots of different organizations gave away the title of "National Champion."
Michigan could claim national championships (but don't) from: 1985 (Matthews, Sagarin), 1973 (National Championship Foundation), and 1964 (Dunkel).
In 1955, MSU claims another national title from Boand despite Oklahoma having the distinction of "National Champion" given to them by: AP, Berryman, Billingsley, DeVold, Dunkel, Football Research, FW, Helms, INS, Litkenhous, National Championship Foundation, Poling, Sagarin, UPI, Williamson.
I'm too tired to look up the rest of their national titles, but I'm pretty sure I read once that they really only have 2 legitimate national titles in football.
MSU has been called little brother for as long as they have called us arrogant asses. I believe it was Darryl Rogers who started that nickname for us. That's at least four decades.
Mike Hart didn't invent the little brother nickname. But for some reason when he used it, MSU fans suddenly became pissed and Michigan fans started using it more.
I was on TV on '07 doing one of those "let's get some fans to do some pregame trash talk" interviews. My televised use of "little brother" preceded Hart's by a few hours. So I suppose it's all my fault.
For those of you too young to remember, MSU is called "Little Brother" (and Mike Hart said it) because they always have, and always will, care about beating Michigan WAY more than Michigan cares about beating them. Watching MSU unravel every year after the Michigan game is a time-honored tradition; the only reason to note MSU's existence at all is to make sure we don't slip up and lose to them, thus having to hear them consider themselves equal until we put the universe back in order again.
The last four years have been excruciating to watch Michigan fans obsess over MSU; we won; now we can stop. On to OSU and the other big boys that matter. Return MSU to the irrelevance they deserve - they're a 5-5 team that obsesses way too much about their better, more established in-state rival. Don't give them extra publicity/attention and validate them any further - what annoys them the most is us ignoring them.
THAT is what little brother is all about.
The thought of MSU unraveling after losses to Michigan is something I find both interesting and hilarious. Is MSU's recent success due to the confidence they gained after wins against Michigan? I guess they may have just had good teams, but MSU's psychological state is unique. I wonder what effect this type of thing would have on Michigan if the annual OSU game was moved from the last game in the season. Would Michigan or OSU be subject to the same type of collapse after a big loss to the other? Maybe MSU would have more success as a program if their final game was against Michigan? Obviously the Michigan OSU relationship is much different than Michigan MSU, but it's definitely something to look at.
The unraveling is something that occurred during the JLS/Bobby years where we would be 5-0 or something of the like going into the Michigan game and end up being 5-7 on the year after an excruciating loss to Michigan. The collective let down after the Michigan game has been put to an end in the Dantonio era as he is 6-0 the week after the Michigan game. So this "unraveling" you are speaking about is most def. a thing of the past.
They'd be so hype that they'd lose the next game. And that goes even back to the good coaches MSU had.
1990 - lose next game to Illinois.
1995 - win the next game (saved by Indiana) but lose last 2.
1999 - Even Saban couldn't save that good team from losing their next 2.
2001 - lose next 3. (Including Indiana and Purdue).
Dantonio has fixed that win or lose.
He still needs some work on actually preparing for the game before Michigan, instead of just Michigan for 2 weeks though.....(1-4 the week before Michigan, with one bye week).
As long as Mike Valenti remains the poster boy for that "brah" fanbase, and Dantonio continues to "bristle up" when he sees a guy walking by with a Michigan shirt on, I'm gonna keep reveling in their little brother status.
I've never really cared about the "little brother" mantra because it always felt so missplaced. MSU is perfectly acceptable college and football team; it just isn't anything better than literally dozens of other programs. The difference is not from MSU's failures as a team as much as the prominence and history of UM. Basically every team in the Big Ten except OSU and maybe PSU have histories that pale in comparison to UM's, and so they are all "little brothers" in the sense that they will always be second-class citizens on the football field. As Brian noted in his game recap, UM is a rich man who finds $1,000 bills on the ground every fall and spring while the rest of the teams are happy to pull wadded-up $20 from under the rug. Without UM and OSU in the conference, Wiscy and MSU would assume greater prominence (as evidence, look the past couple of years when UM and OSU were going through their issues), and our view of them would be different. The hierarchy established over decades of football has designated certain tiers for teams to occupy, and with rare exceptions nobody moves up or down much. Like a caste system, each team has an established lineage, and unless a truly revolutionary figure arrives who can change that slotting, MSU will always be a second-tier program, behind schools like UM but also OSU, Wiscy, (post-sanctions) PSU, and (probably) Nebraska.
Out of curiosity, how often do you deal with Sparty on a daily basis?
The "Little Brother" meme has little to do with football. It has to do with the complex. They are Little Brother because they act like Little brother outside of the football field, and it's the student body and alumni, not just the football team.
Narduzzi: Martinez is way faster than Robinson
Flagship message board, the RCMB, after MSU loses its basketball opener to UConn: 2 front page threads on how Michigan sucks because it played Slippery Rock
Dantonio: numerous juvenile jabs, where's the threat, laying in the weeds, we didn't come here to talk about Michigan football, and on and on
Win or lose, it always comes back to Michigan. That is the behavior of a little brother envious of a successful big brother.
Got to be honest here I'm not a big fan of the little brother meme. That said, it's never going to die just as Walmart Wolverine will be around longer than the store itself. Immature name-calling and college rivalries go hand in hand.
"Is this guy really a QB I'll say my mans (walk-on Tommy Vento) is a better QB lol," - linebacker Denicos Allen
"I can play quarterback for the school in blue. (Le'Veon Bell) for heisman > the other guy in the great state of michigan." - linebacker Jamal Lyles
"#ShoutOut to the refs...yall won the game tonight! Toughest team we played all year.."
— LeVeon Bell (@L_Bell24) November 4, 2012
THIS IS SOME BULLS***
I will stop calling them little brother when they stop acting like one.
I thought it bordered on being a little disrespectful. If you make fun of someone and I think it's witty/funny, then great, but the halftime show was neither, just replaying our old insults.
Also, I don't care that much about MSU now that the game is past. Michigan beat them. Michigan recruits better. Michigan is going to beat them a lot more in the future. Whatever. Stop talking about them.
People keep describing the halftime show on here in vague terms. For those of us not at the game, what happened? I'm really curious to find out.
And as they've done with other shows, the characters were represented by rival Universities. The Gluttony kid was Wisconsin. The one who blow up (ego) was ND. OSU was the girl who was greedy. And MSU was the TV kid. (And of course the Charlie character was all Michigan). So they were trying to get the golden ticket to gain admission to the University of Michigan. Led by Drum Major Wonka. (Who did some of the great classic flips). Each gets disqualified for their flaws, with some good costuming and stuff on the scenes as the band played and they went around the field. It was one of the band's really good halftime shows. The only thing I think kept it from being a classic is that the skits were well thought out, but when the band was actually playing the music, I'm not sure they had choreographed much for the characters to do except run around in circles in the interim. But a nice call to some of their best stuff. And the oompa loompa's were appropriately creepy.
All those empty seats in East Lansing vs Nebraska illustates their inferiority perfectly. I don't recall seeing that many empty seats in a UM game unless it's the first quarter and UM students are exercising their right to temporal insouciance. If they were our equal they'd go see their team play in person. But they aren't, so they don't.
Only time I remember empty seats was Rich Rod's first year and it was a game vs Northwestern
I always thought that there were things that went beyond football that sort of contributed to the "inferiority complex" that many perceive, if you will. I couldn't find the exact link, but I know someone posted it here last year around the time of our game with MSU - it was an article from "The Only Colors" about the historical wrongs that they see as attributable to the University Of Michigan.
Among some of the more notable ones, as I recall, were the lack of enthusiasm over MSU's entrance into the Big Ten (and an accusation that Michigan tried to sabotage their entry into the conference), the resistance to the name change to Michigan State University from Michigan Agricultural College (that it might cause confusion), and the attempted "theft" of various programs.
It might have been a well-researched work except for the fact that all the sources were MSU sources, so the objectivity of the whole piece is in question, I would say, especially when the school paper and the alumni magazine were the only sources of record.
So, there's that...sort of.
It wouldn't surprise me if Michigan did, in fact, oppose MSU's entry into the B1G, and try to protect its turf in other ways. Why would any university in the B1G be excited to add an in-state rival for recruiting, or raise the profie of another state-funded school that would compete with it for state resources?
In any case, it's been a very long time since 1949, and longer still for some of the other claims MSU people are still p.o.'ed about.
Yes, they're a newer school by a few years. And the older school is the one with the big reputation. That reputation didn't come from football. It came from being a top-tier academic institution with a more selective student body and more highly regarded professors in many of the disciplines.
There's also no comparison between the law schools, the medical schools, and the business school in terms of prestige.
It's also true that some MSU programs are absolutely excellent, even on a national level. But they're not in the more traditional fields that universities are often judged (or misjudged) by.
MSU people need to get over what happened 60 some years ago. It's time.
And they need to get over the relative ranking of the two schools in terms of national perception. It's going to take a long time for that to change - if it ever does.
However, there's no reason to diss MSU. It's a good school, its graduates do just fine in life, and Dantonio has brought them a very good football program.
To be fair, the little brother moniker existed before Hart's quote. I read a Freep article back in like 2004 that referred to MSU as the little brother of the schools.
of being disrespectful, that is why I live in central ohio but have always been a Michigan fan. I'll call them sparty but thanks anyway........
I didn't see the halftime show, so I may be way off, but from the description in the OP, it sounds like the halftime show was little brotherish.
"For all of the humor and back-and-fotrth that the matra has created over the past 5 years, it seems there are enough who wish it would just go away."
This just isn't true OP. The only people who want it to go away are a small portion of the people who post on here and they tend to be a certain kind of fan. A portion of the fan base (and it's a small portion) want it to go away... but the vast majority either don't care or love the term. And lets face it, if MSU didn't validate the terms use and definition over and over and over again then it wouldn't be such a big part of the rivalries lexicon. It's like my friend Trevor used to say when he was hammered and was trying to rib people, "It's funny because it's true!"
The meme is never going to die because MSU will never let it die. They want to be little brother because it lets them justify all their boorish and juvenile behavior. So when Mark Dantonio rudely interrupts a Michigan assistant coach at a seminar, the reaction from the fanbase isn't one of embarrassment, but one of defiance. They've portrayed themselves as the righteous underdog fighting the good fight against the arrogant, evil empire. That's their identity, it doesn't matter if it comes nowhere near reality.
The Marching Band this past weekend. Mike Spartee was a whining punk. His big brother, on the other hand, seems like a cool guy.
As an MSU alum I definitely feel the "little brother" moniker is definitive of the relationship between UofM and MSU. Nobody can deny the more storied tradition in academics and sports at UofM. I personally think the jab is hilarious because it cuts to the very core of the in state rivalry. I don't mind it at all when family and friends use it in casual rivalry conversation. Spartan fans would do well to remember that just because UofM is considered a great school doesn't mean MSU is not a good school.
At the same time, I would caution against generalizations based upon the subjective opinions that all Spartans are obsessed with UofM and only UofM or that individual Spartans are boorish, juvenile, and generally inferior hence deserving of a pejorative moniker.
You can have a formal retirement ceremony right here on the blog. Doesn't mean I will personally stop using it...