I didn't see this discussed yet, but a slight mention by Brian regarding this weekend's half-time show by the MMB got me thinking. As you may recall if you were in attendance, and not stuck in a line waiting for some stadium grub or a restroom, the MMB performed a pretty creative and funny show during the break of the NW game. I found the content relavent since we have debated several times on this blog about the necessity of some to continue to refer to MSU as "little brother". 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. The balance of power has been restored after this years win, and there is no logical evidence that suggests that Sparty will have another 4 game run like they enjoyed since Mike Hart graduated.
With all of that being said, it is fair to think that perhaps the moniker will not die. When the MMB uses it as a half-time feature to denigrate the school that's located "North until you smell it, West until you step in it", you know that it's use and understanding has escaped the control of the former players, current coaches, and casual fans of the rivalry. Evidenced by the laughing and obvious applause that the comments received by the crowd in attendance on Saturday, I think that, for better or for worse, it is now permanently part of the Michigan Football Lexicon. So, like Spartan Bob so famously started nearly a decade ago... let the debates begin.
Last week I found a tape of games from college. To my delight it was 2003 MSU (Perry's 50-carry game) and OSU (exposure by two touchdowns) on the same tape!
I noticed something. Near the end of the MSU game, Michigan called a naked bootleg pass. Navarre fumbled and it was returned for a score, getting Sparty back in the game. Afterwards, ABC's Jack Arute tries to get Lloyd in a "gotcha" moment, asking him who called the pass that became the infamous fumble. Lloyd paused, looked bothered, and said "I did." This was a really dumb and/or unprofessional exchange for an experienced guy like Arute.
Fast forward to the iconic moment of the OSU game. After kneeling the ball to go in up 14 points, Lloyd had to hear it from Todd Harris who wanted an explanation about not driving down the field and using timeouts. Lloyd gave him the famous "why would you ask a stupid question like that?" refused to answer another question and walked off the field.
For the first time, I realized the two are almost undoubtedly related. It doesn't take many bad experiences to get on the wrong side of a football coach. I bet Lloyd was ready to brush off any more of this sideline reporter silliness, especially from the sport's top media outfit. (He apologized the next day on Michigan Replay.)
The worst part was we had to hear from John Saunders and Craig James about how it was "uncalled for" and Lloyd should have "answered the question." This after ABC's sideline guys had second-guessed Carr twice in one season.
The only time I've ever respected Terry Bowden as an announcer was then - he stood up for the coach and said "it's totally reasonable to down the ball there."
Parenthetical: am I the only one who thinks the 2001 loss to Ohio State was one of the biggest blown shoulda-wons in recent Michigan memory? Looking back I see that game, a laydown performance against a poorer team, as the one inflecting a clear program decline. Then again, we stole one the week before at Wisconsin, so maybe things were just evening out.