Dear Diary and the Thing About State

Submitted by Seth on January 24th, 2014 at 7:26 AM


The State of Our Thing With State. Since the Rose Bowl there's been a palpable "I don't wanna talk about it" feel on the board with regard to the in-state rival. The coaching carousel came and went without whisking Narduzzi or Dantonio to someplace that doesn't have polar vortexes every other week, and the latest is they're the presumed leader for McDowell, which would be exactly the kind of straight-up, in-state recruiting win they haven't had yet vs. Hoke.

During the conference makeover meetings last fall—you know, where the principles were told to make divisions that keep the rivalries intact but were not allowed to do the obvious thing and leave Rutgers and Maryland out of it—MSU successfully lobbied to host our game on even years, which is going to be incredibly annoying when Minnesota is our most interesting home game, and even more annoying when we have to visit East Lansing a second season in a row. That after the coldest, wettest, darkest, most miserable sporting event in human history, when all good things in the world—Michigan's season, your soul, Gardner's ribs, etc.—were obliterated, and the trolls pranced around the parking lot shouting MLive comments to each other, and it was called wisdom.

I expect they'll show up with "You were worked" t-shirts tomorrow. How dumb are Michigan's slogan t-shirts? They make the Izzone seem clever.

At Michigan State they teach that insolence is the highest form of expression. The last time we played them at Breslin the Izzone showed up with the perfect mockery of those arrogant shirts Adidas made during the non-conference sweep. And if that message didn't put the Fightin' Dave Brandons in our place, an all-encompassing 75-52 exposure did the trick. Until then Michigan's losses on the season were a couple of close-ish, badly officiated, bad-luck-sort affairs at OSU, Indiana, and, just three days earlier, Wisconsin.

Some people called the blowout in East Lansing a Tuesday-turnaround throwaway and moved on; these people are not surrounded by Spartans every day of their lives. For me, if it had rained freezing water droplets containing bits of Gardner's sternum rather than Gary Harris three-pointers, it wouldn't have felt much different.

Of course the last time we played in basketball was March 3rd at Crisler, when Stauskas bleeding profusely from Branden Dawson's elbow promised to be your lasting image of the season. Then Trey Burke pilfered one, and scored, and slapped the floor, and then stole another to seal a one-point victory, and burned a completely different set of images onto our memories.

Trey_Burke_Career_33_display11 - Copydp8526530264_0e3ce9091a_b

This week their QB recruit from Cass Tech (whom a year ago a lot of people on the board wanted to be our QB recruit) bodyslammed one of his high school security guards. And we played their mediocre hockey team last night at the Joe, and won 2-1 on PDG's goal at 17:42 in the 3rd, and had a posbang thread for it. These are small things, yet received greater attention because the horrific events of late 2013 are still fresh.

Their basketball team started as everybody's favorite 1-seed, and is currently No. 3 in the nation. But that's just because the last guys they called No. 3 got knocked off at home by the same Michigan team that visits on Saturday. LSA says Michigan's shooting the lights out since conference play began. Brian says because we beat Iowa and Wisconsin that tomorrow is house money. I'm telling you it doesn't feel like that.

More Best of the Board


College Gameday will be at Breslin tomorrow, and that means a thread to brainstorm ideas for signs. Some good 'uns:

  • "QUEME LOS BARCOS; QUEME LOS SOFAS" (r.i.p. other MGoShirt)



We finally did some live events last year and every one turned out better than my expectations. I've been chatting with several former players with charities worth getting together for. Anyway I'd like to do these again this year and am open to venue suggestions, either in cities with a large contingent of MGoReaders over the summer (not New York or D.C. since we already do those), or at football away games. Mostly I need somebody on the ground in your town, or a connection to a company who'd like to sponsor these in various places across their footprint so we can keep them free.

ETC. Discussion on Walton's defense. Guy who met Fran McCaffery obviously didn't do so during a basketball game. Detroit Lions get a t-shirt for participation (this was a Bears fan's job but replace the kitten with Bubbles and I'd wear it to Ford Field totally). Michigan's new president is being announced right now. Morgan appreciation. Burke eviscerating the Pistons #FIREDUMARS. Brandon Brown recruiting updates on QBs Nick Johns and Jarrett Stidham, and RB Johnny Frasier. Hart changes directions. Preferred walk-on commit (kicker/punter).

Your Moment of Zen:

Of course…



January 24th, 2014 at 10:10 AM ^

Anyone notice the Spike floor smack during the Iowa game? It was barely caught on the edge of the screen. And I am pretty sure it was right after we turned the ball over. All I remember was, "HAH! Spike just smacked the the totally wrong moment....but go get you some young fella!"

LS And Play

January 24th, 2014 at 10:23 AM ^

I don't know what it is the last week or so, but the columns have just been absolutely terrific.  A couple of brilliant ones from Brian (Grinchmas being the first and dinosaur Jordan Morgan the second), and this one perfectly captures how I feel about the rivalry. I don't want to hear the house money argument, as you said. I know Michigan can (should?) win this damn game tomorrow. 

Mabel Pines

January 24th, 2014 at 10:39 AM ^

in the early 90's, when they were not so great at any sport. 

In my town, we had an "honor" State day where the kids at school had to wear green and white.  (mine did not participate)  The local paper has had 2 full page articles on the Rose Bowl, and yesterday's paper had two more Rose Bowl photos.  It's January 22.  Is that news anymore?

Needless to say, they are beyond insufferable and impressed with their own greatness.

Beat them.


snarling wolverine

January 24th, 2014 at 10:49 AM ^

Regarding the photo caption, I'm pretty sure our slogan t-shirts (other than the "Rise to the Occasion" one) were team-generated.  I think we were the only team to wear "WE ON" and we seem to be the only one to wear "WE WORK."   So you may think they're dumb, but the guys on the team are into them.


Giordano Bruno

January 24th, 2014 at 10:52 AM ^

May be able to arrange something in the Traverse City area this summer.  Local M alumni group seems pretty large (judging by their Cherry Festival float) and they have regular gatherings here.  Some really nice brewpubs and a few others here may be willing to do the sponsorship if I had the terms (assuming TC is a suitable destination) to present to them.


January 24th, 2014 at 11:43 AM ^

I very much enjoyed how everyone in "Tiebreaker" - Bo, the Michigan players, even the Ohio State players - referred to MSU as Michigan's "sister school," and not even in a derisive or mocking way, like it was the Radcliffe to Michigan's Harvard.  I think it's funny because nobody even sounded like they were trying to disrespect MSU, but their description is so much more offensive to your average Bra than "little brother."   


January 24th, 2014 at 12:04 PM ^

I haven't met anyone who claims they are a big Michigan fan who has said "I don't want to talk about it" regarding State's Rose Bowl and I wouldn't want to.

Nobody wins with denial.


turd ferguson

January 24th, 2014 at 12:31 PM ^

This week their QB recruit from Cass Tech (whom a year ago a lot of people on the board wanted to be our QB recruit) bodyslammed one of his high school security guards. And we played their mediocre hockey team last night at the Joe, and won 2-1 on PDG's goal at 17:42 in the 3rd, and had a posbang thread for it. These are small things, yet received greater attention because the horrific events of late 2013 are still fresh.


The Campbell story was a big thing because it's shocking video.  That video reached far beyond Michigan blogs because it's so disturbing.  (For the record, I didn't find it enjoyable, but it did feel very Sparty to me.)  And who cares that some fans on MGoBlog wanted Michigan to offer him?  Our coaches didn't.  And even more than that, since when can you not enjoy a win over your biggest hockey rival because they kind of suck?  I'm sure that OSU and MSU fans have been really disappointed to beat up on our pretty shitty football teams over the past 5-10 years.  Plus, every damn thing that happens generates a posbang thread these days.


January 24th, 2014 at 12:57 PM ^

between Izzo and the BB team and Dantonio and the FB team.   Izoo has an intellectual side, is eminently likeable and brings a certain respect to the competition and even though you want to beat them, a loss to the spartan BB team particularly a close game, will be followed by duly respectful comments by the coach.   The football team and Dantonio....totally different vibe.  Theres that guy who always snickers or whsipers something when you are talking.....or that person that always seems to be smirking at you.....thats Dantonio & crew and it runs through their organization it seems..........losing to Izzo-is playing with hourse money.......losing to Dantonio-is like losing to that playground bully.......its the worst thing ever, dare I say it...its worse than losing to Bucky.

snarling wolverine

January 24th, 2014 at 1:21 PM ^

Izoo has an intellectual side, is eminently likeable and brings a certain respect to the competition

Where do you get this idea from? When I look at Izzo I see a blowhard who loves media attention, acts like a complete jackass on the sidelines, bullies his players and constantly makes excuses, even when he's winning. I don't find him likeable in the least.  

What irritates me is that the media never calls Izzo out for his behavior.  Dan Dakich's hinting at "some coaches" making excuses was about the furthest I've ever seen anyone go.